• Shedding Light on SPCC Secondary Containment Requirements
  • Karen

    Karen D. Hamel, CSP, WACH, is a regulatory compliance professional, trainer and technical writer for New Pig. She has more than 22 years of experience helping EHS professionals find solutions to meet EPA, OSHA and DOT regulations and has had more than 100 articles published on a variety of EHS topics. Karen is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Walkway Auditor Certificate Holder (WACH), Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainer and hazmat technician. She also serves on the Blair County, Pa., LEPC and has completed a variety of environmental, safety, emergency response, DOT and NIMS courses, including Planning Section Chief. She has conducted seminars at national conferences and webinars for ASSE and other national organizations. She can be reached at 1-800-HOT-HOGS (468-4647) or by email karenea@newpig.com.

  • Scott Olsonsays:
    02/14/2017 at 10:28 am Reply

    I have a 1000 gallon fuel tank on a work location. It is a double walled tank. Is the double wall not considered secondary containment? If so, what regulation explains this?

  • Jeffsays:
    02/24/2017 at 7:38 am Reply

    Do these regulations apply to other chemicals such as caustic soaps and chlorine based sanitizing chemicals? I know this article deals with oil.

    • Karensays:
      03/03/2017 at 5:43 pm Reply

      Hi Jeff,

      The SPCC rules only apply to oil and oil products. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re out of the water. Caustic soaps and chlorine-based sanitizing chemicals may be considered hazardous and may be covered under other EPA and OSHA regulations, depending upon the specific hazards of each of the chemicals as well as the quantities that you have stored at your facility.

      Providing secondary containment for these chemicals would be considered a best management practice (BMP) to help meet the spill prevention planning requirements of regulations such as:

      • EPA’s Risk Management Plan
      • EPA’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan
      • OSHA’s Process Safety Management Plan

      Even if none of these regulations apply to your facility, many facilities provide secondary containment for all chemicals stored onsite as a general BMP to promote safety and housekeeping efforts. It is much easier to clean up a spill that has been contained, and a spill that has been contained is less likely to create a slip and fall hazard.

      Hope this info helps!


  • Ahmed uzairsays:
    11/10/2017 at 1:19 pm Reply

    Kindly update as its mention the margin for chemical drums are 10% of its volume. If the tank is of 2000 liters or above then what would be the height of the containment with the provision of 10% increased area of its total volume.

    • Brittanysays:
      11/13/2017 at 10:16 am Reply

      There are a few regulations that may apply to this situation. The EPA requires secondary containment for drums and other containers, including tanks, that are storing hazardous waste. The secondary containment system must be capable of containing either 100% of the largest container in the system or 10% of the total volume of all containers stored in the system, whichever volume is greater.

      If the only container in your secondary containment area is the 2,000 liter tank, the containment system would need to be able to contain all 2,000 liters, not just 10% of that.

      If the tank contains an oil product, and your facility stores 5,000 liters or more in aboveground containers and/or tanks, SPCC rules would apply. This regulation also requires secondary containment. Because secondary containment systems and devices are designed to prevent spills from leaving the containment area, you should have a secondary containment system that is capable of containing your worst case scenario spill.

      If a leak or spill from the tank could enter a waterbody, Stormwater rules would apply. Providing a secondary containment system that is capable of holding the entire contents from a spilled tank would be a best management practice that would prevent a release from entering a waterbody.

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