Question: We collect used oil and store it in 55-gallon drums. Do we need secondary containment?
Answer: Secondary containment is a best management practice when collecting and storing a hazardous substance like oil.
Just one 55-gallon drum of oil can pollute 1 million gallons of drinking water and kill most wildlife in about one week. So while secondary containment isn’t always required when storing used oil, capturing spills at the source by slipping a spill containment pallet or deck under your drums is one of the best ways to prevent releases and water pollution.
Subsequently, if your facility is subject to Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) regulations, you’re required to have secondary containment to capture any leaks, drips or spills that could escape from your primary container [40 CFR 112].
Read this post to learn more about SPCC secondary containment requirements.
Although it’s not required, secondary containment is a best practice if you are recycling the oil but not subject to SPCC regulations because oil is hazardous when released into the water, soil and air. You should also label the drums and have a plan in place for how you’ll respond to spills.
Download our white paper to learn how to effectively respond to spills in just 5 steps.
Furthermore, used oil that is not being recycled must be properly managed and disposed of as hazardous waste under Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations. RCRA requires all hazardous waste containers to have secondary containment [40 CFR 264.175].
Check out this white paper to learn about seven common hazardous waste fines and how to avoid them.
Keep in mind that before making any secondary containment decisions, it’s important to consult your state and local authorities as their requirements could be stricter than the federal government’s requirements.
Need secondary containment for your drums? Browse all of our Spill Containment Pallets and Decks here.