Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures

aboveground tanks


The term "SPCC Plan," as used in federal regulations under the Clean Water Act, stands for "Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan." An Oil SPCC plan is a plan prepared in accordance with good engineering practices to prevent and clean up spills from oil storage tanks. "Oil" as defined in the federal regulations includes petroleum oils such as gasoline, diesel and heating oil as well as non-petroleum oils such as animal or vegetable oils, synthetic oils, and mineral oils.

The federal SPCC plan requirements apply specifically to oil storage facilities with an aggregate storage capacity greater than 1,320 gallons and where a discharge could reach a navigable water body, either directly or indirectly. Any oil storage container or tank that is 55 gallons or larger in size counts towards the total aggregate storage capacity. Most areas in Maine are considered locations where a discharge could reach navigable waters.

In 2002, the Maine Legislature enacted 38 MRSA § 570-K(5), giving the Maine DEP authority to inspect aboveground oil storage facilities that exceed the federal 1,320 gallon aggregate storage capacity threshold and are used to market and distribute oil for compliance with the federal SPCC requirements.

An SPCC plan lists the containment equipment and structures used to prevent spills from reaching ground water or surface water, and it identifies the inspection, monitoring and oil transfer procedures that will be followed to prevent a spill. If a spill occurs, a well-developed Oil SPCC plan will identify whom to call, and will specify steps, or "countermeasures," to contain the spill and minimize environmental impacts. The specific SPCC requirements for oil storage facilities are found in federal regulation, 40 CFR Part 112. In most cases, a qualified professional engineer must examine the plan and attest that it has been prepared in accordance with good engineering practices.

Contacts - Who to contact for more information regarding SPCC requirement

For information on Maine's SPCC program that applies to facilities with more than 1,320 gallons of aboveground oil storage and that market or distribute oil to others, contact Butch Bowie: Division of Petroleum Management, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, 17 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0017; telephone: (207) 215-4583 or in-state toll free (800) 452-1942.

For information on the federal SPCC plan requirements that apply to any facility with more than 1,320 gallons of aboveground oil storage contact the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: EPA Region 1, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, MA 02109-3912; telephone: (888) 372-7341.

Maine SPCC Laws, Rules Policies and Guidelines

Chapter 692 - Siting of Oil Storage Facilities - (Effective August 7, 2019)

38 MRSA § 570-K(5): Aboveground Oil Storage Facilities, Spill Prevention and Control

38 MRSA §§ (1391-1399): Siting of Aboveground Oil Storage Facilities

32 MRSA § 1351: Professional Engineers doing work in Maine must be certified in Maine

SPCC Federal Law

Federal Oil SPCC Regulation (Current) (Off-Site)

SPCC Lists, Fact Sheets, and Publications


Professional Engineers available for SPCC Planning and Implementation (PDF format)

Fact Sheets

Ethanol in Gasoline - Guidance for Storage Tank Owners


A Facility Owner/Operator's Guide to Oil Pollution Prevention (PDF format)

SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors (Off-Site)

Tier I Qualified Facility SPCC Plan Template - Qualified facilities may self-certify their SPCC Plans (Off-Site)

Related Programs

Hazardous matter SPCC plans contact Maine DEP: Dan Wehr 207-287-3547 or in-state toll free 800-452-1942

Permitting for aboveground oil storage tanks and aboveground piping contact the Maine State Fire Marshal's Office: Joseph Turgeon 207-626-3880

Inventory reporting and emergency response planning requirements for facilities storing oil and/or hazardous materials contact the Maine Emergency Management Agency: Faith Staples 207-624-4400

Maine's requirements for underground piping contact Maine DEP: Underground Oil Storage Tanks Contacts 207-287-7688

Marine Oil Terminals contact Maine DEP: Jamie Hoover 207-287-6113

Maine's requirements for discharging stormwater from containment areas to surface waters contact Maine DEP: Enid Mitnik 207-592-2068

Finance Authority of Maine (Off-Site) (FAME) Compliance Assistance Loan Program