RULES AND REGULATIONS

IN THE UNITED STATES

The intent of the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) rule is to set guidance to prevent oil from entering the navigable waters of the United States. The rule includes two categories of secondary containment requirements: a general provision which addresses the potential for oil discharges from all regulated parts of a facility, and specific provisions which address the potential of oil discharges from areas of a facility where oil is stored or handled.

Under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations, reporting oil discharges does not depend on the specific amount of oil discharged, but can be triggered by the presence of a visible sheen created by the discharged oil. As a rule of thumb, light fraction petroleum will create a sheen on water at or above 15 ppm (parts per million).

Electric utilities frequently store large quantities of oil. This is primarily due to the utilities’ extensive use of oil-filled power distribution equipment, which includes transformers, voltage regulators, circuit breakers and auto-reclosers. Oil-filled power distribution equipment devices fall under a class of oil storage known as oil-filled operational equipment. By regulation, the oil contained in the power distribution equipment is considered an “oil” under the SPCC rule which is administered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) per 40 CFR §112.

IN CANADA

The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) is the major intergovernmental forum in Canada for discussion and joint action on environmental issues of national, international and global concern.

The legislative framework behind spill management of materials (including oil) in Canada spans all levels of government, all the way to individual responsibility of the dischargers themselves.  Regulations for prevention planning, notification to the proper authorities, cleanup and restoration of the natural environment, manifest themselves in many Federal Acts, including: the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), the Canada Shipping Act, and the Emergency Plans Act. Even Provincial Acts, such as the Environmental Protection Act (Ontario) and the Ontario Water Resources Act; and municipal by-laws contain rules and regulations regarding oil spills. The main focus of the regulations prescribed by these acts and others is to maintain the integrity of the natural environment and to prevent any adverse effects to the natural environment by spills.

CEPA’s Act, drafted in 1999, requires the virtual elimination of releases of substances that are persistent (take a long time to break down), bioaccumulative (collect in living organisms and end up in the food chain), toxic (according to CEPA 1999 Section 64) and primarily the result of human activities. Virtual elimination is the reduction of releases to the environment of a substance to a level below which its release cannot be accurately measured.

To our knowledge, SorbWeb™ Plus is the only passive polymer encapsulated geocomposite containment system approved by the MOECC for use as an alternative to conventional concrete containments around electrical transformers and other oil filled equipment.

The Albarrie team will work with you to help you formulate a plan to meet oil spill containment requirements both in Canada and in the United States.

WANT MORE INFORMATION?

GET IN TOUCH WITH US TODAY TO FIND OUT MORE!

FIND OUT MORE