EPA has finalized an SPCC rulemaking that provides significant regulatory relief for heating oil dealers. The rulemaking includes an exemption from SPCC sized secondary containment requirements for cargo tank vehicles containing product that are parked overnight between deliveries. In addition, the final rule states the EPA will soon follow up with another rulemaking that would extend the current Nov. 10, 2010 SPCC compliance deadline for at least another year.
The exemption was proposed by NEFI after EPA regional enforcement authorities began to fine heating oil dealers for not providing sized secondary containment for cargo tank trucks containing more than a residual amount of product that were parked overnight at a bulk plant or other parking facility. The fines were based on an obscure EPA regulatory interpretation that product filled cargo tanks were no different from above ground storage tanks when parked overnight and therefore subject to the same secondary containment requirements. The EPA maintained that product filled cargo tanks must be parked within secondary containment structures capable of containing a catastrophic spill from the single largest compartment of any truck. This interpretation, if maintained, would have forced oil heat dealers to spend thousands of dollars in construction and equipment. Not only would sized secondary containment of this kind be cost prohibitive, but would also require additional lot area that many heating oil dealers simply do not have and could not acquire.