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EPA finalizes SPCC compliance extension

March 20, 2006
TOPICS: SPCC
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule extending the 2002 Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule compliance dates for all facilities until Oct. 31, 2007.

This action will allow EPA to take action on its currently proposed revisions to the 2002 SPCC rule, and consider much needed revisions to the rule before operators are required to comply. It should be noted that this extension does not relieve operator’s that are subject to the SPCC rule from complying with the pre-2002 rule.

OIPA submitted comments supporting the EPA’s extension, and urged the EPA to develop a regulatory approach that is appropriate and reasonable for the upstream crude oil and natural gas production industry, especially for marginal wells and the operators of those wells.

This approach would include a definition of navigable waters and focus on upstream facilities that can be expected to impact those waters, include a benefit/cost analysis of the requirements being considered and implemented at upstream sites, address the “real” environmental risks at those facilities and focus on those areas where there is a true need for regulation, and provide a practical regulatory scheme small operators can understand. Such an approach would encourage upstream crude oil and natural gas production operators to comply, assure that industry’s funds are spent where it can provide the most benefit, and maintain the viability of domestic production.
 
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