EPA Oil Spill Prevention Rules Relevant to Montana Agricultural Producers

SPCC rules are in place to prevent discharge of oil to surface water and were authorized under the Clean Water Act of 1972 and made effective in 1974.  The rules require facilities (including farms) that store more than 1,320 gallons of oil in aboveground containers or more than 42,000 gallons stored in completely buried containers (including fuel, mineral oil, seed oil, grease, etc.) to have a written plan stating how oil spills will be prevented and contained.  In 2002, the regulations that were already in place, were reorganized to clarify the areas that had raised confusion in the past. 

There has been a widespread misunderstanding that these are new regulations; when in fact, these rules have been in place since 1974. Much of the recent attention to these regulations regarding farms has been related to public notices concerning the SPCC compliance deadline extensions for farmers. Since 2002, seven (7) extensions have been granted with the most recent extension occuring in fall of 2011. To be clear, the exentions only apply to farms which started after 2002. All farms in operation before 2002, are required to already have a plan in place. You may read a letter from the EPA contact for Montana about SPCC for agriculture here.


Making Your Way Through EPA's SPCC Rule

Frequently Asked Questions

SPCC Historic Timeline

Tier I and II (Plans you can prepare yourself)

  • mySPCC
    (A web-based tool to assist agricultural producers with implementing their SPCC plan)


Additional Resources