EPA finalizes oil spill rule, seeks to extend deadlines

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The Environmental Protection Agency recently released a final rule that allows certain facilities to use streamlined procedures for certifying oil spill prevention plans. The rule, which also eases other requirements, was published Dec. 26 in the Federal Register.

The oil spill rule of 2002 required facilities with above-ground storage capacity of 1,320 gallons or completely buried storage capacity in excess of 42,000 gallons to develop “professionally certified” spill prevention plans. The new rule will allow covered facilities that store or handle up to 10,000 gallons of oil to “self-certify” their plans.

EPA also will be proposing a rule to extend the compliance date for amending and implementing revised plans to July 1, 2009, from October 2007. The agency will accept comments on the extension of the compliance deadlines for up to 30 days after the proposed rule is published in the Register.

A copy of the final oil spill rule can be viewed here.