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State-specific Considerations for SPCC Plans in Virginia

Posted: March 18th, 2021

Authors: Sahil B. 

This blog is part of a series that will cover key state-specific requirements for petroleum containing aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) with respect to Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) compliance with 40 CFR Part 112.7(j).

In this edition, I will walk through key requirements in Virginia (VA).

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ) has implemented aboveground storage tank (AST) regulations at 9VAC25-91.  An AST containing oil is VADEQ-regulated if it has a capacity of greater than 660 gallons.  However, there are several exclusions from this regulation provided in 9VAC25-91-30.  Three significant exclusions from the AST regulation include:

  • ASTs that form an integral part of the equipment or machinery and where the contents of the AST are solely used by the attached equipment or machinery (e.g., fuel belly tank affixed to a generator).
  • Oil-filled operational equipment (OFOE) such as hydraulic systems and transformers.
  • ASTs used to store nonpetroleum hydrocarbon-based animal and vegetable oils.

Further applicability of the VADEQ AST regulation is dependent on the aggregate aboveground storage capacity at the facility.  Facilities with at least one regulated AST, but have less than 25,000 gallons of regulated aboveground storage capacity are only required to meet registration and closure requirements and not some of the more stringent requirements that would need to be discussed for compliance with 40 CFR Part 112.7(j).

What if my facility has more than 25,000 Gallons of VADEQ-Regulated Storage?

If your facility has greater than 25,000 gallons of regulated aboveground storage, an oil discharge contingency plan (ODCP) must be prepared and submitted to VADEQ for approval prior to placing the regulated tanks into service.  Pollution prevention requirements (PPR) also come into play which require additional recordkeeping, testing, inspection, and training to be completed, beyond what an SPCC plan requires.  Your facility can choose whether to document procedures to demonstrate compliance with the PPR regulations in either your ODCP or SPCC plan.  Further requirements are triggered for facilities containing one million gallons or more of VADEQ-regulated storage under the ODCP and PPR regulations.

Requirements for an ODCP

An ODCP is similar to a Federal Facility Response Plan (FRP), but instead implemented at the state level (Virginia) where facilities must demonstrate how a worst-case discharge of oil would be handled.  An ODCP must be submitted to and approved by VADEQ prior to placing regulated tanks into service.  VADEQ requires that an ODCP be renewed at least 90 days prior to expiration.  If a significant change occurs (similar to a technical amendment in an SPCC plan), the ODCP must be amended and submitted to VADEQ within 30 days of the change (note this is different from the six month window for implementing a technical amendment into an SPCC plan).

Facilities may choose to combine an ODCP with an SPCC plan as long as the applicable ODCP requirements are presented in a cross-reference table.  However, it is often preferable to maintain separate ODCP and SPCC plans because an SPCC plan could contain additional storage containers that are not regulated by VADEQ.

A groundwater characterization study (GCS) and GCS well monitoring and reporting are required for facilities containing one million gallons or greater of VADEQ-regulated aboveground storage.  Facilities with a VADEQ-regulated aboveground storage capacity of one million gallons or greater may incorporate an ODCP into their FRP.

Requirements Under PPR Regulations

Some of the key requirements for regulated ASTs at facilities with 25,000 gallons or more of VADEQ-regulated storage include:

  • Conducting initial pressure testing on piping and at five-year intervals;
  • Annual level gauge calibration;
  • Establishing a training program;
  • Visual daily and weekly inspections;
  • Secondary containment certification by a licensed professional engineer (PE) in the Commonwealth of Virginia prior to tanks being placed into service and every 10 years thereafter (Note: Virginia does not have a quantitative permeability requirement like several other states); and
  • Inventory control
    • Maintaining a record of incoming and outgoing volumes.
    • Gauging the tank level each day of normal operation, but no less frequently than once of 14 days.

Similar to the ODCP regulation, additional requirements are triggered under the PPR regulations once the one-million-gallon regulated storage capacity threshold is reached, which include the following formal inspections:

  • Initial external and internal formal inspections in accordance with American Petroleum Institute (API) Standard 653 or Steel Tank Institute (STI) Standard SP001 within five years of installation of a new AST;
  • External formal inspections every five years after the initial formal external inspection was completed; and
  • Internal formal inspections every ten years after the initial formal internal inspection was completed.

VADEQ may require a formal internal inspection or on a more frequent basis for a regulated AST, at its discretion.  However, ASTs with a capacity of less than 12,000 gallons are not subject to the initial or recurring internal formal inspections unless it is deemed necessary by VADEQ.

Stay tuned for upcoming articles that will continue to cover additional AST requirements in states across the country.  If you have questions on AST compliance in Virginia or another state, please feel free to reach out to me at sbharucha@all4inc.com or 571-392-2592 x505.




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