We explain how much an SPCC Plan costs on average.
We get plenty of phone calls and emails with regards to SPCC Plans. Normally, it's a new or existing facility looking for one, so they can be in complete environmental compliance. Occasionally, it's an existing operation that's gotten in trouble and just found out they need one. Either way, a question that seems to be on everyone's mind is "how much?"
Making sure you don't get overcharged for any environmental compliance work is important, and here we set out to openly discuss the key factors that impact the average price of an SPCC Plan, regardless of who creates the plan for you.
In a world of tight budgets, understanding the cost or expected price of anything is necessary to factor into your operating expenses. Money is very important, and we understand you'll need to know at least a ballpark price of what you can expect to pay. Frankly, most people have no idea what one will cost, and getting a quick quote from a consultant can be like pulling teeth.
What impacts the cost & price of an SPCC Plan?
There can be a wide range in the price of an SPCC Plan, because like buying a car, the price can vary with different options, choices, and features.
The Type of Plan - There are actually 3 different types of plans: a Tier I Self Certified, a Full Self Certified, and a Full PE-Certified Plan. The long story short is, they get progressively longer, and more involved, as they go from a Tier I to a Full PE-Certified Plan. More people need to be involved, longer documents, more work, etc., means a higher cost. The type of plan necessary depends on the amount of oil at your site, and what size containers you keep it in.
How Complex is Your Operation - The larger, more intricate facilities will need longer examination, more detailed site plans, maybe several site visits, or possibly several people inspecting and taking notes about your facility. A larger, more intricate site will most likely be more expensive than a smaller, simpler site. Whether you're a farm or asphalt plant, the more time, and more people involved at your site will raise the price.
Quantity - Like most other services and products, quantity counts. The price and cost are going to depend a lot on the number of sites or facilities you're needing plans created at.
Travel Costs & Expenses - There are environmental professionals all over the US, meaning you can use a local company, or hire someone from another time zone. Whenever you hire someone from out of state, or out of your area, expect them to add their expenses to the price of the job. We're located in New Jersey, but have created plans all over the country, and when we provide a price quote, we always factor in travel costs and expenses. You can expect other professionals to do the same.
Experience & Expertise - How experienced is the person creating your plan. Are the members of their staff creating your plan knowledgeable and experienced? Organizations that prepare plans frequently will send out knowledgeable staff members who can complete a site investigation quickly and completely. Organizations that send out inexperienced members, or have never completed a plan before, may adjust the price accordingly, either decreasing or increasing their price.
Federal or State Regulatory Fees - Simply put, there are none! You'll never have to pay a fee to anyone once your plan is completed. Certainly you can hire organizations to conduct SPCC Training or conduct your monthly or annual inspections, but that's entirely up to you.
True Cost of an SPCC Plan
So what should you expect to pay for a good, solid plan prepared by a competent, experienced organization? As you can see from the reasons above, you can likely expect a wide range in prices. Here are our best estimates for what you can expect to be an average price for a plan:
Tier I plans should range from $750 to $2,500.
Full Self-Certified plans should range from $1,000 to $5,000.
Full PE-Certified plans should range from $2,500 to $6,000.
Of course, depending on the factors mentioned above, these figures can be dead-on, off a little bit, or not even close to the price at your facility. Are you going to find someone to prepare a plan for you for less? Absolutely. However, seeing as a good, solid, understandable plan can be a useful tool for your staff to rely on in an emergency, I would be very wary of going with the low bidder.
You have a lot riding on a well-made plan. It can keep you out of trouble (regulatory and financially) if you should have a spill or accident. It can keep your employees safe should an accident occur. Most importantly, it can keep your business running smoothly if you follow the necessary steps should an emergency arise. Should an accident occur, having a well-made plan will enable you to address the situation, deal with it, deal with regulators and clean up actions, and keep your business running smoothly. You almost can't afford to not have one. The liability of having a bad plan, or none at all, like getting fines or violations, or massive clean-up costs should a spill occur, makes paying for a plan a worthwhile investment.
Now there's an option if you really need to cut costs, which we don't advise because every time we've seen one, they've been incomplete, incorrect, and virtually useless. You can create a plan yourself. You can use templates available from the USEPA to make a decent plan you can certify yourself, but honestly, it's worth spending a little bit of money to stay in compliance. If the EPA shows up and you're plan isn't up to snuff, you'll end up having to hire someone anyways.
As always, shop around. Find someone you can trust, who can deliver a plan at a price you can afford. Don't overpay, but make sure you find a good, competent company that can deliver a plan that best suits your needs. If you're in the market for a plan or need yours updated, and would like some information, a quote, or just want to pick our brains, click here to contact us, or give us a call at 609-693-8301 to discuss your needs.