Learn how long it takes to get an SPCC Plan for your facility.
We've prepared SPCC Plans for facilities all over the United States. From our point of view, many facilities should have one, but most operations aren't even aware of what they are.
There seems to be a fair amount of confusion around Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure plans. We hear things like how much do SPCC Plans cost or what are SPCC Plans? Strangely enough, one of the most common questions we ever hear regarding plans is how long does it take to get an SPCC Plan?
If you haven't prepared one yourself, this is a good question, and an important one too. So, let's try and clear it up and give you an idea how long it'll take to prepare a plan for you.
How long does it take to prepare an SPCC Plan?
The short answer: it depends.
The long answer is more involved, and here's what we usually use to determine how long it'll take to create an SPCC Plan for your operation.
- How big is your facility? It'll take less time to do a small facility that's 1/4-acre than it will to do one that's 40 acres.
- How much petroleum do you store? The more you store and handle, the more complicated your plan needs to be, and the longer it'll take to develop.
- How many petroleum storage tanks do you have on your property? A large property with one giant tank of 100,000-gallons might just be easier to do a plan for than a smaller facility with lots of smaller tanks, and lots of 55-gallon drums.
- How complicated is your facility? How much piping do you have? How many valves and drains? The more complicated your facility is, the longer it's going to take.
- How far away is your facility located from whomever you're asking to prepare your plan? We've done plans on both coasts of the United States, and if we have to allot travel time that means more time until you get that plan in your hands.
- What type of plan do you qualify for? There are several different "tiers" of plans depending on the volume of petroleum you store, size of your tanks, and spill history. If you're in the easiest tier, known as a Tier I Qualified Self-Certified Plan, then it's going to be a lot quicker to prepare a plan for you than if you're in need of a full-blown PE Certified Plan with all the bells and whistles.
Let's take a ballpark guess at how long it will take to create your SPCC Plan.
You run a small facility that just exceeds the 1,320-gallon petroleum storage threshold. You've got one tank, no spill history, and you're located nearby. We can bang that out quickly - almost as quickly as you'll need it. Figure a week or so.
Other side of the coin… You have a very large facility, such as an oil refinery. You have a huge amount of petroleum on-site, a large number of storage tanks, very complicated piping, lots of different handling processes, you may have a history of some leaks or spills, etc. Almost doesn't matter where it's located, figure it's going to take a couple of weeks to months to finalize. This one won't be easy or quick.
Most fall somewhere in between these two (and you probably do too). Our experience, for most normal facilities, it usually takes a couple of weeks to about a month to get one done, provided there isn't a huge rush (in which case, it might be able to be done in about 2 weeks). I think this probably holds true for most qualified, knowledgeable consulting firms, who do "site specific" plans, as opposed to some off-the-shelf plan which isn't going to be worth the paper it's written on.
So in most cases, I'd say you could count on 3-4 weeks to get a quality plan from an experienced environmental consulting firm. Shorter in some cases, longer in others.
Now don't let this deter you, and don't let this mean that you can wait until you get a couple of weeks advance notice from the USEPA, your inspector, or a 3rd party group. From our experience, most of them show up unannounced meaning if you think you need an one, you should start looking into it today. To learn more, click here to contact us or call us at 609-693-8301 to discuss your needs today.