EHS General Services Building on the Colorado State University campus
Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan


SPCC is a division of Environmental Health Services (EHS) at Colorado State University.
Goals of the Program:

  • To prevent oil spills and keep oil and mixed oil products from reaching surface waters.
  • To properly install and maintain oil filled equipment and tanks free from corrosion and punctures, necessary to control and contain oil products.
  • To have annually trained personnel provide monthly visual inspections of all 55 gallon containers or greater storing oil or mixed oil products.
  • To maintain countermeasure resources including personnel, equipment and materials available to respond quickly in the event of a spill.
tank1 Example tank2 Example tank3 Example
Castell, Michael

Castell, Michael

Health & Safety Professional

  1. Is CSU subject to oil spill prevention requirements?
    Yes. CSU is subject to the same rule that governs oil drilling, it is the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure rule, also called “SPCC”.
  2. What is the SPCC Rule?
    It is a set of EPA regulations intended to prevent and address oil spills. When you have the capacity to store more than 1,320 gallons of oil, you must have an SPCC Plan and meet the requirements of the SPCC Rule. CSU has an SPCC Plan and it covers our Fort Collins Campuses – Main, South, Foothills, ARDEC and EEL.
  3. What is included in the SPCC plan and rule?
    Bulk storage tanks and oil-filled equipment.
  4. What does the EPA mean by “oil” in this regulation?
    The term “oil” includes many things such as gasoline, diesel, motor oil, transmission oil, vegetable oil, nut oil, oil and water mixture. Essentially, it means all petroleum-based oil, fish oil and vegetable-based oils.
  5. What does the EPA mean by “tanks”?
    Any bulk oil storage tank or drum that can store 55 gallons or more. Small containers, such as 5-gallon gasoline cans are not included in this rule or in the SPCC Plan.
  6. What does the EPA mean by “equipment”?
    Any piece of oil-filled equipment that holds 55 gallons or more of oil. For example, an electrical transformer with more than 55 gallons of mineral oil, or an elevator hydraulic reservoir that can hold more than 55 gallons is subject to the SPCC rule.
  7. I have 100 gallon tank, but it never has more than 40 gallon in it. Is it subject to the SPCC Rule?
    Yes. EPA considers the tank’s “capacity”, not the amount that is actually stored.
  8. What does the SPCC Rule require for my tanks that are subject to the Rule?
    You must have secondary containment for the tank and its appurtenances, and you must inspect the tank and containment routinely. Also, your personnel handling the oil must receive training on the SPCC Rule. Your tanks must be included in your SPCC Plan.

Overview of CSU’s Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires any facility with aggregate above ground storage more than 1320 gallons of oil to have a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan. Colorado State University’s SPCC plan is kept on file at Facilities and Environmental Health. CSU’s SPCC plan describes how oil spills and discharges can be prevented from reaching natural surface waters of the United States via storm drains, catch basins, floor drains or direct entry. On CSU’s campus, this includes the Cache La Poudre River, Arthurs ditch, the lagoon, Spring Creek, College Lake, irrigation ditches and any wetlands or dry draws. Control measures in place to prevent spills and discharges include double walled containers, secondary containments, and monthly inspections. We also employ countermeasures in the event there is a spill or discharge. Inspectors are trained and refreshed annually including how to respond to a spill. Spill kits are strategically located near oil bearing containers.

Types of oil regulated by EPA includes petroleum based oils (motor oils, gasoline, diesel, etc.), animal fats and oils including oils from fish and marine life, vegetable oils from nuts, kernels, seeds and fruit, and oil mixed with any waste.

Containers with a 55 gallons or greater capacity must be included in the SPCC plan. On CSU’s campus this includes above ground storage tanks, stand-by generators, fuel tanks, drums and any container with a capacity of 55 gallons or greater. EPA also requires equipment with oil filled reservoirs such as elevators, transformers, oil water separators, etc. to be included in the SPCC plan.

Goals of Colorado State University Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures include

  1. Initial installation of proper containers, tanks and equipment and instilling good work habits in personnel associated with oil storage
  2. Monthly inspections of all tanks, containers and secondary containments
  3. Proper oil loading and transfer practices
  4. Trained personnel, equipment and resources available to provide a quick response in the event of a spill or discharge
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