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Top regulatory issues found at a port today

1) Spill Prevention Control Countermeasure (SPCC) - Many port facilities have above ground oil storage tanks with capacity over the 1,320 gallon regulatory limit but do not realize that the Spill Prevention Control Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations apply to them. Too often, facilities do not realize that their facility has a regulatory threshold of 1,320 gallons which means that it is a cumulative total of above ground oil storage that in reality could be a number of small tanks that when added up, exceed the regulatory threshold. This is very common misconception. In addition, in too many cases, even if a port facility has an SPCC plan, it has not been updated to reflect current conditions and personnel at their facility. The SPCC regulatory threshold is low, however, these facilities are obviously adjacent to surface water and therefore, must have an updated and adequate SPCC Plan on hand in case of emergency. For more information on SPCC regulations, go to http://www.portcompliance.org/eparegulations.php#tanks and for State regulations go to http://www.portcompliance.org/stateregs.php

2) Stormwater Issues - Most port facilities are required to implement a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). Some states are more stringent then EPA regarding SWPPPs. For example, Maryland requires that the SWPPP be included in the NPDES permit for the facility. A typical facility is required to develop an inventory of materials handled at their location that can potentially be exposed to precipitation. For example, ship repair facilities that do sand blasting and painting outdoors can have stormwater run-off problems during periods of heavy rain. The SWPPP generally requires a facility to perform monthly inspections, and keep records of these inspections for three years. Employees must be trained in stormwater management practices. For more information on stormwater compliance, go to http://www.portcompliance.org/eparegulations.php#cwa. and for State regulations go to http://www.portcompliance.org/stateregs.php

3) Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) - Subtitle C Generators - In regards to RCRA, most port facilities are small quantity generators of hazardous wastes and are, therefore, subject to the most basic RCRA requirements. Facilities that generate solid wastes are required to determine if those wastes meet the definition of hazardous waste. A common violation is that containers storing hazardous wastes are not labeled with the accumulation start date clearly marked on the container. Also, hazardous waste containers cannot be open, stored outside, and stored on the ground. For facilities generating hazardous wastes, annual hazardous waste training of relevant employees is required. For more information on RCRA generator status, go to http://www.portcompliance.org/eparegulations.php#rcra and for State regulations go to http://www.portcompliance.org/stateregs.php

4) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) - (Clean Water Act) - Port facilities can have difficulty with their NPDES limits at permitted outfalls during rain events. In addition to those issues, unauthorized discharges from unpermitted outfalls have also been discovered during port facility inspections. Facility operators should periodically sample, or visually inspect, their outfalls during rain events. It is very important that facility operators walk the perimeter of their property during rain events to spot unpermitted outfalls. For more information on stormwater NPDES compliance, go to http://www.portcompliance.org/eparegulations.php#cwa. and for State regulations go to http://www.portcompliance.org/stateregs.php