Managing spills on construction sites is difficult, especially in remote areas. Every site is, by nature, temporary and evolving. The EPA developed a planning guide to help construction companies understand applicable regulations. This resource also provides guidance on what they must do to comply.
Secondary Containment Requirements for Construction Activities
The planning guide highlights two main regulatory codes that apply to construction activities.
Secondary Containment Requirements: Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan
As part of the Clean Water Act, SPCC and it regulates companies that store, use, transport and handle oil. Large construction sites keep large volumes of fuel and hydraulic oils on site. If the above ground storage capacity of oil on your construction site exceeds 1,320 gallons of oil and there is a reasonable expectation (based on site location) that a spill could reach navigable waters of the U.S., then this rule applies to you.
Secondary Containment Requirements: Construction and Development Effluent Guidelines
The Construction and Development Effluent Guidelines apply to construction sites that disturb more than an acre of ground. It also applies to smaller plots that are part of a bigger construction development. Under these guidelines companies must obtain an NPDES storm water construction general permit. Part of the permit process is developing a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) for the site. This plan should include spill prevention and response procedures.
Even if your site isn’t required to develop an SPCC or SWPPP plan, you still carry responsibility to protect the environment from spills. The EPA has the power to fine or even stop work activities if you negatively impact the environment.
Spill Containment Options for Construction Sites
Fuel and oil storage areas are a potential source of spill. Whether you use bulk tanks, IBC’s or drums, secondary containment is essential to contain a spill. Rigid-Lock QuickBerms are easy to setup as storage areas. Forklifts can drive over the sidewalls to place pallets inside the containment area.
Standing equipment like generators and compressors are another source of spills. Place the equipment inside a secondary containment area to contain small drips or major leaks. Due to its heavy-duty design, the Rigid-Lock QuickBerm is also recommended for this application.
Cleaning equipment by washing it down with high pressure water generates dirty water. Traces of oil and grease get washed off the construction machinery into this water. Left uncontained and untreated, this water will contaminate the storm water and groundwater of the site. Wash Down Berms capture effluent water before it reaches the environment.
Order Your Construction Site Spill Containment Today
BCI offers technical support and spill containment products for the construction industry. We supply a comprehensive range of collapsible spill berms and customize our products to fit your needs. Find out more about how we can help you meet secondary containment requirements here.
- EPA. Managing Your Environmental Responsibilities, a Planning Guide for Construction and Development
- Construction Industry Compliance Assistance. Oil Spill Prevention / Planning
- Core Safety Group. Spill Prevention and Control for Construction