Implementation of Federal Aboveground Storage Tank Rules


In the early 1970's Congress passed the Clean Water Act. This Act created a program, called the Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Program (SPCC), to regulate certain aboveground storage tanks. The program has expanded and currently applies to certain farming operations. This is a federal program, which can not be delegated to state. For specific information regarding this program you should contact Jim Peterson of federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at (303) 312-6568 or e-mail him at


The state department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) routinely receives questions from farmers and ranchers regarding this federal program. To assist them DENR has provided the summary below regarding preparing SPCC plans and list of known firms who provide professional service in writing those plans.


EPA SPCC and Farm Tanks
  • If your farm has a total oil storage capacity of 1,320 gallons in aboveground containers, you are required to have an SPCC plan.

  • If the farm has a total oil storage capacity between 1,320 and 10,000 gallons in aboveground containers and has a good spill history, you may prepare and self-certify your own Plan.

  • If you are eligible to self certify your Plan, and no aboveground container at your farm is greater than 5,000 gallons in capacity, then you may use the Plan template that is available to download from EPA’s Web site at:

  • If your farm has storage capacity of more than 10,000 gallons, or has had an oil spill more than 42 gallons on two different occasions within a 12-month period or more than 1,000 gallons to water in a single spill event, you may need to prepare an SPCC Plan certified by a Professional Engineer (PE).

Proposed Compliance Deadline
A Farm starting operation
On or before August 16, 2002

Maintain its existing SPCC Plan

Amend and implement the amended SPCC Plan no later than May 10, 2013

After August 16, 2002 through May 10, 2013
Prepare and implement an SPCC Plan no later than May 10, 2013
After May 10, 2013
Prepare and implement an SPCC Plan before beginning operations


Secondary Containment Calculations


Example and blank worksheets used to calculate secondary containment capacity are available below to help you to comply with the secondary containment requirements of the SPCC rule. These blank worksheets address four specific scenarios and may not be valid for every facility. Although the SPCC rule does not require you to show the calculations of sized secondary containment in your Plan, you should maintain documentation of secondary containment calculations to demonstrate compliance to an EPA inspector.


*Disclaimer: Please note that these are simplified calculations for qualified facilities that assume: 1) the secondary containment is designed with a flat floor; 2) the wall height is equal for all four walls; and 3) the corners of the secondary containment system are 90 degrees. Additionally, the calculations do not include displacement for support structures or foundations. For Professional Engineer (PE) certified Plans, the PE may need to account for site-specific conditions associated with the secondary containment structure which may require modifications to these sample calculations to ensure good engineering practice.


*Please note: Word versions are fill-in the blank only. PDF forms compute calculations.



For more information contact EPA

Jim Peterson
(303) 312-6568

or visit their web site at


Consulting firms in South Dakota for preparing PE certified plan


American Engineering Testing Inc.,
Contact Person: Robert Temme, P.E

1745 Samco Road
Rapid City
(605) 388-0029

Bargmann Engineering
Contact Person: Jon Bargmann
, P.E

1105 24th St S

Phone: (605) 882-4454


Dakota Environmental
Contact Person: Brian Friedrichsen, P.E

1122 21st St SW

(605) 352-5610

Geotek Engineering
Contact Person: Dan Hanson, P.E

909 East 50th Street North

Sioux Falls

(605) 335-5512


Leggette, Brashears & Graham, Inc.
Contact Person: Mitch Kannenberg, P.E

140 East Hinks Lane 
Sioux Falls

(605) 334-6000

Scott Engineering
Contact Person: John J. Scott, P.E

312 9th Avenue SE, Suite C
(605) 886-5725