The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has essentially turned down a request that mobile fuelers be exempt from secondary containment requirements under the agency’s spill prevention, control and countermeasures (SPCC) plan. The Aviation Coalition, which includes the National Air Transportation Association, requested the exemption several months ago. The coalition maintains that it is not practical for “mobile refuelers” (fuel trucks) to be required to meet the same fuel-spill containment standards as fixed fuel tanks.
The ERA wrote, “It appears that some in the aviation industry erroneously believe that SPCC rules do not apply to mobile refuelers and/or that EPA would modify the requirements to exempt mobile refueling from coverage. “This impression may have been given by the EPA’s regulatory agenda where we listed mobile/portable containers as one of many issues for consideration in future proposals. At this time, we are not considering any deregulatory amendments in the SPCC rule with respect to mobile/portable containers.”
The agency admitted that secondary containment requirements are impractical for fuel trucks while they are actually fueling aircraft, or on their way to or from refueling an aircraft but did not provide specifics about what stance it
will take on enforcement. NATA responded, “In addition to…our efforts to overturn this determination, the Aviation Coalition will endeavor to outline some guidance on the secondary containment provisions and the use of the impracticability exception in the SPCC rule.”