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The Common Regulatory Requirements between the EPA and USCG

Posted on Mon, Aug 27, 2012

Many U.S. facilities, such as marine transfer facilities with aboveground storage tanks, are regulated by both the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Certain EPA-regulated facilities that are located adjacent to U.S. waters, or on company property adjoining a marine-transportation-related facility, may be also held accountable by USCG regulations. The marine transportation security aspects regulated by the USCG covers the entire facility, not just the oil transfer or “dock” area. Although the USCG’s 33 CFR part 105 105 mandates the details of facility security planning and the EPA’s 40 CFR part 112  pertains to oil spill prevention and response planning, there are several overlapping provisions.

EPA’s 33 CFR part 112 requires Facility Response Plans (FRP) that describe the response procedures for oil discharges of all types, whether the cause is accidental, man-made, natural, or deliberate. EPA’s FRP requirements address responses to worst-case discharges, which can damage the facility, disrupt waterborne commerce, and cause substantial economic or environmental damage.  The USCG’s 40 CFR part 112 on maritime security aims to prevent the consequences of a worst-case discharge. Specific provisions that may overlap in the two sets of requirements include, but are not limited to the following:


  • Part 112: The FRP must include an emergency response action plan, which summarizes key response information from the FRP, including emergency contact information for the Qualified Individual, facility response personnel, response organizations, and local responders. 
  • Part 105: The Facility Security Officer must have a means to effectively notify facility personnel of changes in security conditions at a facility. Transportation security incidents are reported to the National Response Center and to appropriate emergency responders. At each active facility access point, a system must be in place to allow communication with authorities with security responsibilities, including the police, security control, and the emergency operations center.
Fencing and monitoring:
  • Part 112: The FRP must describe facility security, as appropriate, including fencing, guards, and lighting. The SPCC Plan must also describe facility security measures to restrict access to the oil handling, processing, and storage areas. The SPCC also requires adequate lighting to prevent discharges caused by vandalism.
  • Part 105: The Facility Security Plan must describe security measures to prevent unauthorized access to cargo storage areas, including continuous monitoring through a combination of lighting, security guards, and other methods.


  • Part 112: The FRP requires detailed evacuation plans, including primary and secondary evacuation routes, centralized check-in area, and references to community evacuation plans.
  • Part 105: The owner or operator must identify the location of escape and evacuation routes and assembly stations to ensure that personnel are able to evacuate during security threats.


  • Part 112:  The FRP required a detailed site plan diagram, hazard evaluation, and vulnerability assessment. The assessment in the FRP examines potential effects of an oil spill, such as the shutdown of downstream water intakes.
  • Part 105: The Facility Security Assessment requires description of the layout of the facility, and response procedures for emergency conditions, threat assessment, and vulnerabilities, with a focus on areas at the facility that may be vulnerable to a security threat, such as utility equipment and services vital to operations.

For information about SPCC Plans, download TRP Corp's free SPCC and FRP Inspections guide.


Tags: USCG, Dock Operations, EPA, OPA 90, Oil Spill