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U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
EPA Needs to Further
Improve How It Manages Its
Oil Pollution Prevention
Program
Report No. 12-P-0253
February 6, 2012
Scan this mobile
code to learn more
about the EPA OIG.

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Report Contributors:	Stacey Bond
Ira Brass
Allison Dutton
Dan Engelberg
Danielle Tesch
Andre von Hoyer
Michael Wagg
Abbreviations
CFR
Code of Federal Regulations
CWA
Clean Water Act
DOI
U.S. Department of the Interior
DOT
U.S. Department of Transportation
EPA
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
ESA
Expedited settlement agreement
FRP
Facility Response Plan
FY
Fiscal year
GAO
U.S. Government Accountability Office
GIS
Geographic information systems
ICIS
Integrated Compliance Information System
ICP
Integrated Contingency Plans
OECA
Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
OEM
Office of Emergency Management
OIG
Office of Inspector General
OSWER
Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
SPCC
Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure
Cover photos: From left: An aboveground storage facility in Nenana, Alaska, at
the confluence of the Tanana and Nenana Rivers; a pump jack at a
non-transportation-related oil production facility. (EPA photos)
Hotline
To report fraud, waste, or abuse, contact us through one of the following methods:
e-mail: OIG Hotline@epa.gov	write: EPA Inspector General Hotline
phone: 1-888-546-8740	1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
fax:	202-566-2599	Mailcode 2431T
online:
http://www.epa.gov/oiq/hotline.htm
Washington, DC 20460

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency	12-P-0253

I"	\ Office of Inspector General	February 6,2012
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At a Glance
Why We Did This Review
The Office of Inspector
General received a request
from the House Committee on
Transportation and
Infrastructure to review the
U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's (EPA's) steps to
ensure the quality and
consistency of oil spill
prevention and response plans,
and to review how EPA tracks
violators under the Clean Water
Act (CWA) Section 311
program.
Background
In 1973, EPA issued the Spill
Prevention, Control, and
Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule
to establish procedures,
methods, and equipment
requirements to prevent oil
discharges from non-
transportation-related facilities.
The SPCC Rule requires
facilities to prepare plans
outlining their spill prevention
procedures and
countermeasures to address the
effects of an oil spill.
For further information, contact
our Office of Congressional and
Public Affairs at (202) 566-2391.
The full report is at:
www.epa.aov/oia/reports/2012/
20120206-12-P-0253.pdf
EPA Needs to Further Improve How It Manages
Its Oil Pollution Prevention Program
What We Found
Although EPA has taken steps to improve its program to prevent oil spills from
known facilities to waters of the United States, the Agency remains largely
unaware of the identity and compliance status of the vast majority of CWA
Section 311 regulated facilities. Effective program management requires EPA to
know the identity and nature of the facilities it is responsible for regulating. EPA
has taken a number of steps to improve the quality and consistency of SPCC
Plans and Facility Response Plans (FRPs). EPA has also improved its ability to
track individual CWA Section 311 violations and violators in a new national
database. However, EPA still does not have knowledge of most facilities it is
responsible for regulating. In addition, Agency data systems cannot exchange
data with each other, and lack consistent and sufficient codes to categorize
deficiencies and noncompliance. These data systems limitations prevent EPA
from capturing the full details of a known violator's history or identifying trends
in compliance and enforcement. As a result, EPA cannot assess the success of
steps it has taken to improve the quality and consistency of SPCC Plans, FRPs, or
the oil pollution prevention program as a whole. Therefore, the Agency is unable
to assess the degree to which its actions will help prevent future oil spills or
mitigate their associated impacts.
What We Recommend
We recommend that the Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency
Response, in consultation with the Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and
Compliance Assurance, improve oversight of facilities regulated by EPA's oil
pollution prevention program. Specifically, we recommend that EPA improve
oversight by biennially assessing and reporting on the quality and consistency of
SPCC Plans and FRPs, implementing a risk-based inspection strategy, updating
guidance, and consistently interpreting SPCC and FRP regulations. We further
recommend that the two Assistant Administrators work together to establish a
national oil program database that contains compliance histories for regulated
facilities, can track compliance trends, and exchanges data with other EPA
databases. While the Agency recognized that it could improve the program, it
neither agreed nor disagreed with most of our recommendations. Although the
Agency disagreed with our recommendation regarding consistently interpreting
regulations, we believe the recommendation is valid. In response to Agency
comments, we added the recommendation about biennially assessing the quality
and consistency of plans. All recommendations in this report are unresolved.

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February 6, 2012
MEMORANDUM
SUBJECT: EPA Needs to Further Improve How It Manages
Its Oil Pollution Prevention Program
Report No. 12-P-0253
FROM: Arthur A. Elkins, Jr.
Inspector General
TO:	Mathy Stanislaus
Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response
Cynthia Giles
Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
This is our report on the subject evaluation conducted by the Office of Inspector General (OIG)
of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This report contains findings that describe
the problems the OIG has identified and corrective actions the OIG recommends. This report
represents the opinion of the OIG and does not necessarily represent the final EPA position.
Final determinations on matters in this report will be made by EPA managers in accordance with
established audit resolution procedures.
Action Required
In accordance with EPA Manual 2750, you are required to provide a written response to this
report within 90 calendar days. Your response will be posted on the OIG's public website, along
with our comments on your response. Your response should be provided in an Adobe PDF file
that complies with the accessibility requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of
1973, as amended. If your response contains data that you do not want to be released to the
public, you should identify the data for redaction. You should include a corrective actions plan
for agreed-upon actions, including milestone dates. We have no objections to the further release
of this report to the public. This report will be available at http://www.epa.gov/oig.
UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20460
THE INSPECTOR GENERAL
If you or your staff have any questions regarding this report, please contact Dan Engelberg at
(202) 566-0830 or engelberg.dan@epa.gov.

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EPA Needs to Further Improve How It Manages
Its Oil Pollution Prevention Program
12-P-0253
	Table of Contents
Chapters
1	Introduction 		1
Purpose		1
Background		1
Noteworthy Achievements		5
Scope and Methodology		6
2	EPA Has Limited Oversight of Facilities Regulated by Its
Oil Pollution Prevention Program		9
EPA's Limited Knowledge of Facilities Regulated by the Oil Pollution
Prevention Program Hinders Oversight		9
EPA's Limited Knowledge Prevents It from Assessing the Overall
Effectiveness of the Oil Pollution Prevention Program		11
EPA Cannot Effectively Establish National Trends in Compliance
History for Known SPCC Facilities		13
Conclusion		15
Recommendations		15
Agency Response and OIG Evaluation		16
Status of Recommendations and Potential Monetary Benefits		18
Appendices
A	SPCC Rule Compliance Dates and SPCC Facility
Substantial Harm Criteria		19
B Agency Response From OSWER and OECA		21
C Agency Response From OSWER and OECA: Attachment A		25
D Agency Response From OSWER and OECA: Attachment B		39
E Agency Response From Region 5		48
F Distribution		50

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Chapter 1
Introduction
Purpose
We performed this evaluation in response to a request from the House Committee
on Transportation and Infrastructure. We addressed the following questions:
•	What steps has the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) taken to
ensure the quality and consistency of Spill Prevention, Control, and
Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans and Facility Response Plans (FRPs)?
•	How does EPA track Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 311 violations and
violators in order to manage its oil pollution program?
Background
CWA Section 3111 prohibits the discharge of oil or hazardous substances into or
upon U.S. navigable waters,2 adjoining shorelines, or other areas identified in the
statute, in quantities that may be harmful. In recent years, a number of oil spills
have had significant impacts on the environment. For example:
•	In June 2004, a flow line ruptured in Wyoming, resulting in a spill of
25,074 gallons of oil that contaminated 6 miles of the North Fork Powder
River and adversely impacted wildlife, habitat, and vegetation.
•	On more than 35 occasions between January 2003 and October 2008,
more than 1,314,600 gallons of oily water and crude oil were allegedly
released from production fields in Wyoming, resulting in an observable
film, sheen, or discoloration on the surface of the impacted water or
shoreline. The spills resulted in the pollutants being discharged into the
tributaries or drainages of Silver Tip Creek and Salt Creek, which,
respectively, are tributaries to the Clarks Fork and Powder Rivers.
•	In June 2006, 142,800 gallons of oil allegedly spilled from a containment
berm located on the edge of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. The Corpus
Christi Ship Channel, which flows from Tule Lake into Corpus Christi
Bay and then into the Gulf of Mexico, is heavily utilized by barge and
commercial ship traffic.
1	"Oil and Hazardous Substance Liability" (33 U.S.C. 1321); also referred to as Section 311 of the Federal Water
Pollution Control Act as amended (also known as Clean Water Act).
2	The SPCC regulation defines "navigable waters" by referring to Section 502(7) of the Federal Water Pollution
Control Act, which states that navigable waters are waters of the United States, including territorial seas.
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CWA Section 311 and Federal Responsibilities
CWA Section 311 authorizes the U.S. President to establish regulations for
preventing, preparing for, and responding to oil spills. In 1991, Executive Order
127773 delegated responsibilities for spill prevention and control, contingency
planning, and equipment inspection activities to several agencies, including EPA,
the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), the U.S. Department of Transportation
(DOT), and the department in which the U.S. Coast Guard operates (currently the
U.S. Department of Homeland Security).
Under Executive Order 12777, EPA was delegated responsibilities to regulate
non-transportation-related onshore facilities that could reasonably be expected to
discharge oil into navigable waters of the United States or adjoining shorelines.
DOI was delegated responsibilities for offshore facilities (including facilities on
any inland waters); DOI's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and
Enforcement (formerly the Minerals Management Service) implements these
activities.4 DOT was delegated similar responsibilities for vessels, transportation-
related onshore facilities, and deepwater ports. DOT's Pipeline and Hazardous
Materials Safety Administration implements these activities for the department.5
The Coast Guard's responsibilities include inspecting vessels and conducting
periodic drills to assess the capability of onshore and offshore facilities located in
the coastal zone to remove discharged oil and hazardous substances.
In 1994, DOI, DOT, and EPA agreed to a memorandum of understanding
whereby DOI retained jurisdiction over facilities located seaward of the coastline.
DOI redelegated responsibility for non-transportation-related offshore facilities
located landward of the coastline to EPA (this includes facilities located on any
inland waters). DOI also redelegated responsibility for transportation-related
facilities, including pipelines, located landward of the coastline to DOT.
EPA's Oil Pollution Prevention Program
EPA's oil pollution prevention program, or CWA Section 311 program, is not
delegable to states and tribes. EPA's CWA Section 311 program regulates
facilities through the SPCC Rule, which EPA initially issued in 1973. The SPCC
Rule, which also includes regulations for FRP facilities (discussed later in this
section), establishes procedures, methods, and equipment requirements for facility
owners and operators to prevent oil discharges from non-transportation-related
facilities. The SPCC Rule applies to non-transportation-related facilities with an
3	Executive Order 11548 (35 Federal Register 11677, July 22, 1970) was superseded by Executive Order 11735
(38 Federal Register 21248, August 7, 1973) and then superseded by Executive Order 12777 (56 Federal Register
54757, October 22, 1991).
4	Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement requirements for spill response plans for
facilities located seaward of the coastline, including associated pipelines, are located in the Code of Federal
Regulations (CFR) at 30 CFR 254.
5	Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration requirements for spill response plans submitted to the
administration for onshore transportation-related facilities are located in 49 CFR 194.
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aboveground oil storage capacity greater than 1,320 U.S. gallons or a completely
buried storage capacity greater than 42,000 U.S. gallons. The SPCC Rule only
applies to facilities that, due to their locations, could reasonably be expected to
discharge oil in quantities that may be harmful into or upon navigable waters or
adjoining shorelines.
Plans for SPCC Facilities
The SPCC Rule requires regulated facilities to prepare oil spill pollution
prevention plans (SPCC Plans) that outline procedures, methods, and
equipment to prevent spills from occurring, and countermeasures to
address the effects of an oil spill. EPA estimates that approximately
640,000 facilities meet these criteria. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR),
in 40 CFR Part 112, provides the requirements for all SPCC Plans. The
regulation includes both general requirements for all facilities and specific
requirements organized according to the type of oils stored (petroleum oils
versus nonpetroleum oils, animal fats, and vegetable oils) and facility type
(e.g., onshore versus offshore, production versus bulk storage). The SPCC
Rule generally does not require all facilities to identify themselves to
EPA,6 but requires a subset of higher-risk SPCC facilities—known as FRP
facilities—to submit their preparedness Plans to the Agency.
Plans for FRP Facilities
In 1994, EPA established requirements for certain facilities to prepare and
submit FRPs for responding to a worst-case discharge of oil and to a
substantial threat of such a discharge (FRP Rule, see 40 CFR 112.20 and
112.21). These requirements apply to a subset of higher-risk SPCC
facilities for which a discharge of oil could reasonably be expected to
cause substantial harm to the environment (appendix A, figure A-l shows
the criteria for "substantial harm")7 The number of FRP facilities EPA is
aware of represents less than 1 percent of the estimated universe of
approximately 640,000 SPCC-regulated facilities.8 All SPCC facilities
self-certify whether the FRP requirements apply based on spill history,
lack of adequate secondary containment, and proximity to drinking water
intakes and/or environmentally sensitive habitats.
If the FRP requirements apply, the facility is required to prepare and
submit an FRP to the appropriate EPA Regional Administrator for review
6	SPCC facilities must self-identify to EPA and the state per 40 CFR 112.4 within 60 days whenever a facility has
discharged more than 1,000 U.S. gallons of oil in a single discharge as described in 40 CFR 112.1(b), or discharged
more than 42 U.S. gallons of oil in each of two discharges as described in 40 CFR 112.1(b), occurring within any
12-month period.
7	EPA developed the "substantial harm" criteria in response to directives in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which
amended the CWA. The discharge of oil must be into or on U.S. navigable waters or adjoining shorelines.
8	EPA, Office of Emergency Management/Abt Associates, Inc., Regulatory Impact Analysis for the 2008 and 2009
Final Amendments to the Oil Pollution Prevention Regulations (40 CFR 112): Volume 1, 2009.
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and, in cases of "significant and substantial harm" facilities, approval.
EPA also has the discretion to require an owner or operator of non-
transportation facilities to prepare and submit an FRP to the Agency. The
FRP must, for example, identify the individual with full authority to
implement removal actions at the facility and the resources available to
remove a discharge, and describe the training, equipment testing, and
response actions of persons at the facility.9
Deadlines for SPCC Rule Compliance
During 2002-2010, EPA finalized several amendments to the SPCC Rule.
According to EPA, the majority of post-2002 amendments were designed
to streamline and tailor requirements. The October 2010 compliance date
amendment finalized the dates by which regulated facilities must amend or
prepare and implement SPCC Plans to comply with the revised SPCC
regulations (appendix A, table A-1).10 Offshore drilling, production, and
workover facilities (or any facility containing an offshore component), as
well as onshore facilities that must submit FRPs, were required to amend
or prepare and implement a Plan by November 10, 2010. If these types of
facilities were in operation on or before August 16, 2002, they had to
amend and implement the amended Plans by November 10, 2010. If these
types of facilities were in operation after August 16, 2002, but before
November 10, 2010, they had to prepare and implement an SPCC Plan by
November 10, 2010. For all other facilities, EPA extended the compliance
date to prepare or amend and implement an SPCC Plan until
November 10, 2011. Most facilities that begin operation after
November 10, 2011, will have to prepare and implement a plan before
commencing operations; production facilities must prepare and implement
a plan within 6 months of beginning operations.
EPA Inspections and Enforcement of SPCC and FRP Facilities
EPA headquarters (Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
(OECA) and Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER))
and the 10 regional offices implement EPA's CWA Section 311 program.
The headquarters offices are responsible for national program and
enforcement policy, implementation, training, national coordination, and
rulemaking. The regions implement and enforce the program by
conducting inspections, providing outreach/compliance assistance, and
pursuing enforcement actions to ensure that facilities comply with the
SPCC and FRP regulations, and address noncompliance. EPA can only
inspect the facilities it knows about because SPCC facilities are not
9	EPA's requirements for FRPs can be found in 40 CFR 112.20(h) and 40 CFR 112, Appendix F.
10	75 Federal Register 63093-103 (Thursday, October 14, 2010). At the time that we were preparing this report,
EPA extended the SPCC Rule compliance date for owners or operators of farms from November 10, 2011, to
May 10, 2013 (76 Federal Register 72120-24).
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required to submit their Plans to EPA or otherwise identify themselves to
the Agency.
During an inspection, EPA inspectors should confirm that the facility
meets the applicability criteria for the SPCC Rule, has the procedures and
equipment in place, and has an SPCC Plan containing the necessary
information required under 40 CFR Part 112. For example, as of
November 2011, all Plans must include facility diagrams, a description of
employee training procedures, security measures, secondary containment
structures, and recordkeeping procedures for facility inspections and tests.
EPA regional oil program staff inspects the facility, reviews the SPCC
Plan, and examines how the Plan is implemented at the facility. During
fiscal years (FYs) 2007-2010, EPA's regional offices inspected
approximately 3,700 facilities for compliance with the SPCC Rule.
FRP facilities, which are also required to have SPCC Plans, are typically
inspected by regional oil program staff and may also be subject to an
unannounced exercise. For example, EPA regions are supposed to conduct
triennial Government Initiated Unannounced Exercises at FRP facilities as
outlined in national guidelines. These exercises are designed to randomly
evaluate a facility's ability to activate its response plan and respond to a
simulated discharge incident. The unannounced exercises are limited to
10 percent of plan holders per region per year. During FYs 2007-2010,
EPA regional offices inspected 946 FRP facilities; approximately
34 percent (320) of these inspections were unannounced exercises.
Inspectors identify deficiencies based on the Plan review and inspection,
as well as whether the measures described in the Plans are implemented at
the facility. During FYs 2007-2010, approximately 55 percent of the
inspected facilities were identified as not in compliance with SPCC
regulations at the time of inspection. Regions evaluate whether the
violation warrants a penalty based on a variety of factors, including the
seriousness of the violation and prior violation history at the facility.
Based on these factors, EPA may issue an expedited settlement agreement
(ESA) for minor and easily correctable SPCC violations, an administrative
penalty order, or a referral to the U.S. Department of Justice for more
serious violations.
Noteworthy Achievements
In September 2009, EPA's OSWER published a strategic plan for the oil program.
The strategic plan addresses data needs, compliance, and implementation of the
oil spill program, and includes oil program measures. OSWER created several
guidance documents for facility owners and operators, and made them available
on its public website. The 2005 SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors provides
insight to facility owners and operators on what inspectors look for during an
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inspection, and guidance on compliance with the rule requirements. The 2010
Facility Owner/Operator's Guide to Oil Pollution Prevention outlines the
information that must be included in SPCC Plans according to the amended SPCC
Rule. The Facility Response Planning Compliance Assistance Guide and the
National Response Team's Integrated Contingency Plan Guidance11 are other
documents published to assist facilities in complying with regulatory
requirements.
EPA Regions 3 and 6 have used geographic information systems (GIS) to
discover or verify the location and classification of SPCC and FRP facilities. In
2009, Region 3 conducted a GIS study to map known FRP facilities located next
to sensitive areas, waters, and drinking water intakes. Region 3 identified eight
"substantial harm" facilities that could pose a "significant and substantial harm"
to the environment in the event of an oil spill. Region 3 plans to conduct
inspections in FY 2012 to make a final determination as to whether these facilities
should be reclassified as "significant and substantial harm" facilities.
Scope and Methodology
We conducted this evaluation in accordance with generally accepted government
auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the
evaluation to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis
for our findings and conclusions based on our review objectives. We believe that
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and
conclusions based on our evaluation objectives. We performed our review from
August 2010 to June 2011.
We reviewed CWA Section 311, federal oil pollution prevention regulations, EPA
policies and guidance documents, and relevant reports by the U.S. Government
Accountability Office (GAO). We conducted interviews at EPA headquarters with
OECA, Office of General Counsel, and OSWER personnel. We also interviewed
oil program staff and managers from Regions 3, 5, 6, and 10. During our
interviews, we used a standard set of questions that focused on the regions'
respective oil programs, compliance with and enforcement of CWA Section 311,
SPCC and FRP universes, oil prevention and response plans, inspections, and
databases used to track facilities.
To evaluate individual regional oil programs, we sent information requests to all
regional oil program managers in October 2010. Across the 10 regions, we
collected information on regional guidance and policies for their oil programs,
11 The National Response Team's Integrated Contingency Plan Guidance was developed and published by EPA in
coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Office of Pipeline
Safety (DOT), and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (DOI). The guidance
provides a mechanism to consolidate multiple plans that a facility may have prepared to comply with various
regulations issued by the agencies above into one functional emergency response plan, i.e., the Integrated
Contingency Plan (ICP).
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factors used to target facilities for inspections, inspector resources, SPCC and
FRP inspections and enforcement actions during FYs 2007-2010, and databases
regions use to manage their oil pollution prevention programs. We also analyzed
the national Enforcement Compliance History Online database to determine the
number of CWA Section 311 enforcement actions with a violation pertaining to
the SPCC Plan or FRP during FYs 2005-2010.
To gain a general understanding of Plan elements, we reviewed spill prevention
and response Plans from 20 facilities located in EPA Region 6(14 Plans were
from facilities identified by the team and 6 were supplied by the region from its
files). Region 6 informally requested Plans from these facilities and provided us
with 15 SPCC Plans, 1 FRP, and 4 Integrated Contingency Plans (ICPs)12 to
review. Because our sample of facilities was not statistically valid, we cannot
generalize the results of this analysis of 20 Plans to the program as a whole.
We reviewed the 20 plans for their quality and consistency based on the Office of
Emergency Management's (OEM's) national inspection checklist to determine
whether the Plans generally fulfilled the checklist criteria. The items in this
checklist will be required of all plans in November 2011. The team focused on
38 items from the checklist to form the basis of its review of the quality and
consistency of prevention Plans. Using requirements from 40 CFR 112, EPA's
Civil Penalty Policy for CWA Sections 311(b)(3) and 31 l(j), interviews with
regional programs, and our professional judgment, we categorized requirements
as either "administrative" or "red flag" items. An EPA inspector would take
special note of "red flag" items (e.g., lack of secondary containment or
management approval of the prevention plan) during an inspection of an SPCC
facility.
We did not make a determination regarding facilities' compliance status.
Compliance determinations are based on several considerations, such as content
of Plans, inspections, and training records. We only reviewed the content of the
Plans. The team did not verify the information within the Plans or conduct on-site
inspections of the facilities that submitted Plans for our review.
Prior Audit Coverage
In 2008,13 GAO evaluated how EPA regions implement the SPCC program, the
data EPA uses to implement and evaluate the program, and whether some states'
aboveground storage tank programs suggest ways to improve EPA's program.
GAO concluded that without more comprehensive data on the universe of
12	40 CFR 112.7 allows a facility to prepare a plan equivalent to an SPCC Plan, provided it meets all of the
applicable requirements listed in 40 CFR 112.7 and is supplemented with a section cross-referencing the location of
requirements from 40 CFR 112.7 and the equivalent requirements in the other prevention plan. Examples of "other
prevention Plans" include FRPs and ICPs.
13	GAO, Aboveground Oil Storage Tanks: More Complete Facility Data Could Improve Implementation of EPA's
Spill Prevention Program, GAO-08-482, April 30, 2008.
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regulated facilities, EPA cannot employ a risk-based approach to target
inspections to those facilities that pose the greatest risks of oil spills into or upon
navigable waters. Similarly, incomplete information prevents EPA from
determining whether the SPCC program is achieving its goals. GAO
recommended that EPA (1) analyze options for obtaining data on SPCC-regulated
facilities, including a tank registration program; (2) develop guidance for EPA
regions on how to better coordinate with states on SPCC issues; and (3) finish
developing performance measures and obtain data to evaluate SPCC program
effectiveness. As of January 2012, the status of these recommendations remained
"open."
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Chapter 2
EPA Has Limited Oversight of Facilities Regulated by
Its Oil Pollution Prevention Program
Although EPA has taken steps to improve its program to prevent oil spills from
known facilities to waters of the United States, the Agency remains largely
unaware of the identity and compliance status of the vast majority of CWA
Section 311 regulated facilities. Effective program management requires that EPA
know the identity and nature of the facilities it is responsible for regulating. The
steps EPA has taken to improve the quality and consistency of SPCC Plans and
FRPs include publishing guidance, providing training for inspectors and the
regulated community, providing compliance assistance, and promoting consistent
enforcement across EPA regions. EPA has also improved its ability to track
individual CWA Section 311 violations and violators in a new national database.
However, EPA still does not have knowledge of most of the facilities it is
responsible for regulating. In addition, Agency data systems cannot exchange data
with each other, and lack consistent and sufficient codes to categorize deficiencies
and noncompliance. These data systems limitations prevent EPA from capturing
the full details of a violator's history or identifying trends in compliance and
enforcement. As a result, EPA cannot assess the success of steps it has taken to
improve the quality and consistency of SPCC Plans, FRPs, or the oil pollution
prevention program as a whole. Therefore, the Agency is unable to assess the
degree to which its measures will help prevent future oil spills or mitigate their
associated impacts.
EPA's Limited Knowledge of Facilities Regulated by the Oil Pollution
Prevention Program Hinders Oversight
EPA's lack of knowledge of the identity of the vast majority of regulated facilities
is a critical deficiency in its management of its CWA Section 311 program. EPA
cannot develop a complete inventory of SPCC facilities because SPCC
regulations do not contain a formal mechanism to collect data about facilities, and
most regulated facilities are not required to identify themselves to EPA.
Although EPA estimated that approximately 640,000 facilities are potentially
subject to regulation under the SPCC Rule, the Agency does not have information
on the owners and locations of the vast majority of these facilities. OEM estimates
that prior to the launch of the National Oil Program Database, the individual
regional SPCC/FRP databases contained fewer than 25,000 records for facilities
regulated by CWA Section 311 (representing approximately 4 percent of the
estimated SPCC universe). Region 6 recently discovered 45 previously unknown
SPCC-regulated oil and gas production facilities in New Mexico while conducting
inspections at known facilities. In some cases, SPCC facilities are identified only
after an oil discharge.
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Only the SPCC facilities also covered under the FRP requirements are required to
report their presence to the Agency by submitting their FRPs for review. EPA
regions reported that they have received a total of 4,897 FRPs. However, regions
admit they are still missing Plans for many FRP facilities or have not received
updated Plans. Region 10 staff and managers said 450-500 FRP facilities operate
in their region. They estimate that an additional 225-250 unknown facilities also
operate in the region, but have not submitted Plans for review. At the time of our
evaluation, Region 6 was aware of six "significant and substantial harm" FRP
facilities in New Mexico that have changed ownership but have not submitted
updated Plans to the Agency.
As of May 2011, OEM staff said EPA has been unable to address the 2008 GAO
recommendation to analyze options for obtaining key data about the regulated
universe. Other priorities, such as the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and
rulemaking efforts for Subpart J of the National Contingency Plan and the SPCC
Rule, delayed efforts to address the recommendation. EPA reported that it has
made strides in working with the states, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and
the U.S. Department of Agriculture in identifying information on facilities during
the regulatory action development process.
EPA regions have attempted to increase their knowledge of SPCC and FRP
facilities by using state aboveground storage tank databases, industry databases
(e.g., Dun and Bradstreet), and other federal agency databases. About half of U.S.
states and territories have databases with information about registered tanks
operating in their individual states. State tank registration programs may have
more information than EPA about tanks and facilities located in their states, but
state databases are incompatible with EPA's databases for identifying regulated
facilities. Other challenges to using state databases include states using different
facility identification numbers, not tracking information about tanks that store
animal fat and vegetable oil, or having higher capacity thresholds than the federal
SPCC/FRP program (which would not capture the entire tank universe regulated
by EPA). The manner in which states categorize the product a tank stores is
sometimes not detailed enough to determine whether the facility should be
regulated under the SPCC/FRP programs.
Compiling a list of facilities that come under the SPCC Rule is complicated
because limited or incomplete facility data lead to difficulties in determining the
facility's proximity to U.S. navigable waters, the type and capacity of product
stored, and facility type (i.e., production or storage). For example, Region 9 staff
stated that a facility could assert that the CWA Section 311 regulations do not
apply to it because it believes there is no proof that the stream or waterway that
could be impacted by a spill is a water of the United States. The burden on EPA
regions to prove a spill may discharge to a water of the United States may be
resource intensive and may hinder enforcement activities.
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EPA's Limited Knowledge Prevents It from Assessing the Overall
Effectiveness of the Oil Pollution Prevention Program
EPA has taken a number of steps to improve the quality and consistency of
prevention and response Plans. EPA has tailored and streamlined regulatory
requirements for certain qualified facilities, published guidance on preparing and
implementing prevention and response Plans, provided compliance assistance at a
facility owner/operator's request, and pursued enforcement actions for violations.
EPA has also reviewed and approved FRPs from facilities as required by the
regulations. Further, to help ensure that inspections are conducted in a uniform
manner, inspectors use standardized SPCC and FRP inspection checklists. EPA is
currently drafting a national enforcement and implementation strategy for its oil
pollution program (SPCC and FRP). EPA tracks the number of SPCC and FRP
facilities that return to compliance each year as part of the program's performance
measures. However, EPA's limited knowledge of facilities regulated by the oil
pollution prevention program prevents the Agency from assessing the overall
effectiveness of the program. EPA cannot determine the extent to which these
steps have improved the quality and consistency of prevention and response plans.
EPA Cannot Determine the Success of Its Steps to Enhance Quality
and Consistency of Plans
OEM has taken several steps to improve the quality and consistency of SPCC
Plans prepared by facilities. OEM has published guidance documents describing
the regulatory requirements of the SPCC/FRP programs to owners and operators
of regulated facilities. According to EPA, it utilizes its website, outreach seminars
(through conferences and webinars), and training sessions as the principal means
of communication with these facilities. Because of the limited knowledge about
facilities regulated by the oil pollution program, EPA cannot direct its guidance
and outreach efforts to more than 96 percent of the estimated regulated facility
owners and operators.
While EPA can measure the effectiveness of these efforts for known SPCC
facilities, EPA cannot assess the overall effectiveness of its oil pollution
prevention program for the regulated universe. EPA can only assess the quality or
consistency of prevention and response plans at known facilities. SPCC facilities
do not have to submit their SPCC Plans to EPA for review and approval. EPA
reviews SPCC Plans only as part of an official inspection or enforcement
investigation. EPA has only inspected 3,700 of the estimated 640,000 SPCC
facilities (less than 1 percent) in the past 4 years nationwide. EPA filed more than
1,000 CWA Section 311 enforcement actions against facilities during FYs 2005-
2010 for failure to have an adequate SPCC Plan. These actions represent roughly
53 percent of all CWA Section 311 enforcement cases EPA pursued during this
time frame.
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EPA eliminated a measure of accountability when it streamlined requirements for
SPCC Plans from facilities that satisfy criteria listed in 40 CFR 112.3(g)
pertaining to reportable spill history and oil storage capacity. Facilities meeting
these criteria are no longer required to have their SPCC Plans certified by a
professional engineer, which provided an element of accountability that the Plan
contained information required by 40 CFR 112.
EPA has a better idea of the effectiveness of its efforts to enhance the quality and
consistency of FRPs because facilities must submit their plans to the Agency for
review. Each facility self-certifies that it is an FRP facility and the degree of harm
it poses to sensitive environments and drinking water supplies (appendix A,
figure A-l). According to EPA, regional staff review all FRPs; however, only
plans from "significant and substantial harm" FRP facilities must be approved by
EPA.
In our review of 20 oil prevention Plans (which included SPCC Plans, FRPs, and
ICPs), we observed that the overall quality and consistency of the Plans varied.
The facility's initial date of operations, according to EPA, is a key parameter
inspectors use to determine the date by which facilities had to comply with
regulations (i.e., prepare or amend an existing plan). Only six plans (30 percent)
contained this key parameter. Some Plans were missing administrative items, but
more than half (11 of 20) were missing significant components, e.g., no evidence
that facility management approved the Plan, no listing of who was accountable for
discharge prevention at the facility, missing or incomplete facility diagrams, and
no information addressing bulk storage containers or secondary containment.
Although we did not review the 20 Plans for compliance with regulations, these
Plans likely needed to be amended by November 2011 to be in compliance with
the SPCC Rule amendments.
EPA Is Taking Steps to Promote Consistent Enforcement
EPA has taken a number of steps to increase consistency in regional enforcement
decisions to address similar types of noncompliance. Both OEM and OECA hold
monthly conference calls with regional oil program technical staff, program
managers, and enforcement staff and managers. To promote consistent
interpretation of the regulations among regions, OEM developed a guidance
document and provides mandatory 40-hour training for regional SPCC and FRP
inspectors. To promote consistent enforcement, OECA published a civil penalty
policy for the CWA Section 311(b) and 31 l(j) programs. Additionally, OECA is
working with OEM to develop an enforcement strategy for the oil program.
As required by EPA Order 3500.1, OEM developed a training program specific to
the SPCC and FRP programs for regional inspectors, which includes requirements
for specialized training. Some of the specialized training is provided during
monthly calls. OEM also prepared a standardized national inspection checklist for
inspecting SPCC facilities.
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All 10 regions use the 2005 SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors, which OEM
issued to make inspections and interpretation of the regulations more consistent
among regions. However, inconsistencies in what the guidance document outlines
versus what the rule requires will remain until OEM revises this guidance to
reflect recent amendments to the SPCC Rule. Six of the 10 regions also told us
that they supplement the guidance with regional-level standard operating
procedures for program implementation.
The recent oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and Michigan caused EPA to delay
several policies in development at the time, including revisions to the national
inspection checklist for the SPCC program, the SPCC guidance revisions, and
finalization of the draft national inspection targeting strategy. OECA and OSWER
are evaluating the development of an enforcement strategy for the oil pollution
prevention program (SPCC and FRP), including targeting of inspections and
enforcement. OECA and OSWER said they are continuing work on the
enforcement strategy through summer 2011.
To bring more facilities back into full compliance, 9 of the 10 EPA regions have
approval from headquarters to issue ESAs for certain SPCC violations.14 Eight of
the 10 EPA regions also have approval from EPA headquarters to issue ESAs for
oil spills/discharges. From FY 2005 to FY 2010, EPA resolved approximately
72 percent of CWA Sections 31 l(j) and 311(b) violations with ESAs.
During the course of the evaluation, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) noted
that one EPA region had fewer FRP enforcement actions, and we included this
information in the draft report. In response, this region clarified its position
regarding FRP enforcement options, and OECA agreed with the region's
assessment of enforcement authority.
EPA Cannot Effectively Establish National Trends in Compliance
History for Known SPCC Facilities
EPA cannot effectively track and report CWA Section 311 violations and
violators. EPA currently lacks a comprehensive national oil program database that
incorporates data maintained in regional databases and that exchanges data with
other EPA (enforcement and compliance) databases. EPA manages its oil
pollution prevention program by tracking CWA Section 311 violations and
violators through various national and regional-level databases. Improved
capabilities of these databases should allow EPA to better determine national
trends and establish full and detailed compliance histories of inspected facilities,
their violations, and the enforcement actions taken against them.
14 The ESA process is a voluntary tool that some regions use to quickly address small, easily correctable violations;
other regions may use different tools to achieve the same purpose.
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EPA's existing databases can produce a limited compliance and enforcement
history for SPCC and FRP facilities because its databases only track and monitor
known facilities. Regions 3, 5, 6, and 10 have regional databases to manage and
track known SPCC and FRP facilities operating in their respective regions; these
databases often contain more information than what is reported to national
databases. Seven of the 10 regions reported that they can use their region-specific
database to produce a compliance history for SPCC and FRP facilities.
OEM created a national Microsoft Access database specifically for the oil
program in 2005, which 7 of 10 regions use to track compliance and certain types
of enforcement actions. According to the Agency's responses to our information
request, eight regional oil programs also use the Integrated Compliance
Information System (ICIS), the Agency's national database for tracking
compliance and enforcement actions for many programs, including the CWA
Section 311 program. At the time of our evaluation, these two national databases
did not exchange information. Regions said they could avoid duplicative data
entry and management efforts if the national Access database was able to
exchange data with ICIS after the Access database was converted to an Oracle
platform.
OEM personnel stated that the transition from the Access database to the Oracle
platform occurred in mid-August 2011 (after we released our draft report to the
Agency). This first version of the National Oil Database does not exchange data
with ICIS, but OSWER and OECA anticipate that it will be capable of doing so in
FY 2012. This capability should eliminate duplicative data entry.
The National Oil Database does not uniformly specify the deficiency or violation
being addressed. Although OEM records deficiencies in a comment field, the
quality and consistency of data entered by regional inspectors varies. OEM has
not established codes that would allow the Agency to report trends in deficiencies
and reasons for facilities' noncompliance. Deficiencies could include missing
SPCC Plan or FRP requirements, or other missing regulatory requirements such
as lack of secondary containment. As a result, we were unable to determine the
quality or consistency of Plans from OEM's database. At the time of the
evaluation, the database could not identify trends in compliance that would help
with program management decisions (e.g., industries on which to focus
compliance assistance efforts).
SPCC and FRP facility compliance and enforcement history is limited to the
information entered into EPA's databases. Although OECA's Office of
Compliance said it issues annual plans to improve data quality, existing
enforcement data in ICIS is incomplete. We found that 209 CWA Section 311
enforcement case records (approximately 11 percent) from FYs 2005-2010 had
no information in the "violations" field. Only Region 10 included this information
in the records for each of its enforcement cases. We also found that Region 7
inconsistently categorized the "Laws and Section" used to pursue its SPCC and
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FRP enforcement cases. For 22 of Region 7's enforcement cases (approximately
12 percent of its total enforcement cases during FYs 2005-2010), the "Case
Summary" field contained additional information not included in the "Laws and
Section" field. Incomplete or inconsistent enforcement data entry further limits
EPA's ability to produce accurate compliance histories for known facilities.
Conclusion
EPA lacks reasonable assurance that oversight efforts for the CWA Section 311
program effectively prevent and improve the response to future oil spills or
mitigate the associated impacts. The Agency has provided guidance to owners and
operators of SPCC and FRP facilities, but does not know how effective that
guidance has been in improving quality and consistency of Plans with federal
regulations. Because the SPCC regulations do not require facilities to notify EPA
that they are regulated, the Agency cannot identify every facility in the regulated
universe. While EPA has recently transitioned to using a national oil program
database, the database does not yet exchange data with other EPA databases and
can only produce a limited compliance history for the known facilities. As a
result, EPA cannot identify trends in compliance that would help with program
management decisions. Addressing these limitations will improve EPA's
management of the CWA Section 311 program.
Recommendations
We recommend that the Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency
Response, in consultation with the Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and
Compliance Assurance:
1. Improve oversight of facilities regulated by EPA's oil pollution
prevention program by:
a.	Developing procedures for updating and issuing new guidance to
ensure the regulated community has access to the most current
guidance.
b.	Implementing a risk-based strategy toward inspections that
identifies unknown SPCC and FRP facilities, and directs
inspection resources toward facilities where the potential for spills
poses the greatest risks to human health and the environment.
c.	Consistently interpreting regulations and EPA's authority to
enforce regulations.
d.	Producing a biennial public assessment of the quality and
consistency of SPCC Plans and FRPs based on inspected facilities.
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2. In support of improving oversight, establish a national oil program
database that:
a.	Contains a detailed history of compliance and inspections for
facilities subject to the SPCC Rule.
b.	Uses comprehensive deficiency and/or compliance codes
specifying why a facility was not in full compliance in order to
identify and track national trends.
c.	Ensures consistent data entry across all 10 EPA regions.
d.	Exchanges data seamlessly with the Agency's existing compliance
and enforcement databases.
Agency Response and OIG Evaluation
The Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response and the
Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance responded to
our draft report on September 6, 2011 (appendix B). The Agency stressed that,
given the challenges associated with the magnitude of the regulated universe and
with limited resources available, the oil pollution prevention program has acted
through comprehensive rulemaking and program implementation to ensure that
facilities work to prevent and prepare for oil discharges to the waters of the
United States. While OSWER agreed that additional improvements and
efficiencies could be found, it believes that it is implementing an effective
program to prevent and mitigate oil spills, given its "limited resources."
The Agency agreed that if it had data on a larger percentage of the universe, its
ability to capture and track information on violators and violations would be
improved. OSWER and OECA are working together to improve communications
between their data systems to ensure a complete and accurate record of EPA
actions. The Agency also agreed that it should examine Plans prepared after the
implementation of recent rulemaking and guidance, which was enacted to
enhance the quality and consistency of Plans, to determine whether these Plans
are measurably different.
The Agency's comments and our evaluation and responses are in appendices B
through E. Appendix D only includes the Agency's comments and not its
technical edits, which were incorporated into the report where appropriate.
Region 5's separate response, sent July 29, 2011, is located in appendix E, but
does not include the attachment included in its response, as it was determined to
be enforcement sensitive and not to be released to the public.
We appreciate the Agency's in-depth response to the report and the additional
clarification the Agency provided on the nuances of this program. We
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acknowledge that the needs of the oil pollution prevention program may exceed
the resources EPA currently assigns to the program. However, in our opinion,
EPA should improve oversight of the oil pollution prevention program. Where
appropriate, we have incorporated the Agency's technical comments into the body
of the report. Our recommendations remain largely unchanged, except for the
addition of a recommendation, suggested by the Agency, for EPA to assess the
quality and consistency of Plans.
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Status of Recommendations and
Potential Monetary Benefits
RECOMMENDATIONS
POTENTIAL MONETARY
BENEFITS (In $000s)
Rec.
No.
Page
No.
Subject
Status1
Action Official
Planned
Completion
Date
Claimed
Amount
Ag reed-To
Amount
15	Improve oversight of facilities regulated by EPA's
oil pollution prevention program by:
a.	Developing procedures for updating
and issuing new guidance to ensure
the regulated community has access to
the most current guidance.
b.	Implementing a risk-based strategy
toward inspections that identifies
unknown SPCC and FRP facilities, and
directs inspection resources toward
facilities where the potential for spills
poses the greatest risks to human
health and the environment.
c.	Consistently interpreting regulations
and EPA's authority to enforce
regulations.
d.	Producing a biennial public
assessment of the quality and
consistency of SPCC Plans and FRPs
based on inspected facilities.
16	In support of improving oversight, establish a
national oil program database that:
a.	Contains a detailed history of
compliance and inspections for
facilities subject to the SPCC Rule.
b.	Uses comprehensive deficiency and/or
compliance codes specifying why a
facility was not in full compliance in
order to identify and track national
trends.
c.	Ensures consistent data entry across
all 10 EPA regions.
d.	Exchanges data seamlessly with the
Agency's existing compliance and
enforcement databases.
Assistant Administrator for
Solid Waste and Emergency
Response, in consultation
with the Assistant
Administrator for
Enforcement and
Compliance Assurance
Assistant Administrator for
Solid Waste and Emergency
Response, in consultation
with the Assistant
Administrator for
Enforcement and
Compliance Assurance
1 0 = recommendation is open with agreed-to corrective actions pending
C = recommendation is closed with all agreed-to actions completed
U = recommendation is unresolved with resolution efforts in progress
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Appendix A
SPCC Rule Compliance Dates and
SPCC Facility Substantial Harm Criteria
Table A-1: Compliance dates for the SPCC Rule
SPCC facilities that must meet the November 10, 2010, compliance date
A drilling, production or workover facility,
including a mobile or portable facility, located
offshore or with an offshore component; or an
onshore facility that is required to have and
submit FRPs starting operation...
Must...
On or before August 16, 2002
Maintain its existing SPCC Plan
Amend and implement the amended SPCC Plan no later
than November 10, 2010
After August 16, 2002 through November 10, 2010
Prepare and implement an SPCC Plan no later than
November 10, 2010
After November 10, 2010 (excluding production
facilities)
Prepare and implement an SPCC Plan before beginning
operations
After November 10, 2010 (production facilities)
Prepare and implement an SPCC Plan within 6 months after
beginning operations.
SPCC facilities that must meet the November 10, 2011, compliance date
A facility, including a mobile or portable facility,
starting operation...
Must...
On or before August 16, 2002
Maintain its existing SPCC Plan
Amend and implement the amended SPCC Plan no later
than November 10, 2011
After August 16, 2002 through November 10, 2011
Prepare and implement an SPCC Plan no later than
November 10, 2011
After November 10, 2011 (excluding production
facilities)
Prepare and implement an SPCC Plan before beginning
operations
After November 10, 2011 (production facilities)
Prepare and implement an SPCC Plan within 6 months after
beginning operations.
Source: EPA Office of Emergency Management.
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Figure A-1: Process to determine whether an SPCC facility meets the criteria for substantial harm
and needs to prepare an FRP
Flowchart of Criteria for Substantial Harm
Does the facility transfer oil over water
to or from vessels and does the facility
have a total oil storage capacity
greater than or equal to 42,000
gallons?
\
No
f
Does the facility have a total oil
storage capacity greater than or equal
to 1 million gallons?
Yes
Yes
No
\f
No Submittal of Response Plan
Except at Regional
Administrator's (RA) Discretion
No
Submit Response Plan
Within any aboveground storage tank
area, does the facility lack secondary
containment that is sufficiently large to
contain the capacity of the largest
aboveground oil storage tank plus
sufficient freeboard to allow for
precipitation?
Yes

No
Is the facility located at a distance1
such that a discharge from the facility
could cause injury to fish and wildlife
and sensitive environments2?
Yes
No
w
Is the facility located at a distance1
such that a discharge from the facility
would shut down a public drinking
water intake3?
Yes
No
\t
Has the facility experienced a
reportable oil spill in an amount
greater than or equal to 10.000 gallons
within the last 5 years?
1	Calculated using the appropriate formula in Attachment C-lll to 40 CFR 112, Appendix C, or a comparable formula.
2	For further description offish and wildlife and sensitive environments, see Appendices I, II, and III to U.S.
Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's, Guidance for Facility and Vessel
Response Plans: Fish and Wildlife and Sensitive Environments (59 FR 14713, March 29, 1994) and the applicable
Area Contingency Plan.
3	Public drinking water intakes are analogous to public water systems as described at 40 CFR 143.2.
Source: 40 CFR 112, Appendix C, Attachment C-l.
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Appendix B
Agency Response From OSWER and OECA
September 6, 2011
MEMORANDUM
SUBJECT: Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Response to OIG's Draft Report:
"EPA Needs to Improve Management Its Oil Pollution Prevention Program "
Project No. 2010-1360
FROM: Mathy Stanislaus
Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER)
Cynthia Giles
Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA)
TO:	Wade Najjum
Assistant Inspector General for Program Evaluation
We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the Office of Inspector General (OIG) draft report
titled, "EPA Needs to Improve Management of Its Oil Pollution Prevention Program " (Project
No. 2010-1360), dated June 29, 2011. Ensuring that EPA's Oil Pollution Prevention Program is
as effective as it can be is an ongoing agency focus and we appreciate the IG's review and
recommendations for strengthening this program.
The recent spill events cited in the IG's report certainly highlight the significant harm and
expense that can be inflicted by oil spills. However, we are concerned that the spills cited in the
report will be inaccurately attributed to a lack of EPA action when that is not the case. Spill
prevention and preparedness for pipelines is under the U.S. Department of Transportation
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration regulatory jurisdiction and the BP
Deepwater Horizon spill is from a facility seaward of the coastline in Bureau of Ocean Energy
Management, Regulation and Enforcement regulatory jurisdiction. As a result, the use of these
examples may imply that EPA's Oil Pollution Prevention Program was inadequate in preventing
these devastating spills when in reality the program was not applicable to these facilities. We
suggest the IG cite different spills or specifically state in its report that the spills cited are not
from facilities under EPA regulatory jurisdiction for prevention nor do they reflect problems
with EPA's program.
OIG Response: We replaced the original spill examples with examples from facilities regulated by EPA
under its CWA Section 311 program.	
When oil spills into waters or onto adjoining shorelines it can have significant, harmful impacts
on the environment, human health, and economic activity. EPA's federally administered Oil
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Pollution Prevention Program is designed to prevent oil spills from non-transportation-related
on-shore, and certain offshore, facilities and to assure that oil facility personnel are prepared to
respond if a spill does occur. Given the challenges associated with the magnitude of the regulated
universe with limited resources available, EPA's Oil Pollution Prevention Program has acted
through comprehensive rulemaking and program implementation to ensure facilities work to
prevent and prepare for oil discharges to the waters of the United States.
While we share most of the IG's ultimate recommendations on how to make this program more
effective, after reviewing the report, we have identified a number of areas which, in our view,
contain inaccuracies and where we disagree with certain conclusions reached. We have provided
more detailed comments in Attachment A to this memorandum and have also provided a red
line/strike out version of the report in Attachment B for your consideration.
OIG Response: We clarified certain statements in the report to address EPA's concerns.
The report concludes that EPA has not implemented a program that can effectively prevent oil
spills or mitigate the effect of those spills and that we lack reasonable assurance that oversight
efforts effectively prevent future oil spills. While we agree that additional improvements and
efficiencies can be found, OSWER believes EPA is carefully implementing a program to prevent
and mitigate oil spills, given the resources available.
The draft report does not adequately account for, or put into context, all the activities that EPA
performs to manage and implement the program given the available resources. The Office of
Emergency Management's (OEM) Oil Program Strategic Plan (Sept 2009), national training
programs, national program guidance/policy documents, national policies and procedures, and
national program measures (approved by OMS and currently implemented in the oil program)
form the foundation for a centralized program and its continued evaluation. We will continue to
examine this foundation for continuous improvement process changes. Almost 650,000 facilities
are covered by the Oil Pollution Prevention Program and EPA has allocated resources to
particularly target those facilities with the highest potential impact and risks to water, while at
the same time allocating remaining resources to cover the large remaining universe.
OIG Response: Although a detailed examination of program resources was beyond the scope of this
evaluation, we recognize the challenges the Agency faces in regulating more than an estimated
640,000 facilities, most of which are unknown to the Agency. We agree that OEM's Oil Program
Strategic Plan, training programs, guidance documents, and program measures create the basis for a
centralized program. We included the 2009 Oil Program Strategic Plan as a noteworthy
accomplishment and referenced the national program measures in the body of the report.	
As a result, we view the results of these program management activities as a success relative to
our resource allocation. We agree that steps towards program improvement are warranted and
intend to take steps to improve the quality and consistency of plans.
We agree that better universe data would improve our ability to capture and track information on
violators and violations. We also agree that an examination of plans prepared after the
implementation of recent rulemaking and guidance enacted to enhance the quality and
consistency of plans is needed to determine whether there is a measurable difference.
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OIG Response: Based on this comment, as well as others, we added a recommendation that the
Agency produce a biennial assessment of the quality and consistency of SPCC Plans and FRPs based
on inspected facilities.	
While we appreciate OIG's acknowledgement of our aggressive efforts to improve the quality
and consistency of prevention and response plans, OSWER believes that the data EPA has,
combined with the data available at the state and local levels, provides sufficient information to
understand the scope of the regulated universe, target facilities and industry sectors for
inspections and effectively manage the program. OIG's report correctly recognizes the
challenges associated with compiling a list of facilities, and how this data translates to program
effectiveness. OSWER and OECA are working together to improve communications of our data
systems to ensure a complete and accurate record of EPA actions.
We have concerns with the review and analysis of the twenty 40 CFR 112 plans obtained in
Region 6. EPA is concerned that the plan reviewers may not have appropriately considered some
of the more complex compliance date implications and therefore may not have reviewed the
plans for the correct plan requirements leading to inaccurate conclusions. The inconsistencies
found by the OIG may be related to whether the plans that were reviewed were developed before
or after EPA's efforts to enhance the quality and consistency of plans and their actual regulatory
requirements relative to the compliance date. EPA fully expects wide variations in plans across
the extremely wide range of industry sectors subject to the requirements and owners and
operators are given considerable flexibility to tailor their plan to their unique needs. Now that our
regulatory work is complete (and guidance work nearly so), bringing facilities into compliance
with plan requirements is critical to oil spill prevention and preparedness.
OIG Response: The intent of this Plan review was to check the quality and consistency of Plans for
requirements under 40 CFR 112. We adjusted the report to address the concerns noted here.	
We have concerns about the report's draft conclusion that there is inconsistent interpretation of
EPA's enforcement authority by the agency. We respectfully disagree that there is any
inconsistency and would like to discuss this issue further with OIG project personnel. As we
have explained, OECA has confirmed that there is a consistent understanding of FRP
enforceability and we will continue to take enforcement actions to ensure compliance with these
important response planning requirements.
OIG Response: At the time of our evaluation, one region had an inconsistent interpretation of EPA's
enforcement authority. EPA corrected this inconsistency after receiving our draft report, and we revised
the presentation of this issue based on the additional information provided in the Agency's responses.
In summary, the draft report's main recommendations focus on national program centralization,
national database coordination, and outreach. Nearly all of the draft report recommendations are
currently being implemented by current oil pollution prevention program initiatives. As a result,
while we agree that more can be done to improve this program and with most of the corrective
actions recommended, we believe that certain aspects of this draft report may be inaccurate and
misleading and are suggesting certain corrections.
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OIG Response: We made changes as appropriate. Although the Agency's current initiatives are
noteworthy, our recommendations bring focus to improvements the Agency has not yet undertaken.
We appreciate your efforts and your consideration of our comments as you develop the final
report. If you have any questions or would like to set up a time to discuss these issues, please feel
free to contact Craig Matthiessen in the Office of Emergency Management, OSWER at (202)
564-8016 and Edward Messina in the Office of Compliance, OECA at (202) 564-1191.
Attachments
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Appendix C
Agency Response From OSWER and OECA:
Attachment A
OIG NOTE: The page numbers used in the Agency's response refer to those in the draft report; during
the editing process, these page numbers may have changed.
EPA's major comments are detailed below by section and chapter. Specific wording edits are
shown in redline/strike out on the draft Report (see Attachment B). [OIG Note: Attachment B is
included in appendix D of this report]
"At a Glance" Section
EPA agrees with OIG's analysis that EPA should seek more data about the regulated universe
and should make use of the findings of past inspections better.
This draft report fails to recognize the level of effort and resources required to manage both the
extremely large scope of the program and the large regulated universe (640,000 facilities for
SPCC alone).
OIG Response: The OIG was limited in the scope of its evaluation objectives by Congress. However,
we amended this section and other areas of the report where appropriate to better reflect steps the
Agency has taken to improve the program.	
Under "What We Found"
The opening sentence: "EPA has not implemented a program that can effectively prevent oil
spills to navigable waters or mitigate the effect of those spills."
While we agree improvements can be made, especially in certain data areas, we respectfully
disagree with a conclusion that oil spills cannot be effectively prevented or mitigated under
current program actions.
OIG Response: We amended the opening sentence to better communicate the conclusion that the
Agency's management of the program is limited to those facilities it is aware of, and that the Agency is
largely unaware of the vast majority of regulated facilities.	
The last two sentences:
"Overall, EPA cannot assess the success of steps it has taken to improve the quality and
consistency of SPCC Plans, Facility Response Plans, or the oil pollution prevention program as a
whole. As a result, EPA is unable to provide a reasonable assurance that its measures can
prevent future oil spills and mitigate their associated impacts."
The first sentence may be partially true; we've yet to embark on a significant effort to do so.
And as discussed later, certain data elements may help us gauge the significance of efforts to
improve the quality and consistency of Plans. EPA agrees that an assessment of Plans to assess
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the consistency at a national level (recognizing that this sample may be limited) is appropriate.
Consequently, without an assessment, it cannot be concluded EPA is unable to provide a
reasonable assurance that its measures can prevent future oil spills and mitigate their associated
impacts.
OIG Response: We revised this section and other parts of the report to better reflect our conclusion
that the Agency's program is limited to the facilities it knows about and that the Agency is unaware of
the vast majority of facilities estimated to be regulated by the SPCC regulations. We also added a
recommendation for the Agency to assess the quality and consistency of Plans.	
See also comments on the SPCC and FRP Plan review methodology regarding data quality.
OIG Response: We addressed the Agency's specific concerns about the Plan review methodology.
Under "What We Recommend"
The recommendations do not directly address the statements in the findings noted above and in
the body of the draft report. The draft report also does not recognize or account for the limited
resources1 relative to the extremely large regulated universe or the magnitude of program
elements managed using these resources.
The oversight, management and implementation of the SPCC and FRP programs are only a
portion of the overall management activities that make up the oil spill prevention program. The
non-SPCC and -FRP oil activities include but are not limited to:
Area planning/GIS work,
Drills and exercises,
Cost recovery,
Legal support,
Enforcement support,
Response activities (takes priority over all other elements),
Response infrastructure,
Outreach activities and support,
Administrative support, and
Personnel management.
OIG Response: We revised the report recommendations to address the Agency's comment above. We
also included the Agency's concerns about the limited resources and staff relative to the large
regulated universe in the report as part of its response.	
The "At a Glance" page recommends: "a centralized and comprehensive CWA Section 311
program that includes standard operating procedures for updating policies and guidance."
Similar language appears on page 19. OSWER is unclear if the OIG "centralized" program
recommendation means removing this program from EPA's normal regional structure. If so, we
disagree. If something else is meant, more specifically on why the existing centralized program
1 The Oil Program has 83.2 FTE to implement the entire oil program, not just the SPCC and FRP elements of the
program.
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is inadequate, is needed. In particular, the program already has SOP's for policy and guidance
development and our responses to recommendations reflect this.
OIG Response: Our revised recommendations no longer include the reference to a "centralized and
comprehensive program." We revised the "At a Glance" to reflect the final recommendations.	
Chapter 1
Page 1: Background:
The three example discharge events shown here are not from facilities that fall within the scope
of the SPCC and FRP program. Pipelines are under PHMS A jurisdiction and the BP Deepwater
Horizon spill is from a facility seaward of the coastline in BOEMRE jurisdiction. As such, these
examples are not subject to EPA's responsibility in 40 CFR 112 and are misleading to the public.
If it is necessary to establish the magnitude and concern for oil spills and relevance to the scope
of the study, then OIG should provide examples of recent spills from EPA regulated fixed
facilities where either non-compliance with oil spill prevention program requirements failed to
adequately prevent a spill or where spill preparedness was not effective to minimize harm to the
environment and relate them to the quality and consistency of Plan requirements or to the
tracking of violations and violators.
OIG Response: We replaced the original spill examples with examples from facilities regulated by EPA
under its CWA Section 311 program.	
Although the oil spill prevention and preparedness responsibilities for the three facilities
discussed above (the pipeline spills on the North Slope and in Michigan and the BP Deepwater
Horizon spill) are not EPA's, EPA and Coast Guard share the lead responsibility for emergency
response for the federal government. However, EPA's emergency response program is not
within the scope of this draft report.
Discussions with response personnel in Region 4 over the past five years suggests for those spills
which resulted in deployment of an EPA On-Scene Coordinator (OSC) for emergency response,
the most common source of the oil discharge was transportation-related, and the largest spills are
typically from pipelines.
Page 2: CWA Section 311 and Federal Responsibilities
Please see the draft report text for corrections regarding the statute and Executive Orders.
OIG Response: See appendix D for an explanation of how we addressed this comment.
Page 3: EPA's Oil Discharge Prevention Program
Please see the draft report text for corrections regarding the SPCC regulation. Rather than
stating that "EPA managers and staff said ..." the oil pollution program is not delegable to states,
it would be more accurate in the draft report to cite the statute or alternatively state: "The CWA
does not specifically authorize delegation of the oil spill prevention program to states and tribes."
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According to EPA's Office of General Counsel (OGC), Congress, in enacting the CWA, did not
provide the President with the necessary statutory authority to delegate this program to the
States.
OIG Response: We removed the reference to "EPA managers and staff and revised the sentence to
reflect statutory authority.	
Page 3: under Plans for SPCC Facilities
See similar comment in the FRP section below. EPA recommends that there be an overview of
the number, scope and types of facilities regulated by the SPCC rule to put in context the scope
of the draft report. This data is on page 4 and should be moved to page 3.
EPA recommends that a footnote be added to explain that SPCC facilities must self-identify to
EPA and the State per §112.4 within 60 days whenever a facility has discharged more than 1,000
U.S. gallons of oil in a single discharge as described in §112.1(b), or discharged more than 42
U.S. gallons of oil in each of two discharges as described in §112.1(b). See 40 CFR 112.4.
OIG Response: We incorporated EPA's comments about the scope of the regulated universe and
under which circumstances a facility must self-report to EPA into the report.	
Page 3: under Plans for FRP Facilities:
EPA recommends an overview of the number, scope and types of facilities regulated by the
SPCC rule to put in context the scope of the draft report. This data is on page 4 and should be
moved to page 3.
OIG Response: We incorporated EPA's comments about the scope of the regulated universe into the
report.	
Page 4: under Plans for FRP Facilities:
The sentence that reads: "All SPCC facilities self-certify whether the more stringent rules and
regulations apply based on spill history, lack of adequate secondary containment, and proximity
to drinking water intakes and/or sensitive habitats" should be edited as noted in Appendix B.
The FRP requirements should not be classified as "more stringent." The purpose of the FRP
requirements is planning and preparedness for a response to an oil discharge which is different
from the SPCC requirements which are to prevent a discharge.
Additionally, the FRP requirements are contained within the same oil pollution prevention
regulation (40 CFR 112).
OIG Response: We edited statements in this section based upon EPA's comments.
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Page 4: under Deadlines for SPCC Rule Compliance:
See edits in this section of the draft report (in Appendix B) to make the text consistent with
language in the compliance date extension amendment rule: "If your drilling, production or
workover facility, including a mobile or portable facility, is offshore or has an offshore
component; or your onshore facility is required to have and submit a Facility Response Plan.
The draft report should also address facilities coming into operation after November 2011.
These facilities must have a Plan before commencing operations (with the exception of
production facilities which have an extra six months). Failure to include this information in the
draft report provides an incomplete story regarding the compliance date.
OIG Response: We clarified and included statements in this section of the report regarding the
compliance date extension amendment rule to address EPA's comments.	
Bottom of Page 4. top of Page 5 and at the end of the first paragraph: EPA Inspections of and
Enforcement at SPCC and FRP Facilities:
OIG should consider adding a discussion of OEM's Strategic Plan (Sept 2009) for the oil
program and the oil program measures in the draft report. The strategic plan addresses data
needs, compliance, and implementation of the oil spill program and potentially provides
considerable background information for this draft report.
OIG Response: We added information about OEM's 2009 Strategic Plan to the "Noteworthy
Achievements" section of the report.	
Any discussion of the strategic plan should follow the general discussion of the oil inspection
program. Also see edits to the text in the draft report (in Appendix B). In addition, the OIG
should consider adding to the report a discussion of EPA's current targeting practices (the
national draft inspection targeting policy) that regional inspectors use to identify SPCC facilities
for inspection. It may also be appropriate to mention EPA's other facility identification and
targeting practices. EPA uses state databases, State citizen referrals, oil discharge reports,
reports from SPCC facilities that self identify per section 112.4, and other various available data
sources to identify and target SPCC facilities for inspection. EPA has been extremely
resourceful in identifying and targeting facilities for inspections and, given the large universe of
covered facilities, there is ample opportunity to target limited resources on those facilities and
locations that pose a greater threat to the environment.
OIG Response: We clarified certain statements to address EPA's comments. Although we
acknowledge EPA's draft inspection targeting strategy in the report, few regions reported using this
strategy in response to the information request.	
Page 5. second paragraph. The statement "For example, Plans must include facility diagrams
...." should be edited to remove "facility diagrams." At the time of the OIG review, facility
diagrams were not yet required under the regulations for most SPCC Plans. Currently only a
portion of covered facilities are required to include diagrams in their Plans (i.e., those required to
comply with revised SPCC requirements in November 2010).
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OIG Response: We disagree that reference to facility diagrams should be removed from this sentence.
We revised our statement to specify that all Plans are required to have facility diagrams as of
November 2011.
Page 5. third paragraph. EPA recommends that OIG remove "triennial" from in front of
Government Initiated Unannounced Exercises (GIUE). A triennial exercise of the FRP is
different than an individual GIUE. Facilities are only subject to an exercise once during a three
year period (unless the drill was unsuccessful). There is no requirement for EPA to inspect the
facilities every three years.
OIG Response: We believe the sentence is supported within the national guidelines and left the
sentence unchanged.	
Page 6. second paragraph under Noteworthy Achievements: EPA Region 4 maintains a database
with location and classification information for FRP facilities (and SPCC facilities inspected
over the past several years) which is used in planning and preparedness. For instance, during the
recent Alabama tornado outbreak and Mississippi/Tennessee floods, this database and GIS were
used to map facilities within tornado paths and within predicted flood zones. Data was used to
provide a basis for call down lists and field assessments. This capability substantially
streamlined our assessment process. Region 4 supports the consistent national database effort
already underway.
OIG Response: We included Region 4 in the list of regions that have used GIS in planning and
preparedness, but did not provide specific details of its activities.	
In addition, most other regions have incorporated data on SPCC facilities and FRPs in the GIS
layers used in the Area Planning efforts conducted by all ten EPA Regions.
Page 7. paragraph 4 under Scope and Methodology
As noted in the comments above for page 5, OIG, in the twenty Plan reviews, may not have
properly considered the information required to be in an SPCC Plan in light of the current
compliance date and associated extensions. Specifically, the draft report notes that some of the
SPCC Plans did not have facility diagrams and information relative to new requirements under
§112.7. However, at the time of the audit, facility diagrams were not required under the SPCC
rule for most facilities. A key Plan review parameter is the facility's initial date of operations;
this information was not noted in most instances of the OIG support data for the study. Without
the facility's initial date of operation, it is impossible to determine the information required to be
in the different facilities' Plans. OEM conducted a brief review of the underlying data and
analysis of these Plans and identified concerns with the plan review methodology. At a
minimum, the review should have been based on the pre-2002 amendment requirements; at the
time of the audit, the new 2002 provisions were not required for most Plans. Instead, the 2002
requirements appear to have been incorrectly used as a metric in the OIG evaluation.
OIG Response: We noted the importance of the facility's initial date of operation. Although we found
that 14 of the 20 Plans reviewed were missing this information, we added that these Plans would likely
have needed to be amended prior to November 11, 2011, to be in compliance with the SPCC Rule
amendments.
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EPA is concerned that although OIG recognized the limitations of the review methodology in the
sentence: "Because we did not have a large enough sample of facilities to be statistically valid,
we cannot generalize the results of this analysis of 20 Plans to the program as a whole, " it cited
numerous deficiencies of these Plans as an indicator of program ineffectiveness and poor
management. The OIG may want to modify its conclusion and to consider recommending a
broader study of Plan consistency.
OIG Response: We clarified certain statements in this section of the report to address EPA's
comments and added a recommendation on this topic.	
Page 7. paragraph 5. EPA recommends that the OIG delete the Region 5 checklist. There is
only a national SPCC checklist.
OIG Response: We deleted the Region 5 checklist.
Page 8. under Prior Audit Coverage
With regard to the prior GAO audit, GAO's review of the universe was limited. The universe
was modeled from state regulatory and registration databases, USDOC Census of Manufacturers,
and USDA Census of Agriculture.
EPA respectfully disagrees with the conclusions documented in the sentence: "EPA cannot
employ a risk-based approach to target inspections to those facilities that pose the greatest risks
of oil spills into or upon navigable waters." EPA's draft targeting strategy, although not risk-
based since sufficient data on the likelihood of an oil spill at any one facility is not known, is
hazard based and appropriately directs our inspection resources to facilities that, if there is a
discharge, may cause harm.
OIG Response: Because the conclusion is from GAO's 2008 evaluation of the SPCC program, we did
not revise this section.
Chapter 2
Page 9. first paragraph.
OIG states: "EPA has not implemented a program that can effectively prevent oil spills to
navigable waters or mitigate the effect of those spills." OSWER believes that this assertion is
not supported by the facts nor is it evidenced by the draft report's requested corrective action.
OIG Response: We believe this assertion is supported by the fact that EPA has limited knowledge of
the facilities it is responsible for regulating under this program.	
Page 9. under EPA Has Limited Knowledge of Facilities Regulated by the Oil Pollution
Prevention Program; first paragraph:
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"The principal cause of EPA's inability to effectively manage the CWA Section 311 program is
that the Agency does not know the location and characteristics of the vast majority of CWA
Section 311 facilities."
EPA acknowledges that we do not have comprehensive existing information and no formal
mechanism to collect data on the location and characteristics of the vast majority of CWA
Section 311 facilities and that this information helps with compliance. However, OSWER
respectfully disagrees with the conclusion that without this knowledge alone we are unable to
effectively manage the program, especially in light of our ongoing multi-year efforts to measure
the compliance rate of facilities and other initiatives in our 5-year strategic plan for the oil
program. The information EPA has already gathered from State databases or other federal and
local data sources allows us to target certain industry sectors for compliance as we build up our
national Oil Program database capability to focus on systemic violation areas and high-risk
facilities.
OIG Response: We acknowledge that the Agency has a program in place to manage known regulated
facilities, and we revised this sentence and certain statements in the report. However, we continue to
maintain that effective management of the SPCC program requires EPA to have knowledge of more
than 4 percent of the regulated universe. Our report presents concerns with using data in state
databases to identify regulated facilities.	
Unanticipated release and discharge prevention programs are unique from traditional pollution
programs in that an evaluation of program effectiveness is not well characterized solely by either
a statistically valid measure of compliance or by precise measurements of the number of spills
occurring or prevented. We welcome a continuing dialog with OIG on ways to improve the Oil
program database, existing data, and a means to measure effective program management.
Page 10. first full paragraph. OIG states that EPA Regions admit they are still missing many
FRP facilities or have not received updated Plans.
As noted in the draft report, EPA requires submittal of FRPs to the regional offices. EPA is
currently taking steps to apply limited resources to bring these "high-risk" facilities into
compliance.
Page 10. third paragraph. State databases have been helpful in identifying owners and operators
and locations of regulated facilities and are used for targeting.
OIG Response: We acknowledge EPA's comment, but reiterate that there are critical limitations in
using state databases to identify regulated facilities.	
Page 11. first sentence at top of page. The industry type of the facility is not relevant to
applicability of the requirements; however, it may be relevant to targeting for inspections. It is
not clear whether it is the OIG's intent to capture information needed for inspections or to
determine facility applicability.
OIG Response: We revised our sentence to reflect the relevancy of facility type, as opposed to
industry type. Depending on the type of facility, a facility may have to meet and/or incorporate
additional requirements into its prevention Plan.	
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Page 11. under EPA Cannot Determine the Effectiveness of the Oil Pollution Prevention
Program
Given the magnitude of the regulated universe, it may be virtually impossible to know the
identity and compliance status of all covered facilities. We recommend OIG provide more
specific recommendations on this point.
OIG Response: We agree that it would be difficult to know the identity and compliance status of the
more than 640,000 regulated facilities; we still believe that EPA should expand its knowledge beyond
4 percent of the regulated universe. We did not include specific recommendations on this point.
This paragraph also does not reflect all of the compliance assistance activities that EPA
performs. EPA regional and HQ staff attend industry conferences and perform outreach on the
SPCC & FRP requirements. For example, Region 6 (as with many other regions) performs
outreach activities in a particular area and then follows up with inspections. This activity does
provide EPA with compliance knowledge for each area where these seminars are conducted.
OIG Response: The report presents a number of examples of EPA's compliance assistance activities.
Page 11. under EPA Cannot Determine the Success of Its Steps to Enhance Quality and
Consistency of Plans
Under the first part of this section, EPA appreciates OIG's recognition of our efforts to improve
compliance and to enhance the quality and consistency of Plans and to note the
inspection/enforcement actions in light of the magnitude of the regulated universe.
EPA also has implemented significant regional and HQ outreach efforts through conferences,
conference calls, webinars and training. Our website is provided during all outreach activities
which is another means of communication with our stakeholders. EPA regional and headquarters
staff have performed hundreds of outreach sessions to the regulated community in preparation
for the upcoming and recently passed compliance dates. And we are currently undertaking, in an
effort to address farms, the largest outreach effort in the history of the program.
OIG Response: The report presents a number of examples of EPA's compliance assistance activities.
Page 12. at top. The statement: "The certification by a professional engineer provided an
element of accountability that the Plan contained information required by 40 CFR 112." While
true, it does not acknowledge the potential for greater compliance and value of having the
owner/operator certify compliance himself, especially at small, less complicated facilities.
OSWER tested this approach in proposed and final rulemakings (see appropriate FR notices for
discussion).
OIG Response: We clarified statements in this section of the report to address EPA's comments.
The statement: "EPA has a better idea of the effectiveness of its efforts to enhance the quality
and consistency of FRPs because facilities must submit their Plans to the Agency for review"
may not be accurate. OSWER believes this can only be gauged by reviewing Plans before and
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after particular agency inspection efforts. Gauging consistency and quality of Plans can be
assessed during inspections, compliance assistance efforts, and enforcement.
All FRPs submitted to EPA are reviewed by the Regions. Plans for significant and substantial
harm facilities are approved by the Region.
OIG Response: We believe that our original statement is correct because EPA does review FRPs, as
EPA indicates in its comment.
See also detailed comments in methodology section regarding the 20 Plans
The 20 Plans reviewed included both SPCC and FRPs. The requirements are not the same for
both SPCC and FRPs and it is not clear whether these differences were understood. For
example, all FRPs (and ICPs) must have facility diagrams. As noted in the Methodology section,
SPCC requirements for facility diagrams do not apply until the compliance date has arrived (and
for many facilities this date has not arrived).
OIG Response: We added information to clarify the different requirements and formats facilities can
use to prepare SPCC Plans, including FRPs and ICPs, as long as the SPCC Plan requirements are
cross-referenced in the alternate format.
Page 12. under EPA Can Improve Its Efforts to Promote Consistent Inspection and
Enforcement and elsewhere:
EPA does not agree that there is any significant inconsistency in interpretation of enforceability
of FRP requirements and the authority to pursue penalties.
OIG Response: A memorandum, which was issued subsequent to our draft report, addresses our
concerns. We revised the presentation of this issue based on the additional information provided in the
Agency's responses.	
Page 13. first full paragraph. There may be minor inconsistencies in what the guidance
document outlines versus what the rule requires since updating to reflect recent rulemaking is
currently underway.
The statement: "Six of the 10 regions also told us that they supplement the guidance with
regional-level SOPs" could be misleading. We resolve questions that arise on our monthly
inspector tech and oil manager calls. The updates to the guidance will include documentation of
these discussions and resolution of inconsistencies. Additionally, the basis of the existing/new
guidance is/will reflect final rule preamble discussions, which regions and the regulated
community currently have for review and use to help ensure consistent interpretation of the rule.
Finally, many of the rule amendments were deregulatory in nature and involved exemptions from
the rule. We agree the guidance needs to be updated, but generally there are few new
requirements to address in the new version of the guidance.
This draft report finding about the regional use of guidance is also based on a survey tool which,
may have been confusing to the regions and therefore may have led to significant variability in
the responses. OEM provided comments to the questionnaire and warned about the potential
confusion that the survey tool may create for the regions responding. For example, in this case,
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while it is true that all regions use the national guidance for interpreting the rule, the regions also
develop specific SOPs for implementation (guidance). The draft report implies the regions use
different guidance for interpretation of the regulation whereas the "guidance" they were referring
to was SOPs for regional program implementation. This statement is misleading and may
undermine the twelve year effort to promote consistent interpretation of the regulation that
culminated in the release of the 2005 guidance document.
OIG Response: We clarified statements in this section of the report to address EPA's comments.
Page 14. last paragraph. The issues listed below are not enforcement issues, rather they are
jurisdictional.
The estimate of 70,000 offshore facilities under EPA's jurisdiction was speculative and not the
number of facilities located in State Waters seaward of the coastline.
NOTE: If this number was passed on to BOEMRE in the April 2011 letter referenced in footnote
12, EPA recommends that OIG work with BOEMRE to correct this number, as there appears to
have been some sort of mix up in the numbers provided in the draft report and potentially in the
letter to BOEMRE.
The recommendation to improve coordination with other federal partners does not relate to
EPA's management of its oil program. While there may be a gap in federal oversight, BOEMRE
is the appropriate agency to rectify this, if necessary. EPA does not have jurisdiction to inspect
these facilities.
OIG Response: We removed this section and recommendation from the final report. We notified the
DPI OIG of this issue in April 2011.	
Page 15. at top. The title "EPA Cannot Establish National Trends in Compliance History for
Known SPCC Facilities" implies that EPA does not currently have the capability to establish
national trends in non-compliance. ICIS currently has the capability to track these trends.
OIG Response: Although we agree that ICIS is able to track national trends in noncompliance, we
believe that this capability is extremely limited, and that EPA cannot effectively establish national
trends. We revised the title of this section.
Page 15. top paragraph. Regarding the need for a database to allow for knowledge of trends and
history of inspected facility noncompliance and enforcement, EPA believes the draft report
findings do not give sufficient weight or value to the monthly national calls that this program has
initiated. Trends in compliance are routinely discussed on these monthly program and
enforcement oil program calls.
OIG Response: We recognize monthly national calls as one tool the Agency uses to discuss trends in
noncompliance. However, we believe this tool has limited capability to identify potentially undiscovered
trends for targeting inspections and prioritizing limited resources.	
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Page 15. under the heading of "EPA's Regional and National Databases," OEM and OC have
been working together and will continue to do so to achieve electronic crosstalk capability
between the OEM Oracle database and ICIS to capture compliance monitoring data.
Page 15. at the bottom. The statement: "The current Access database and the forthcoming
version of the National Oil Database do not specify the reason a facility is in noncompliance" is
incorrect, as there is a comment field in the database where this information can be added.
ESA codes and ICDS codes are included in the July 2011 deployment.
OIG Response: We maintain that this statement is correct. An optional comment field does not allow
the Agency to easily analyze this information. We believe specific codes to categorize noncompliance
(and violations) would give the Agency an additional tool to make program resource and management
decisions.
Page 16. at top. EPA obtains this information from other sources. For example, EPA has
information from trade associations, comments on rulemakings, and from stakeholders that
participate in outreach activities that informs these programmatic management decisions.
OIG Response: We do not claim that these are without value, but they are incomplete.
Page 16. under Other Databases: Many of these facilities are outside of EPA's jurisdiction and
are not inspected by EPA for SPCC and FRP compliance.
Also, the statement: "For example, if a facility regulated by DOT discharges oil, EPA becomes
responsible for the cleanup if the oil reaches EPA response jurisdiction" is factually incorrect.
See edits to this statement in the draft report.
OIG Response: We removed this section from the report.
Page 16. Conclusion
EPA agrees with the finding on the lack of program data and the source of certain
implementation challenges the program faces, from targeting to regulatory action development.
The draft report however, does not put into context all the current program activities performed
to manage and implement the program with the level of resources available.
OIG Response: Based on the Agency's comments, a number of the current program activities are
highlighted in the final report. Although we recognize that these activities help the Agency manage and
implement the program, the Agency only knows the effectiveness of these activities for less than
4 percent of the regulated universe.	
The increases in the success rate of the Government Initiated Unannounced Exercises (GIUEs)
over the last several years in regions such as Region 1 are an example of the success of the
program as well as the currently implemented database and program measures.
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Recommendations
These recommendations fail to address the criticism of the program given in the findings. OIG
provides no information on how these relate.
OIG Response: We disagree; the recommendations are directly related to our findings.
Under Recommendation #1
Recommendations la and lc should be combined as they appear to be duplicative (if kept, as the
recommendation is outside the scope of the report).
The National Oil Program Strategic Plan, national training programs, national guidance/policy
documents, and OMB approved national program measures (all of which are currently
implemented in the oil program) are the foundation for a centralized program and its evaluation
which the program views as a success relative to our resource allocation.
OIG Response: We recognize that many components of the program are centralized, and we clarified
statements throughout the report to reflect this recognition.	
Recommendation la should be removed.
This wasn't identified as a problem in the scope of the report so the recommendation should be
removed. If not removed, OEM has provided a preliminary response (see report edits).
OIG Response: We believe the recommendation is warranted. Even though EPA is currently working
on revising guidance, this recommendation goes beyond current efforts to update guidance to include
procedures for keeping the guidance updated in the future.	
The statement: "a centralized and comprehensive CWA Section 311 program that includes
standard operating procedures for updating policies and guidance ..."
What is meant by "standard operating procedures" for updating policies and guidance?
OIG Response: We removed this phrase from the recommendation.	
Recommendation lb
Can OIG describe what it means by a "risk-based strategy toward inspections and enforcement
actions?" As described above, we have ample information on the hazards posed by oil storage
facilities sufficient for targeting until such time as information to be collected in our national
database system is robust enough to adjust that targeting.
OIG Response: The Agency needs an inspection strategy that focuses its limited resources on those
facilities that pose the greatest risk of having a spill that could harm human health or the environment.
Because the Agency is only aware of approximately 4 percent of all regulated facilities, it should
include approaches to identify unknown facilities to improve targeting.	
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Recommendation l.b
It is not completely clear what was intended by the recommendation to direct enforcement
resources toward those facilities where spills pose the greatest risks to human health and the
environment. EPA believes that the FRP portion of the program was designed to identify those
high risk facilities. Risk is already considered when making a decision to bring an enforcement
action. While our enforcement program does address high risk spills, there are many factors that
might contribute to a decision to bring an enforcement action, including the history of violations
at the facility, the need for injunctive relief, whether there are other similar facilities with similar
noncompliance, whether there have been spills at the facility, and whether enforcement is the
most effective tool to achieve compliance and have the greatest deterrent effect. The risk
presented by a facility is certainly an important consideration, but these other enforcement
factors must also be considered when making enforcement decisions.
OIG Response: We removed the reference to enforcement in this recommendation.
Recommendation lc
The statement: "Consistent interpretation of EPA's authority to enforce regulations" is identical
to recommendation 1 A.
OIG Response: Although the Agency resolved the specific issue we identified during the evaluation,
we still believe that this is a valid recommendation for future enforcement situations. EPA must commit
to continuing consistent interpretation of EPA's authority to enforce regulations in the future.	
Recommendation 2e
Change databases from the plural to the singular, database. As stated previously, EPA plans to
have crosstalk capability between the OEM Oracle database and ICIS, not with any other
databases.
OIG Response: We made the suggested edit.
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Appendix D
Agency Response From OSWER and OECA:
Attachment B
01G NOTE: We responded to all of the comments embedded in attachment B below. Technical changes
suggested by the Agency were incorporated into this final report as appropriate, but are not recreated in
this appendix. Attachment A of the Agency's response is included in appendix C of this report.
Final
report
page no.
Agency comment
OIG analysis and response
Cover
Suggest replacing the bird photograph with this
one. It shows the variability (large scope) of the
facilities we regulate (production versus storage)
and is a facility we actually regulate under the EPA
oil program. Caption: Pump jack at a non-
transportation related oil production facility (EPA
Photo).
Suggest removing this photograph; the bird was
oiled as a result of a discharge from a facility that
EPA does not regulate and is related to response
which is outside the scope of this report.
We replaced this photo.
At A
Glance
This [the phrase "located landward of the coastline"
in the Background section] is not consistent with
regulatory text.
We removed this phrase from the "At a
Glance."
1
This error [use of lowercase plans in context of
SPCC Plans] occurs throughout the report. SPCC
"Plan" is a specific term and is capitalized to
distinguish from any other plan.
We made this change.
1
All three of these examples [in the Background] are
facilities not covered under EPA's Oil Pollution
Prevention Program. The use of these examples
may imply that EPA's Oil Pollution Prevention
Program was inadequate to prevent these
devastating spills when in reality, the program was
not applicable. EPA and the Coast Guard share
the lead for emergency response at such facilities,
however, the emergency response program is not
the subject of this report
We provided different examples.
2
The prevention and response planning authority is
delegated to several agencies, including DOI, DOT,
EPA, and the USCG.
We made changes to clarify this point.
2
The scope of the 311 (j) authority is broader than
navigable waters; the cleanest way to correct this is
to delete this phrase.
We deleted the phrase "navigable waters" in
relation to CWA 311 (j) authority.
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Final
report
page no.
Agency comment
OIG analysis and response
3
EPA does not regulate hazardous materials under
the SPCC and FRP regulations. The CWAterm is
hazardous substances.
We deleted the phrase "hazardous
substances."
3
[The phrase "located landward of the coastline" is]
Inconsistent with the regulatory text. See 40 CFR
part 112.
We removed this phrase.
3
Cite basis and regulatory location [for "EPA has the
authority to reclassify a facility as a "substantial
harm" or "significant and substantial harm"
facility."].
We revised this sentence to better reflect the
requirements under 40 CFR 112.20(b)(1) and
112.20(c) that allows the Regional
Administrator to require a facility to prepare
and submit an FRP to the Agency.
4
Cite regulation and who approves [the FRPs from
significant and substantial harm facilities].
Support can be found in 40 CFR 112
Appendix F(B) for the portion of the sentence
that discusses approval of FRPs. We also
state here that FRPs are subject to approval
by the Regional Administrator.
5
Inspectors always do this, [confirm that the facility
meets the applicability criteria for the SPCC Rule]
there is no evidence to the contrary.
EPA did not provide evidence for this.
Therefore, we did not make any changes to
the statement.
5
How about FRP Regulations? [in response to
approximately 55 percent of inspected facilities
were identified as not in compliance with SPCC
regulations at the time of inspection]
We did not discuss FRP regulations because
the information provided by EPA was
incomplete.
7
IG needs to explain what these [Integrated
Contingency Plans] are relative to FRPs and SPCC
Plans.
Footnote 11, which explains Integrated
Contingency Plans, is already included in the
report.
9
FRP facilities do not have to submit their SPCC
plans, [in response to original sentence "Only
SPCC facilities also covered under the FRP
requirements must report their presence, and
submit their plans to EPA."]
We revised the sentence.
9
See sentence in the paragraph below on FRP
facilities; suggest moving it here. ["Region 6
recently discovered 45 previously unknown SPCC
regulated oil and gas production facilities in New
Mexico while conducting targeting activities."
Suggestion to move from 3r paragraph of EPA
Has Limited Knowledge section to last sentence of
2nd paragraph in same section]
We moved this sentence as suggested.
10
Consider adding: "However, EPA has made strides
in working with the states, the U.S. Department of
Commerce and the U.S. Department of Agriculture
in identifying information on facilities during the
regulatory action development process." [to end of
first full paragraph, starting "As of May 2011, OEM
staff..."]
We added a sentence about this effort.
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Final
report
page no.
Agency comment
OIG analysis and response
10
While we agree that the burden of proving that a
water body is jurisdictional and that there is a
reasonable likelihood that a discharge from the
facility might enter a jurisdictional water body is
sometimes resource intensive, we are concerned
that the OIG conclusion, as drafted, might read to
mean that all such analyses are always
burdensome, which they are not. [in response to
facilities reporting that the CWA Section 311
regulations do not apply because it believes there
is no proof that the stream or waterway near the
facility is a navigable water of the United States],
We revised the sentence.
11
There is no mention here of the OEM Strategic
Plan and the OMB approved oil measures. This is
a major oversight with regard to measures taken by
EPA to manage the program. [EPA Cannot
Determine the Effectiveness section]
We included information on the OEM Strategic
Plan and OMB-approved oil measures to the
"Noteworthy Achievements" section.
11
Compliance assistance involves actions taken
independently from enforcement. We do not
provide compliance assistance as part of an
enforcement action, [in response to EPA providing
compliance assistance at a facility owner/operator's
request or as part of an enforcement action].
We revised this statement.
11
EPA has implemented significant regional and HQ
outreach efforts through conferences, conference
calls, webinars and training. Our website is
provided during all outreach activities which is
another means of communication with our
stakeholders. EPA regional and headquarters staff
have performed hundreds of outreach sessions to
the regulated community in preparation for the
upcoming and recently passed compliance dates.
And we are currently undertaking, in an effort to
address farms, the largest outreach effort in the
history of the program, [in response to EPA utilizing
it website as the principal means of communication
with regulated facilities, an indirect and passive
approach under the EPA Cannot Determine the
Success of its Steps subsection]
We included the additional outreach efforts
noted by the Agency in its comment in the
suggested paragraph of the report. However,
we believe that these outreach efforts are
targeted to the limited known universe rather
than expanding the size of the known
universe.
11
Given the magnitude of the regulated universe,
EPA acknowledges that it may never know the
identity and compliance status of all covered
facilities. Even so, EPA continues to seek ways to
use limited resources to effectively target sectors
with high non-compliance rates and to bring these
facilities into compliance, seek progressively higher
rates of compliance each year through our program
measures, and to build our informational databases
to work toward understanding prevention program
effectiveness, [in response to the second
paragraph under the EPA Cannot Determine the
Success of its Steps subsection]
We mentioned steps EPA takes to track the
number of facilities that return to compliance
as part of the program measures.
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Final
report
page no.
Agency comment
OIG analysis and response
12
EPA respectfully disagrees it is unable to assess
the quality or consistency of prevention and
response plans. See Attachment A. [in response
to statement that EPA is unable to assess the
quality or consistency of prevention and response
plans in the EPA Cannot Determine the Success of
its Steps subsection]
We clarified the statement in the report to
reflect that the Agency is currently only able to
assess the quality and consistency at known
facilities.
12
EPA does not control the rulings of federal judges,
ALJ's, the EAB or hearings officers. We have,
however, taken steps to improve consistency in the
types of enforcement actions that EPA might
pursue to address similar types of noncompliance,
[in response to the phrase "regional enforcement
rulings and decisions" in the first paragraph of the
EPA Can Improve its Efforts to Promote Consistent
Enforcement subsection]
We removed the word "rulings."
12
The penalty policy provides a standardized
approach to settlement penalties. See description
in Recommendations section below for additional
information on OECA's efforts to promote
consistent enforcement, [in response to "OECA
published a civil penalty policy for CWA Section
311(b) and 311 (j) programs" located in first
paragraph of EPA Can Improve its Efforts to
Promote Consistent Enforcement subsection]
We added additional information to the
sentence.

EPA respectfully disagrees that there is a lack of
agreement over FRP enforcement.
This inconsistency was resolved after we
issued our draft report. We revised the
presentation of this issue based on the
additional information provided in the Agency's
responses.
13
These efforts [inspection targeting, enforcement,
and implementation strategies] were under
consideration before the recent oil spills.
We revised the statement based upon the
Agency's comment.
13
Added scope to address the scope of the effort
[inspection targeting, enforcement, and
implementation strategies].
We added scope to the statement.
13
OECA and OSWER have been, and will continue
to, discuss and coordinate on these efforts
[inspection targeting, enforcement, and
implementation strategies].
We made no changes.
13
We recommend OIG consider modifying or deleting
the two parentheticals in this paragraph that
specifically identify regions. We do not believe that
the decision of these regions not to use the ESA
demonstrates any inconsistency in enforcement.
The ESA process is a voluntary tool that some
regions use to quickly address small, easily
correctable violations. Other regions may use
different tools to achieve the same purpose.
We added a footnote to clarify the ESA
process based upon the Agency's comment.
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Final
report
page no.
Agency comment
OIG analysis and response
13
This report does not otherwise address the spills
enforcement program; consider whether this
statement should be deleted.
We did not make any revision since the
following sentence refers to CWA 311 (j).

EPA respectfully disagrees and requests that the
OIG consider deleting it from the report.
This inconsistency was resolved after we
issued our draft report. We revised the
presentation of this issue based on the
additional information provided in the Agency's
responses.
13
EPA respectfully disagrees with this statement and
requests that the OIG consider deleting it from the
report.
This inconsistency was resolved after we
issued our draft report. We revised the
presentation of this issue based on the
additional information provided in the Agency's
responses.
13
EPA respectfully disagrees with this statement and
requests that the OIG consider deleting it from the
report.
This inconsistency was resolved after we
issued our draft report. We revised the
presentation of this issue based on the
additional information provided in the Agency's
responses.

EPA does coordinate with other federal partners on
enforcement when there is overlapping
enforcement authority or potentially related claims.
EPA has a memorandum of agreement with the
U.S. Coast Guard for enforcement coordination.
We removed this paragraph from the report.
This issue was referred to DOI OIG.
—
EPA does not have authority to inspect [for SPCC
and FRP compliance] these facilities [offshore
facilities not subject to SPCC or FRP regulations]
We removed this paragraph from the report.

EPA does not believe that this report is the place to
comment on the performance of DOI as that is not
the subject of this report, nor is it within the
expertise or role of EPA to be commenting on the
DOI program.
We removed this paragraph from the report.

The implication is that EPA should take some
enforcement actions, but it cannot for facilities not
under EPAjurisdiction (such as the ones which
remain under DOI jurisdiction). We recommend
that the implication/nuance be addressed, [in
response to statement that DOI retains jurisdiction
for offshore facilities"].
We removed this paragraph from the report.

The Submerged Lands Act and case law define the
terms used in the MOU. Under the Submerged
Lands Act and case law these facilities are not
landward of the coastline. Under the Act and the
MOU, 39these facilities in state waters, seaward of
the coastline, are the responsibility of BOEMRE.
EPA does not have the resources or jurisdiction to
inspect these facilities in state waters seaward of
the coastline.
We removed this paragraph from the report.
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Final
report
page no.
Agency comment
OIG analysis and response
13
EPA respectfully disagrees with this conclusion
[heading EPA Cannot Establish National Trends in
Compliance History for Known SPCC Facilities],
See comments in Attachment A.
Although we agree that EPA is able to track
national trends in noncompliance, we believe
that this capability is extremely limited—to
known facilities—and that EPA cannot
effectively establish national trends. We
revised the title of this section.
14
Please note that ICIS has the capability to track
CWA Section 311 violations for both SPCC and
FRP subject facilities, [in response to last
sentence of 1st paragraph of EPA Cannot Establish
National Trends section]
We made no changes in response to this
Agency comment. ICIS currently is not capable
of capturing trends or providing a full and
detailed history of deficiencies and
noncompliance.
14
Once the new data system is in place better
knowledge regarding specific deficiencies will be
available, [in response to first sentence under
EPA's Regional and National Databases
subsection]
We made no changes because the new data
system is not in place yet.
14
The Oracle database is currently live, [in response
to statement that the Oracle platform was projected
to go live in mid-July 2011 ].
We updated this sentence to reflect when the
Oracle database actually went live.
14
Note that ICIS will be ready for cross-talk capability
with the Oil Program database by the first quarter
of FY12. It may take longer for the Oil Program
database to be ready for this function, [in response
to statement about duplicative data entry]
We revised this sentence to reflect the
projected date of FY 2012.
14
The terms "deficiency" and "noncompliance" are
terms of art. The edits regarding these terms are
intended to ensure that they are said accurately.
"Noncompliance" suggests that the region has
concluded that a violation has occurred. The
database also tracks sections taken to address
"deficiencies" and return the facility to compliance
before a complete analysis of violations takes
place. Deficiencies are potential violations - they
do not necessarily demonstrate noncompliance, [in
response to OEM has not established codes that
indicate whether a facility was out of compliance.]
We agree with the Agency's comment
regarding the difference between "deficiency"
and "noncompliance." As a result, we revised
the sentence to reflect the correct terminology.
14
A deficiency is a potential violation - it does not
necessarily demonstrate noncompliance.
We made no changes.
14-15
Although mistakes can be made, OC annually
issues a Reporting Plan to the regions establishing
the reporting and data certification schedules for
ICIS. This Plan also includes an attachment
focused on recommendations for improving data
quality. At midyear and end of year reporting
cycles the DRA certifies that enforcement and
compliance data has been reviewed and is correct,
[in response to incomplete/inconsistent
enforcement data entry statement]
We revised the sentence to acknowledge the
reporting plan. However, we believe the
analysis still stands.
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Final
report
page no.
Agency comment
OIG analysis and response
14-15
ICIS is designed to allow tracking of national trends
in compliance enforcement history for most of the
media programs, including SPCC and FRP.
Although mistakes can be made, OC annually
issues a Reporting Plan to the regions establishing
the reporting and data certification schedules for
ICIS. This Plan also includes an attachment
focused on recommendations for improving data
quality. At midyear and end of year reporting
cycles the DRA certifies that enforcement and
compliance data has been reviewed and is correct,
[in response to incomplete/inconsistent
enforcement data entry statement]
We revised the sentence to acknowledge the
reporting plan. However, we believe the
analysis still stands.

To the extent EPA would need this information, we
are able to obtain it from the federal regulatory
agency, [in response to statement about
incomplete facility histories]
We removed this section.
—
It may be possible to have periodic meetings with
these other agencies as necessary to discuss such
issues
We removed this section.

DOT provides a lot of information on its website
regarding its administrative orders and other
enforcement activities. EPA has easy access to
this publicly available information.
We removed this section.

Different tank thresholds and other regulatory
differences would make sharing data with states on
a regular basis unnecessary and not very useful.
For some compliance determination initiatives it
may make sense to seek using certain state data
for facility targeting. This could be done with
specific information collection requests as needed.
We removed this section.
15
EPA suggests the OIG consider the following
conclusion: "EPA lacks the data to ensure
comprehensive oversight of the CWA Section 311
program designed to prevent, plan and prepare for
oil spills. The Agency has provided guidance to
owners and operators of SPCC facilities, but can
only evaluate the quality of the SPCC Plans based
on the small number inspected per year. Because
the SPCC regulations do not require facilities to
notify EPA that they are regulated, EPA cannot
identify every facility in the SPCC regulated
universe and can only produce a limited
compliance history in its program database. While
EPA is moving in the right direction with its
upcoming national oil program database, the
database will not exchange data with other EPA
databases.
We reviewed the Agency's suggested revision.
We made slight changes based upon the
Agency's suggestion.
15
This [fields/codes to categorize noncompliance]
has been addressed in the database.
We still believe that specific fields/codes are
needed in the national oil program database.
An optional comment field is not an adequate
tool for analyzing trends in noncompliance.
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Final
report
page no.
Agency comment
OIG analysis and response

EPA respectfully disagrees with this statement and
requests that the OIG consider deleting it from the
report.
This inconsistency was resolved after we
issued our draft report. We revised the
presentation of this issue based on the
additional information provided in the Agency's
responses.
15
There is already centralized oversight of CWA 311
enforcement. Judicial enforcement actions
involving CWA Section 311 regulatory violations
are already designated as nationally significant and
require headquarters involvement and review.
OECA is involved in CWA 311 administrative
enforcement in a similar manner as other CWA
administrative cases - when a case presents
issues of national significance, then the region will
coordinate with OECA.
We agree with the Agency's comments. As a
result, we removed the reference to
centralized oversight.
15
OEM believes it has already taken steps to address
this recommendation. We suggest the findings in
the report be recast to call for program
improvement and suggest OIG provide
recommendations to improve the quality and
consistency of Plans. We suggest a
recommendation that OEM will audit a certain
number of Plans inspected and reviewed by the
regions and access the consistency of Plans at a
national level recognizing that this sample will be
limited). We believe this recommendation should
be implemented after the compliance date arrives
so this evaluation will be relevant to the suite of
rule changes made from 2002 forward and their
effect on plan consistency and quality.
We reviewed the Agency's comment and
revised the recommendations to incorporate
the Agency's suggestion.
15
OSWER and OECA are working together to
develop an enforcement and implementation
strategy for the oil program (SPCC and FRP). This
effort includes discussions for inspection, targeting
and enforcement response.
We made no changes.
15
We recommend deletion of "and enforcement
actions" in b. We also recommend changes in i to
reflect the OIG's focus on the prevention program.
See Attachment A explanation under the section
"Recommendationslb."
We deleted the phrase in question from the
sentence. We incorporated the Agency's
suggested recommendation wording, which
focuses on the prevention program.
16
OEM agrees that consistent interpretation is a good
recommendation but we have already taken
actions to increase consistency
Although this specific issue was resolved
during the course of the evaluation, we believe
it is important that EPA ensure that
consistency is maintained in the future;
therefore, we retained this recommendation.
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Final
report
page no.
Agency comment
OIG analysis and response
16
We recommend deletion of "and EPA's authority to
enforce regulations." We believe there is consistent
interpretation of EPA's authority to enforce the FRP
regulations. As explained previously above (and in
Appendix A), OECA recommends deleting this
recommendation because there is consistent
interpretation of EPA's authority to enforce the FRP
regulations. OECA has promoted consistent
enforcement by developing a national penalty
policy and expedited settlement option, is working
with OSWER to develop an enforcement and
implementation strategy, and participates in
enforcement actions that involve issues of national
significance. Through national meetings, monthly
conference calls, informal dialogue, and
headquarters coordination meetings, OECA
regularly engages in discussions with regional
enforcement staff, OSWER, and the Office of
General Counsel to coordinate on consistency of
enforcement approaches and regulatory
interpretation.
Although the issue identified by the OIG was
resolved during the course of the evaluation,
we believe it is important that EPA ensure that
consistency is maintained in the future. We
revised the presentation of this issue on
page 13 of this report.
16
We believe that ICIS can currently track these
trends
We believe that the deficiency and
noncompliance trends ICIS is capable of
reporting do not contain enough detail to help
the Agency assess the effectiveness of its
program activities.
16
OEM believes that the National Oil database will
track these trends
We believe that the National Oil Database is
not capable of reporting this information in
enough detail to help the Agency assess the
effectiveness of its program activities.

We recommend that reference to enforcement
should be deleted from these recommendations
because we do not believe the OIG intended to
include recommendations for spills and other
enforcement strategies. See Attachment A for
explanation in section "Recommendation 1.b."
We removed the reference to enforcement in
this recommendation.
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Appendix E
Agency Response From Region 5
July 29, 2011
PRE-DECISIONAL
MEMORANDUM
SUBJECT: Region 5 Response to the Office of Inspector General's Draft Report:
"EPA Needs to Improve Management of Its Oil Pollution Prevention Program"
Project No. 2010-1360
FROM: Susan Hedman
Regional Administrator
TO:	Wade Najjum
Assistant Inspector General for Program Evaluation
Region 5 appreciates the opportunity to comment on the above-referenced draft report. In our
view, the draft fails to recognize the strengths of Region 5's oil pollution prevention,
enforcement and compliance assistance program. Consequently, I am writing to highlight some
of Region 5's work in this area.
Region 5 has reviewed over 600 Facility Response Plans (FRPs), including 312 from significant
and substantial harm facilities that have been approved. We are in the process of reviewing for
approval the remaining 84 FRPs for significant and substantial harm facilities in Region 5.
Following the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon spill, I directed my staff to reexamine the FRPs for
all 23 BP facilities within one-half mile of the Great Lakes to ensure that these facilities are
ready to respond to oil spills. My staff met with BP to discuss the deficiencies that we identified
in the course of this review (e.g., failure to identify vulnerable areas; spill response notification
forms that lacked information; incomplete or illegible diagrams; outdated certification pages;
missing equipment; and unsigned substantial harm forms.) Region 5 is reviewing BP's corrected
FRPs, and thus far we have found only minor deficiencies.
During the summer of 2010, we also reexamined the FRPs for all 25 significant and substantial
harm facilities within one-half mile of the Great Lakes. Although we found only minor
deficiencies, these facilities were required to amend the plans and resubmit them for our
approval. As of this date, all but 4 have been approved. My staff expects these to be approved by
the end of the calendar year.
Region 5 has also issued many orders for oil spill cleanups, such as the ongoing response to the
Enbridge pipeline spill in Marshall, Michigan. In that case, within a day of being notified of the
pipeline rupture, Region 5 issued an order requiring Enbridge to immediately abate the imminent
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and substantial endangerment caused by one of the largest oil spills in Region 5 history. As a
result of this order and under Region 5's oversight, Enbridge has recovered almost a million
gallons of oil, 15 million gallons of mixed oil and water, and 113,000 cubic yards of oil-
contaminated waste from the waterways impacted by the spill. This type of prompt issuance of
clean up orders is now the norm in Region 5.
Finally, please note that Region 5 objects to language in the draft report which indicates that
Region 5 believes that there are no enforcement options available when a facility does not
implement its FRP. (OIG draft report, pg. 12.) This is incorrect. Indeed, our Office of Regional
Counsel recently circulated a memorandum describing our enforcement approach. (A copy of
that memorandum is attached.) We are also working with Headquarters on the national
enforcement strategy.
OIG Response: We significantly revised the presentation of this issue based on the additional
information provided in headquarters' and Region 5's separate responses. The attachment to
Region 5's response is not included in this report.	
If you have any questions, please contact me or have your staff contact Sharon Jaffess,
Superfund Division at 312-353-0536 orjaffess.sharon@epa.gov.
Attachment
cc: Cynthia Giles, OECA
Mathy Stanislaus, OSWER
Eric Levy, R5 - RMD
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Appendix F
Distribution
Office of the Administrator
Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response
Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Regional Administrator, Region 5
Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Director, Office of Emergency Management, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
Director, Office of Compliance, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Director, Office of Civil Enforcement, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Agency Follow-Up Official (the CFO)
Agency Follow-Up Coordinator
General Counsel
Associate Administrator for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs
Associate Administrator for External Affairs and Environmental Education
Audit Follow-Up Coordinator, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
Audit Follow-Up Coordinator, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Audit Follow-Up Coordinator, Region 5
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