Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 52 Pa.B. 6828 (October 29, 2022).

25 Pa. Code § 78a.66. Reporting and remediating spills and releases.

§ 78a.66. Reporting and remediating spills and releases.

 (a)  Scope. This section applies to reporting and remediating spills or releases of regulated substances on or adjacent to well sites and access roads.

 (b)  Reporting releases.

   (1)  An operator or other responsible party shall report the following spills and releases of regulated substances to the Department in accordance with paragraph (2):

     (i)   A spill or release of a regulated substance causing or threatening pollution of the waters of the Commonwealth in the manner required under §  91.33 (relating to incidents causing or threatening pollution).

     (ii)   A spill or release of 5 gallons or more of a regulated substance over a 24-hour period that is not completely contained by secondary containment.

   (2)  In addition to meeting the notification requirements of §  91.33, the operator or other responsible party shall contact the appropriate regional Department office by telephone or call the Department’s Statewide toll free number as soon as practicable, but no later than 2 hours after discovering the spill or release. To the extent known, the following information shall be provided:

     (i)   The name of the person reporting the spill or release and telephone number where that person can be reached.

     (ii)   The name, address and telephone number of the operator or other responsible party.

     (iii)   The date and time of the spill or release or when it was discovered.

     (iv)   The location of the spill or release, including directions to the site, GPS coordinates or the 9-1-1 address, if available.

     (v)   A brief description of the nature of the spill or release and its cause, what potential impacts to public health and safety or the environment may exist, including any available information concerning the pollution or threatened pollution of surface water, groundwater or soil.

     (vi)   The estimated weight or volume of each regulated substance spilled or released.

     (vii)   The nature of any injuries.

     (viii)   Remedial actions planned, initiated or completed.

   (3)  The operator or other responsible party shall take necessary interim corrective actions to prevent:

     (i)   The regulated substance from polluting or threatening to pollute the waters of the Commonwealth.

     (ii)   Damage to property.

     (iii)   Impacts to downstream users of waters of the Commonwealth.

   (4)  The operator or other responsible party shall identify and sample water supplies that have been polluted or for which there is a potential for pollution in a reasonable and systematic manner. The operator or other responsible party shall restore or replace a polluted water supply in accordance with §  78a.51 (relating to protection of water supplies). The operator or other responsible party shall provide a copy of the sample results to the water supply owner and the Department within 5 business days of receipt of the sample results from the laboratory.

   (5)  The Department may immediately approve temporary emergency storage or transportation methods necessary to prevent or mitigate harm to the public health, safety or the environment. Storage may be at the site of the incident or at a site approved by the Department.

   (6)  After responding to a spill or release, the operator or other responsible party shall decontaminate equipment used to handle the regulated substance, including storage containers, processing equipment, trucks and loaders, before returning the equipment to service. Contaminated wash water, waste solutions and residues generated from washing or decontaminating equipment shall be managed as residual waste.

 (c)  Remediating releases. Remediation of an area polluted by a spill or release is required. The operator or other responsible party shall remediate a release in accordance with the following:

   (1)  Spills or releases to the ground of less than 42 gallons at a well site that do not pollute or threaten to pollute waters of the Commonwealth may be remediated by removing the soil visibly impacted by the spill or release and properly managing the impacted soil in accordance with the Department’s waste management regulations. The operator or responsible party shall notify the Department of its intent to remediate a spill or release in accordance with this paragraph at the time the report of the spill or release is made.

   (2)  For spills or releases to the ground of greater than or equal to 42 gallons or that pollute or threaten to pollute waters of the Commonwealth, the operator or other responsible person must demonstrate attainment of one or more of the standards established by Act 2 and Chapter 250 (relating to administration of Land Recycling Program) in the following manner:

     (i)   Within 15 business days of the spill or release, the operator or other responsible party shall provide an initial written report that includes, to the extent that the information is available, the following:

       (A)   The regulated substance involved.

       (B)   The location where the spill or release occurred.

       (C)   The environmental media affected.

       (D)   Pollution or threatened pollution of water supplies.

       (E)   Impacts to buildings or utilities.

       (F)   Interim remedial actions planned, initiated or completed.

       (G)   A summary of the actions the operator or other responsible party intends to take at the site to address the spill or release such as a schedule for site characterization, to the extent known, and the anticipated time frames within which it expects to take those actions.

     (ii)   After the initial report, any new pollution or other impacts identified or discovered during interim remedial actions or site characterization shall also be reported in writing to the Department within 15 business days of their discovery.

     (iii)   Within 180 calendar days of the spill or release, the operator or other responsible party shall perform a site characterization to determine the extent and magnitude of the pollution and submit a site characterization report to the appropriate Department regional office describing the findings. The time to submit the site characterization report may be extended by the Department. The report must include a description of any interim remedial actions taken.

     (iv)   The report under subparagraph (iii) may be considered to be a final remedial action completion report if the interim remedial actions meet all of the requirements of an Act 2 cleanup standard.

     (v)   If the site characterization indicates that the interim remedial actions taken did not adequately remediate the spill or release, the operator or other responsible party shall develop and submit a remedial action plan to the appropriate Department regional office for approval. The plan is due within 45 calendar days of submission of the site characterization to the Department. Remedial action plans must contain the elements outlined in §  245.311(a) (relating to remedial action plan), as well as a schedule for the submission of remedial action progress reports.

     (vi)   Within 45 days after the selected remediation standard has been attained, the operator or other responsible party shall submit a remedial action completion report to the appropriate Department regional office for approval. Remedial action completion reports shall contain the elements outlined in §  245.313(b) (relating to remedial action completion report).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  78a.56 (relating to temporary storage); 25 Pa. Code §  78a.57 (relating to control, storage and disposal of production fluids); 25 Pa. Code §  78a.59c (relating to centralized impoundments); and 25 Pa. Code §  78a.64a (relating to secondary containment).



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