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Committee passes legislation to ease burden of SPCC program

The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unanimously passed the Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship Act recently. This bi-partisan legislation now is headed to the House floor for full consideration.

The FUELS Act would ease the burden placed on farmers and ranchers by the Environmental Protection Agency through the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure program by raising exemption and self-certified levels for on-farm fuel storage. SPCC regulations currently call for agricultural operations to develop and implement costly spill containment plans if the farm has an above ground oil storage capacity greater than 1,320 gallons or a buried oil storage capacity of 42,000 gallons or more. The FUELS Act would exempt farms with a storage capacity of 10,000 gallons or fewer from having to develop an SPCC plan. The legislation also would allow more operations to self-certify by raising the certification level up to 20,000 gallons of fuels storage. Operations with greater than 20,000 gallons will still be required to have a professional engineer certified spill plan.

“NCBA is pleased to see the exemption level of 10,000 gallons,” said National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Scott George, a cattleman from Wyoming. “The language in this bill will keep many of our producers from having to undertake excess costs as a result of the EPA’s overregulation.”

Similar language also is contained in the House farm bill and as an amendment to the Senate’s Water Resources Development Act. NCBA will work to ensure these important provisions are passed into law.

Date: 12/23/2013



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