The following article is from the NAFB News Service:
Congress passed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act Thursday which is highly supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation and American Soybean Association. The bill contains a provision to ease the burden of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure rule.
The current rule for farmers requires compliance if an operation has 1,320 gallons or more of aboveground fuel storage and allows self-certification up to 10,000 gallons. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Bob McCan says the SPCC rule is another example of EPA’s regulatory scheme threatening the economic viability of rural America and family farms and ranches.
Under the WRRDA provision, the aggregate aboveground fuel exemption limit is increased to 6,000 gallons for operations with no history of spills and no single tank with a capacity of 10,000 gallons or more from having to develop a plan. Operations with an aggregate aboveground fuel storage above 6,000 and below 20,000 gallons without history of spills and no single tank capacity of 10,000 gallons or more will require a self-certified plan. The provision also exempts fuel tanks with a capacity of 1,000 gallons or less and all tanks holding animal feed ingredients from the aggregate calculations.
McCan says this commonsense legislation will protect the majority of the nation’s cattle producers from the burden and cost of developing a spill containment plan. He says farmers and ranchers are good stewards of their land and waters and this provision recognizes their commitment to keeping their family and animals safe.
WRRDA calls for a study to be conducted by EPA and USDA within one year of the bill becoming law to determine whether the 6,000 gallon aggregate exemption level poses a significant risk of discharge to waters of the U.S. by ag operations. The exemption level may be lowered from 6,000 gallons, but not lower than 2,500 gallons, depending on the study’s results.
Source: NAFB News Service
Posted by Haylie Shipp