The following is a press release from Montana Senator Max Baucus:
(Washington, D.C.) – Montana’s senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus announced two key victories in the battle against burdensome regulations facing Montana’s small businesses, family ranches and farms. Baucus secured commitments from EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson today to give farmers and ranchers more time to address new regulations on fuel storage tanks (more info HERE) and a promise that the agency would not pursue more stringent regulations on farm dust (more info HERE).
“Agriculture is the heart of our economy and the last thing our family farmers and ranchers need in this economy is more red tape and burdensome rules. While it’s important to ensure stewardship of our resources, we cannot allow unnecessary regulations to cripple Montana’s farmers and ranchers,” said Baucus, a senior member of the Agriculture Committee and the Environment and Public Works Committee. “I’m pleased Administrator Jackson has listened to our bipartisan calls for common sense and is working with us to ensure family farms in Montana are given a reasonable opportunity to comply with SPCC regulations and can be certain they won’t face unnecessary dust regulations.”
Today, Baucus received the following commitments from EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson:
1) Extending the November 2011 deadline for implementing new fuel storage regulations on rural farms and ranches to May 10, 2013. Today, she also told Baucus her office would begin taking public comments on the proposal.
On June 28, 2011, as a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Baucus led a bipartisan group of Senators urging Jackson to extend the deadline (November 2011) for implementing new regulations for fuel storage tanks and containers. Baucus also asked Jackson for her commitment in working to make sure the new Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule for ranchers and farmers is not overly burdensome or confusing.
It’s common practice for Montana ranchers and farmers to have fuel storage tanks and containers on their land. The SPCC program calls on them to have an oil spill prevention plan to avoid spills which can damage water sources used for farming. The EPA had planned on requiring farmers and ranchers to be in compliance by November 2011, but in light of heavy flooding earlier this spring combined with difficulty in finding engineering services to sign off on oil spill prevention plans for rural producers, Baucus succeeded in his quest to get the EPA to extend the compliance timeline and open up the regulations to public comment. New amendments to the rules can be viewed HERE.
2) The EPA will not pursue more stringent regulations on farm dust.
In response to his September 1, 2011 request, Jackson followed through with her earlier promises not to pursue more stringent regulations on dust from dirt roads or dust from fields created through the normal process of farming and ranching. EPA had previously concluded that the current regulations already protect the public’s health. Jackson’s letter to Baucus available HERE.
Source: Senator Max Baucus
Posted by Haylie Shipp