WASHINGTON — Legislation to exempt small farms from Environmental Protection Agency fuel storage requirements has been incorporated into the Senate-passed Water Resources Development Act of 2013 (WRDA), according to a release from U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.).
The Senate passed WRDA legislation (S.601), and with it also approved all the provisions included in the Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship Act (S.496) — a bill Cochran supported as an original co-sponsor.
The fuel storage provisions in WRDA will amend an EPA Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule by reducing the necessity for farms with above-ground oil and gas storage tanks to hire a certified professional engineer to design a SPCC compliance plan.
“The fuel spill rule propounded by the EPA poses an unnecessary financial and regulatory burden on farmers. The legislative corrections we’ve incorporated into the Water Resources and Development Act are reasonable from both the farm operations and environmental protection standpoint,” said Cochran, the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee.
S.496 was introduced by Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) in March to adjust the aggregate storage capacity standards in the new SPCC rule — set at 1,320 gallons or more of above-ground storage capacity — to save farmers from having to purchase new capital equipment to comply with the regulations. As drafted, the rule could have required new ground storage units and dual containment tanks on farm vehicles, all of which would unnecessarily raise the cost of farming and result in higher prices for consumers.
Exemptions from the rule would apply to farms with above-ground oil storage tanks that have an aggregate storage capacity of less than 10,000 gallons. In addition, the measure would allow farmers to self-certify their own plans if they have less than 42,000 gallons of above-ground storage capacity.
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info