U.S. Senators Mark Pryor (D) and John Boozman (R ) joined four other colleagues in sponsoring a bill to amend the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule and ease the regulatory compliance for farms.
Pryor and Boozman contend that under the EPA plan, farmers who have oil and gas tanks on their farms will be required to hire a certified professional engineer to design a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan. They may also be required to purchase new capital equipment to comply with the rule, including dual containment tanks on farm trucks and fuel storage units that will unnecessarily raise the cost of farming.
Their bill will exempt farmers from these regulations for aboveground oil storage tanks that have an aggregate storage capacity of less than 10,000 gallons.
In addition to providing this exemption, it will also allow farmers who are regulated and have less than 42,000 gallons of above ground storage capacity to self certify their own plans. They argue this could dramatically decrease costs by eliminating the need to hire a professional engineer.
“The EPA’s proposed fuel storage rules would force thousands of farmers to pay for costly infrastructure projects — along with an extensive inspection and certification process — that they simply don’t need,” Pryor said. “Our bipartisan, common-sense bill would exempt small farms from this regulatory overreach to save them millions in unneeded costs.”
“The EPA is continuing its assault on America’s farms with another excessive regulation that would be costly to our nation’s agri-businesses,” Boozman said. “This legislation will prevent Arkansas farmers and ranchers from having to spend money on equipment just to comply with another extreme regulation.”
Currently, the EPA has extended a compliance date for farmers to comply with the SPCC rule.