House approves bill to exempt some farmers from SPCC rule

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, March 11, 2014 - The House approved today, by voice vote, legislation (H.R. 311) that aims to ensure that the EPA's spill prevention, control and countermeasure (SPCC) regulations adequately recognize the low risk of spills on U.S. farms and ranches.

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The legislation would exempt farmers from SPCC rules for aboveground oil storage tanks that have an aggregate storage capacity of less than 10,000 gallons. In addition to providing this exemption, it would allow farmers who are regulated and have less than 42,000 gallons of above ground storage capacity to self-certify their own plans.

The bill states:

1. Farms with aggregate above ground (AAG) storage of 2,500 gallons or less are exempt.

2. Farms with AAG storage between 2,501 and 6000 gallons are exempt until EPA and USDA do a study (12 months) to establish a reasonable exemption threshold within the range and EPA then issues a rule (additional 18 months) to set the new exemption threshold.

3. Farms with AAG storage between 6,001 gallons and 20,000 gallons can self-certify.  When the rule is issued, the lower level shall be adjusted accordingly.

4. Farms with AAG storage of 20,001 gallons and more require a certified professional engineer.

5. Any farm with a spill history, regardless of AAG, requires a certified professional engineer.

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