By Stewart Doan
© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
Washington, Oct. 22 – USDA announced a pilot initiative Thursday to help agricultural producers in eight states comply with revised regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) intended to prevent and mitigate fuel and oil spills on their operations. The participating states are Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and the Caribbean area.
The pilot will be administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) which will provide up to $3 million to help farmers and ranchers comply with EPA’s Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Program. NRCS will help develop or update existing spill prevention plans that avoid and mitigate on-farm oil spillage. The plans must be in place no later than November 10, 2011.
Due to the small amount of stored fuel and oil on most operations, up to 84 percent of farmers and ranchers are able to “self certify” by completing an online template developed by NRCS and the National Milk Producers Federation, USDA said.
This template is available at: http://nmpf.org/files/file/SPCC-Plan-Template-Final-Sept-20-2010-FORM.pdf
Operators with above ground storage capacity of 10,000 gallons or more are required to have a plan prepared by a registered Professional Engineer.
Farmers and ranchers in the participating states who need assistance should contact NRCS at their nearest USDA Service Center. For more information online: NRCS assistance with SPCC Plans: www.nrcs.usda.gov, SPCC rule and additional resources: www.epa.gov/emergencies/spcc
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