Washington--Sens. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and a bipartisan group of 31 other senators sent a letter this week to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, urging her to ease a confusing and overly burdensome rule affecting farmers and ranchers. In the letter, the senators call for an extension of the compliance deadline for the Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure rule. The federal regulation mandates that agricultural producers have a plan in place to prevent oil spills and better protect water resources on farming operations.
“The SPCC rule is confusing and compliance under the EPA’s timeline is putting an added burden on North Dakota’s family farmers and those all across rural America,” Conrad said. “We are asking the EPA to seek additional conversations with the agricultural community to create a regulation and a timeline that makes sense for all parties involved.”
It’s common practice for farms and ranches across the nation to have fuel storage tanks and containers. The SPCC program calls for these producers to develop and implement oil spill prevention and control measures. However, there have been numerous concerns expressed regarding the new regulation. Many farmers do not have access to the professional engineers needed to bring them into compliance. And other producers, who were previously not subject to the EPA rule, may now have to comply on very short notice due to EPA’s draft guidance document.