WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today introduced a bill with a bipartisan group of Senators to amend the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule and ease the regulator compliance for farms. Senators on the bill include Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), and Mike Johanns (R-Neb.).
“As I have been saying for years, the EPA is doing everything it can to regulate America out of business, and Obama has his sights on the agriculture industry as well,” said Inhofe. “Forcing farmers to comply with oil spill regulations that were designed for refineries does not make any sense, making this bill absolutely necessary. It provides an exemption from the SPCC rule to any farmer who has less than 42,000 total gallons of oil storage capacity and no single tank larger than 10,000 gallons. This will exempt the vast majority of farmers from having to fill out volumes of paperwork, spend significant sums to buy new storage equipment, and protect them from the aggressive enforcement actions of the EPA. I am proud to work with Senator Pryor on this issue.”
Under the current EPA rule, farmers and ranchers who have property with tanks of any amount of gasoline or motor oil would have to obtain double walled tanks and build berms around the tanks to contain potential spills. Additionally, the farmers and ranchers would have to develop a spill plan to be approved by a professional engineer.
This bipartisan bill will exempt family farmers and ranches with tanks smaller than 10,000 gallons of fuel storage capacity and fewer than 42,000 gallons of total fuel storage capacity.
"We applaud Sen. Inhofe and his colleagues for working to ease the regulatory burden on farmers and ranchers,” said Mike Spradling, President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. “EPA regulations, and the SPCC rule in particular, are something Oklahoma producers have been concerned about for a long time. We believe that the exemption being sought by Senator Inhofe and his colleagues is exactly what Oklahoma’s farmers need."
“I want to thank Senator Inhofe for taking the lead in reducing EPA’s regulatory impact on Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers,” said Terry Detrick, President of American Farmers and Ranchers. “The SPCC rule was designed for oil refineries – not for farmers – and it would have imposed significant and unnecessary costs on our community. The exemption being sought by Senator Inhofe is prudent and just what we need.”