Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) wrote Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy last week seeking clarification about if the Agency believes it can enforce Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations on farms retroactively following the expiration of a 180-day stay of the rule that ends Sept. 22.
Farmers and ranchers had been required to put SPCC-related plans and equipment in place by May 10 of this year following several delays of the regulations’ implementation because of concerns EPA has not effectively communicated the requirements. These concerns still linger, and Congress delayed the rule again in a continuing resolution passed this spring.
Once that exemption expires, farmers could be required to have SPCC plans in place unless new legislation is passed modifying the permanent rule as it relates to farms. A bill to do that, the FUELS Act, has been incorporated into the House version of the farm bill; similar language is also in a pending water resources measure.
Inhofe’s and Pryor’s letter is at www.inhofe.senate.gov/download/?id=eb618db1-b94a-481c-85d1-6e9a40a5d593&download=1. More on SPCC from EPA is at http://www.epa.gov/osweroe1/content/spcc/spcc_ag.htm.