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Agricultural News

Senator Jim Inhofe Hails EPA Extension for Farmers to Comply with Spill Prevention Rules

Thu, 17 Nov 2011 09:39:27 CST

Senator Jim Inhofe Hails EPA Extension for Farmers to Comply with Spill Prevention Rules A senior GOP senator yesterday declared victory in a bipartisan push to give farmers extra time to comply with U.S. EPA oil-spill prevention rules after the agency agreed to extend its deadline from this month until 2013.

EPA's Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations require farms, many of which store oil and other fuel on-site, to craft plans for averting and stopping potential spills. More than 30 senators from both parties earlier this year pressed EPA to give farmers more time to get up to speed with the details of a rule that can call for them to consult with licensed engineers (E&E Daily, June 28).

But the SPCC rule for farms is perhaps most famous for sparking GOP charges that the agency was weighing the regulation of spilled milk on dairies in the same fashion as oil -- a fallacy, but so enduring as a talking point that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was forced to personally refute it during Capitol Hill testimony (Greenwire, Feb. 11).

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's top Republican, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, pointed to EPA's agreement to an SPCC compliance extension until 2013 in a statement that credited bipartisan pushback in the upper chamber with changing the agency's course. Inhofe also suggested that more cross-aisle accord could succeed in budging other, more high-profile EPA regulatory efforts.

"From greenhouse gas regulations to the EPA's train wreck rules for industrial boilers, a bipartisan majority in the United States Senate continues to express deep reservations about the overregulation of the Obama EPA," Inhofe said. "Our bipartisan effort on the SPCC rule is a clear example of what is possible," he added, "and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle" to check EPA's power.

Click here to see EPA's online announcement of an extension for farms affected by the SPCC rule.



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