USDA plans initiative to help farmers with on-farm oil spill regulation

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PEMBINA, N.D. — A pilot initiative, designed by the Department of Agriculture to help agricultural producers comply with revised regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency, has been unveiled for eight states.

The pilot program is intended to prevent and mitigate fuel and oil spills on their operations. States participating in the Natural Resources Conservation Service pilot are Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and the Caribbean area.

The pilot program will be administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which will provide up to $3 million to help farmers and ranchers comply with Environmental Protection Agency’s Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Program.

The agency will help develop or update existing spill prevention plans that avoid and mitigate on-farm oil spillage. Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Program plans must be in place no later than Nov. 10.

Certifying

Due to the small amount of stored fuel and oil on most operations, 84 percent of farmers and ranchers could be able to self certify by completing an online template.

Operators with above ground storage capacity of 10,000 gallons or more are required to have a plan prepared by a registered Professional Engineer.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service developed an interim conservation practice standard for secondary oil and fuel containment. Technical Service Providers can use this interim practice to help them design oil/fuel containment facilities conforming to Environmental Protection Agency regulation.

Funding from Natural Resources Conservation Service is available to assist in developing Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure plans and implementing the secondary oil and fuel containment conservation practices.

Dairy producers

Earlier this year Natural Resources Conservation Service partnered with the National Milk Producers Federation to develop a template for dairy producers to help them determine if they needed a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure plan and whether or not they could self certify their plans.

Download a .pdf file of the template:

Farmers and ranchers in the participating states who need assistance should contact Natural Resources Conservation Service at their nearest United State Department Agency Service Center.

For more information, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov and additional resources can be found at www.epa.gov/emergencies/spcc.

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