Sen. Deb Fischer has introduced legislation to change environmental regulations she believes to be adversely impacting Nebraska farmers.
The legislation would look to exempt some farms from EPA regulations concerning oil storage and spill prevention.
The Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship Act would modify the EPA's Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure rule that goes into effect on May 10.
"In 2009, the EPA expanded regulation under the SPCC program, applying it to any facility with a fuel storage capacity of more than 1,320 gallons, which includes a majority of Nebraska farms," said Fischer.
She went on to say that the new rules will adversely impact farmers who have to deal with compliance costs and extra paperwork. "I am pleased to offer a bipartisan legislative solution that raises the exemption levels for fuel storage capacity to better reflect the spill risk and financial resources of farms," Fischer said.
This bill would exempt farms from SPCC requirements if their aggregate oil storage capacity is 10,000 gallons or less and the farms have no history of spills. In addition, the bill would increase the oil storage threshold to determine whether a professional engineer must certify a facility's SPCC plan.
Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) joined Senator Fischer in introducing the legislation. Sen. Johanns also cosponsors this bill.