By Roger Brenard and Nate Birt
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has assured Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) that it will not start enforcement of its Spill, Prevention, Containment and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule for fuel storage on farms.
EPA had been prevented from enforcing the rule until Sept. 23, under a provision in HR 933, the continuing resolution that funded the federal government until Sept. 30, 2013. As the deadline neared, farm-state lawmakers were concerned EPA would start enforcing SPCC with farmers.
In September, Huelskamp met with Karl Brooks, EPA regional administrator, asking for regulatory relief for farmers on SPCC rules. Afterward, Huelskamp said EPA will not retroactively enforce the new SPCC mandates they proposed for farmers and ranchers.
Even so, Huelskamp says the delay will give the House time to act on the Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship (FUELS) Act (HR 311) that would specifically prevent SPCC rules from being applied to farmers and ranchers.