- ASA supports maintaining science-based processes for consideration of pesticide and environmental issues by EPA. Existing statutes including FIFRA must be followed and consultation with production agriculture stakeholders must be included in policymaking.
- ASA opposes EPA actions to supersede state authority in the Chesapeake Bay and other watersheds, and the use of flawed models that don’t reflect current agricultural practices and conservation results.
- ASA supports the exemption passed for farmers from the Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) Rule as part of the FUELS Act Amendment to the Water Resources Development Act of 2013. The measure now awaits debate in the House.
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Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule
New rules took effect May 10, 2013, that require that oil storage facilities with a capacity of over 1,320 gallons make structural improvements to reduce the possibility of oil spills. As part of the Continuing Resolution, EPA is prevented from enforcing these rules until Sept. 30, 2013, however plans should still be in place. The plan requires farmers to construct a containment facility, like a dike or a basin, which must retain 110 percent of the fuel in the container. H.R. 311, introduced by Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) and 48 bipartisan cosponsors, would adjust the minimum capacity upward to 10,000 gallons while the aggregate level on a production facility would move to 42,000 gallons. The proposal would also place a greater degree of responsibility on the farmer or rancher to self-certify compliance if it exceeds the exemption level. ASA supports H.R. 311 and urges the House to pass it immediately.
Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) introduced an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act that raises the exemption level to a more reasonable 10,000 gallons for a single container, with farmers able to self-certify compliance if aggregate storage capacity is between 10,000 to 42,000 gallons. In May, the Senate unanimously accepted the amendment before passing the bill, which now awaits debate in the House.
New permitting requirements took effect in 2012 requiring persons who spray pesticides on or near water to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit under the Clean Water Act. The permit does not cover terrestrial application to control pests on agricultural crops.
Senators Roberts (R-KS) and Johanns (R-NE) introduced S. 175 to exempt pesticide users who spray over water from obtaining a second permit under the Clean Water Act.
ASA supports S. 175 and urges the Senate to pass it immediately.
EPA Actions to Supersede State Regulatory Authority
ASA and other farm groups are concerned by EPA’s actions in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to overrule state regulatory plans to protect the Chesapeake Bay and instead impose EPA decisions. Further, ASA is concerned that the models used by EPA to model nutrient loading are flawed, do not accurately reflect actual agricultural performance, and do not reflect the substantial environmental gains that are being achieved from agriculture through voluntary conservation practices.
- Ag Stakeholders Petition Agriculture Committees on SPCC Rule (10/10/2013)
- EPA, Courts Announce Decisions on Water Policy (9/26/2013)
- ASA’s Murphy Meets with Secretary Vilsack, Administrator McCarthy on Biotech, Regulation (9/26/2013)
- Climate Change Getting Attention in Washington (8/29/2013)
- EPA Maintains Key RFS Volumes for 2013, Signals Potential Changes to 2014 Volumes (8/6/2013)