FUELS Act clears Transportation Committee

Crawford advanced the FUELS Act to reduce regulatory burden on small farmers and ranchers

Today, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted H.R. 3158, the Farmers Undertake Environmental Last Stewardship Act, out of committee. The legislation would modify the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule that places an unnecessary burden on farmers and ranchers. Congressman Rick Crawford (R-AR) sponsored the bipartisan legislation which moves to the full House for a vote.

“The EPA’s spill containment regulation would cost farmers and ranchers literally tens of thousands of dollars to make significant improvements in their infrastructure. On top of that, producers have to procure the costly services of Professional Engineers or PEs just to certify compliance and I’ve heard that some states don’t even have PEs qualified to provide that consultation,” said Crawford. “My proposal – the FUELS Act –would change EPA’s burdensome spill containment regulations to exempt small farmers who can’t afford to comply. We’ve got some analysis on this from the University Of Arkansas Division Of Agriculture and they conclude that my proposal would save Arkansas producers alone up to $252 million. For the entire Nation, it would save up to $3.36 billion”

Click HERE to watch Crawford introduce H.R. 3158, the FUELS Act today in the Transportation Committee

The EPA mandated Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule would require that oil storage facilities with a capacity of over 1,320 gallons make costly structural improvements to reduce the possibility of oil spills. 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. These mandated infrastructure improvements – along with third-party certification – would add a tremendous financial burden on producers at a time when farm revenues are significantly impacted by widespread drought.

Crawford’s FUELS Act will modify the rules by raising the exemption levels to better reflect a producer’s spill risk and financial resources. The exemption level for a single container would be adjusted 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.

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