A new USDA initiative may help agricultural producers in Idaho comply with revised Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations for on-farm oil spills. Idaho is participating in this pilot program, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications for the Spill, Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) pilot initiative through May 20, 2011. The EPA has exempted milk and milk product containers from this rule.
Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions:
SPCC applies to a farm that:
● Stores, transfers, uses or consumes oil or oil products, such as diesel fuel, gasoline, lube oil, hydraulic oil, adjuvant oil, crop oil, vegetable oil or animal fat; and
● Stores more than 1,320 US gallons in total of all above ground containers (start counting at 55 gallons or more) or more than 42,000 gallons in completely buried containers; and
● Could reasonably be expected to discharge oil to waters of the US or adjoining shorelines, such as interstate waters, intrastate lakes, rivers and streams.
Question: How does a farmer determine if his/her farm could reasonably discharge oil into or upon navigable waters or adjoining shorelines?
Answer: Farmers and ranchers can determine this by considering the geography and location of their farm relative to nearby navigable waters (such as streams, creeks and other waterways). They should consider if ditches, gullies, storm sewers or other drainage systems may transport an oil spill to nearby streams.
Question: If a farm does not have fuel storage that will flow into US waters by a ditch, river stream or lake, does a farmer have to prepare a SPCC Plan?
Answer: No. EPA suggests a common sense approach. If an oil storage tank leaks, and the spilled oil would not flow to other property or into watersheds that could end up impacting other waters, you do not have to prepare a Plan.
To learn more about the SPCC pilot initiative, contact the Idaho NRCS office nearest you. Please click here to find the service center in your area.