Farmers are getting a break from an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) On-Farm Oil/Fuel Storage regulation that would have required a written emergency operation plan to be developed and filed by Nov. 10, 2011.  Because of a substantial number of Midwest farmers who objected to the deadline after suffering heavy flooding damages on their farms, the EPA announced this week the deadline for the rule has been extended until May, 2013.

Under the terms of the expanded EPA oil/fuel storage regulation, farms storing more than 1,320 gallons of oil in above ground bulk containers with a storage capacity of 55 gallons or more, and where there is a “reasonable expectation of a discharge” to a water source, would have been required to prepare and file a SPCC Plan by the November deadline.

“The EPA Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure, or SPCC program, has been in place for some time and applied to a large number of different types of industry, but under the expanded rule guidelines, farms that meet the criteria for above ground storage and that were not already included in the rule will be now fall under the new requirements,” reports Texas Farm Bureau’s George Caldwell, associate director of commodity and regulatory activities.  

Common types of oil covered under SPCC found at farms include diesel fuel, gasoline, lube oil, hydraulic oil, and mineral oil.

According to the expanded scope of the regulation, farms storing more than 10,000 gallons of oil above ground must have their plans certified by a professional engineer, but depending on the capacity of their storage system, the regulations would allow farms with less than 10,000 gallons of storage capacity, and have a clean spill history, to self-certify their own SPCC plan.