Reps. Crawford, R-Ark., and Fincher, R-Tenn., sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, urging her to reconsider a regulation that places an unnecessary burden on farmers and ranchers. More than 100 congressional members from across the country signed the letter, which can be viewed at http://crawford.house.gov/UploadedFiles/SPCC_Letter_to_EPA.pdf.

The EPA-mandated Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule requires that oil storage facilities with a capacity of more than 1,320 gallons must make structural improvements to prevent spills. The plan requires farmers to construct a containment facility, such as a dike or a basin that must retain 110 percent of the fuel in the container. Such infrastructure improvements would cost farmers tens of thousands of dollars and would cost even more to procure the services of professional engineers.

The letter urges Administrator Jackson to extend the rule’s November 2011 deadline and requests the EPA do a better job in engaging with the agriculture community.

“This regulation places an unnecessary burden on the agriculture community, diverting resources they could use to expand their operations and create jobs,” Rep. Crawford said. “There are no better stewards of the land and water than farmers and ranchers, who derive their livelihood from the earth.”

Rep. Fincher stated that, “As a farmer myself, I understand the impact burdensome regulations can have on farmers’ and small business owners’ ability to invest and operate. The danger with too much government red tape is that it drives up cost and ultimately hurts job creation throughout communities. Following the devastating storms and floods this year, the last thing farmers and small businesses need is an additional bureaucratic hurdle as they struggle to rebuild and recover.”