Bill modifies on-farm fuel storage restrictions

Water infrastructure bill includes exemption for agriculture on the SPPC rule.

Jacqui Fatka, Policy editor

December 12, 2016

2 Min Read
Bill modifies on-farm fuel storage restrictions

The U.S. Senate has passed final legislation for water and infrastructure funding with its passage of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act. It includes a bipartisan provision, negotiated by U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R., Neb.), which would modify exemptions for costly EPA regulations that could negatively affect agriculture producers with on-farm fuel storage. The bill now heads to the president’s desk.


The WIIN Act included language Fischer crafted with her colleagues on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that provides agriculture producers with a limited exemption from the EPA’s Spill, Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule. These EPA regulations, which were originally designed for major oil refineries, would have required farmers and ranchers who have on-farm fuel storage to make costly structural upgrades to their fuel tanks.

The WIIN Act rolls back these regulations by:

  • Fully exempting animal feed storage tanks from the SPCC rule, both in terms of aggregate storage and single-tank storage.

  • Providing greater flexibility by exempting up to 2,500 gallons of capacity on remote or separate parcels of land (as long as these tanks are not larger than 1,000 gallons each).

A statement by Scott Yager, National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn.’s environmental counsel, applauded Fischer and Rep. Rick Crawford (R., Ark.) for their leadership on getting regulatory relief on the SPPC provisions.

“The SPCC regulations were originally designed for major oil refineries but were expanded to include agricultural producers by regulating on-farm oil storage. The provision included in the WIIN Act provides additional flexibility for storing oil containers on individual parcels of land and a complete exemption for animal feed additives, including tallow and grease. These commonsense exemptions will protect many cattle producers from the undue burden and cost of developing, and complying with, an SPCC plan,” Yager said.

About the Author(s)

Jacqui Fatka

Policy editor, Farm Futures

Jacqui Fatka grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in southwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in agriculture education, in 2003. She’s been writing for agricultural audiences ever since. In college, she interned with Wallaces Farmer and cultivated her love of ag policy during an internship with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, working in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill press office. In 2003, she started full time for Farm Progress companies’ state and regional publications as the e-content editor, and became Farm Futures’ policy editor in 2004. A few years later, she began covering grain and biofuels markets for the weekly newspaper Feedstuffs. As the current policy editor for Farm Progress, she covers the ongoing developments in ag policy, trade, regulations and court rulings. Fatka also serves as the interim executive secretary-treasurer for the North American Agricultural Journalists. She lives on a small acreage in central Ohio with her husband and three children.

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