Today, Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, issued the following statement after North Dakota District Court Judge Ralph Erickson issued a preliminary injunction to halt the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule from being implemented in 13 states. It would affect Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
The Ag Minute: FUELS Act Protects Farmers From EPA Mandates
Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Rick Crawford discusses H.R. 3158, Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship (FUELS) Act. The FUELS Act directs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to change the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule to consider a producer's risk when it comes to maintaining costly oil storage facilities. The bill would allow EPA to create practical exemptions for small farmers and ranchers. The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on this legislation as early as today.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.
"Farm families across our country could see relief from EPA-mandated regulations this week if the House of Representatives takes action.
"For producers, the EPA-mandated Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure program, requires oil storage facilities be built to reduce the possibility of spills. The regulations require farmers to construct a costly containment facility. These mandated infrastructure improvements – along with the necessary inspection and certification by a licensed Professional Engineer - could cost farmers tens of thousands of dollars.
"To combat the costly mandate, the House will consider legislation I am sponsoring: H.R. 3158, the FUELS Act. This bill would require regulations be revised to reflect a producer’s spill risk and financial resources. The proposal would also place a greater degree of responsibility on farmers and ranchers to self-certify compliance of their oil storage facilities.
"The University of Arkansas said in a study that the FUELS Act could save farmers and ranchers across the country up to $3.36 billion.
"By nature of occupation, family farmers are already careful stewards of the land and water. No one has more at stake to protect the environment than those who derive their livelihood from working the land. Common-sense proposals like the FUELS Act will provide family farmers protection from EPA mandates."
The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.