The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced that the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) will receive matching funds of $25,000 to inform and educate producers about revised regulations for oil storage and pending regulations for milk storage containers.
Funding will be used to help dairy producers understand the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulation, including development of a self-certification template. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires farms, under the SPCC, to have a plan in place to minimize any problems from oil spills. Later in the year, NMPF anticipates conducting a series of webinars to train dairy producers in the use of the self-certification template.
Additionally, NRCS will work with NMPF to evaluate how NRCS can most effectively provide technical assistance to dairy producers to comply with the SPCC regulations.
The goal of the SPCC program is to prevent oil spills into waters of the United States and adjoining shorelines. A key element of the program calls for farmers and other facilities to have an oil spill prevention plan, called an SPCC plan.
The SPCC plans are required for farms which have an aggregate storage capacity of oil products of 1,320 gallons, or more, for every storage container larger than 55 gallons. A farm with less than 10,000 gallons of total storage capacity and no single storage greater than 5,000 gallons can self-certify its SPCC plan. Farms that do not meet this exemption must have a plan certified by a professional engineer.
In a letter to NMPF dated June 9, the EPA committed to finalizing the SPCC exemption for bulk milk storage “as expeditiously as possible…to have that process completed by early 2011.” In addition, EPA will be extending the compliance deadline for the revised regulation.
“Dairy farmers are excellent stewards of our natural resources,” says Jamie Jonker, NMPF vice president of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs. “The USDA grant and NRCS technical assistance will provide dairy producers with valuable tools to successfully implement SPCC plans on their farms and continue that stewardship.”