The Ag Minute: House Farm Bill Provides Responsible Regulatory Relief to Farmers

Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184

WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Rick Crawford discusses one of the many regulatory relief measures included in H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013. The measure is H.R. 311, the Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship (FUELS) Act, which Rep. Crawford originally introduced earlier this year. The bill 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 FUELS Act would allow EPA to create practical exemptions for small farmers and ranchers. The U.S. House of Representatives adopted the measure as part of the House farm bill.

Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.

"The EPA’s regulatory overreach punishes producers nationwide with volumes of rules, red tape, and uncertainty.

"One such example is the EPA-mandated Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure program, which requires on-the-farm oil storage facilities to be built in a costly and unrealistic way in an attempt to reduce the possibility of spills. These regulations – along with the necessary inspection and certification by a licensed Professional Engineer – could amount to tens of thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs to producers.

"Thankfully, the House has taken action to provide responsible regulatory relief to farmers. I introduced the FUELS Act, which was taken by the House Agriculture Committee and included in the farm bill that passed the House not long ago. This bill requires regulations to be revised to reflect a producer’s spill risk and financial resources - bringing common sense into the regulatory process.

"A study by the University of Arkansas says that my legislation could save farmers and ranchers up to $3.36 billion dollars – money that can be reinvested in valuable capital that improves productivity and creates jobs.

"Farmers have a vested interest in taking care of the land their livelihoods depend on. Punishing them with burdensome regulations is not the answer to this issue. Common-sense proposals like the FUELS Act will provide family farmers protection from EPA overreach."

The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.