NMPF Releases A Farmer-Friendly Tool to Assist Dairy Producers in Developing Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans

Farmers with less than 10,000 gallons of oil can self-cerify their plans.

Published on: Sep 23, 2010

The National Milk Producers Federation has completed the development of a self-certification template tool to assist dairy producers in developing Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure plans that covers all fuel and oil storage on the farm. The template, developed with assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, is available on the NMPF Web site at www.nmpf.org/washington_watch/environment/spcc.

"Dairy farmers want to do the right thing on environmental regulations, but in many cases lack readily available tools to assist with the complex regulations," said Shawn Reiersgaard, Chair NMPF Environmental Issues Task Force. "The SPCC template provides dairy producers with a valuable tool to successfully implement SPCC plans on their farms and continue to be excellent stewards of our environmental resources." The template was unveiled at the NMPF Environmental Issues Task Force meeting yesterday in Rosemont, IL.

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 1320 gallons, or more, counting 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 August, EPA proposed to extend the compliance deadline for the bulk milk storage requirements until the SPCC exemption for bulk milk storage is finalized. Dairy producers are still required to comply with SPCC regulations for all other fuel and oil storage.

NMPF is producing an online tutorial and anticipates conducting a series of webinars this Fall 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.