(PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.)
113th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
2d Session 113-375
FARMERS UNDERTAKE ENVIRONMENTAL LAND STEWARDSHIP ACT
March 6, 2014.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Shuster, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 311]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom
was referred the bill (H.R. 311) to direct the Administrator of
the Environmental Protection Agency to change the Spill
Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure rule with respect to
certain farms, having considered the same, report favorably
thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.
Purpose of Legislation........................................... 2
Background and Need for Legislation.............................. 2
Legislative History and Consideration............................ 4
Committee Votes.................................................. 4
Committee Oversight Findings..................................... 4
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................ 4
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................ 4
Performance Goals and Objectives................................. 6
Advisory of Earmarks............................................. 6
Duplication of Federal Programs.................................. 6
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings.............................. 6
Federal Mandate Statement........................................ 6
Preemption Clarification......................................... 6
Advisory Committee Statement..................................... 6
Applicability to the Legislative Branch.......................... 7
Section-by-Section Analysis of Legislation....................... 7
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............ 7
PURPOSE OF LEGISLATION
H.R. 311, the Farmers Undertake Environmental Land
Stewardship Act, or the FUELS Act, directs the Administrator of
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to modify the Spill
Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule with
respect to certain farms. The bill directs the EPA
Administrator to require certification of compliance with the
SPCC rule by: (1) a professional engineer for a farm with an
individual tank with an above-ground storage capacity greater
than 10,000 gallons, an aggregate above-ground storage capacity
of at least 42,000 gallons, or a history that includes a spill;
or (2) the owner or operator of the farm (via self-
certification) for a farm with an aggregate above-ground
storage capacity greater than 10,000 gallons but less than
42,000 gallons and no history of spills. The bill exempts from
all requirements of the SPCC rule any farm with an aggregate
above-ground storage capacity that is less than or equal to
10,000 gallons and no history of spills. The bill excludes all
containers on separate parcels that have a capacity that is
less than 1,320 gallons from the aggregate above-ground storage
capacity of a farm.
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION
Section 311 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) (33 U.S.C.
Sec. 1321) requires the President to issue regulations
establishing procedures, methods, equipment, and other
requirements to prevent discharges of oil from vessels and
facilities and to contain such discharges. The President
delegated to the EPA Administrator the authority to regulate
non-transportation-related onshore facilities (in Executive
Order 11548, which has been replaced by Executive Order 12777).
EPA originally published a Spill Prevention, Control, and
Countermeasure (SPCC) rule, formally known as the Oil Pollution
Prevention regulation (at 40 CFR Part 112), in 1973 under the
authority of CWA section 311. The SPCC rule sets forth
requirements for prevention of, preparedness for, and response
to oil discharges at specific non-transportation-related
facilities. To prevent oil from reaching navigable waters and
adjoining shorelines, and to contain discharges of oil,
facilities are required to develop and implement SPCC plans,
which specify the procedures, methods, and equipment required
to reduce the risk of oil spills.
EPA proposed revisions to the SPCC rule in the 1990s and
finalized amendments in 2002. The amended SPCC rule included
revised and expanded requirements for SPCC plans, outlined the
requirements for various classes of oil, revised the
applicability of the regulation, amended the requirements for
completing SPCC plans, and made other modifications.
The obligations of farms to prepare, amend, and implement
their SPCC plans have been in place since 1974. EPA revised the
SPCC rule in July 2002 (which became effective in August 2002)
and subsequently completed four additional amendments to the
SPCC rule to tailor, streamline, and clarify requirements. On
eight occasions following the 2002 Final Rule, EPA extended the
compliance deadline for facilities, including farms, to update
(or for new facilities to prepare) and implement a SPCC plan
that complies with the revised requirements. EPA updated the
SPCC rule in 2009 to expand regulation under the SPCC program,
applying it to nearly all farms and limiting a 2006 rule that
reduced compliance requirements for small farms with oil
storage of 10,000 gallons or less.
EPA established a final SPCC compliance deadline of
November 2011 for most facilities; however, in response to
widespread flooding in the Midwest in 2011, EPA, again,
extended the deadline date for farms only for an additional 18
months (until May 10, 2013). EPA has begun enforcing the SPCC
rule without any reductions in the regulatory burdens the rule
imposes on farmers.
The SPCC program is intended to prevent oil spills into
navigable waters and adjoining shorelines. The SPCC regulations
apply to farms which: (1) store, transfer, use, or consume oil
or oil products, such as diesel fuel, gasoline, lube oil,
hydraulic oil, and crop oil; (2) store more than 1,320 U.S.
gallons in aboveground containers or more than 42,000 U.S.
gallons in completely buried containers; and (3) could
reasonably be expected to discharge oil to navigable waters or
Under the SPCC regulations, any farm that meets the
applicable criteria is covered by the SPCC rule, and must
prepare and implement an SPCC plan. The regulations require
that farmers: (1) use containers suitable for the oil stored;
(2) identify contractors or other local personnel who can help
clean up an oil spill; (3) provide overflow prevention for oil
storage containers (such as high-level alarms); (4) provide
effective, sized secondary containment for bulk storage
containers (such as an earthen dike, remote impoundment, or
double-walled tank); (5) provide effective, general secondary
containment to address the most likely discharges from oil
transfers or mobile refuelers (such as sorbent materials, drip
pans, or curbing); and (6) periodically inspect and test pipes
and containers. Completed SPCC plans must be kept on site, and
reviewed and amended when changes are made to the farm or every
These mandated infrastructure improvements, along with the
necessary inspection and certification by a specially licensed
professional engineer, can cost many farmers tens of thousands
of dollars, and compliance costs could reach more than $60,000.
(See University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture, Impact of
Proposed Changes to SPCC Rule for US Farmers: A Preliminary
Analysis (July 2012). For the entire Nation, H.R. 311 could
save farmers collectively billions of dollars. (See id.)
H.R. 311, the FUELS Act, requires that EPA revise the SPCC
regulations. The SPCC exemption level would be adjusted upward
from 1,320 gallons of oil storage to an amount that would
reduce the regulatory burdens on small farms--10,000 gallons.
All small containers on separate parcels that have a capacity
that is less than 1,320 gallons would be excluded from a farm's
aggregate above-ground storage capacity.
The bill also would allow farmers to self-certify
compliance if their oil storage facilities exceed the exemption
level of 10,000 gallons. If a farmer's aggregate above-ground
storage capacity exceeds 42,000 gallons, a professional
engineer must certify the SPCC plans for the farm. The bill
requires a farmer to be able to demonstrate that he or she has
no history of oil spills, or to fully comply with the SPCC
No hearings were held on H.R. 311.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AND CONSIDERATION
On January 18, 2013, Representative Rick Crawford of
Arkansas introduced H.R. 311, a bill to direct the
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to change
the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure rule with
respect to certain farms.
On October 29, 2013, the Committee on Transportation and
Infrastructure met in open session to consider H.R. 311, and
ordered the bill reported favorably to the House by voice vote
with a quorum present.
In the 112th Congress, the Committee on Transportation and
Infrastructure ordered a virtually identical bill (H.R. 3158)
reported favorably to the House by voice vote. H.R. 3158 passed
the House of Representatives under suspension of the rules by
Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
Representatives requires each committee report to include the
total number of votes cast for and against on each record vote
on a motion to report and on any amendment offered to the
measure or matter, and the names of those members voting for
and against. There were no record votes taken in connection
with consideration of H.R. 311, or ordering the bill reported.
A motion to order H.R. 311 reported favorably to the House was
agreed to by voice vote with a quorum present.
COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS
With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are
reflected in this report.
NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY AND TAX EXPENDITURES
Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is
included in this report.
CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE
With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of rule
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has
received the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 311 from the
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, November 6, 2013.
Hon. Bill Shuster,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 311, the Farmers
Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship Act.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Susanne S.
Douglas W. Elmendorf.
H.R. 311--Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship Act
H.R. 311 would have no significant net impact on the
federal budget, CBO estimates. The bill would, require the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to modify the Spill
Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule, which
regulates oil discharges into navigable waters and adjoining
shorelines. A portion of the SPCC rule, effective as of
September 23, 2013, requires certain farmers to develop an oil
spill prevention plan that is certified by a professional
engineer. Those plans could involve certain infrastructure
changes to reduce the possibility of oil spills. Such plans
apply to farms that store more than 1,320 gallons of oil
products in aboveground containers or more than 42,000 gallons
of oil products in buried containers that could reasonably be
expected to discharge oil into waters of the United States.
Enacting H.R. 311 would ease some compliance requirements
for farmers, depending on the capacity of oil product
containers located on a farm and whether a farm has previously
experienced any spills. Specifically, under the bill,
certification of compliance with the EPA rule by a professional
engineer would only be required if the farm has an individual
tank with a storage capacity greater than 10,000 gallons, has
an aggregate storage capacity greater than or equal to 42,000
gallons, or has previously experienced a spill. However, an
owner or operator of a farm could provide self-certification
with the SPCC rule if the farm has an aggregate storage
capacity greater than 10,000 gallons, but less than 42,000
gallons, and has no history of spills. Farms with an aggregate
capacity of less than or equal to 10,000 gallons and no history
of a spill would be exempt from all requirements of the SPCC
Based on information from EPA, CBO estimates that
implementing and enforcing the SPCC rule as it pertains to
farmers under current law will cost $2 million over the next
five years. Enacting this bill would exempt the majority of
farms from complying with the rule and also would require EPA
to amend the SPCC rule for farms and develop guidance and
outreach material to educate affected stakeholders. CBO expects
that the resources necessary to support the existing rule over
the next five years would instead be used to implement H.R.
Pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply to H.R. 311 because
enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues.
H.R. 311 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Susanne S.
Mehlman. This estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of rule
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the
performance goal and objective of this legislation is to direct
the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to
change the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure rule
with respect to certain farms.
ADVISORY OF EARMARKS
Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House
of Representatives, the Committee is required to include a list
of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited
tariff benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of
rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives. No
provision in the bill includes an earmark, limited tax benefit,
or limited tariff benefit under clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of
DUPLICATION OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS
Pursuant to section 3(j) of H. Res. 5, 113th Cong. (2013),
the Committee finds that no provision of H.R. 311 establishes
or reauthorizes a program of the federal government known to be
duplicative of another federal program, a program that was
included in any report from the Government Accountability
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-
139, or a program related to a program identified in the most
recent Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.
DISCLOSURE OF DIRECTED RULE MAKINGS
Pursuant to section 3(k) of H. Res. 5, 113th Cong. (2013),
the Committee estimates that H.R. 311 directs the completion of
one specific rule making within the meaning of section 551 of
title 5, United States Code. The bill directs the EPA
Administrator to change the Spill Prevention, Control, and
Countermeasure rule, promulgated by EPA under part 112 of title
40, Code of Federal Regulations, with respect to certain farms.
FEDERAL MANDATE STATEMENT
The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of federal
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform
Act (P.L. 104-4).
Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local,
or tribal law. The Committee states that H.R. 311 does not
preempt any state, local, or tribal law.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT
No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b)
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act are created by this
APPLICABILITY TO THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public
services or accommodations within the meaning of section
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act (P.L. 104-1).
SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF LEGISLATION
Section 1. Short title
Section 1 provides the short title of the bill. The Act may
be cited as the ``Farmers Undertake Environmental Lands
Stewardship Act'' or the ``FUELS Act''.
Section 2. Applicability of Spill Prevention, Control, and
Section 2(a) requires the Administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency to implement the Spill
Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures rule with respect to
any farm such that certification of compliance with the rule
shall be made by a professional engineer for a farm with (1) an
individual tank with an above-ground storage capacity greater
than 10,000 gallons, (2) an aggregate above-ground storage
capacity greater than or equal to 42,000 gallons, or (3) a
history that includes a spill. Self-certification by the owner
or operator of a farm shall be required for a farm with (1) an
aggregate above-ground storage capacity greater than 10,000
gallons but less than 42,000 gallons, and (2) no history of
spills. The rule shall exempt from all requirements of such
rule any farm (1) with an aggregate above-ground storage
capacity of less than or equal to 10,000 gallons, and (2) no
history of spills.
Section 2(b) requires that, for purposes of calculating the
aggregate above-ground storage capacity of a farm, all
containers on separate parcels that have a capacity that is
less than 1,320 gallons shall be excluded.
Section 3. Definitions
Section 3 defines the following terms used in the bill:
Administrator, Farm, Gallon, and Spill Prevention, Control, and
The term ``Administrator'' means the Administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency. The term ``farm'' has the
meaning given such term in section 112.2 of title 40, Code of
Federal Regulations. The term ``gallon'' refers to a United
States liquid gallon. The term ``Spill Prevention, Control, and
Countermeasure rule'' means the regulation promulgated by EPA
under part 112 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED
H.R. 311 makes no changes in existing law.