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Benton Evening News - Benton, IL
  • EPA?rules have an effect on country’s farmers

  • Corn planting is certainly in full swing in the eastern and southern sections of the county. Planters are have been running since Monday and some farmers are near the 50-percent completion point as of Friday. Yet there are areas in the northwestern part of the county that are still too wet. ...
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  • Sorry about last week’s article:?Technology works wonderfully, but the human element can hit the wrong key and reprint a year-old article!
    Corn planting is certainly in full swing in the eastern and southern sections of the county. Planters are have been running since Monday and some farmers are near the 50-percent completion point as of Friday. Yet there are areas in the northwestern part of the county that are still too wet.
    I know that we have been very fortunate in Eastern Township in that we are able to work areas in fields that last year never dried to the point of planting. It is always better to plant when dust follows the planter than in wet conditions.
    As farmers begin this yearly ritual of planting, we would ask those who share the rural roads and highways to START SEEING FARMERS and be careful!
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) rule.  This rule governs oil and fuel storage for many businesses including farms.  The compliance deadline for farms will be November 10, 2010, although the agency has stated that this date may be extended.  For now, the compliance date of November 10, 2010 remains. 
    The rule pertains to facilities, including farms, that have aboveground oil storage with an aggregate capacity greater than 1,320 gallons, or completely buried oil storage capacity greater than 42,000 gallons.   Residential home oil containers are exempt as are oil tanks smaller than 55 gallons.  Facilities that meet the thresholds must complete and implement a SPCC Plan and may have to have secondary containment for the tanks. EPA has proposed to exempt milk containers but that exemption has not yet been finalized.
    Regulations like this are the reason that Farm Bureau is such an important asset to  farmers. This rule affects every farmer that has fuel storage capacity above 1320 gallons and the rule making bureaucrats at the U.S. EPA certainly will not stop with this regulation.
    I am amazed at the constant flow of paperwork and regulations that are coming to our economy. Agriculture is not the only sector of the economy that faces this dilemma and we wonder how much of an affect these costs have on industry. It seems to me that we have created a governmental bureaucracy that is out of control. This is one of the major problems that we face as a society.
    We now have new plat books available at the county clerks’ office, Farm Service Agency and Farm Bureau. Costs are $25 for members and $30 for non-members.
     Remember, we are farmers working together. If we can help, let us know.
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