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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 26, 2016.
Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship Act or the FUELS Act
This bill directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ease the application of the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule on certain farms.
The rule requires certain non-transportation-related facilities to prevent, prepare, and respond to oil discharges that may reach navigable waters or adjoining shorelines. Among other requirements, the rule requires those facilities to: (1) certify compliance with their SPCC plans; and (2) based on the plan, construct containment facilities that would hold the contents of aboveground oil storage tanks if they should spill.
The bill increases the oil storage thresholds that necessitate compliance with those requirements by raising the aggregate aboveground oil storage capacity thresholds for: (1) farms required to have an SPCC plan, (2) farms that self-certify their SPCC plan, and (3) farms that require a certification of their SPCC plan from a professional engineer.
The bill also raises the aboveground oil storage capacity of containers that must be included in calculating the aggregate aboveground storage capacity. The calculations of the aggregate aboveground oil storage capacity of a farm and the aboveground storage capacity of an individual oil tank on a farm must not include containers holding animal feed ingredients that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in livestock feed.