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Washington, DC – Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch have co-sponsored legislation that will exempt milk storage facilities from regulations designed to prevent oil from entering waterways. S. 3622 will require the EPA to exempt milk storage facilities from the Spill, Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulation.

“This is just another example of the farm sector being burdened by unfair environmental regulations, and of Washington’s one-size-fits-all approach to solving problems,” Crapo said. “It is ludicrous to treat spilled milk like spilled oil, and it’s ridiculous that Congress has to act. This bipartisan legislation will expedite the EPA’s regulation exempting the dairy industry, something that common sense should have dictated in the first place.”

“The EPA needs to move forward in finalizing these rules to exempt milk containers from this requirement. Milk storage is already regulated by the FDA and there is no need for another layer of regulation that doesn’t add safeguards, but only more cost to dairy farmers and milk handlers,” said Risch.

The Clean Water Act requires owners of large oil storage tanks to develop plans to prevent and handle oil spills. Currently, the EPA’s definition of oil within the SPCC regulation includes milk because of its animal fat content, although it is not a petroleum product.

In late July the EPA announced a delay in requiring compliance with the oil spill regulation for milk storage facilities. The original compliance date for the regulation is November 10, 2010. If passed into law, S. 3622 will require the EPA to finalize the exemption within 30 days.

The FDA regulates milk storage under the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance.