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August 16, 2010 Agriculture Column

Howdy!!!

The weather has been really hot until this past weekend and then a couple of really good sleeping nights hit us on Saturday and Sunday night.  The hot and cool weather made me appreciate the needs of both and after the dust settled I think I prefer the cooler weather over the warmer weather; however the corn crop has made great progress.  The GDD’s are now at (based on May 1 start date) 1647 units which is 129 GDD’s ahead of normal.  The corn is hopping along with that so is the small grain harvest.  Crops appear to be very good this fall but as one harvester told me on Sunday the high ground is very good but the average will be significantly lower, due to drowned out spots and salinity areas.  I would also encourage all of you take precautions during the busy harvest season.  This road caution is for all just not those traveling the roads to and from communities, harvest equipment operators also need to be award of traffic and be respectful to travelers.

EPA May Extend Oil Spill Plan Deadline

The public has until Aug. 18 to comment on a proposed change in the compliance deadline for a federal oil spill rule.

Producers have until Wednesday, Aug. 18, to comment on a proposal to extend the compliance deadline for a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule to prevent oil from spilling into rivers, lakes and other water.

The current deadline for producers and facilities to comply with the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule is Nov. 10, 2010. The proposal would extend the deadline one year, to Nov. 10, 2011, according to Roxanne Johnson, North Dakota State University Extension Service water quality associate.

To submit comments, use one of the following methods:

  • Online: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for submitting comments. You will need the proposal’s docket identification number, which is EPA–HQ–OPA–2009–0880.
  • E-mail: Send an e-mail to Docket.RCRA@epa.gov, attention Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– OPA–2009–0880.
  • Fax: Send a fax to (202) 566–9744, attention Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OPA–2009– 0880.

The SPCC rule requires all farms and ranches that began operating after Aug. 16, 2002, to develop a plan to prevent, control and clean up spills if they have 1,320 gallons or more of oil storage in aboveground containers or more than 42,000 gallons in completely buried containers, and the oil reasonably could be expected to discharge to intrastate lakes, rivers and streams.

Producers with less than 10,000 gallons of above-ground storage and no tank of 5,000 gallons or more may be able to use the EPA’s Tier I template at http://www.epa.gov/ceppo/web/content/spcc/tier1temp.htm to help them create an SPCC plan. Tier I operations do not need a certified plan.

Those with a tank that’s 5,000 gallon or larger but still under the 10,000 gallon limit may use the template for the Tier II plan, which does not need to be professionally engineered. Those who have 10,000 gallons or more will need to have a plan certified by a professional engineer.

For more information about the SPCC rule or a list of certified professional engineers and tank inspectors, go to the NDSU Water Quality website at http://www.ndsu.edu/waterquality. Engineering firms that want to be added to the list should contact Johnson at (701) 231-8926 or roxanne.m.johnson@ndsu.edu.

“Farms in existence prior to the 2002 date should continue to maintain their existing SPCC plan but amend and implement any changes by the Nov. 10, 2010 date,” Johnson advises.

 

 

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