USA Rice works with key players in Washington to protect the livelihood of all sectors of the U.S.-rice industry. We are dedicated to working closely with government to ensure that legislative and regulatory issues affecting our members are fair and reasonable.
Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) program
Regulations that apply to farms that store more than 2,500 U.S. gallons in above ground containers; and could reasonably be expected to discharge oil to waters of the United States.
Farms must have SPCC plans in place, unless
• It has less than 2,500 gallons OR more than 2,500 gallons and less than 6,000* gallons; and no reportable discharge history.
A farmer can self-certify the SPCC Plan if the farm has:
• 6,000* gallons but less than 20,000 gallons; or no individual tank with a capacity greater than 10,000 gallons; and no reportable discharge history
A farmer must have a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) certify the SPCC Plan if the farm has:
• An individual tank with an above ground storage capacity greater than 10,000 gallons; or an aggregate above ground storage capacity greater than or equal to 20,000 gallons; or a reportable discharge history.
USA Rice has been and is actively engaged in the regulation to advocate for the most producer-friendly options including increased storage capacity with less paperwork.
Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS)
A new proposed regulation that seeks to expand EPA’s and COE’s jurisdiction over surface water, bypassing earlier restrictions imposed by two Supreme Court cases.
As first written WOTUS would have regulated any rice field used for crop rotation, crawfish, or hunting.
USA Rice worked aggressively on fixing WOTUS with a broad range of allies, submitted public comments, testified before Congress, briefed Members of Congress, and had meetings with U.S. EPA, USDA, and the Army Corps of Engineers.
Our analysis indicates that the vague definitions of tributaries, ditches, etc. will aid citizen suits against farmers and that the way WOTUS is written will allow activists to identify waters to sue over without visiting the site.
EPA and COE did exclude rice fields from jurisdiction and they allowed for other uses than rice growing in rice fields. This is a positive for the rice industry that came from our work on WOTUS.
The jurisdiction of rice irrigation water conveyances are still questionable and subject to interpretation in our opinion.