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Oil Spill Prevention Program Still Lacks Clarity, IDFA Tells EPA

Dec 17, 2007

Oil Spill Prevention Program Still Lacks Clarity, IDFA Tells EPA

In comments filed last week with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), IDFA expressed ongoing frustration and concern about the agency's lack of clarity in its oil spill prevention and control program. According to IDFA, it's still unclear whether dairy companies are affected by the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) program, because EPA's definition of "oil" remains ambiguous.

"IDFA's biggest concern with the SPCC rule is whether or not it applies to our industry," the comments state. "For years we have been concerned about the possible mistaken application of the SPCC rule to dairy processing operations that do not have oil on their premises."

IDFA submitted comments in response to a proposed rule to amend the SPCC program.

Many dairy companies could be affected by this program, since the EPA's definition of "oil" includes fats, oils and greases from animal sources, including butter. Although EPA has orally stated that rule does not apply to fluid milk, the agency has been inconsistent about a definition for "oil mixtures," a category that could potentially include cream, cheese and other dairy products with an undefined fat content.

According to IDFA, EPA's reluctance to issue a clear definition has caused much confusion in the industry. In its comments, IDFA warns that continued ambiguity may ultimately lead to regulatory enforcement and litigation.

"Therefore, we urge EPA to end the ambiguity before the problems begin," the comments state.

To read the proposed rule, click here.

For more information, contact Clay Detlefsen, IDFA vice president, environmental, worker safety, security and counsel, at cdetlefsen@idfa.org or 202-220-3554.

 

 

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Posted December 17, 2007

 

 
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