IDFA has worked with the Environmental Protection Agency for the past several years to ensure that milk and milk products are exempted from the agency's Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations. As the agency enters the home stretch toward publishing a final rule, IDFA made a final push to ensure that the exemption would apply uniformly to all dairy facilities.
In a letter sent this week to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, IDFA reiterated its previous recommendation to base the exemption on the current Good Manufacturing Practices, specifically 21CFR 110.40. These regulations provide ample protection against dairy equipment deteriorating to the point that it would cause a leak or spill, said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO, in the letter.
The purpose of the SPCC regulations, which have been in place since 1973, is to establish requirements for facilities to prevent a discharge of oil into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines.
IDFA successfully made the case in its 2009 comments that "milk and milk products are not oil, and they do not present a risk of creating an oil spill to waters of the United States." However, the exemption currently proposed by EPA would cover only facilities with equipment that meets 3-A Sanitary Standards and is inspected under the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) or a state regulatory equivalent.
"This is an important issue for the dairy industry," said Tipton. "I urge that the final rule be drafted to uniformly and fairly remove all dairy equipment from the spill prevention rule."
Read the letter here.
For background, read "EPA Addresses IDFA Concerns on Oil Spill Regulations,"10/15/10
For more information, contact Clay Detlefsen, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 220-3554.