Traffic Routing and Good Neighbor Policy for Ag Burns | On-Road Diesel Engine Requirements
Updates to Above-Ground Oil Storage Requirements | Williamson Act
California State Water Bonds | Rural Crime - Reporting is Rewarding | Illegal Dumping
The regulations regarding petroleum and petroleum oil product storage have changed at the federal level. While farms are conditionally exempt from the Above Ground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA) requirements, farms are not exempt from federal Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations from US EPA.
Farms are exempt from California's APSA regulation if no single storage tank exceeds 20,000 gallon capacity and cumulative storage capacity does not exceed 100,000 gallons. In order to maintain this exemption, farms are required to:
- inspect tanks daily and maintain an inspection log;
- allow an inspector from the Unified Program Agencies to conduct periodic inspections;
- install secondary containment if the Unified Program Agencies determines it is necessary; and
- pay program fees.
Federal Spill Prevention, Containment and Countermeasure regulations from the US EPA do not allow for exemption for farms, and require that farms develop, certify and implement an SPCC plan if the farm has more than 1,320 gallons (total capacity, counting containers 55 gallons and larger) in above-ground containers or more than 42,000 gallons (total capacity) in completely buried containers. (Note that adjacent or non-adjacent parcels, either leased or owned, may be considered separate facilities for SPCC purposes and may not need to be added together in determining whether the capacity threshold is met.)
Farms that meet the capacity threshold need to have a Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure plan in place. The plan must be updated when changes are made to the farm's oil storage, and must be reviewed every five years. The EPA has provided a template that can be used to create your plan. Click here to download that template (MS Word document). Note: If you are required to have your plan certified by a professional engineer (as described below), you cannot use the template.
Plans must be updated any time a change is made on the farm (e.g. add new containers, or purchase/lease land with containers of 55 gallons or more capacity. Additionally, plans must be reviewed and updated every five years.
If your farm was in operation prior to August 16, 2002, you should have a plan in place now. However the deadline to update your existing plan was extended to May 2013. If your farm began operation after August 16, 2002, you are expected to develop, certify and implement a plan. The new deadline for creating a plan is May 2013.
You may need to have your plan certified by a professional engineer if your farm has storage capacity of more than 10,000 gallons, or if your operation has had an oil spill. Contact your CUPA consultant for more information on those requirements. You may also need to get a permit for any containment structure you build.
A bill has been introduced in Congress that would, among other things, potentially amend the rules to apply only to larger facilities with greater than 42,000 gallons total capacity. Farm Bureau will continue to follow these developments. If you are a Farm Bureau member and do not receive the @FarmBureau email newsletter, contact our office and ask to have your email address added to your membership information.
The county's Smoke Management Policy establishes procedures for notification and traffic re-routing to reduce the impact of agricultural burns on residents. To download copies of the policy in English and Spanish, click here. In addition, click here to view a quote from Acme Sign for the required signage.
The California Air Resources Board is requiring that most non-personal on-road diesel vehicle engines be retrofitted or replaced within the next decade or so. Some agricultural vehicles are eligible for provisions that delay these requirements. Owners that are taking advantage of the ag provisions must have registered their vehicles with CARB and must label or paint the letters "AG" on the left and right door of each registered vehicle. If you have registered a vehicle, you will be required to report your odometer reading each year.
If you would like more information about these regulations, funding assistance, or the labeling and registration requirements, or call (760-352-3831) Farm Bureau, or stop by our office. You can also purchase inexpensive decals from Farm Bureau to satisfy the labeling requirement.
As you probably know by now, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors voted in 2010 to non-renew all Williamson Act contracts in Imperial County. If you have land in the Williamson Act, your property taxes began to increase immediately, and will continue to increase incrementally over the next nine years until the tax valuation reaches the full non-Williamson Act valuation. Landowners receiving a non-renewal notice had the right to file a protest, which delayed these tax increases for four years.
If you have questions about the Williamson Act, the non-renewal process in this county or the protest procedures, contact our office.
How did your Supervisors vote on this issue?
Supervisor Louis Fuentes: voted to CONTINUE the Williamson Act
Supervisor Jack Terrazas: voted for NON-RENEWAL
Supervisor Mike Kelley: voted to CONTINUE the Williamson Act
Supervisor Gary Wyatt: voted for NON-RENEWAL
Supervisor Wally Leimgruber: ABSTAINED
We all know illegal dumping in the rural areas of Imperial County is a huge problem. To help combat this problem, the County of Imperial has developed an Illegal Dumping Task Force, which is made up of representatives of local companies and organizations, as well as County staff members. Farm Bureau participates with four representatives on the task force.
Rural residents and businesses know all too well the costs of cleaning up what other people have dumped on your property.
The focus of the Illegal Dumping Task Force is not only to clean up the dumping that has already taken place, but also to develop ways to prevent dumping in the future. These efforts will include public outreach, making proper waste collection more efficient for residents, and increased enforcement & penalties for dumping illegally.
If you have any questions about the Illegal Dumping Task Force, contact Farm Bureau or call the County's Environmental Health Department at 760-336-8530.
Local farmers are facing a significant crime wave.
Every day, thieves are taking anything and everything they can find, from vehicles to irrigation pipes, livestock, tires and even alfalfa seed.
Additionally, people are illegally dumping their trash and waste on rural properties, costing farmers and other rural residents hundreds and even thousands of dollars to clean up each site.
The local agricultural and law enforcement communities are coming together to fight these crimes with a new crime fighting campaign around the slogan Reporting is Rewarding.
Everyone is encouraged to watch for signs of crime and to immediately report a crime in progress. It is important to emphasize that anyone observing a crime stay a safe distance away, both to maintain your personal safety and to avoid disturbing evidence at the crime scene.
A reward of up to $1,000 will be offered to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of an ag-related crime in Imperial County.
If your information leads to an arrest, an initial award of $500 will be given.
Upon conviction of the perpetrator, an additional award of $500 will be issued, for a total of $1,000.
To create the reward funds, the program bumper stickers, tank decals and large outdoor signs will be sold to anyone interested in fighting ag crime.
Bumper stickers are available for $1 each,
in English or Spanish (click for an image of the English version of the bumper stickers)
12” x 18” fertilizer tank decals are available for $3 each,
in English or Spanish (click for an image of the English version of the tank decals) and the
large 2’ x 4’ outdoor farm signs are available for $25 per sign.
These have both English and Spanish on each sign (click for an image of the large outdoor signs)
Anyone who is interested in purchasing bumper stickers, tank decals or large outdoor signs with the Reporting is Rewarding slogan and information, please contact us, or just stop by our office any time during business hours.