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house Bill H.R. 311

Modifying Regulations for Fuel Storage on Farms

Argument in favor

Offsets costs of EPA-mandated regulations to farmers. A University of Arkansas study found that the FUELS Act could save farmers and ranchers across the country up to $3.36 billion.

Argument opposed

The proposal places a greater degree of responsibility on farmers and ranchers to self-certify compliance of their oil storage facilities, moving oversight away from government and toward individual farming operations.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Environment and Public Works
  • The house Passed March 11th, 2014
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      Water Resources and Environment
    IntroducedJanuary 18th, 2013

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What is House Bill H.R. 311?

Modifies regulations for fuel storage on farms. Farmers must follow fuel storage guidelines laid out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Until the 21st Century, regulations for fuel storage on farms applied mainly to large farming operations. In 2009, the EPA expanded the Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) to include smaller farms, including those with no history of accidents. 

The rule requires that oil storage facilities with a capacity of over 1,320 gallons make structural improvements to reduce the possibility of oil spills. The plan requires farmers to construct a containment facility, like a dike or a basin, which must retain 110 percent of the fuel in the container. These mandated infrastructure improvements  must come with third-party certification. 

Known as The FUELS Act, the bill will modify the EPA mandate by raising exemption levels. The exemption level for a single container would be adjusted upward to 10,000 gallons while the aggregate level on a production facility would move up to 42,000 gallons. The proposal would also place a greater degree of responsibility on the farmer or rancher to self-certify compliance if it exceeds the exemption level. The bill would be limited to farms that store more than 1,320 gallons of oil products in aboveground containers or more than 42,000 of oil products in buried containers. 


If enacted, the bill would save some farming and ranching operations money. Self-certification could be ignored, which, in turn, could increase the possibility of safety and/or environmental concerns.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 311

$2.00 Million
The CBO estimates a cost of $2 million over the next five years.

More Information


Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship Act

Official Title

To direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to change the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure rule with respect to certain farms.

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