MARC MORANO 202-224-5762

MATT DEMPSEY 202-224-9797

WASHINGTON, DC - Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee today commented on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure rule (SPCC). The SPCC programs cover virtually every industry that uses or stores oil. As Chairman, Senator Inhofe has followed the SPCC rule closely in order to protect the interests of the agricultural community and small oil producers in Oklahoma. The EPW Committee conducted a hearing in December 2005 (<> ) examining the proposed rule.

"This rule is a definite step in the right direction," Senator Inhofe said. "With the finalization of this rule, EPA has made huge strides in reforming the SPCC program. The rule provides much needed relief to small mobile refuelers who operate at the nation's airports while eliminating a safety hazard mandated in the 2002 rule."

"Unfortunately, the rule does not go far enough. I will continue working with the EPA on providing relief to some of the small businesses not benefited by today's proposal, the small oil and gas producers that are the backbone of this nation's energy industry. The 10,000 gallon threshold for regulatory relief established in today's rule does nothing to assist small producers who often have storage capacity far above the threshold because these marginal wells at one time produced far more oil.

"I am pleased that EPA will continue its commitment to reform the program for the agricultural community, who in my view should be exempt from the program's requirements. I am gratified to see the EPA working with the regulated community instead of taking its traditional one-size fits all approach."