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Agriculture: Upcoming and Recent Compliance Dates

Use this list as a reminder of important environmental compliance dates that you may have to meet. For details on programs, follow the links to get more information. See the links in the "Related Information" box for more information on other regulations that may apply to your agricultural operation.

On this page:

Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC)

  • SPCC Rule Compliance Dates
    • May 10, 2013 was the compliance date for farms to prepare or amend and implement their Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans.
    • Oil spills endanger public health, impact drinking water, devastate natural resources, and disrupt the economy. Every effort must be made to prevent oil spills and to clean them up promptly once they occur.
    • The purpose of the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule is to help facilities and farms prevent a discharge of oil into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines.
    • A key element of the SPCC rule requires farms and other facilities to develop, maintain and implement an oil spill prevention plan, called an SPCC Plan. These plans help farms prevent oil spill, as well as control a spill should one occur.
    • More information from EPA, visit SPCC for Agriculture

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Risk Management Plan Rule

  • Risk Management Plan (RMP)- The Risk Management Plan (RMP) Rule implements Section 112(r) of the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments. RMP requires facilities that use extremely hazardous substances to develop a Risk Management Plan. These plans must be revised and resubmitted to EPA every five years.

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Worker Protection Standard (WPS)

EPA has initiated a process to revise certain requirements in the WPS. By the end of FY2018, EPA expects to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to solicit public input on proposed revisions to the WPS requirements for minimum ages, designated representatives, and application exclusion zones. The compliance dates in the revised WPS published on November 2, 2015, remain in effect; the Agency does not intend to extend them. EPA has published a Federal Register Notice that it has initiated this rulemaking process to revise certain requirements in the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard.

Most of the revised WPS requirements became effective on January 2, 2017. Three requirements go into effect on January 2, 2018:

  • pesticide safety training must cover the expanded content;
  • pesticide safety information (posters) must meet the revised standards; and
  • handlers must suspend applications if workers or other people are in the application exclusion zone.

For additional WPS information, please visit the Pesticide Educational Resources CollaborativeExit
To order WPS documents, please visit the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP)

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Certification and Training (C&T, or Certification of Pesticide Applicators) Rule

EPA has initiated a process to revise the minimum age requirements in the C&T rule. EPA expects to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to solicit public input on proposed revisions to the rule by the end of FY2018. The implementation dates in the January 4, 2017, final rule, (1) for certifying authorities to submit revised certification plans and (2) for EPA to act on those plans remain in effect; EPA has no plans to change those implementation dates. EPA has published a Federal Register Notice that it has initiated this rulemaking process to revise the minimum age requirements. 

For more information, please visit the Revised Certification Standards for Pesticide Applicators website.

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Air Releases of Hazardous Substances from Farm Animal Waste

On April 11, 2017, the DC Circuit Court vacated a final rule that EPA published in 2008 exempting farms from reporting air releases of hazardous substances from animal waste under CERCLA and EPCRA.

On February 1, 2018, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals granted EPA’s motion to further stay issuance of the mandate until May 1, 2018. Farms with continuous releases do not have to make their initial continuous release notification until the DC Circuit Court of Appeals issues its order, or mandate, enforcing the Court’s opinion of April 11, 2017.  The court is expected to issue the mandate on May 1, 2018. No reporting is necessary until the mandate is issued.

To expedite your initial continuous release notification to the National Response Center, you may use the temporary email option. This option avoids potential large call volumes and delays. It allows one email notification for owners/operators with multiple farms.

​To assist farmers in meeting reporting requirements, EPA has released guidance to assist farmers in reporting air releases of hazardous substances from animal waste. Please, visit the CERCLA and EPCRA Reporting Requirements for Air Releases of Hazardous Substances from Animal Waste at Farms website for guidance.

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