A Busy Time for National Affairs
The FARM Act
The FARM Act, the measure exempting farming operations from reporting requirements under CERCLA, worked its way through the Senate markup last week and was approved by the committee of Environment and Public Works. The measure continues to work its way through the Senate. A House measure mirroring this bill has also been introduced.
In addition to this piece of legislation, Senator Barrasso also introduced a comprehensive measure called, The ACRE Act. This bill would include not only the FARM Act, but also address many other reporting and overlapping environmental mandates.
Electronic Logging Device Mandate
Last week, Senator Gardner sent a letter to Department of Transportation concerning the ELD mandate. The letter addressed the need for exemptions as well as the need to delay implementation until such a time that proper preparations and education can be put into place.
U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced today an additional 90-day waiver from ELDs for haulers transporting agricultural commodities. According to a press release from the FMCSA, “FMCSA will publish final guidance on both the agricultural 150 air-mile hours-of-service exemption and personal conveyance” during this exemption period.
Farm Bill talks are underway and Chairman Conway is hopeful that the discussion will remain on track. The earliest expected introduction of the Farm Bill is this April.
AFBF Advisory Committees
Last week, the AFBF Issue Advisory Committees convened in Washington D.C. where members discussed potential policy applications for upcoming and existing legislation. These committees are charged with the implementation and interpretation of the policies set forth by state memberships.
Colorado is fortunate to have three members serving on committees: water, labor and federal lands. There was much deliberation and work done during the meetings and more information and decisions will come soon.