Thursday, October 20, 2011

Just in from Washington

Jackson Says EPA Plans No Additional Farm Dust Regulations

Washington--Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson stated in a letter to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), released Monday, that EPA is “prepared to propose the retention—with no revision—of the current PM10 [coarse particulate matter] standard and form when it is sent to OMB [Office of Management and Budget] for interagency review.” According to Jackson, no additional farm dust regulations are planned by EPA.

AFBF welcomes the announcement from Jackson, but believes farm dust should be entirely exempt from EPA regulation. AFBF strongly opposes any change in the current PM10 standard.

“PM10 is found mainly in rural areas, naturally occurring from driving on unpaved roads or working in farm fields,” explained Rick Krause, AFBF clean air specialist. “Many rural areas have difficulty meeting current standards, and many more areas would not be able to meet more stringent standards. Farmers and ranchers in Arizona and southern California, where current standards are not being met, are regulated right now. The announcement by Administrator Jackson will not change that.”

Farm Bureau strongly supports two bills currently pending in Congress—H.R. 1633, introduced by Reps. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Robert Hurt (R-Va.) and S. 1528, introduced by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.)—that would prohibit EPA from revising the PM10 standard for at least a year and would also exempt dust from normal activities raised in rural areas from regulation under the Clean Air Act. Kevin Rogers, president of the Arizona Farm Bureau, is set to testify in support of the legislation on behalf of AFBF before the House Energy and Commerce Committee next Tuesday.

Associated Press article

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