EPA keeps its dust word
Created: 12/17/12 (Mon) | Topic: Issues
The EPA has kept its word about farm dust regulations. American Farm Bureau Regulatory Specialist Andrew Walmsley says that’s a big relief for a lot of farmers and ranchers.
In this week's American Farm Bureau Federation Newsline, Walmsley tells Director of Media Development Johnna Miller: “There were concerns that they might tighten standards for farm dust without a whole lot of scientific evidence. There is not evidence that suggests that it causes harmful impacts to human health.”
Under the Clean Air Act, EPA must review its air quality standards every five years. When the agency missed that deadline, a federal court ordered them to make a decision by December 14. Walmsley says EPA had indicated that tougher rules would be for soot – or fine particulate matter – and not for farm dust.
Walmsley says farmers and ranchers could have been severely affected by new rules. “It could possibly make it difficult to move cattle, to plant, to plow, to do the necessary fieldwork it takes to farm and ranch today. In areas of the country where it tends to be dusty, simply moving cattle could kick up too much dust. Driving a truck down a dry dirt road would potentially put areas out of compliance. Everyday farming activities would come under question; it would increase the cost of food.”