12.06.2011 0

Reigning in EPA dust regulation threat

By Rebekah Rast — Some jobs are dustier than others.

Rural American jobs like tilling fields, herding cattle, driving along dirt roads or extracting important resources from the land are critical American jobs that sometimes kick up a little more dust than others.  But as far as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is concerned, the dust is too much.

This has many in the farming community concerned that the EPA will strengthen its regulations against this particulate matter making it not only expensive, but nearly impossible for these American workers to comply.

In an effort to keep new regulations on farm dust out of the Clean Air Act, Congress will soon be voting on The Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, H.R. 1633, which would prohibit the EPA from changing the national ambient air quality standard for this kind of particulate matter for one year.

Businesses that depend on farming as their livelihood and other organizations that simply want less government involvement in their lives are supporting this legislation.

As quoted by the Southeast Farm Press, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Deputy Environmental Counsel Ashley Lyon said, “Allowing federal agencies to continue regulating farmers and ranchers to the point of no return is not something we will sit by and allow to happen.  We have to bring some accountability to regulatory agencies. They must be aware of the economic impact their actions are having on farm and ranch families throughout the country.”

The bill by South Dakota Representative Kristi Noem gives authority to states and localities to regulate the dust created by those in their jurisdiction—exactly where the authority belongs.

The legislation currently has 120 co-sponsors and passed out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee with a bi-partisan 33-16 vote, and is expected to be on the House floor this week.

Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska has introduced the legislation in the Senate where it already has attracted bi-partisan support.

Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson signed a joint letter in support of the legislation stating, “Noem’s legislation helps rein in the seeming non-stop power grab by the Obama Administration, and will help protect America’s rural way of life.”

Hopefully, this might be one time where Congress comes together to protect all these rural Americans jobs from the heavy hand of the EPA.

Rebekah Rast is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government (ALG) and NetRightDaily.com.  You can follow her on twitter at @RebekahRast.

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