Grassley Keeps Heat on EPA PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Grassley Press   
Thursday, 10 February 2011 15:44

Grassley Keeps Pressure on EPA to Focus on Job Creation Instead of Over Burdensome Regulations

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley is continuing to highlight the senseless regulations placed on family farmers and small businesses by the Environmental Protection Agency.  Today, Grassley sent a letter to Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Darrell Issa, to bring to his attention the EPA’s attempt to regulate dust.

The EPA has released several policy assessments that would lower the particulate matter standards for dust to levels which would be extremely burdensome for farmers and livestock producers. Whether its livestock kicking up dust, soybeans being combined on a dry day in the fall, or driving a car down the gravel road, dust happens. Producers could potentially be fined for not meeting the particulate matter standards while still practicing good management practices on their soils.

“The EPA’s attempt to regulate dust is just another example of how out of touch the agency is with the grassroots,” Grassley said.  “The continued disregard for agriculture hurts the economic viability of rural America and hinders job creation.”

Grassley said he wanted Issa, who is bringing to light hundreds of federal regulations that hurt job creation, to be aware of yet another nonsensical regulation that would slow economic development and cause significant costs on the nation’s family farmers.

Here is a copy of the text of Grassley’s letter to Issa.

February 8, 2011

The Honorable Darrell Issa

Chairman

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

2157 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairman Issa,

As you know, on January 18, 2011, President Obama signed an Executive Order which required federal agencies to review all regulations, taking into account the costs and excessive burdens they might put on businesses.  A recent Wall Street Journal editorial reported that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), less than a week after the President signed this Order, stated “that it was ‘confident’ it wouldn’t need to alter a single current or pending rule.”  This statement appears pre-emptive of the President’s order.

I commend you for scheduling a full committee hearing on Thursday, February 10, 2011 on “Regulatory Impediments to Job Creation.”  It is my belief that EPA has long over stretched its bounds, resulting in detrimental impacts to farmers and ranchers across the country.

Last July, I and twenty of my Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle wrote to Administrator Lisa Jackson with our continued concerns regarding EPA’s actions in its review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).  If approved, the Second Draft Policy Assessment (PA) for Particulate Matter (PM) released on July 8, 2010 would establish the most stringent and unparalleled regulation of dust in our nation’s history revising current levels of 150ug/m3 down to 65-85 ug/m3.  Our letter encouraged EPA to consider maintaining the primary and secondary standards, or in the alternative, consider different PM indicators.  We also asked that the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee focus attention on EPA’s choice to not adopt a PM10-2.5 standard.  I have enclosed a copy of that letter for your information.

I am concerned that EPA has pre-judged its review of existing and pending rules.  The President has now required that cost considerations on businesses, including farmers and ranchers, be taken into account.  I respectfully ask that when your committee meets on February 10, 2011, that the PA for Particulate Matter be discussed.  This would be an opportune time to further highlight and expose this potential rule which could wreck havoc, particularly in the Western part of the United States.

As I have continually advocated over the years, lowering these PM standards could have devastating and burdensome effects on farmers and ranchers across the country. Excessive dust control measures could be imposed on agricultural operations which would only slow economic development and impose significant costs on our nation’s family farmers and ranchers.

As I’ve often said, only God can determine when the wind blows.  Exposing EPA’s potential rulemaking in this area of dust control is critically important to the future profitability of our nation’s producers. Thank you for scheduling this important hearing and for consideration of my request.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley

United States Senator


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