New EPA Dust Rules Still in Play PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Sen Chuck Grassley   
Monday, 31 January 2011 15:04

Friday, January 28, 2011

Grassley: Proposed Dust Rules Would Cause Significant Harm to Rural America

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley is pressing the Environmental Protection Agency to make a good faith effort to review industry comments, studies, and economic analysis on the impact of proposed rules on dust.  Grassley this week sent a letter to administrator Lisa Jackson expressing his concern that excessive dust control measures would slow economic development and impose significant costs on family agriculturalists.

Grassley said that President Barack Obama’s recent directive for each agency to review its rules and regulations with an eye toward economic harm should help bring to light the detrimental impact these rules could have on the rural economy.  Instead, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Environmental Protection Agency stated “that it was ‘confident’ it wouldn’t need to alter a single current or pending rule.”

“The EPA’s attitude toward the President’s directive is unfortunate.  Once again, the agency seems completely oblivious to the huge impact the rules and regulations it releases have on the general public and agriculture in particular,” Grassley said.  “It defies common sense that the EPA would regulate that a farmer must keep the dust from his combine between his fence rows.”

The EPA currently is considering approval of the Second Draft Policy Assessment for Particulate Matter (released on July 8, 2010).   If approved, the most stringent and unparalleled regulation of dust in the nation’s history would be placed on rural America.  The current levels of 150ug/m3 would be revised down to 65-85 ug/m3.

Here’s a copy of the text of the letter Grassley sent to Jackson.

January 25, 2011

The Honorable Lisa Jackson

Administrator

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20460

 

Dear Administrator Jackson,

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 impede on businesses.  A 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.”

Last July, I and twenty of my colleagues wrote to you with our continued concerns regarding EPA’s actions in its review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) as required every five years under the Clean Air Act.  I would like to stress again that 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.

As I have continually advocated over the years, lowering these PM standards could have devastating and burdensome effects on farmers and ranchers across the United States. 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 agriculturalists.

I recognize the release of the final Policy Assessment has been delayed, but may be released at any time, but I am not aware if EPA also intends to delay release of the proposed rule, release of which was originally planned for February 2011.

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 strongly encourage EPA in good faith to review industry comments, studies, and economic analysis as they become available on this critical issue.

Thank you for consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Chuck Grassley

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