The EPA is trying to put to rest what it calls a “myth” that it is going to crack down on farm dust.
In letters to two senators last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the agency won’t expand its current air quality standards to include dust created by agriculture.
Republicans and some farm-state Democrats have used the issue on the campaign trail, arguing that the EPA is set to penalize farmers for everyday activities. Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said in a recent debate that the agency is “out of control” and was preparing to regulate dust.
Republicans in Congress have used the hypothetical dust rule as an argument against government regulations they say could eliminate jobs. Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns and South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem, both Republicans, have pushed legislation that would block the rule if it had been proposed.
Obama administration officials have tried to deflect talk of a dust rule for months, to little avail. A statement released by the agency Monday said that “EPA hopes that this action finally puts an end to the myth that the agency is planning to expand regulations of farm dust.”
It was a good decision to acknowledge the EPA’s viewpoint. Farmers work in rural areas where dust is not a problem like it is for factories in an urban setting.
During the political season, it’s good for everyone to keep an open mind regarding the rhetoric of those seeking office. It appears farmers were the subject of this latest scare tactic.
Farmers now have an assurance that their industry is not being targeted for more regulations.
Good to know
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