The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced it will not revise its regulations on coarse particulate matter, providing clarity to conflicting comments made recently by the agency that raised concern among farm-state lawmakers about the EPA regulating "dust."
In a letter to Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), EPA administrator Lisa Jackson says she is prepared to propose the retention, with no revision, to the current air quality standards for particulate matter.
In an official release on the subject, the EPA said: "Particulate matter in the air we breathe can cause Americans to get sick, and can even cause premature death. For more than two decades, EPA has been working to reduce this pollution to improve our health while growing our economy. In progressing this work, some have raised the common myth that we are planning to tighten standards of dust from farms. EPA has repeatedly said that it has no plans to tighten this regulation. As further proof and upon careful consideration of the scientific record, analysis by Agency scientists, and advice from the independent Clean Air Science Advisory Committee, EPA today wrote Congress that it is prepared to propose to keep the current standard for PM10 when it is sent to OMB for interagency review. EPA hopes that this action finally puts an end to the myth that the Agency is planning to tighten this regulation which has been place since 1987."
Reacting to the announcement, Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) said it's a victory for farmers and ranchers and "for those who believe in the power of people to prevent misguided and unnecessary regulations."
"It had been called a myth, but on the other hand an agency official also stated EPA doesn't consider the source of the particulate matter it regulates, including whether it originates from farms and rural roads. Because of this victory, I will not pursue my farm dust amendment today, but won't hesitate to press for a vote again if EPA returns to this misguided path," adds Johanns.
Juli says: This regulation puts to ease concerns about regulating dust on farms. It appears common sense has prevailed in this instance... at least for now.