A group of Senators led by Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson Friday calling on her to use common sense on future dust regulations and reminding her of the Administration's focus on rural America and the negative impact the regulations could have on Main Street. The Senators say the second draft recently released would establish the most stringent and unparalleled dust regulation in U.S. history if approved. Though they respect the efforts for a clean and healthy environment, the Senators say that shouldn't come at the expense of common sense.
The letter states the EPA's identified levels for particulate matter will be extremely burdensome for farmers and livestock producers to attain. The Senators point out dust is a naturally occurring event, whether its livestock kicking up dust, soybeans being combined on a dry day in the fall or driving a car down the gravel road. According to the Senators producers could potentially be fined for not meeting the particulate matter standards while still practicing good management practices on their soils. If the rule is published they say economic development could slow down and significant costs to farmers and businesses could be imposed. Grassley says he is greatly concerned that this puts the U.S. one step closer to imposing more regulations on farmers.