The National Cattlemenâ€™s Beef Association testified simultaneously at three Environmental Protection Agency hearings Wednesday regarding air quality standards and coarse particulate matter. The EPA is assessing the basis for regulation of coarse particulate matter under the Clean Air Act.
"The proposed requirements to regulate dust in the air are undisputedly unattainable and are at levels which would put U.S. farmers and ranchers out of business," says NCBA Director of Environmental Issues Tamara Thies. "There exists no valid NAAQS standard for dust in the wind. The agricultural community leads land conservation efforts, lives off the land, and is extremely valuable to the American economy. Do we really want to put hard-working, environmentally friendly families out of business so they sell off rural lands to developers?"
Thies adds that controlling dust in the wind has been a priority land management practice for Americaâ€™s farm and ranch families for generations. "We manage fugitive dust with proactive dust control measures, best management practices, not by imposing unscientific unempirical regulatory standards.
â€œEvery day, producers employ environmentally friendly practices including windbreaks, watering down dirt roads and using sprinklers to reduce dirt in cattle pens. Many of these activities are mandated and/or monitored by clean air permits/committees," she says. â€œWe urge fellow environmentalists to take a long, hard look at this issue."
NCBA is submitting extensive comments found online at http://hill.beef.org/coarseparticulatematter.