The National Chicken Council, along with 121 other trade groups, sent a letter this week to Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), chairman of the House subcommittee on Energy and Power and to Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), ranking member of that committee, expressing strong support for the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011 and urging passage of H.R. 1633 as quickly as possible.

The legislation would exempt rural “nuisance dust” from regulation under the Clean Air Act if states and localities regulate it on their own.  In the event a state or locality does not regulate rural dust, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could regulate it only if scientific studies show that there is a significant health effect from such dust in that particular area, and show that the costs to local economy associated with dust regulation would not outweigh any benefits.  The legislation is “common sense legislation that retains the protection of the Clean Air Act, at the same time, would stop EPA’s regulatory outreach,” the letter said.

“From tilling fields, to driving on dirt roads, to extracting resources, rural Americans deal with dust every day.  Working in the soil is where they derive their livelihoods, and where the world derives much of its food and other essential resources.  If the EPA was to revise the dust standard, states would be put in a position of having to impose regulatory restraints in rural operations, increasing the cost of production when the cost is already at historically high levels.  And, for what purpose?  Scientific studies have never shown rural dust to be a health concern at ambient levels,”  the group said in the letter.

 

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