Congress to consider the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011

Congress is toying with a bill called the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011. What is interesting about the title is that it is not farm dust that is being “prevented” but regulation of farm dust that is being prevented. The EPA insists that it has no intention to regulate farm dust but the GOP likely understands that with some bipartisan support from farm state Democrats and an uncertain political future that this may be the time to get a bill like this passed.

I have previously weighed in on the side of agriculture on the issue of dust from agricultural operations, not because I hate clean air, but because this is a problem with no real cost-effective solution. I just do not see any point in passing regulations and spending money trying to solve a problem that can’t be solved without bankrupting rural America.

Below is a cut and paste version of Bill HR 1633. A link to a clean pdf is here.

A BILL
To establish a temporary prohibition against revising any
national ambient air quality standard applicable to coarse
particulate matter, to limit Federal regulation of nuisance
dust in areas in which such dust is regulated
under State, tribal, or local law, and for other purposes.
1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa
2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
4 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Farm Dust Regulation
5 Prevention Act of 2011’’.

1 SEC. 2. TEMPORARY PROHIBITION AGAINST REVISING ANY
2 NATIONAL AMBIENT AIR QUALITY STANDARD
3 APPLICABLE TO COARSE PARTICULATE MAT
4 TER.
5 Before the date that is one year after the date of the
6 enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Environ
7mental Protection Agency may not propose, finalize, im
8 plement, or enforce any regulation revising the national
9 primary ambient air quality standard or the national sec
10 ondary ambient air quality standard applicable to particu
11 late matter with an aerodynamic diameter greater than
12 2.5 micrometers under section 109 of the Clean Air Act
13 (42 U.S.C. 7409).
14 SEC. 3. NUISANCE DUST.
15 Part A of title I of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401
16 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:
17 ‘‘SEC. 132. REGULATION OF NUISANCE DUST PRIMARILY BY
18 STATE, TRIBAL, AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.
19 ‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subsection
20 (b), this Act does not apply to, and references in this Act
21 to particulate matter are deemed to exclude, nuisance
22 dust.
23 ‘‘(b) EXCEPTION.—Subsection (a) does not apply
24 with respect to any geographic area in which nuisance
25 dust is not regulated under State, tribal, or local law inso
26 far as the Administrator finds that—
1 ‘‘(1) nuisance dust (or any subcategory of nui
2 sance dust) causes substantial adverse public health
3 and welfare effects at ambient concentrations; and
4 ‘‘(2) the benefits of applying standards and
5 other requirements of this Act to nuisance dust (or
6 such subcategory of nuisance dust) outweigh the
7 costs (including local and regional economic and em
8 ployment impacts) of applying such standards and
9 other requirements to nuisance dust (or such sub
10 category).
11 ‘‘(c) DEFINITION.—In this section, the term ‘nui
12 sance dust’ means particulate matter—
13 ‘‘(1) generated from natural sources, unpaved
14 roads, agricultural activities, earth moving, or other
15 activities typically conducted in rural areas; or
16 ‘‘(2) consisting primarily of soil, other natural
17 or biological materials, windblown dust, or some
18 combination thereof.’’.

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About James Pray

Attorney with BrownWinick Law Firm in Des Moines, Iowa.
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