Halting the EPA’s Dust Storm



Click Above to watch Congressman Crawford’s amendment introduction

Some Washington regulations truly are unbelievable. This week the House took action to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing new regulations on dust – yes dust. While it may seem mind-boggling, the EPA does have the authority to regulate dust.

The House passed H.R. 1633, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act to protect farmers, ranchers and rural businesses from uncertainty surrounding regulations on rural dust. More specifically, the measure prevents the Environmental Protection Agency from changing air standards for agricultural communities.

Anyone who has ever set foot on a farm or ranch knows that dust is unavoidable. Trying to regulate something like the amount of dust on a farm just doesn’t make sense. Tilling a field, operating a feedlot or even driving farm vehicles on dirt roads will inevitably create dust. If the EPA regulated dust, the economic impact on farmers and ranchers would be disastrous. Farmers would be forced to cut back on production, sell off their livestock or be forced to stop operations on dry days. The Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act will protect farmers and ranchers.

As a member of the Agriculture Committee, I have heard testimony from both the Secretary of Agriculture and the EPA Administrator. After hearing this testimony it was obvious that the two agencies do not talk to each other. This is particularly troubling because when I ask farmers in our district about the greatest threat to their operations, they always answer with three letters: E-P-A. Because the two agencies do not talk to each other, I proposed an amendment to the Farm Dust Prevention Act that would direct the EPA to consult with the Department of Agriculture before new dust regulations are set.

Farmers and ranchers face a lot of challenges. Unpredictable weather, an always changing market place and continued need for investments in technology make farming and ranching a difficult job. With all the challenges our agriculture community faces, they should not have to worry about new regulations from Washington. As long as the EPA continues its assault on farmers and ranchers, I will continue to fight senseless regulations that only serve to cripple American agriculture.

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