EPA Looks to Halve Current Dust Standard


The EPA is still considering tightening national air quality standards for dust – a move strongly opposed by much of agriculture.  According to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s chief environmental Council, Tamara Thies, “It would be virtually impossible for many critical U.S. industries to comply with this standard, even with use of best-management practices to control dust.” 

American Farm Bureau Air Quality Specialist Ron Gaskill says EPA, in a second policy draft for particulate matter, is considering dramatically reducing acceptable levels of dust from industry and agriculture.

He explained the EPA’s options.

It’s a move that would effectively make the dust standard twice as stringent as the current one.  Gaskill says it’s impossible for farming and ranching operations to escape such a tough standard as they all produce dust.

Gaskill says that there is no real science at this point to back a more stringent standard.

EPA itself admits the current standard was based on a desire to be cautious – not on clear evidence that it’s needed to protect health.


The impact of the tougher standard on agriculture, Gaskill says, could be devastating.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says farmers could be fined for everyday activities like driving a tractor down a dirt road or tilling a field. Even with best management practices – NCBA says it would be virtually impossible for many critical U.S. industries to comply with the standard under consideration. 


Source:  NCBA & AFBF

Posted by Haylie Shipp


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