Particulate matter in the air we breathe can cause Americans to get sick, and can even cause premature death. For more than two decades, EPA has been working to reduce this pollution to improve our health while growing our economy. In progressing this work, some have raised the common myth that we are planning to expand regulation of dust from farms. 

EPA has repeatedly said that it has no plans to tighten regulations of dust. As further proof and upon careful consideration of the scientific record, analysis by agency scientists, and advice from the independent Clean Air Science Advisory Council, EPA recently wrote Congress that it is prepared to propose to keep the current standard for PM10 when it is sent to OMB for interagency review. EPA hopes that this action finally puts an end to the myth that the Agency is planning to expand regulations of "farm dust."

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, responded to Senator Amy Klobuchar regarding particulate matter. Here is the letter:

Dear Senator Klobuchar:

Thank you for your phone call regarding the status ofEPA's Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter. Particulate matter includes fine particles (known as PM2.5) and coarse particles (known as PMI0). PM2.5 can come from fossil-fuel combustion, including power plants and motor vehicles, and wildfires and PMl 0 can come from construction and demolition activities, industrial operations, wildfires, and dust from unpaved roads. It is well established that particulate matter emissions are linked to premature death and numerous adverse health impacts.

We have been making steady progress in reducing emissions of particulate matter-both fine and coarse--in this country for more than two decades, improving the public health of Americans while the economy has continued to grow.

It is important that a standard for particulate matter be protective ofthe health of the public. Based on my consideration ofthe scientific record, analysis provided by EPA scientists, and advice from the Clean Air Science Advisory Council, I am prepared to propose the retention with no revision -of the current PMlO standard and form when it is sent to OMB for interagency review.

This rulemaking package will also consider the latest scientific evidence and assessments for PM2.5. Again, thank you for the inquiry. It is EPA's responsibility to protect the health of all Americans -rural and urban -from known pollutants, including particulate matter. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or your staff can contact Arvin Ganesan, Associate Administrator for the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations at (202) 564 -4741.


Lisa P. Jackson