The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging members of the House to support a bill that would exclude from federal regulation dust that occurs naturally in the course of normal farming activities.
Arizona Farm Bureau Federation President Kevin Rogers testified on behalf of AFBF to a subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce regarding H.R. 1633, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act. Rogers called for passage of the bill, noting, "It makes common sense amendments to the Clean Air Act, to prevent federal regulation of natural occurrences and naturally occurring dust from normal farming operations, unless there is a substantial evidence of adverse health impacts."
Rogers pointed out that unlike other types of particulate matter that are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, dust is naturally occurring in rural areas.
"Further, unlike other types of particulate matter where the links to health effects are well-established, there is considerable uncertainty about whether or not dust from rural activities adversely affects human health," Rogers said. "The bill would not prevent regulation of dust in rural areas if the scientific data on adverse impacts to human health becomes more evident," he added.
Planting and harvesting crops, livestock moving from place to place and people driving down dirt roads are just a few of the ways dust occurs naturally in rural areas. Regulation of naturally occurring dust is a concern for America's farmers and ranchers because it could restrict normal farming activities like these, making it more costly to produce food.