The American Farm Bureau Federation is warning that the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to place further restrictions on air quality standards would damage agriculture and rural communities if implemented.
The move to tighten already strict ozone standards would impose significant cost to farmers and ranchers without delivering a guaranteed benefit to the public, AFBF said in formal comments submitted to the EPA late yesterday. Although it is a relatively small contributor to ozone levels, agriculture would be hit hard. Basic farming activities such as animal feeding, pesticide application and waste management would be further restricted even as proposed limits are at or near naturally occurring levels in some areas. Higher costs to meet special requirements for vehicles and fuel would be passed on to farmers and ranchers who depend on affordable energy to stay competitive in the global economy.
“EPA’s proposed ozone standards would limit business expansion in nearly every populated region of the Unite States. U.S. industry and agriculture, alike, will create fewer jobs and be less competitive in the world market if these proposals are implemented,” said Dale Moore, AFBF executive director of public policy. “The hardship to farmers, ranchers and rural America will be real and immediate, while the benefits are unverified and uncertain.”