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EPA Administrator Jackson Calls to Retain Current Dust (PM10) Standards

November 3, 2011

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said last month that it will not seek to revise the standards for dust, alleviating major concerns for farmers and ranchers throughout the country, especially in the West.

Recently, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced her plans to retain the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for coarse particulate matter (PM10). There is still anxiety by some that this announcement is just a slight victory, while the days of farm dust being regulated further by EPA is not too far down the road.

There have been ongoing efforts in Congress to delay or halt EPA from revising the standards. Legislation has been introduced by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) that would contain EPA’s regulatory overreach, and virtually exempt farm dust from ever being regulated by the agency. A large coalition of agriculture stakeholders, including NMPF, have signed a letter pledging support for Rep. Noem’s legislation (HR 1633).