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Public Statements

Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PENCE. Mr. Chair, I rise as a cosponsor and strong supporter of the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act (H.R. 1633). I want to express my appreciation to the gentlelady from South Dakota, Congresswoman Noem, for her strong leadership on this issue. As a family farmer and sponsor of this legislation, Congresswoman Noem is keenly aware of the devastating effects Environmental Protection Agency regulations can have on our Nation's farmers.

For those who are unfamiliar with farm dust, it is quite simply the everyday dirt and dust present in rural America on fields and country roads. It occurs naturally from dry weather or wind blowing across wide open spaces. Or it can be caused by the act of farming--tilling-up the land or harvesting crops. If you come from rural areas like my home district in Eastern Indiana, you know that farm dust is a part of daily life, and if you make a living on a farm, you probably have never even given farm dust a second thought. But, the EPA, despite the fact that rural farm dust has not been shown to pose a significant health concern, has done nothing to clarify the difference between rural farm dust and harmful pollutants that are common in urban areas. This legislation differentiates farm dust from these harmful air pollutants and gives family farms the certainty of knowing the federal government will not regulate their windblown soil.

Mr. Chair, the EPA needs to leave farmers alone and let them get about the business of farming. The Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act will go a long way in securing the long-term stability of family farms and rural businesses. It would limit the EPA's regulation of this naturally occurring dust by giving state and local governments the ability to address the issue, and it would delay any new National Ambient Air Quality Standards issued by the EPA for one year.

In this difficult economy, family farms must be protected from burdensome, costly federal redtape. The EPA has no business regulating the dirt kicked-up on the farms and back roads of rural Indiana, and I urge my colleagues to support this commonsense legislation.

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