Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) today condemned Republican legislation that would weaken regulation of particle pollution from mining, smelting and other industrial activities under the guise of "farm dust."
Speaking before the House of Representatives, Baldwin said, "if we were here today voting on a bill that actually stopped farm dust from being regulated by the EPA, I would support it. However, there is no attempt by the EPA to regulate farm dust."
The bill, deceptively labeled "Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act," would radically undermine the bipartisan Clean Air Act protections that have been in place for decades. The bill creates a new category of pollution called "nuisance dust" which it exempts entirely from the Act.
In her floor speech, Baldwin said "to be clear, "nuisance dust' is a made-up term that has no basis in established science. Under this legislation, particulate pollution from open-pit mines, mine processing plants, sand mines, lead smelters and cement kilns would be exempted from the Clean Air Act. These facilities emit course and fine particulates, arsenic, lead, mercury and other toxic substances."
Baldwin called on Congressional leaders to end political gamesmanship and focus on job creation and expanding the payroll tax cut for middle class Americans.