Representative Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) today voted for legislation to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from finalizing regulations that would fine farms and other businesses in rural areas for creating and spreading "farm dust".
"The idea that a Washington bureaucrat is going to chase a South Jersey farmer on their tractor and write them a ticket for creating dust is beyond idiotic," slammed LoBiondo. "I've long supported efforts to protect and improve public health, but when you work and live on a farm, you know there is going to be dust in the air. That's reality. The fact that Congress needs to tell the EPA not to move forward with this absurd regulation demonstrates how out-of-touch the Obama Administration is with the real world."
Federal regulations on dust were last reviewed by the EPA in 2006. At that time the EPA proposed an exclusion for certain rural dust. However, the final rules failed to include it, thus maintaining the EPA's authority to enforce "nuisance dust" provisions under the Clean Air Act. Congressional action today is to ensure the EPA does not take such action.
H.R. 1633, the "Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011," would define "nuisance dust" (aka "farm dust") as airborne matter generated from natural sources, unpaved roads, agricultural activities, earth moving, or other activities typically conducted in rural areas; or consisting primarily of soil, other natural or biological materials, windblown dust, or some combination thereof. The legislation approved by the House today prohibits the EPA Administrator from proposing, finalizing, implementing, or enforcing any regulation revising air quality standards for "nuisance dust" under the Clean Air Act.