Earlier this month, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack posted a frank denial of a U.S. Department of Agriculture or Environmental Protection Agency plot to increase regulation of coarse particulate matter (dust) with regard to farmers.
The fight over farm dust has been a long-standing, and baffling, controversy. House Republicans have passed legislation limiting the EPA’s authority to regulate dust pollution as a part of their mandate under the Clean Air Act. Many farmers were worried that the EPA would attempt to ban dust pollution.
The EPA, however, has flatly and repeatedly denied that they are interested in regulating farm dust. Vilsack’s blog post forcefully stated that position, claiming, “Simply not true! The EPA is not now, nor has it ever proposed regulating dust.” He went on to blast House Republicans for wasting time on a non-issue rather than focusing on job creation.
South Dakota Representative Kristi Noem, the sponsor of the House legislation banning dust regulation, recently fired back, stating, “[Vilsack] doesn’t like Congress using its authority to tell EPA what its boundaries are, but that’s our job. At the end of the day, his job should be to represent producers in this country, not the president.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer