Prior to adjourning for a district work period, Congressman Mike Simpson (ID-02) added his name as a cosponsor of HR 1633, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act. If passed, the bill would stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its current review from imposing more stringent dust standards for one year. Currently, the bill is waiting to be heard in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
The EPA is in the midst of a five-year review of the Clean Air Act’s National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for Particulate Matter (PM). One form of regulated matter, coarse PM (dust), becomes airborne when a person drives on unpaved roads or farmers work in their fields, and is composed primarily of soil particles and naturally occurring organic materials.
“The EPA acknowledges that the evidence that rural dust is damaging to human health is inconclusive, yet they continue to regulate it in the same manner as other forms of particulate matter, for which evidence is more definite,” said Simpson. “This is a prime example of the EPA overstepping its authority without justification. Once again, the EPA has failed to recognize the everyday impacts of over-regulating based on inconclusive evidence.”
There is no US Senate version of this bill at this time.