Bloomberg News

EPA Says U.S. Rule on Farm Dust Won’t Be Tightened After Review

October 17, 2011

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it won’t tighten air-pollution controls on agriculture, construction or demolition work, after farmers and lawmakers complained that it was ready to outlaw farm dust.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a letter to Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat and chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, that she would propose keeping the current standard for particulate-matter pollution.

“I’m pleased the administration heeded my call to back off of increasing regulation on farm dust so that farmers can keep doing their jobs,” Senator Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, said today in a statement in response to Jackson’s letter.

EPA had never proposed tightening rules on farm dust, and the agency said lawmakers were raising concerns based on a myth about the rulemaking.

Senator Mike Johanns, a Nebraska Republican, and other lawmakers proposed legislation to prevent the EPA from forcing farmers to curb dust in the air when they farm.

In her letter dated Oct. 14, Jackson said that she decided to keep the 1987 dust standard in place after a review of the science, an analysis by agency scientists and recommendations from an outside advisory panel.

--Editors: Steve Geimann, Judy Pasternak

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Drajem in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at

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