|In response to Environmental Protection Agency rules that
regulate agricultural dust, the National Cattlemen's Beef
Association filed a petition Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the District of Columbia Circuit to seek review of the EPA's
standards on fugitive dust.
Tamara Thies, NCBA director of
environmental issues, says the EPA dust rules would regulate
dust produced on farms by "tilling soil, planting and harvesting
crops, driving on dirt roads, spreading nutrients on fields,
mixing feed, and by cattle simply moving around in feedlots."
"Many farms and ranches are simply unable to control dust to
the level EPA requires, even when using best management
practices," Thies says. "The EPA has put agriculture in an
impossible situation, with no scientific justification."
EPA revised the Clean Air Act National Ambient Air Quality
Standards for Particulate Matter this October, including dust
regulations that would apply to fugitive dust from agriculture
operations. An EPA review panel has recommended excluding rural
areas from coarse particulate matter regulation.
Thies says ranchers know how to manage dust on their
"Dust is - at most - a nuisance issue and should be regulated
accordingly. It is not a health issue that warrants regulation
at the level that EPA's rule requires," she says.