Wednesday, October 18, 2006

EPA says it won't "bust for dust"

According to the Register, the EPA director says that while new dust limiting regulations will not exempt agriculture, the government has no plans to go after farmers for kicking up some dirt in the fields.

A couple of weeks ago this issue surfaced, with Sen. Chuck Grassley getting some points by setting up a straw man and knocking it over. The EPA, in updating regulations concerning dust emissions, did not specifically exempt agriculture. Of course, dust is a natural part of farming, especially during harvest time, and Chuck got upset (or took advantage of the situation) and made hay over the issue.

The EPA director, at Grassley's behest, came to Iowa this week to let us hayseeds know that the EPA has no intention of regulation farm dust. But, because the studies of dust are "inconclusive", no exemption for agriculture will occur. This still worries some ag leaders.

Frankly, regulating the dust that comes out the back of a combine makes as much sense as forcing goatherders to put diapers on their goats.

Grassley did use this as an opportunity to get the spotlight, especially in calling the EPA director out to Iowa to talk in a farmer's garage on a rainy day. How much did this trip cost the taxpayer, Chuck?

While I would not want to have dust regulated in farming, I think much ado about nothing is being created here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Senator Grassley should be congratulated for sticking up for Iowa farmers. This is not the first time on this subject, however. I remember his page 1 quote in the Register in '79 or '80,"...only God controls dust."

6:40 PM, October 18, 2006  
Blogger Don said...

The EPA may be saying now that it has no intention to enforce the dust regulation against farmers, but as long as the regs are on the books, all it will take is one tenacious neighbor with an axe to grind and some dust-producing farmer will be in trouble. The EPA doesn’t even have to be made to enforce its regs, a civil lawsuit will do the job just as well. It’s the law, after all, and the farmer should have to comply or pay for whatever damage can be claimed to have occurred.

I’ve seen too many of these laws “that weren’t going to be enforced” come back to bite somebody.

11:26 AM, October 23, 2006  

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