WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) today made the following statements after Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson announced in letters to both senators that the EPA will not impose new controls on dust particles on farms and in rural communities. Last week, both Chairwoman Stabenow and Sen. Klobuchar requested that Administrator Jackson provide written assurance that the EPA will not further regulate farm dust. The EPA is currently reviewing its National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter, including proposals to amend the standard.
“Dust is a fact of life in rural America, and imposing new dust regulations on farmers and rural communities would stifle the agriculture industry and hurt rural economies,” Klobuchar said. “I am pleased that the EPA has listened to our concerns and the concerns from across rural America and decided against imposing new burdensome regulations.”
“We raised this issue earlier in the year with the EPA Administrator and the Secretary of Agriculture, and I’m glad they listened to the serious concerns raised by the agriculture community about possible dust regulations,” Chairwoman Stabenow said. “I will continue working with farmers and the EPA to find common ground and common-sense solutions to these issues.”
In March, Chairwoman Stabenow convened a bipartisan meeting of Senators on the Agriculture Committee with EPA Administrator Jackson and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack where this and other issues were discussed.
Both Chairwoman Stabenow and Sen. Klobuchar, who is also a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, have been fighting to curb unnecessary and burdensome regulations on farmers and businesses. They sent letters to Administrator Jackson urging the EPA to protect farmers and rural communities against federal dust regulations. Sen. Klobuchar is the author of the bipartisan Representation for Farmers Act, cosponsored by Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, which aims to add an agricultural perspective to the EPA’s advisory board that is charged with recommending changes to environmental standards such as the new dust regulations.