Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Court backs EPA rules on farm dust; pork lobbyist claims it would limit non-farm rural development

The federal appeals court for the District of Columbia has upheld a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate farm dust, despite howls of protest from agriculture groups and warnings that the rules could inhibit non-farm development in rural areas.

EPA considered exempting farming and mining, but decided it could not exclude specific industries. the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Pork Producers Council said EPA "failed to show any negative health effects associated with the dust," reports Robin Bravender of Greenwire. But S. William Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, said "Coarse airborne particles in rural areas were often coated with pesticides, herbicides, toxics or metals, and could pose risks similar to those in urban areas." (Read more)

Michael Formica, the pork producers' chief environmental counsel, "fears the dust rule will also affect economic development in rural communities," reports Ken Anderson of Brownfield Network. “This isn’t just going to impact the existing producers,” Formica told Anderson. “This is going to prevent new producers from moving into town, or new manufacturing jobs from moving into town — or new ethanol refineries from going into place.” (Read more)

No comments: