Chief Environmental Counsel for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Tamara Thies believes the Environmental Protection Agency has established the foundation for unprecedented regulation of dust. According to EPA's Second Draft Policy Assessment for Particulate Matter, EPA may consider regulating coarse particulate matter at levels twice as stringent as the current standard. Thies says the proposed level would make it virtually impossible for many critical U.S. industries to comply with the standard even with use of best-management practices to control dust.
Thies says many Western states are already having a difficult time meeting the current standard. No-till days have already been proposed for agriculture, severely hindering the ability of farmers to maintain productive operations. In fact, Thies says farmers could be fined for everyday activities like driving a tractor down a dirt road or tilling a field. She warns it would effectively bring economic growth and development to a halt in many areas of the country.
The topic will be brought up for discussion on July 26 during a meeting of EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee as it considers whether to revise the current particulate matter standard.