Skip to comments.EPA says farmers must keep dust down
Posted on 03/01/2009 1:18:14 PM PST by patriotmediaa
EPA says farmers must keep dust down
DES MOINES Nothing says summer in Iowa like a cloud of dust behind a combine.
But what may be a fact of life for farmers is a cause for concern to federal regulators, who are refusing to exempt growers from new environmental regulations.
It's left some farmers feeling bemused and more than a little frustrated.
"It's such a non-commonsense idea that you can keep dust within a property line when the wind blows," said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee who still farms in New Hartford.
Under rules imposed in 2006, rural areas would be kept to the same standards as urban areas for what the Environmental Protection Agency calls "coarse particulate matter" in the air.
The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Pork Producers Council had petitioned the government to provide an exemption to farmers. They argued that evidence of harm caused by dust in rural areas has not been determined.
But the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington ruled Tuesday that the EPA already had provided the evidence necessary to determine farm dust "likely is not safe."
Michael Formica, a lawyer for the pork council, said this means farmers face the daunting task of having to prove that the dust is not harmful.
Formica said his and other groups will consider a further appeal.
Farmers said they will be hard-pressed to meet the standards.
In a letter sent Wednesday to the EPA, Grassley wrote that compliance would be impossible because of the dust produced in farmers' day-to-day activities.
"After all, God decides when the wind blows, not Chuck Grassley," he said.
But the EPA said the regulation was overdue.
Every five years, the Clean Air Act requires the agency to review the newest scientific information and recommend changes to its standards.
In 2006, the EPA determined larger particles in the air than previously thought were a danger to the public. The increased threshold covered air mixes that occur in rural areas.
EPA spokeswoman Cathy Milbourn said the changes are not just a matter of regulating dust. They serve the public's well-being and, regardless of whether someone lives in a rural or urban area, the threshold for unsafe levels of dust in the air must remain consistent nationally.
"It's health-based," she said. "We don't look at a particular industry. The goal is to protect public health."
When counties reach "non-attainment" levels, it becomes a state's responsibility to bring the county back into acceptable levels.
Milbourn said various options exist for states, such as retrofitting buses that run on diesel engines.
But farmers insist the regulation will affect their operations and eventually their bottom lines. And they said unlike fixing a bus, they have few options for limiting dust from their fields and roads.
Roger Zylstra, a Lynnville farmer and director with the Iowa Corn Growers Association, said if left alone, farmers can compete worldwide. But regulation could impede their success.
"We think we've met the demands that have been put upon us and lo and behold, we have new and even more stringent demands," Zylstra said. "It seems really unrealistic."
That’s great, EPA. How?
Hey EPA! BITE ME!
doesn’t matter..”the one” needs money from fines to fund his budget, but it ISN’T a tax ya see, everyone gets their taxes cut..this is a “fine”..
The farmers need to tell the EPA to knock off all the flatulence. The farmers have a job to do. They need to feed the world. The EPA needs to stay in their offices and go back to pondering their genitals.
Iowegians voted for Uh-Bama. Let them lay in the bed they made.
EPA, another bloated government bureaucracy full of morons who couldn’t find honest work, making mindless, feel-good decrees regardless of the consequences.
No problem. Just give them free access to all the water they need to do the job.
Just when you think bureaucrat flunkies couldn’t possibly get more moronic ....
Now the Obamaloons have to deal with their creation. Some people never learn.
Do we have money to pay dust inspectors now?
Fine with me, long as it’s YOUR tax.
All beaches must be closed and paved over due to health danger posed by blowing sand. All baseball diamonds must be closed, including those of MLB due to blowing dust health dangers. For the same reason, the use of brooms is prohibited, including mechanical ones used in street cleaners.
Many farmers vote Democrat, they are getting what they vote for. Second hand dust kills!
Another unconstitutional endeavor taken up by the Feds...EPA.
This one is completely stupid, though. Tell ya what...if you don’t like the dust, stay in the city. We’ll be just fine out here, on our own.
Washington is full of petty liberal tyrants who have not the slightest clue as to life outside the Beltway.
Global food crisis called ‘ticking time bomb’
By Mark Pattison
Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The global food crisis was called a “ticking time bomb” at a Feb. 24 forum during the annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington.
Although prices for cereal grains have dropped since their spike last spring, the crisis has not gone away, according to Rajul Pandya-Lorch, chief of staff at the International Food Policy Research Institute and the head of the institute’s initiative, Vision 2020 for Food.
Instead, she said, the food crisis has been overshadowed by the global financial crisis.
The spike in prices was brought about by unregulated speculation in food commodities, Pandya-Lorch said.
While regulations ordinarily limit purchases of cereal grains to 11 million bushels, the U.S. financial houses Morgan Stanley and American International Group, better known as AIG, used loopholes to buy more than 2 billion bushels of grain, keeping it off the market and sending prices soaring. Rice more than tripled in price, and wheat and corn doubled, she said.
Another driver in food price hikes was the use of food for biofuels. Cereal grain use last year was up 5 percent for food, Pandya-Lorch said, but up 38 percent for energy.
The price spikes whipsawed producers and consumers alike. Because the price of oil also had spiked, producers found it harder to maintain leases on equipment in order to do more planting and take advantage of the higher prices, Pandya-Lorch said, and poor consumers, especially in developing countries, found themselves spending 50 percent to 70 percent of their income on food.
Yet cheap food is not an automatic solution to the food crisis, she said. “People think low food prices are good for the poor in the developing world. They’re not,” Pandya-Lorch declared.
Low prices lead to a flood of cheap imported food from high-yield agricultural nations, creating a disincentive for local farmers to grow their own crops since they cannot compete on price.
A new dynamic in last year’s food price upheavals was a shortage caused by growing demand, according to Pandya-Lorch. Past shortages have been primarily caused by insufficient production.
Even so, the rate of increased yields is declining to about 1 percent to 2 percent a year, she noted. In the early 1990s, the rate of increase had been 1.5 percent to 3 percent, and in the early 1980s the rate of increase had been 3 percent to 5 percent, depending on the type of grain.
The use of grain as animal feed also removes food from the marketplace. It takes 2 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of chicken, she said, but 6 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of beef.
Steve Hilbert, an African affairs policy adviser for the U.S. bishops’ Office of International Justice and Peace, called for calmer markets and the closing of regulatory loopholes.
“We have to say you can’t treat food commodities as you would copper,” Hilbert said.
The Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, which drew 550 participants, was co-sponsored by 18 agencies, including five agencies of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, Migration and Refugee Services, and the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.
Memo to Farmers (and every other person):
You vote democrat, you get this crap.
Our govt, doing all it can to drive all businesses and production out.
Things like this are why its cheaper to grow a watermelon is South America and ship it to America than to grow it here.
I've seen this coming since the Clinton EPA wanted to regulate "microfibers", including all dusts.
At the time I said they would regulate dirt dust from farming.
Don't forget, the Clinton OSHA wanted to regulate home offices too. They wanted to inspect the homes of people who work at home to make sure they had safe working environments, including stair rails, electrical wiring, ventilation, etc.
Watch for this to come back with Osama.
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