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Agricultural News

The Cattle Industry Looks for Ways to Counter EPA Plan to Lower Acceptable Dust Levels

Wed, 18 Aug 2010 7:03:37 CDT

The Cattle Industry Looks for Ways to Counter EPA Plan to Lower Acceptable Dust Levels

Dust rolling across the countryside is bad for human health- so says the Environmental Protection Agency and they believe they must crack down on "dust polluters." Every five years, the EPA is required to review scientific studies associated with "criteria pollutants" regulated under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) of the Clean Air Act to determine if the pollutant is regulated appropriately. One of the criteria pollutants is particulate matter (PM, including dust). The NAAQS is a health-based standard. In other words, Congress determined that in order to regulate a pollutant under the NAAQS, scientific studies must show that the pollutant causes adverse health effects. Conversely, if scientific studies do not show that a pollutant causes adverse health effects, it is not supposed to be regulated under the NAAQS.

It's the contention of many groups involved in agriculture that "dust happens" and that it does not cause adverse health effects.We talked this past weekend with Colin Woodall of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association about the dust regs and how they may impact ranchers and feedlots. He says the EPA wants agriculture to accept lower levels of acceptable dust- and that changing farm practices should happen. For example, their idea of helping hold dust down is to only allow tillage operations to go on at night when humidity levels are higher than during the heat of the day.

We discuss how the ag industry can push back on this issue and demand some common sense in how the Clear Air Act is approached in farm and ranch country.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today. Just click on the Beef Buzz button found on the left hand side of any page on this website.


Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Colin Woodall about the Four Letter Word- DUST.
right-click to download mp3


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