Contact: Justin Darisse, 202-879-0816, email@example.com
Washington, D.C. (October 17, 2011)—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) today praised the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement today definitively stating to Congress that the agency will not regulate farm dust.
The announcement came in a letter sent by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
“EPA’s decision today acknowledges common sense and sound science—rural dust does not pose a health threat at everyday background levels,” said Chuck Conner, president & CEO of NCFC. “It is important that farmers and ranchers across rural America have some certainty about what the rules of the game are going to be, and this announcement helps to begin to provide that on the issue of dust regulation.”
The next required review of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter under the Clean Air Act (CAA) will occur in 2013; Administrator Jackson’s commitment means that review of possible regulation of farm dust would not happen outside of this process.
NCFC recently joined with over 120 state, regional and national groups in support of House legislation that would prohibit EPA from regulating dust. The bill, H.R. 1633, will be the subject of a legislative hearing scheduled for next week in the Energy and Power Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
NCFC is a national association representing America’s farmer cooperatives. There are nearly 3,000 farmer cooperatives across the U.S. whose members include a majority of our nation’s more than 2 million farmers, ranchers and growers. These farmer cooperative businesses handle, process, and market agricultural commodities and related products; furnish farm supplies; and provide credit and associated financial services. Earnings from these activities are returned to their members on a patronage basis. Farmer cooperatives also provide jobs for nearly 250,000 Americans, many in rural areas, with a combined payroll of over $8 billion.
Additional information about NCFC can be found at http://www.ncfc.org.