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EPA leaves dust alone — this time

The current PM-10 standard, under which most farms operate, will remain in place until the next review period, which is several years away.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson reiterated that the agency does not plan to expand regulations for dust.  Jackson has proposed retaining the current PM-10 (particulate matter) standard, with no revisions.  The current standard, under which most farms operate, will remain in place until the next review period, which is several years away.

"It is important that a standard for particulate matter be protective of the health of the public," Jackson said.  "Based on my consideration of the scientific record, analysis provided by EPA scientists, and advice from the Clean Air Science Advisory Council, I am prepared to propose the retention with no revision of the current PM-1O standard when it is sent to OMB [Office of Management and Budget] for interagency review."

Some EPA staff members had recommended tightening the dust standard to the point that driving on a public, gravel road or across a farm field could be a punishable violation of the Clean Air Act.  USA Rice Federation fought against further regulation of agricultural dust and will continue to object to any proposals that would be burdensome to agricultural producers.

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