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Farm Dust EPA Regulation





jwellsy
Those evil rich farmers are making way too much dust. We need much more government control and expanded power to mitigate this environmental disaster. A soft tyranny is a small price to pay for cradle to grave guidance, or should I say dust to dust to dust guidance.

Quote:
By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering a crackdown on farm dust, so senators have signed a letter addressing their concerns on the possible regulations.

The letter dated July 23 to the EPA states, "If approved, would establish the most stringent and unparalleled regulation of dust in our nation's history." It further states, "We respect efforts for a clean and healthy environment, but not at the expense of common sense. These identified levels will be extremely burdensome for farmers and livestock producers to attain. Whether its livestock kicking up dust, soybeans being combined on a dry day in the fall, or driving a car down the gravel road, dust is a naturally occurring event."

Read the letter to EPA signed by 21 senators including Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn

Many in the Oklahoma farming industry are opposed to the EPA's consideration. One farmer said the possible regulations are ridiculous.

"It's plain common sense, we don't want to do anything detrimental," said farmer Curtis Roberts. "If the dust is detrimental to us, it's going to be to everybody. We're not going to do anything to hurt ourselves or our farm."

Roberts, a fourth generation farmer and rancher in Arcadia, said regulating dust in rural areas will hurt farmers' harvest, cultivation and livelihood.

"Anytime you work ground, you're going to have dust. I don't know how they'll regulate it," Roberts said. "The regulations are going to put us down and keep us from doing things we need to be doing because of the EPA."

Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Mike Spradling said the rules could be detrimental to farmers across the Sooner State.

"We as an organization do not feel dust is a pollutant," Spradling said. "It would almost be impossible to comply with what's being addressed now from the EPA as in agriculture. We're doing everything we possibly can."

"It's just common sense, we don't like dust in the morning but it's something we got to live with," Roberts said

http://www.news9.com/Global/story.asp?S=12899662
SonLight
Assuming such regulation would actually work, it's too bad it wasn't in place back in the '30s to avoid the dust bowl. I have to admit that I can't really see dust as a general pollutant. It is locally annoying and even possibly unhealthy in some cases, but the primary long term effect is loss of topsoil from the farmland.

Of course the government should be encouraging means of limiting erosion, and the level of dust in the air could be considered as well in determining how to proceed. The key word here is __encourage__. Clearly it is already in every farmer's best interest not to lose their topsoil, and each farmer is the primary loser if they have excessive dust. Under those conditions, __regulation__ would be silly and serve no useful purpose.
deanhills
SonLight wrote:
Assuming such regulation would actually work, it's too bad it wasn't in place back in the '30s to avoid the dust bowl. I have to admit that I can't really see dust as a general pollutant. It is locally annoying and even possibly unhealthy in some cases, but the primary long term effect is loss of topsoil from the farmland.

Of course the government should be encouraging means of limiting erosion, and the level of dust in the air could be considered as well in determining how to proceed. The key word here is __encourage__. Clearly it is already in every farmer's best interest not to lose their topsoil, and each farmer is the primary loser if they have excessive dust. Under those conditions, __regulation__ would be silly and serve no useful purpose.
Agreed. Especially when one compares this with the major oil spill disaster, the dust becomes even more "dust"?
Jinx
So, basically, the gooberment just figured out how to outlaw DIRT.

For our own good, of course.

Why don't they just seal us all in plastic bubbles when we are born and feed us nutritionally balanced goop while allowing us to interact with the world only virtually so none of us will get sick or hit by a car or dirty or anything. Sheesh!

The human race has been living with dirt and filth for several million years now, and we seem to be all the stronger for it.

And if it's soil erosion that they are worried about why isn't the government subsidizing huge solar powered vertical hydroponic farms like these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertical_farming
Bikerman
Dirt is not the same as dust. It is well established that certain particulates in the air cause lung damage. The farmers point that they wouldn't do anything that damaged their own health is contradicted by experience and history - people frequently damage their own health when money is involved, and have done over history. Miners knew generations ago that it would likely kill them young from lung disease but if it is that or starve then....
If my neighbour starts a fire in his garden that billows noxious fumes into my house then I surely should have the right to stop him. It isn't a question of personal freedom - what about MY personal freedom to be free from noxious air pollution?

The point about living with dirt and filth is interesting. Yes, in Victorian times there was no clean-air act, no brake on dirt and filth. The average life expectancy was 25-40 depending largely on class (the gentry had some opportunity to escape the toxic air).
Voodoocat
Quote:
So, basically, the gooberment just figured out how to outlaw DIRT.

For our own good, of course.


We wanted change, right? Razz

Well, we got it!
deanhills
I find it amazing that they should go for dust, however what about petrol fumes in the cities? Not to mention all the other pollutants in the air? Is it because dust from farming is easy to target, farmers don't pose a threat, but when one gets to general transportation when there are so many vested interests that must be contributing to the campaign funds of members of Congress that people tend to hesitate a little? Argument being, if they go for dust, then fairly and squarely they should go for every other pollutant at the same time. Even cigarette smoke.
Bikerman
I don't know the specifics. Petrol fumes? Where from? Most people like to keep the cap tighly shut - damned expensive to let evaporate. I presume you mean the exhaust? That has been the subject of much legislation to sort out - catalytic converters, clean air act (basically neutered by Bush but still with a couple of teeth left), tougher emissions tests etc. Most modern cars have extremely low emissions.
Your logic does not follow. Particulates are not the same as pollutants. Particulates cause physical rather than chemical damage. Very small particles are breathed in and settle in the alveoli of the lungs.
http://www.airinfonow.com/html/ed_particulate.html
Farmers don't pose a threat? Really? Tell that to the poor sods who died of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease after the BSE outbreak - caused by farmers feeding rendered sheep to cows (vegetarians). Or the farmers who spread foot and mouth disease just because they wanted to sell the animals before the symptoms became obvious. Farmers are people and some people are bad people.

So I take it you would have no problem with someone setting fire to acres of fields of stubble if it was over the road from you? You wouldn't mind? You would cheerfully re-wash all the clothes, curtains, seat covers, etc. No problem reshampooing the carpet and other soft furnishings. I feel a bit strongly about this you see because we used to be subjected to 2 weeks of stubble burning every year by the local XXXXX Farmer. It took me 4 years to get it stopped. Now that isn't quite the same as dust, but it is closer than vehicle fumes.

I have yet to see, by the way, any decent source for what the EPA have actually proposed. All I see on google are what I generally call 'kite flying' stories - ie someone whipping up a non-story with a particular agenda. Politicians do it all the time - pretend the EU is about to ban the british sausage and then go manfully into action against the europeans, returning next day to announce you have seen off this attempt at destroying our national breakfast dish = queue rapturous applause from the Daily Mail readers, puzzled grunts from the Sun readers who lost it after the word 'this', and even more puzzled EU officials watching the TV, wondering what the hell he is talking about since nobody ever even mentioned sausages....

I suspect this is a kite flying exercise and I will remain suspicious until somebody can actually produce something more than speculation about speculation.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:

I suspect this is a kite flying exercise and I will remain suspicious until somebody can actually produce something more than speculation about speculation.

Quite so.

There was a similar story about the EPA wanting to ban lead in bullets and fishing weights... but that too has little to back it up, and may just be a ploy for support from the gun-rights groups.

There at least needs to be a link to or exact quote from an applicable government official about it in order to be believable.
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