This week, the full House of Representatives voted on final passage of the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011 (H.R. 1633). It passed by a vote of 268-150. The bill now moves to the Senate where it has been introduced by Sens. Johanns (Neb.) and Grassley (Iowa) and has 26 bipartisan cosponsors (S. 1528). The President has threatened to veto the bill.
A coalition of 194 organizations sent a letter to House leadership expressing their support of H.R. 1633 stating that it would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from changing the national ambient air quality standard for coarse particulate matter for one year. It would allow state and local governments to regulate rural dust to the exclusion of the federal government. If state and local governments choose not to regulate rural dust, the EPA would have the authority to regulate if it found such dust causes substantial adverse health effects and if the benefits of such regulation outweigh the costs.
The American Sheep Industry Association signed on to this letter supporting the passage of the farm dust legislation.