Cattlemen Debunk Proposed Dust Regulations
WASHINGTON - Members of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) are urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ditch its proposed regulation of fugitive dust. NCBA cites a lack of scientific validity, flawed assumptions regarding coarse particulate matter concentration levels, and a preponderance of technical evidence demonstrating that fugitive dust from agriculture operations presents no public health concerns. In comments submitted to the EPA this week, NBCA urged the following:
“Our members are proud of their tradition as stewards and conservators of America’s landscapes. They support dust control measures, which range from soil conservation to fugitive dust control plans, many contained in air pollution control permits or approved by air pollution control agencies. They carry out those measures every day of every year in supplying America with the food it needs.
“The preponderance of the scientific evidence continues to demonstrate that fugitive dust from cattle and other agriculture operations presents no substantial health or welfare concerns. EPA’s proposal of a coarse PM standard is not based on sound science. In fact, EPA concedes that there are powerful reasons for not adopting a coarse PM standard.
“Coarse particulate matter is dust in the wind and it falls out of the atmosphere over relatively short distances, therefore central monitor data is not representative of population exposure. Epidemiological studies that rely on monitored air quality data from central monitors that are not representative of population exposure are fundamentally flawed.
“The fugitive dusts from agriculture, are by scientific definition ‘coarse particulate matter,’ namely particles derived from ‘mechanical division’ of earthen and other materials. Fine particulate matter, on the other hand, is derived from the primary and secondary results of combustion.
“NCBA has detailed and documented the overwhelming scientific consensus on the lack of substantial health or welfare effects from such dusts over the last 30 years in the comments it has filed with EPA.”
“Because cattle and other agriculture operations control coarse PM through a variety of technology and management requirements, and rural areas are dusty by nature, little more can be done to comply other than scale back or shut down operations altogether.”