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Far From Over
by Lacy Gray, click here for bio
Program: Food Forethought
Date: June 20, 12
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The Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement last week that it plans to retain the current coarse particulate matter standard is a little like good news/bad news. The agency’s decision to keep things status quo is undoubtedly welcomed by the agricultural community. But the issues surrounding farm dust are probably far from over. There is still a comment period, with the final standard yet to be announced. In a settlement agreement with environmentalists the EPA agreed to release the final dust standards in December of this year. It’s not surprising the final announcement will come after the political elections. What the EPA will do eventually is anyone’s guess. History dictates that the final standard is generally quite different than the proposed standards. The EPA’s last two revisions of the coarse particulate matter standard were obvious attempts to do away completely with the dust standard that’s in accordance with the science. We can only hope that the EPA keeps the PM 10 standard that the science determines. If come December the EPA administrator decides to lower the PM10 standard, the repercussions for the ag industry will be immense.
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