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PFB Comments on Air Quality Standards
Darrin Youker, Member Communications Director
For Immediate Release: July 17, 2012
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Offers Comments on Air Quality Standards at EPA Hearing
(Philadelphia) – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to keep its current policy of not altering its air quality standards for farm dust, and refrain from enacting onerous restrictions in the future.
Testifying before an EPA hearing at its Philadelphia region headquarters today, Donald Ranck, Vice President of the Lancaster County Farm Bureau, told a panel that farm dust is an unavoidable fact for farm operations.
EPA officials are reviewing their air quality standards for particulate matter. The EPA classifies particulate matter into two types: fine particulate matter and course particulate matter. Each has its own air quality standards. Fine particulate matter is the type that is emitted from vehicles, power plants and factories, while course particulate matter comes from sources that includes farm dust.
The EPA is making changes to its standards for fine particulate matter, but is not changing regulations governing course particulate matter. PFB supports the EPA’s decision to not change air quality standards for sources that includes farm dust, and also asked the agency not to enact more stringent standards in the future.
“Dust in rural America is a fact of life,” Ranck said. “It results naturally from such normal day-to-day activities as working in farm fields, driving on unpaved rural roads and moving livestock from one location to another.”
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of more than 53,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.