Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson has accepted an invitation from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to visit an Iowa farm to see how a recent EPA rule would affect farmers.
The new rule regulates all aspects of coarse particulate matter, or what most would refer to as dust. Grassley and others are concerned about the difficulty farmers would have containing dust within their farms, and Grassley invited Johnson to visit an Iowa farm to see soybeans being combined and speak with agriculture stakeholders.
The final rule does not currently exempt agriculture, leaving nothing to protect a farmer in court if he or she is sued due to dust caused by the farm. Grassley is concerned, he says, because after EPA officials told him 25 years ago not to worry when superfund legislation was enacted, yet he has seen ag operations sued under that same law.
Grassley also asked the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to hold a hearing on the EPA rule, and he has asked the USDA's Economic Research Service to look into the economic impact the rule could have on agriculture.