The Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, H.R. 1633, passed the House of Representatives on Dec. 8 by a vote of 268-150. The Farm Bureau-backed bill received strong bipartisan support, with 33 Democrats voting in favor of the bill along with 235 Republicans. Congressmen Black, Desjarlais, Flesichmann, and Fincher were all co-sponsors. In addition, the following Tennessee congressional members voted yes on the bill: Blackburn, Duncan and Roe.
The bill now moves to the Senate. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) is the sponsor of S. 1528, the Senate companion to H.R. 1633, and he is calling on the Senate to take up the bill.
The bill would exempt naturally occurring “nuisance dust” in rural areas from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation under the Clean Air Act. “Nuisance dust” in rural areas comes from such normal activities as driving on unpaved roads, plowing fields or moving livestock. EPA admits that it lacks the scientific evidence to establish a link between the presence of such dust in the air and adverse human health effects.