EPA's Lisa Jackson misinforms (lies to?) Politico on farm dust

Does EPA administrator Lisa Jackson not know what her agency is doing or did she just lie to Politico about EPA regulating farm dust?

Politico’s follow-up article (subscription required) to “Obama’s Unhelpful Advice” reports that Lisa Jackson denied that EPA was regulating farm dust:

After a farmer expressed his concerns about rules and regulations that he heard could hurt his industry to President Barack Obama at a town hall in Atkinson, Ill., on Wednesday, POLITICO tested Obama’s advice that the man “contact USDA.” That didn’t lead to very helpful answers.

The response — eventually — from a USDA representative was that “the question that was posed did not fall within USDA jurisdiction,” but rather the Environmental Protection Agency.

Turns out, Obama administration officials have been trying to fight rumors about various nonexistent regulations in farm states all year. Among them, a “cow tax” on farmers for the greenhouse gases emitted by livestock and limits for ammonia and ammonium under clean air rules.

Earlier this year, EPA struck down a rumor that it would regulate spilled milk the way it regulates spilled oil. To end this misinformation, the agency formally exempted milk containers from rules aimed at preventing oil spills from reaching water supplies. And the EPA’s clean air rules for nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides released in July didn’t include limits for ammonia or other reduced forms of nitrogen.

EPA chief Lisa Jackson, who has been traveling to farm country in an attempt to improve her agency’s image, has repeatedly insisted that the EPA has no plans to regulate farm dust, and she says that the cow tax rumor was a myth started by a lobbyist… [Emphasis added]

But as pointed out here by Olsson Frank Weeda superlawyer Gary Baise:

Agriculture creates dust. EPA claims that Maricopa County [Arizona] is insufficiently reducing dust emissions from agricultural sources. EPA is proposing 53 measures in the Maricopa area to reduce dust. Many of these measures impact agriculture and provide an insight into what EPA may have in mind for other sections of the country under its proposed dust rule.

You may be interested in peering into the future of farm dust control through the eyes of Maricopa County as it relates to agriculture.

EPA is dissatisfied with Maricopa County’s Best Management Practices (BMPs) to control dust emissions from tillage, harvest, and transportation from non-cropland and cropland. EPA claims Maricopa County has insufficient specificity to control agricultural practices creating dust.

An example – the county, in its regulation, would require “modifying agricultural equipment to prevent or reduce particulate matter (dust) generation from crop land”.

EPA says equipment modification is not specific enough. The county had proposed using shields to redirect fan exhaust from the tractors and also using water spray bars that would emit a mist to reduce the dust on the tillage equipment. EPA wants the county to be more specific, as it says “…using appropriately designed spray bars would be far more effective at reducing PM-10 than redirecting a machine’s fan exhaust.”

Then there’s this from Baise:

According to a February Federal Register notice, EPA is taking final action to find that Arizona failed to make a State Implementation Plan (SIP) submittal…for the Maricopa County non-attainment area for particulate matter (farm dust). This dust standard is called PM-10. EPA claims the Maricopa area, which includes Phoenix, has a serious air quality standard violation.

EPA’s decisions in Arizona simply defy credulity and common sense.

Maybe Politico could call Lisa Jackson and ask her to clarify.

11 thoughts on “EPA's Lisa Jackson misinforms (lies to?) Politico on farm dust”

  1. Correction to above, we were slightly above the 80 ppb limit for 2010, and due to record temperatures, we have missed the goal in 2011 for ozone attainment even if we had kept the 80 ppb standard. However, I still object to the “heavily polluted” label. Houston is well below the NAAQS for Sulfur, PM, CO, Lead, and other toxics of all forms. Heck, there was a news article a few months back about how the TCEQ was trying to keep people from fishing in the Ship Channel over PCB concerns. The odd part here was that people were wanting to fish in the Houston Ship Channel, which was compared to battery acid in the 70s. Industry has done a very good job of cleaning up our act, and I’d appreciate recognition for it.

  2. Background for non-Texans. Lubbock is the sort of area that they show in Westerns, broad, featureless, semi-arid plains as for as the eyes can see. The biggest non-sandstorm pollutant around is cow patties.

    Also, MB, please correct the “heavily polluted” label for Houston. We met the 80 ppb ozone standard in 2009 and 2010. If the government hadn’t moved the goalposts on us, we’d be in attainment by now.

  3. Several years ago, Lubbock, Texas failed an EPA air quality survey was was put on the same list as heavily polluted places such as Houston and LA. Lubbock. Texas. I don’t know how many of you have ever been there, but factories and cars are not the problem. Turns out, the EPA showed up and took the test during on of the area’s famous sandstorms. Lubbock failed because of PM content. Congressmen and Senators got up in arms and the EPA finally agreed to a retest on a non windy day. Lubbock passed with flying colors.
    When you test matters as much as what and how.

  4. As much as I hate to think so, the EPA’s actions against Texas make it clear that they are willing to stoop to such levels.

  5. Considering that virtually EVERY appointed official within the Obama Administration, as a matter of absolute daily practice, LIES, this story is not news.

    Why they bother trying to hide it IS news, because it simply shows how disconnected from reality they are.

  6. All this is based on junk science “studies” of mythical people dying from the dust. There is no forensic study to back up any of these purported death claims. *Shock*, *Surprise*, NOT!

    Oh yeah, and weren’t these aerosols and dust particles suppose to seriously reduce gloabal warming???

    So, if dust kills and global warming kills, don’t we have a trade-off here?

  7. Maricopa County is home to Sheriff Joe Arpiao, an arch nemesis of the Obama administration. Could this be retaliation?

  8. When ther nightmare of the Obama mis-Administration is mercifully over we need to discipline future bureaucrats. Lisa Jackson, Carol Bbrowner, John Holdren, Ken Salazar et al, should be prosecuted for perjury and fraud and misfeasence in office.

    Even if the convictions will result in minimal corrections, after the fact, it will warn future would-be criminal bureaucrats, that they abuse their public trust and do so at their own personal peril.

  9. I agree 100%. PM has different effects in different parts of the country. A proven accepted fact. It is the chemicals in the air at the same time that cause human health issues. Lets get the right answers for the right reason.

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