Officials are the Environmental Protection Agency might have stated they have no plans to regulate farm dust, but officials in Nebraska still keep a wary eye on the agency.
Sen. Mike Johanns says he’s relieved the EPA has stated it has no intention to regulate farm dust.
“Well, the EPA said for a long time, ‘Well, we’re not going to regulate farm dust,’ but they finally said it. I mean they finally definitely made that statement,” Johanns says. “I’m appreciative. Because, I just thought they were headed in the wrong direction.”
An EPA report in 2011 recommended strict farm dust regulation, but it was rejected. The EPA could review the policy in the future.
Sen. Johanns has previously introduced legislation to permanently ban the EPA from regulating farm dust.
State Agriculture Director Greg Ibach remains concerned about regulations that might be proposed by the EPA.
Ibach says EPA regulations could have an impact on farming’s bottom line.
“The regulatory environment as far as CAFO’s (Confined Animal Feeding Operations) is always a concern, because Nebraska is very reliant on our feeding industry. So, I think we’re concerned about those,” Ibach says.
Ibach remains concerned that the EPA might seek to expand the reach of the Clean Water Act to enact wide-ranging regulations over waterways in Nebraska.