The House Energy & Commerce Committee voted favorably (33-16) on H.R. 1633, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act.

The bill, introduced by Reps. Hurt (R-VA), Noem (R-SD), Boswell (D-IA) and Kissell (D-NC) on Apr. 15, 2011, has broad bipartisan support with 120 co-sponsors. The NCC and National Cotton Ginners Assn., along with 185 other national and state agricultural organizations, signed on to a letter of support for this legislation.

H.R. 1633 develops a two-prong approach to preventing the EPA from regulating dust in rural America while still maintaining the protections of the Clean Air Act to the public’s health and welfare. The bill prohibits revision of the current dust standard for one year from date of enactment. It also provides flexibility for states and localities to regulate “nuisance dust.”

If there is no state or local regulation in place, the EPA must determine that the type of dust or particulate matter in question causes adverse health effects and that the benefits of further EPA regulation outweigh the costs to the local and regional communities, including economic and employment impacts.

A companion bill, S. 1528, has been introduced in the Senate and currently has 26 co-sponsors.