Idaho Falls Citizen Journalism

Federal & Idaho

Congressman Mike Simpson Idaho

Congressman Mike Simpson today voted to prevent any effort by EPA to regulate farm dust. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 1633, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011, by a vote of 268 -150. Simpson, who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the EPA’s budget, is a cosponsor of this legislation.

“Any effort by a federal agency to regulate the dust created when a person drives on unpaved roads or when farmers work in the field would wreak havoc on farmers, livestock producers and other agriculturalists, especially in rural areas like Idaho,” said Simpson. “I was pleased to see this bill pass the House and am hopeful that the Senate will take a similar position on this issue—that increasing regulation of farm dust is as ridiculous as it sounds.”

H.R. 1633 ensures that the EPA could not impose more stringent dust regulations for one year. The agency is currently in the midst of a five-year review of the Clean Air Act’s National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for Particulate Matter.

The U.S. government proposed protecting old-growth forests in Idaho and Washington state on Tuesday to save the nation's dwindling population of mountain caribou, popularly known as wild reindeer. Under the plan, roughly 375,000 acres of mostly U.S. Forest Service land in the Selkirk Mountains in northern Idaho and northeastern Washington would be designated as critical habitat for the reclusive caribou. 

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