Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) has introduced legislation, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act (H.R. 1633), to remove the threat of excessive, one-size-fits all Washington regulations that could hurt American farmers, ranchers, and small businesses, and cause “significant job losses.”  At a hearing on the legislation held by the Energy & Commerce Committee today, those most affected by the threat of more burdensome regulations on farm dust urged support for the bill to protect jobs and family businesses across America:

  • “The Simple Fact is That Many Farms and Ranches May Be Forced Out of Business.” Steve Foglesong, Ranch Owner & Former National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President: “In fact, in 2009, one cattle operation located in a dust nonattainment area in Arizona spent $400,000 to comply with the current standard.  $400,000 in one year! … And that’ just the current standard; just think about how much it would cost if the EPA were to lower the standard in the future? If that happens, the simple fact is that many farms and ranches may be forced out of business.” (Testimony, 10/25/11)
  • “Could Result in Significant Job Losses.” Pete Lien, President of Peter Lien & Sons, Inc. & National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) Board Member: “One NSSGA member has calculated that in order to meet a reduced standard, a typical facility would have to reduce production by more than two-thirds.  This would substantially change the business model, and lead to plant closure (and the loss of 50 jobs) or a dramatic increase in the price of product.  Given that there are over 10,000 operations in the U.S., and virtually every congressional district is home to an aggregates operation, this could result in significant job losses.” (Testimony, 10/25/11)
  • “It Will Cost Me Time and Money In Lost Labor and Productivity.” Kevin Rogers, President, Arizona Farm Bureau Federation: “However, I can tell you that if I am required to park my tractor on windy days or when soil moisture is insufficient it will cost me time and money in lost labor and productivity.  If I or my employees are limited to driving 15 miles per hour on county roads, it will greatly increase the time we must spend on these roads, taking time away from engaging in other more productive activities.  Others with similar restrictions will suffer similar economic consequences.” (Testimony, 10/25/11)

In her testimony at today’s hearing, Rep. Noem noted the “broad bipartisan support” for the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act

“There is broad bipartisan support in both the House and Senate for this bill. Over 100 of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle have signed on as cosponsors and, as the Committee will see in the record, more than 100 agriculture and resource- based organizations have written in support of this bill.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has identified the possible re-write of farm dust rules as one of the top 10 job-killing regulations on the Obama Administration’s agenda, and indicated that the House will vote on the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act this year.  With the Plan for America’s Job Creators, the new House majority has already voted to stop several job-destroying regulations proposed by the Obama Administration, giving small businesses the freedom and certainty they need to create jobs.  Unfortunately, Senate Democrats have refused to allow most of these bipartisan jobs bills to come to a vote.  Small business owners, including America’s ranchers and farmers, “can’t wait” for relief from the threat of excessive regulations.  We hope the Senate will support this bill, and 15 others that have been passed by the House to create a better environment for job growth.  Learn more: http://jobs.GOP.gov.