Reconsider dust control

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

We have mixed feelings about Senator Charles Grassley slipping a provision into a tax bill to exempt farm operations from dust control requirements of the Clean Air Act.

On the one hand, we do not like making law by slipping an obscure provision into an unrelated bill, thereby avoiding debate on the matter.

On the other hand, the fact that farm operations were not exempt in the first place from a provision intended for industrial activity was an oversight that may require whatever corrective action is available.

The simple truth is that farm operations cause dust to be in the air and there is no practical way to avoid it.

The exemption which was passed is only effective until 2012. We hope that before that time, Congress makes whatever adjustments are necessary to accommodate the realities of farming.