Rural "nuisance dust" would be regulated by state and local officials rather than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under a bill approved by the U.S. House on Dec. 8, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.
The House approved the bill by a 268 to 150 bipartisan vote. The measure -- H.R.1633, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011 -- now goes to the Senate for consideration.
The bill would bring much-needed certainty to the off-highway vehicle (OHV) community by exempting rural nuisance dust from EPA regulation and allowing states and localities to regulate it, said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations.
"Allowing the EPA to regulate rural dust rather than state and local officials who know the areas well could lead to de facto bans of OHV use on racetracks, in designated recreation areas, on trails and even on private property all across this country," Allard said. "That's why it's critical that this measure pass the full Congress."
The EPA staff and its Clean Air Science Advisory Council -- in its review of the national ambient air quality standards that is required every five years under the federal Clean Air Act -- recommended that the EPA administrator consider imposing a much tighter particulate matter (PM) standard for nuisance dust.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson indicated she doesn't support the staff and Clean Air Science Advisory Council position in a letter dated Oct. 14 to Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.
Even with Jackson's statement, the AMA and its partner organization, the All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA), are concerned with the likelihood of a tougher PM standard, and, therefore, support the passage of H.R. 1633.
To ask your senator to support the bill, go to AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Rights > Issues & Legislation
, then enter your zip code in the "Find your Officials" box.
The AMA is tracking how federal lawmakers vote on issues of concern to motorcyclists and ATV riders, and this is one of the bills being tracked. The voting results will be included in the AMA's 2012 "Vote Like A Motorcyclist" Voter Guide, which is a tool to help AMA and ATVA members decide how to cast their ballots in November.