EARTHblog » Aaron Mintzes
Particulate Matter Pollution Exists. Farm Dust Exists. Pixie Dust is a Fantasy. And EPA is Still Not Regulating Them.
December 8, 2011
Despite a promised Presidential veto, the House of Representatives voted today to pass HR 1633, the “Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011”. While pollution from PM poses serious public health risks, there is no such thing as farm dust for purposes of the Clean Air Act. Nor is there such thing as farm dust for the purposes of HR 1633; the only place those words appear in the bill is in the title. Farm dust seems like nothing more than tiny harmless grains of common dirt. Since the movement toward new regulations for either dirt or PM is just fantasy, Democrats have mocked this bill as preventing regulation of pixie dust. HR 1633 instead talks about “nuisance dust”.
December 6, 2011
Much of the refrain we hear from the House Majority in D.C. over the government’s proper regulatory role over fracking emphasizes local control. Too often the rhetoric references faceless and unaccountable Washington bureaucrats imposing a one-size-fits-all solution that stifles innovation and efficiency. Beyond the mere rhetoric, we often here fracking proponents argue that local geology calls for local regulation. That is, those elected and regulatory officials closest to and most familiar with the geological differences between, say Texas and Colorado, are best equipped to design a regulatory regime to fit.
Curious then, what we see from the Keystone state. The state legislature in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is debating a pair of industry-supported bills designed to remove a municipality’s zoning power to curb drilling operations. Instead, faceless and unaccountable Harrisburg bureaucrats will decide where, when, and how many drilling wells will appear near schools, hospitals, and senior centers in small townships all over Pennsylvania.