Rep. Fincher Takes Lead On EPA Dust Rule Opposition

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Published: March 17, 2011
Updated: June 19, 2011

Rep. Fincher (R-TN) has joined fellow freshman Rep. Noem (R-SD) in circulating a Dear Colleague letter urging House Members to co-sign their letter to EPA Administrator Jackson – a letter that expresses opposition to EPA considering any proposal to reduce the current standard for coarse particulate matter (dust).

Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), the EPA is required to review the National Ambient Air Quality Standards every five years. Particulate matter is one of six pollutants subject to the periodic review. An EPA advisory board, which advises EPA on the standards, concluded that current health data could be used to justify either (1) maintaining the current standard or (2) reducing it. The EPA has not made a formal proposal, but it has been widely reported that the agency is considering reducing the allowable levels by 50%.

In their letter to Administrator Jackson, Reps. Fincher and Noem state, “Given the difficulty and expensive process of mitigating dust in most settings, the revised standards could have a devastating impact on rural communities and greatly reduce our nation’s food security.”

Prior to his election in ’10 to serve Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District, Rep. Fincher was a managing partner in Fincher Farms, a West Tennessee based diversified farming operation. He serves on both the Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.