June 18, 2012
The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) is voicing support for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to retain the current coarse ambient air quality particulate standard.
“If the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were to proceed with reducing the current standard by half, as had been considered, a typical aggregates facility would have to cut production by up to two-thirds in order to comply, leading to additional plant closures and significant job loss at a time when aggregates production is down an average of 40 percent across the nation,” said NSSGA President and CEO Joy Pinniger in a press release. “We are pleased EPA has not added additional burdens to our struggling industry.”
Last November, H.R.1633, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, a bipartisan bill preventing EPA from imposing more stringent federal dust standards and exempting nuisance dust from EPA regulation, passed the U.S. House of Representatives. NSSGA Government Affairs Chairman Pete Lien, president, Pete Lien & Sons, Rapid City, S.D., testified on Oct. 25 in support of the bill before a hearing of the House Energy & Power Subcommittee. In his testimony, he said, “Like agriculture, resource-based industries such as aggregates production have limited opportunities to reduce dust. Aggregates are used in nearly all residential, commercial and industrial building construction and in most public works projects. Some dust is generated at an aggregate operation by truck traffic and crushing stone; however, most is from uncontrollable sources such as from roads and windblown dust, particularly in rural areas.”