Posted by Rojas @ 11:07 pm on April 30th 2008


Who you gonna call? Why, the EPA, of course.

The Environmental Protection Agency has imposed new regulations to restrict–I am not joking about this–the amount of “fugitive dust” emitted by farms. Joyful Cynic has the details:

This September 21, 2006, ruling defines fugitive dust as particles lifted into the air by man-made and natural activities such as the movement of soil, vehicles, equipment, livestock, blasting and wind. The bureaucrats at the EPA want to limit dust emissions to 150 micrograms per cubic meter in any 24-hour period. As pointed out in Jim Suber’s column in the October 19, 2006, issue of the Wamego Times, that’s “the rough equivalent of one twenty-eighth of one ounce of water in two Olympic-sized pools.”

Ah, where would American agriculture be without the EPA? Fertilizer runoff has created an annual dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico approximately the size of the state of New Jersey (which is also, by interesting coincidence, a dead zone). The EPA has no solutions in mind for the extermination of the gulf fisheries that made Bubba Gump famous, but by God, they’ve got a firm handle on the Impending Dust Crisis.


  1. What I want to know is this: just how are they going to limit dust particles as the result of “vehicles, equipment, livestock, blasting {huh?} and wind”? These people must not have ever actually been on or around a farm. I guess if you get rid of the livestock and quit tilling the soil, you might be able to cut back on the dust they cause, but then again, that might leave a lot of people hungry when the food supply dries up.

    Comment by Laura — 4/30/2008 @ 11:23 pm

  2. A giant vacuum bag surrounding all high-dust sites.

    Comment by Brad — 4/30/2008 @ 11:43 pm

  3. The answer to dust, much to the dismay of environmentalists is water, and lots of it. Think of construction sites with a guy whose sole job it is to sit and spray water on the backhoe as it digs a ditch. Now imagine the brilliantly planned use of water on a farm with plowing equipment.

    If you did it right, you could probably double agricultural water use, all in the name of dust prevention.

    Comment by Cameron — 4/30/2008 @ 11:54 pm

  4. The clear solution is spraying with dioxin-laced waste oil.

    Comment by Adam — 5/1/2008 @ 7:24 am

  5. I reckon it’s time we appointed a “Dust Czar” to head up this “War on Dust”.

    Comment by James — 5/1/2008 @ 1:39 pm

  6. Brad, someone’s gotta empty that vacuum bag at some point–you ever see all the dust THAT raises? And if you merely seal and dispose of that bag (who knows where?)think of all the valuable topsoil that will be gone, which would otherwise just resettle. ;)

    The water application would be interesting. Although by the nature of farming, I imagine some sort of tank-trailer would have to be pulled (or an additional tanker truck would have to follow along, both of which would result in an increase usage not only of water, but of gasoline.

    Seems to me it would be easier and cheaper of those who live in the vicinity of these places just kept their windows closed if the dust bothers them, and if those who have to work in it would wear dust masks. Get a “dust czar” and pretty soon they’re going to tell me I can’t vacuum or clean my house because of the dust it stirs up…come to think of it, maybe that’s NOT such a bad idea!

    Comment by Laura — 5/1/2008 @ 3:43 pm

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