Monday, March 16, 2009

Court Upholds EPA Crackdown on Agriculture

The U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington ruled that the Clean Air Act authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate agriculture in the United States. The case stemmed from the American Farm Bureau Federation's appeal of a 2006 EPA effort to hold farms to the same standards as cities with regard to particulate air pollution.
EPA spokeswoman Virginia Landers lauded the court for rejecting the argument that farming naturally entails stirring up dust. "When you get right down to it, the whole agricultural process of turning over the soil to plant crops is unnatural," Landers observed. "No plant sows its own seeds in such a destructive and unhealthy manner."

Landers said the contention that EPA rules banning the emission of dust would be economically devastating to the industry is irrelevant. "Our mandate is to safeguard the environment," Landers pointed out. "'Raping the land' is not a protected activity under the Clean Air Act. Those who cannot conduct their business in an environmentally approved manner should look for other work. If this means that farmland reverts to its natural state, so much the better for the planet."

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