The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is concerned the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) current review of National Ambient Air Quality Standards of the Clean Air Act could result in the regulation of coarse particulate matter (dust) at levels as low as 65-85 µg/m3, or twice as stringent as the current standard.

In anticipation of a proposed rule on this issue, NCBA contracted with John Richards, P.E. of Air Quality Control Techniques to study the likely effects regulating dust at such stringent levels would have on attainment and non-attainment regions throughout the United States. The study concluded that moving forward with regulating dust at anticipated levels would bring vast areas of the United States into non-attainment or to the brink of non-attainment.

NCBA Chief Environmental Counsel Tamara Thies said the current standard is 150 µg/m³ with an allowance of only one violation per year to remain in compliance. However, she added that NCBA expects EPA to propose a new standard of between 65-85 µg/m³ with an allowance of seven violations per year to remain in compliance.