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Air Quality:
NOW: dust control; best management practices

Our Position: oppose
Bill Number: SB1225
Sponsor: Konopnicki
Legislative Session: 2009 Legislative Session

SB1225 NOW: dust control; best management practices (S. Pierce) does several things which will contribute to poor air quality.  It adds five people to the agricultural best management practices committee – someone representing a cattle feedlot, a dairy, a poultry operation and a swine operation, plus one county person; this just means more foxes guarding the henhouse (see poultry provisions). The bill also shifts the regulation of particulates, such as it is, of poultry and swine operations as well as feedlots and dairies from the county to this state best management practices committee and to limited, if any, real oversight. Members of the best management practices committee are appointed by the Governor and are responsible for adopting an agricultural general permit that outlines best management practices for regulated agricultural activities in order to reduce particulate (PM-10) emissions.  As drafted, the bill will mean backsliding on our state implementation plan for particulates and violates the Clean Air Act as there is no guarantee the best management practices will be as strong as or stronger than those required at the county level. These facilities are not your family farms, but represent industrial agriculture and all of its associated environmental problems.  They should be regulated as such.  Overall the bill is intended to undercut county authority to regulate these facilities and is specifically targeted at undercutting efforts by Pinal County to regulate these polluting facilities.

 

Coarse particulates (PM10) are particles that are 10 micrometers in diameter or smaller.  (For comparison, the average human hair is about 75 microns.)  When these particles are inhaled, they can affect the heart and lungs and increase respiratory symptoms, irritation of the airways, coughing, difficulty breathing, and more.  The elderly, children, and those with respiratory or other health issues are at greatest risk relative to particulate pollution. There are many good reasons for opposing this bill, but protecting public health is certainly the most critical one.

 

 

Status

To read the bill and see a more detailed status click on SB1225.

Action Needed

Call Governor Brewer at (602) 542-4331 or toll free at 1-(800) 253-0883.  You can email here by clicking on Governor Brewer and then filling in the online form. 

To email your legislators or find their direct phone numbers, click on Legislators and then click on their name for contact information.  If you are not sure who your legislators are, please go to http://www.vote-smart.org or call the House or Senate information desks.  If you're outside the Phoenix area, you can call your legislators’ offices toll free at 1-800-352-8404.  In the Phoenix area call (602) 926-3559 (Senate) or (602) 926-4221 (House) and ask them to connect you with your legislators.

Contact

Sandy Bahr at (602) 253-8633 or sandy.bahr@sierraclub.org

Background

Coarse particulates (PM10) are particles that are 10 micrometers in diameter or smaller.  (For comparison, the average human hair is about 75 microns.)  When these particles are inhaled, they can affect the heart and lungs and increase respiratory symptoms, irritation of the airways, coughing, difficulty breathing, and more.  The elderly, children, and those with respiratory or other health issues are at greatest risk relative to particulate pollution.

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