Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (12/08/2011)

Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011 - Prohibits the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from  proposing, finalizing, implementing, or enforcing any regulation revising the national primary ambient air quality standard or the national secondary ambient air quality standard applicable to particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter greater than 2.5 micrometers under the Clean Air Act (CAA) for one year.

Exempts nuisance dust from the CAA and excludes nuisance dust from references in such Act to particulate matter, except with respect to geographic areas where such dust is not regulated under state, tribal, or local law if the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, finds that: (1) nuisance dust (or any subcategory of nuisance dust) causes substantial adverse public health and welfare effects at ambient concentrations; and (2) the benefits of applying CAA standards and other requirements to such dust outweigh the costs.

Defines "nuisance dust" as particulate matter that: (1) is generated primarily from natural sources, unpaved roads, agricultural activities, earth moving, or other activities typically conducted in rural areas; (2) consists primarily of soil, other natural or biological materials, windblown dust, or some combination thereof; (3) is not emitted directly into the ambient air from combustion, such as exhaust from combustion engines and emissions from stationary combustion processes; (4) is not comprised of residuals from the combustion of coal; and (5) does not include radioactive particulate matter produced from uranium mining or processing.

Expresses the sense of Congress that the Administrator should implement an approach to excluding exceptional events, or events that are not reasonably controllable or preventable, from determinations of whether an area is in compliance with any national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) applicable to coarse particulate matter that maximizes transparency and predictability for states, tribes, and local governments and minimizes their regulatory and cost burdens.

Requires the Administrator, before taking a covered action, to analyze its impact, disaggregated by state, on employment levels in the agriculture industry and on agricultural economic activity, utilizing the best available economic models. Defines a "covered action" as an action by the Administrator under the Clean Air Act, relating to agriculture and the primary and secondary NAAQS for particulate matter, to: (1) issue a regulation, policy statement, guidance, response to a petition, or other requirement; or (2) implement a new or substantially altered program. Requires the Administrator to: (1) post such analysis on the main page of EPA's website; (2) request the Secretary of Agriculture to post it on the main page of the Department of Agriculture's website; and (3) request the governor of any state experiencing more than a de minimis negative impact to post such analysis in the state's capitol.

Requires the Administrator to: (1) hold a public hearing in each state in which a covered action will have more than a de minimis negative impact on agricultural employment levels or agricultural economic activity, at least 30 days prior to the effective date of the action; and (2) give notice of such impact to the state's congressional delegation, governor, and legislature at least 45 days before the effective date of the action. Defines "de minimis negative impact" as: (1) a loss of more than 100 jobs related to the agriculture industry, or (2) a decrease in agricultural economic activity of more than $1 million over any calendar year.