Owens Votes to Ease Regulations on Farms

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Congressman Bill Owens voted in favor of legislation that would rein in regulations on family farms by the Environment Protection Agency. H.R. 1633, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, would prevent the EPA from issuing new rules that regulate “farm dust.” The legislation passed the House of Representatives 268-150.

“Family farms are a main economic driver of the region, and it is critical that we work to provide the tools they need to thrive and expand,” said Owens. “This legislation provides the certainty New York farmers need to make long-term investments in their business and contribute to the economic growth of the region.”

The bipartisan bill will ensure that no new regulations will be written regarding coarse particulate matter on farms, also called “farm dust.” New regulations could prove costly for New York farmers to implement, which would hinder economic development and food security of the region.

Earlier this year, Owens joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to exempt milk spills from being classified in the same manner as oil spills under the Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure program. On February 15, Owens met with EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck, who advised the Congressman that this proposed regulation would not be adopted.

Owens has also worked with local stakeholders and a bipartisan group of colleagues in urging the EPA to abandon a proposed rule that would over-regulate the waste oil created when motorists perform their own oil changes.

Last week, Congressman Owens voted for two bills that would reduce regulations on small businesses in New York. He also offers a forum on his website for small business owners to report regulations they believe to be unnecessary. New Yorkers can find the form here: http://owens.house.gov/Contact/SmallBizRegs.htm