SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

December 12, 2011

Brown bucks GOP, votes to appoint Cordray as Consumer Protection chief: Roll Call for week of Dec. 5

WASHINGTON — WASHINGTON - Here’s how members of the Massachusetts delegation in Congress voted on major issues the week of Dec. 5:

HOUSE

DISPUTE OVER RURAL DUST: Voting 268 for and 150 against, the House on Dec. 8 sent the Senate a Republican bill (HR 1633) to bar any new Environmental Protection Agency regulation of coarse-particle dust generated by farming and certain other activities in rural areas. Republicans advanced the bill even after EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said there will be no such regulation.

 The bill addresses particulate matter greater than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. Additionally, it assigns state, local and tribal governments the lead role in regulating fine-particle “nuisance dust” prevalent in rural areas from activities such as earth moving and driving on unpaved roads.

Kristi Noem, R-S.D., said: “Regulation of farm dust is a problem today and will only continue to be a problem ... if we do not pass this bill.” The bill “doesn’t eliminate any regulations. It simply leaves the regulation of rural dust to the states and to the local communities who best understand how to manage what is happening in their own backyard.”

John Dingell, D-Mich., called the bill “a magnificent solution to a nonexistent problem. But it’s made a lot of money for a lot of lobbyists, and a lot of industrial polluters are going to enjoy this, hiding behind the supposed benefit that it’s going to give to the farmers. ... This legislation is not going to help the farmers | it’s going to help the people who farm the farmers.”

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: None

Voting no: John Olver, D-Amherst; Richard Neal, D-Springfield; James McGovern, D-Worcester; Barney Frank, D-Newton; Niki Tsongas, D-Lowell; John Tierney, D-Salem; Edward Markey, D-Malden; Michael

Capuano, D-Somerville; Stephen Lynch, D-Boston; William Keating, D-Quincy.  

Not voting:   None

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