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Fact Check: Cain 'dust's off' false claim

In Herman Cain's new TV ad in Iowa, the campaign presents farmers talking about the fear that the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to regulate farm dust.

"The EPA wants to regulate dust on farmers," says one farmer in the ad. "You can't plow a field without dust. My dog makes dust."

But the EPA has been regulating "particulate matter," which includes dust, since 1971, when the Clean Air Act was passed. The agency proposed tightening restrictions on "particulate matter," but there is no new regulation going into effect.

The non-partisan FactCheck.org wrote the following on Sept. 23 after Cain made the claim at the Fox Orlando debate that the EPA had "gone wild" and was set to put in place the "new" regulation Jan. 1, 2012:

"The EPA is required by the Clean Air Act to periodically review the scientific information available on particulate matter to determine if changes are needed to the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Particulate Matter. That substance, which includes soil and dust particles, is considered to be a risk to public health, according to the EPA.

"Earlier this year, the EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards released a report with its final recommendation that the agency move to tighten the restrictions on particulate matter that are currently in place. But the panel’s recommendations have been met with much opposition from farmers who say that increased regulations could hurt their industry. And several members of Congress have introduced legislation to block any attempt at implementing stricter limits.

"But, so far, the EPA has not decided to take any particular action on the panel’s recommendations.

"During congressional testimony back in March, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that it was a 'mischaracterization' to claim that the 'EPA is attempting to expand regulation of dust from farms,' saying that the agency had 'no plans to do so.' Jackson had said that she would make a final determination this past July on what the EPA would do, but has yet to do so."

Politifact Georgia also wrote:

"The EPA has been regulating large particulate matter, including dust, for four decades, but does not single out farm dust or require monitoring in more rural areas."