Soot - particulate from metal, acid, smoke, and other harmful materials - comes from coal-fired power plants, various chemical plants, oil refineries, and other major sources. And when you're talking industrial soot, not fireplace soot, you're talking cancer, asthma, heart attacks, strokes, and premature death.
It is the EPA's job to tell the public how much soot constitutes an unhealthy level. But Congressional Republicans claim that establishing such standards means Big Brother is trying to tell family farmers how much tractor dust they can create.
This is a lie made up by activists to smear the EPA as part of a political agenda. No proposed regulation says anything about farm dust, and EPA officials have repeatedly said they will not issue such proposals. Yet Congressional Republicans and some conservative commentators are using this lie to try and reduce the EPA's ability to enforce the Clean Air Act anyway.
Tell reporters: Stop enabling these lies. Whenever you report on the Clean Air Act, present the history of recent conservative rhetoric vis-a-vis the facts. When you report on bills like the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011 (S. 1528 and HR 1633), tell the truth about the EPA's goals, and point out that not a single proposed regulation contains text affecting farm dust levels. The facts point to a cynical Republican ploy to let fossil fuels and other big corporations pollute more. Objective, accurate reporting requires giving Americans those facts every single time a Senator or Representative claims otherwise.