Some Iowa farmers are concerned about the Chemical Security Act being debated by Congress as part of the Homeland Security Bill. The act wouldrequire security upgrades at facilities with certain hazardous materials — including farm chemical suppliers. Rebeckah Freeman, a pesticide specialist with the American Farm Bureau, says the intent is good, but it’s a bad idea.Freeman says you don’t protect the U-S and make it more secure through bad policy or knee-jerk reactions. Freeman says the biggest problem is that the U-S Environmental Protection Agency, or E-P-A, would regulate the new provisions. Freeman explains that’s the main reason farmers are concerned about the proposed Chemical Security Act. She says they don’t want the E-P-A treating farmers like they treat large chemical companies.She says farmers are expressing their concerns to members of Congress — and to others who’ll listen.Freeman says farm supply stores should be allowed to voluntarily comply with new rules, but then they should answer to the soon-to-be-established Department of Homeland Security, not the E-P-A.
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