Deadly Dust Storms and Factory Farms

We are grateful that Arizona State Senator Steve Farley is safe after his close call in an I-10 pile-up that killed 3 people and injured 12. This was the latest of numerous deadly chain collisions caused by dust storms in Pinal County. It was similar to the 2009 crash that injured 22 people and killed 3, including teenage siblings on their high school break.  

Pinal County's dust pollution is one of the worst in the US, and is largely caused by large industrial-scale animal feedlot operations near the I-10 freeway. 

So what have state lawmakers done to address the cause of these deadly collisions? In the session following the 2009 crash, the Arizona Legislature passed a bill to exempt dairies and feeding operations from county zoning regulations. Despite opposition from many citizens and organizations, and a guest editorial by ADLA, Sierra Club, and SRAP in the Wilcox Range News, Governor Brewer signed the factory farm protection bill into law. 

Senator Farley strongly opposed that bill and others granting exemptions to factory farms. It is ironic that he barely escaped a deadly crash caused largely by the industry he has tried to protect citizens from.