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The Waffle House shooter had an earlier weapons arrest near the White House. Also on our Monday rundown: new eviction data underscores America’s affordable-housing crisis; plus we will take you to a state where one county is putting juvenile justice under public health.

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Carbon Emission Rules Could Bring Benefits for Economy and Health

PHOTO: Supporters of limits on carbon pollution say Iowans with asthma will be among those reaping health benefits. Detractors say the new regulations will slow the economy. Both sides weigh in at EPA hearings this week. Photo credit: Jenn Durfey / Flickr.
PHOTO: Supporters of limits on carbon pollution say Iowans with asthma will be among those reaping health benefits. Detractors say the new regulations will slow the economy. Both sides weigh in at EPA hearings this week. Photo credit: Jenn Durfey / Flickr.
July 29, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking public comments on new rules to cut carbon pollution from power plants by nearly one-third from 2005 levels. While critics say the limits will have a negative economic impact, supporters say a healthy environment actually makes for a healthy economy.

Former EPA administrator Carol Browner cites one study that found clean air rules saved the U.S. about $1.3 trillion in 2010.

"We don't have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment. The two go together," Browner says. "The EPA proposal is a clear example of how you can find common sense, cost-effective ways to clean our air and protect the health of our communities."

The EPA will hold public hearings on the carbon emission rules in Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. Those in Iowa who would like to comment can do so via the EPA website through October 16th, or can do so by email, fax or letter.

Another benefit of reducing carbon pollution is saving lives, says Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies professor Laura Anderko, who notes thousands of Americans die from the health effects of air pollution every year. They often are children or the elderly, or from poorer communities located downwind of power plant smokestacks.

"People are sick and they can't go to work, or kids are sick and they can't go to school," says Anderko. "All of these E.R. visits from asthma attacks and hospitalizations cost a great deal of money."

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, asthma is a prevalent chronic condition among the state's children, and for adults it impacts more than 10 percent of the population.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA