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PNS Daily Newscast - September 18, 2020 

A federal judge slams the brakes on U.S. Postal Service changes nationwide; and we take you to the state 'out front' for clean elections.

2020Talks - September 18, 2020 

Trump slams the 1619 project on Constitution Day, and Pennsylvania's Supreme Court makes some election changes.

Court Win Means Cleaner Air for Eastern WA

February 2, 2007

Conservation and public health groups are calling it a "victory for clean air," cheering this week's Ninth Circuit Court decision that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot allow Idaho farmers to continue field burning.

Last fall, Eastern Washington public health groups went to court to complain about visibility and breathing problems caused by thick smoke from field burning in neighboring Idaho. The practice is usually illegal, and the suit claimed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shouldn't allow exceptions for North Idaho farmers to burn their crop residue. The Ninth Circuit Court agreed. Attorney David Baron says the E.P.A. will now have to abide by its own law.

"For too long, agribusiness has been getting a pass from regulators on protecting air and water quality, and the time for that has long since passed."

Baron, of the environmental law firm Earthjustice, argued the case, which has national implications in the clean air debate. Baron adds it would be easy to paint the case as "Washington versus Idaho," but that's not entirely accurate.

"Air pollution doesn't respect state lines. It goes where it goes, and I don't think the public is going to care which state is saying what. They want and deserve clean air, and that's what this decision, we hope, will give them."

Farmers in Washington clear land using cleaner alternatives. Baron says the E.P.A. will have to reevaluate Idaho's rules and their impact on neighboring states.

Chris Thomas/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - WA