PNS Daily Newscast UPDATE - October 17, 2019 

Congressman Elijah Cummings has died. Also on the rundown: President Trump puts some distance between himself and policy on Syria. South Dakota awaits a SCOTUS ruling on the insanity defense, plus the focus remains on election security for 2020.

2020Talks - October 17, 2019 

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, two members of the Squad, endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders. Plus, some candidates are spending more than they're raising.

Daily Newscasts

EPA Agreement Could Make it Safer to Eat WA Fish

October 13, 2008

Seattle, WA – No one likes fresh fish more than Washingtonians, and there's some welcome news on that front. After years of court challenges and petitions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finally agreed to propose limits on mercury emissions from cement plants.

Mercury pollution has led to health advisories in Washington and 22 other states, about consuming certain types of fish that may be contaminated with the metal. Attorney Jim Pew, who has worked on the case for the environmental law firm Earthjustice says that after a series of delays, the EPA will propose the first-ever mercury limits for cement plants on March 31.

"The March date is driven largely by the fact that EPA just hasn't done its job yet. It's like the kid who comes in to school in the morning with no homework, and you can't make the homework magically appear - the kid has to go back and do the homework."

The new rules would take effect in 2010. In the meantime, Pew says, it is critical that Washington determines how much mercury is being emitted in the state.

"It's just not safe to have uncontrolled emissions of mercury going out the stacks and into our water, and the State of Washington having to tell its citizens that they can't eat fish because they're too contaminated with mercury - that's got to stop."

There's one potential benefit to waiting until March for the EPA's proposal, says Pew - the new mercury limits will come from a new presidential administration. In his opinion, the current administration has a poor track record when it comes to regulating toxic emissions.

Michael Clifford/Steve Powers, Public News Service - WA