skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

FirstEnergy first to abandon interim clean-energy goals for addressing climate change; the body of an 11-year-old Texas girl who disappeared on her way to school has been found in a river; and Indiana youth reported to be making progress despite challenges.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The U.S. rejects a U.N. resolution on Israel-Gaza ceasefire, but proposes a different one. Some Democrats vote against Biden to protest his policy on Gaza and a California woman is being held in Russia.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Drones over West Texas aim to improve rural healthcare, the Ogallala Aquifer, the backbone of High Plains agriculture, is slowly disappearing and federal money is headed to growers of wool and cotton.

EPA Chips Away at Mercury Rule; Critics Say Communities of Color at Risk

play audio
Play

Tuesday, April 21, 2020   

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that 2016 air-pollution controls placed on mercury emitted from coal-fired power plants are "neither appropriate nor necessary," citing the cost of compliance.

For now, the regulations will remain in place, but critics say the agency is ignoring the science pointing to mercury as a potent neurotoxin with a host of negative effects on human health.

Harvard University professor in the Kennedy School of Government Joe Aldy said there are deep flaws in the EPA's recent analysis of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, known as "MATS." He said the agency isn't acknowledging the reductions in fine particulate matter that have occurred alongside reductions in mercury pollution.

"When EPA first issued the rule, it explained in a 2011 analysis that the benefits of reducing particulate matter pollution, and thus causing fewer premature mortalities, cases of severe asthma and other respiratory conditions, would be valued in the tens of billions of dollars per year," Aldy said. "This EPA zeroed these out."

A study published in 2017 found that between 2006 and 2016, mercury emissions from U.S. coal-fired power plants shrank by 85%.

Dominique Browning, director of the group Moms Clean Air Force, pointed out that if MATS regulations aren't in place, the health burden will fall disproportionately on pregnant women, low-income communities and communities of color, who are more likely to live near industrial power plants.

"Nearly 2 in 5 Latinx live within 30 miles of a power plant, and 68% of African-Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant," Browning said.

Several research studies also have linked pregnant women's exposure to air pollution - including mercury, vehicle exhaust, lead and other sources of outdoor air pollution - to an increased risk of babies being born with autism.

Reporting by North Carolina News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the Park Foundation


get more stories like this via email

more stories
The lands under consideration for the Sáttítla National Monument in the Medicine Lake Highlands are currently managed by the U.S. Forest Service. (Bob Wick)

Environment

play sound

Tribes in far northeastern California are pressing President Joe Biden to create a new national monument about 30 miles from Mount Shasta. The Pit …


Social Issues

play sound

Every state has been screening newborns for several decades, usually performing a heel-prick blood test, a hearing test and a heart check. Several …

Social Issues

play sound

Maine could become the first state in the nation to provide public funding to candidates seeking the office of district attorney. Lawmakers are …


Salmon populations have dwindled in the Northwest, hurting the orcas that rely on them for food. (Stanislav/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has decided to list Southern Resident orcas as an endangered species. With it comes guidelines for how the …

Social Issues

play sound

Student loan borrowers of all ages in Nevada and around the country have an opportunity to have their student loans canceled or the chance to receive …

Automotive manufacturer Ford estimates it will create 2,500 new American jobs through its EV production plant in Marshall. (sofirinaja/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Early voting for primaries in Michigan began this weekend. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., in a change from Democratic support, urged voters to block …

Health and Wellness

play sound

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, and young people often find it hard to navigate experiences of harm…

Environment

play sound

Indiana climate leaders gathered this month to share knowledge and create strategies to address the effects of climate change. Together, they are …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021