skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, July 13, 2024

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

VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

New IL Law Seeks to Limit PFAS-Based Air Pollution

play audio
Play

Tuesday, June 14, 2022   

Illinois has enacted a new law to prohibit the incineration of some PFAS-based substances.

The man-made chemical compounds are most commonly associated with groundwater pollution.

But Sonya Lunder - senior toxics policy advisor with the Sierra Club - said the per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances may even be able to withstand high-power incinerators, which have been used to dispose of PFAS-based materials.

She explained that the extreme heat can even cause chemical reactions in the compounds.

"If they're partially reacted, they form a variety of harmful breakdown products," said Lunder, "and/or the PFAS would literally just be going up the stack and falling out in the nearby community."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that scientists are still learning about the exact health effects PFAS could have. But high levels of PFAS contamination may lead to - among other issues - lower birth weights, increased risk of cancer and decreased vaccine response in children.

The National Institutes of Health reports there are about 5,000 distinct members of the PFAS family. Lunder explained the bill was narrowed to cover about 170 older PFAS compounds that are still found in some stored-but-unusable firefighting foams.

She said as new PFAS are developed and implemented, more expansive policies may be necessary.

"We are concerned," said Lunder, "because the chemical industry is so rapidly innovating and shifting to new and closely related chemicals that the narrowing that happened to the bill will mean that over time there will be other types of waste that could be burned."

While Illinois' ban may be relatively narrow in scope, Nicole Saulsberry - Illinois state government representative with the Sierra Club - contends it's one of the most robust PFAS-incineration policies in the country.

She explained the measure was based on similar policies in New York, but that those only cover specific communities.

"But with Illinois, it's a statewide ban," said Saulsberry. "So this bill that was passed in Illinois is historic in the sense that we're the only state to have a statewide ban on the incineration of PFAS."

PFAS are also known as "forever chemicals," as they'll essentially never break down under normal environmental conditions.

But Lunder explained that the Environmental Protection Agency is investigating a potential solution - using heat and pressure to destroy the compounds through a process known as supercritical water oxidation.



Disclosure: Sierra Club contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
North Carolina has received more than 105,000 contacts to its 988 system via call, chat and text in the past 12 months. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

North Carolina must increase its crisis response capacity for long-term success, according to a new report by the mental-health policy group …


Health and Wellness

play sound

In response to an alarmingly high number of suicides among construction workers, Michigan's construction leaders have taken measures to tackle mental …

Environment

play sound

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $271,000 in grants for environmental education projects across the state. The programs will …


Organizers say the Swingman Classic is the closest a modern-day fan can get to the historic Negro Leagues. (Danny Hooks/Adobe Stock)

play sound

Major League Baseball's All-Star week kicks off tonight at Globe Life Field in Arlington with the Swingman Classic featuring 50 student athletes from …

Health and Wellness

play sound

New York doctors are advising people how to stay healthy in the summer heat. Temperatures across the state will reach the high 80s and mid-90s in …

Along with extreme temperatures and public health-related states of emergency, a new Virginia law prevents utility shutoffs on Fridays, weekends and the day before or during state holidays. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new Virginia law protects residents from utility shutoffs in extreme weather. The law prevents utility company shutoffs when temperatures are at …

Social Issues

play sound

Minnesotans this month have a chance to share their thoughts on how the state should distribute home energy rebates. With federal incentives coming …

Social Issues

play sound

New Mexico teachers educating young people about climate change don't want them to feel hopeless - and they've developed an educational curriculum to …

 

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