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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.

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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.

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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.

Ohio Moms: Time to Cross the Finish Line on Mercury Protections

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Thursday, November 17, 2011   

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Some Ohio moms are among those nationwide who say it's time to cross the finish line on protecting Americans from mercury pollution. President Obama will soon finalize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics rule, which would require power-plant owners to cut overall emissions of mercury more than 90 percent.

Jenny Linn, Columbus, is with the Moms Clean Air Force. She says this is a critical issue for women, as mercury pollution can accumulate in their bodies through eating fish.

"Coal plants are allowed right now to put as much of this as they want into our environment, and there's nothing stopping them. There's nothing protecting us, and we need to start stepping up and trying to protect the health of our children and the health of our community."

Opponents of the rule argue it will hurt the economy through job losses and warn it will have a negative impact on utilities and power prices. However, supporters say the EPA has received more than 900,000 public comments in support of the rule, and they warn that delaying implementation will jeopardize the health and well-being of millions of Americans. The rule has been in the works for more than 20 years and has a mid-December deadline.

It's estimated that the pollution reductions required by the rule will result in health benefits worth $59 billion to $140 billion per year.

Rashay Layman, associate organizing representative with the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign, says that's a tremendous impact on public health.

"Health benefits of the EPA's proposed Mercury and Air Toxics standards will result in 17,000 premature deaths avoided, 11,000 heart attacks avoided, 120,000 asthma attacks avoided."

Ohio was recently ranked second in the country for airborne mercury pollution. Last year, more than two-thirds of all such pollution in the state came from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants.


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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

Environment

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

 

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