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PNS Daily Newscast - February 20, 2019 


Sen. Bernie Sanders enters the 2020 race for president. Also, on the Wednesday rundown: Tuition or meals? We take you to a state where college students fight food insecurity. Plus, another state's attempt to legalize hemp.

Daily Newscasts

Public News Service - MT: Toxics

Mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants dropped nearly 82 percent after the EPA put stricter emission limits in place in 2012. (Tim Evanson/Wikimedia Commons)

HELENA, Mont. – The Trump administration is set to weaken standards limiting emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants. Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has indicated that his agency will maintain the Obama-era Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Howev

Unlike some other states, Montana doesn't have setback limits mandating how far away wells must be from buildings and homes. (Northern Plains Resource Council)

HELENA, Mont. – The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday held its only public hearing on a proposal to roll back regulations on methane leaking for the oil and gas industry. The meeting took place in Denver, but advocates for health and the environment traveled to it from around the

The defunct Mike Horse Mine must be perpetually treated so that it doesn't pollute the nearby Blackfoot River. (Earthworks/Flickr)

HELENA, Mont. – Montana environmentalists and outdoor recreation businesses are looking to hold new hard rock mining companies accountable for the messes they make. A measure on this November's ballot, Initiative 186, would require new hard rock mines to have detailed reclamation plans so th

More than 12 million Americans live within a half-mile of an active oil or gas well, compressor or processor, according to a new report. (Tim Evanson/Flickr)

BAINVILLE, Mont. – A new report focusing on people who live on the front lines of oil and gas operations says they face greater risks of asthma, cancer and other illnesses. From the group Moms Clean Air Force, "Face to Face with Oil and Gas" looks at families dealing with benzene, methane, si

Coal-ash ponds at the Colstrip Power Plant are leaking about 200 million gallons of contaminants a year into the ground, according to a new report. (Eric Warren)

COLSTRIP, Mont. – Thoroughly cleaning up coal-ash ponds at the Colstrip Power Plant would lead to a significant number of jobs, according to a new report. The Northern Plains Resource Council and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 1638, representing maintenance and operations wor

Leonard Higgins, who shut down a pipeline in Coal Banks Landing, Mont., faces the possibility of up to 10 years in prison. (Climate Direct Action)

FORT BENTON, Mont. – In October 2016, Leonard Higgins and four other activists concerned about the imminent impact of climate change took action into their own hands to stop it. Known collectively as the "valve turners," the five climate activists shut off oil pipeline emergency valves acros

Asbestos is a toxin linked to deadly illnesses, but critics say it is still not properly regulated in the United States. (Ktorbeck/Flickr)

LIBBY, Mont. – The Regulatory Accountability Act in the U.S. Senate follows the lead of President Trump and the House in changing how federal agencies make regulations. But Montana critics of the bill are concerned it would set the bar too high for passing regulations and weaken agencies' abil

Rancher Seth Newton has been concerned for years about a radioactive oil waste facility upstream from his property. (Northern Plains Resource Council)

HELENA, Mont. – After more than four years of urging, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality has released draft rules to oversee the disposal of radioactive oil waste in the state. Since 2013, the Oaks Disposal facility near Glendive has been the destination for more than 250,000 to

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