Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Play

Minority-owned Southern businesses get back on their feet post-pandemic with a fund's help; President Biden says don't panic over the new COVID variant; and eye doctors gauge the risk of dying from COVID.

Play

U.S. Senate is back in session with a long holiday to-do list that includes avoiding a government shutdown; negotiations to revive the Iran Nuclear Deal resume; and Jack Dorsey resigns as CEO of Twitter.

Play

South Dakota foster kids find homes with Native families; a conservative group wants oil and gas reform; rural Pennsylvania residents object to planes flying above tree tops; and poetry debuts to celebrate the land.

Bill Could Restrict WI Cities From Suing Over 'Forever Chemicals'

Play

Tuesday, July 20, 2021   

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin policymakers are looking to provide more aid to towns and cities faced with contamination cleanup of so-called "forever chemicals," but opponents say it comes with a stipulation which could hurt municipalities struggling with toxins.

Assembly Bill 392 would create a grant program for local governments to address Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), found in a range of consumer products, as well as firefighting foam.

However, if a city were to accept a grant, it would be blocked from taking legal action against those responsible for the contamination.

Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point, said another potential fallout concerned her.

"It may also prevent our Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from taking enforcement action against those polluters under the state's environmental remediation law," Shankland explained.

Both scenarios were detailed in a memo issued by the nonpartisan Wisconsin Legislative Council at Shankland's request.

Those in support of the GOP-led bill, including the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) group, claimed it would protect businesses from frivolous lawsuits. Research has shown exposure to PFAS chemicals can result in a range of health issues, including cancer.

Shankland raised concerns the bill comes at the same time the WMC is suing the state over its remediation law. She argued now is not the time to be stripping away tools as more cities discover possible contamination sites.

"Without resources from the state to help them test, to help people know what's in their water, and then to remediate any contamination and prevent future contamination, our state would be in the dark," Shankland contended.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, there are nearly 50 known PFAS sites spread around the state. Meanwhile, the bill recently won Assembly approval, and could be considered by the state Senate this fall.


get more stories like this via email
The proposed Western Riverside County Wildlife Refuge is key habitat to the federally endangered Quino checkerspot butterfly. (Eric Porter/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Environment

HEMET, Calif. -- Public-lands groups are asking Congress to support the proposed Western Riverside County Wildlife Refuge, a 500,000-acre swath …


Social Issues

PRINCETON, Minn. -- President Joe Biden is expected to visit Minnesota today to tout passage of the new federal infrastructure bill. Those working …

Health and Wellness

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Advocates for access to mental-health services are holding a Behavioral Health Summit today at the Augusta Civic Center. They are …


Experts say eye exams do more than just help patients find the right prescription for glasses. (Dario Lo Presti/Adobestock)

Health and Wellness

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- Eye exams can help determine your risk of dying from COVID, according to experts, because optometrists are often the first …

Health and Wellness

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- In a few weeks, Kentucky lawmakers will convene the General Assembly, and health advocates are calling for new policies to address …

Conservationists say the Recovering America's Wildlife Act could support improvements to water quality in the Ozarks, including the Buffalo National River. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

ST. JOE, Ark. -- More than a decade of restoration efforts in a section of Northern Arkansas' Ozark National Forest have led to 40 new species of …

Social Issues

SANTA FE, N.M. -- The New Mexico Legislature will consider three possible redistricting maps for the House and Senate when it meets for a special …

Social Issues

HOUSTON, Texas -- Minority-owned businesses across the South are benefitting from a program designed to help them get back on their feet post-…

 

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