skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Thursday, November 30, 2023

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

On World AIDS Day, New Mexico activists say more money is needed for prevention; ND farmers still navigate corporate land-ownership policy maze; Unpaid caregivers in ME receive limited financial grants.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

EPA Faces Mixed Response Over Tighter Standards for Soot

play audio
Play

Thursday, February 23, 2023   

The federal government is gathering public feedback on proposed revisions to air-quality standards for soot, and environmental voices in Wisconsin and elsewhere said they show promise but need to be stronger.

For the first time in a decade, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed updating the standard for soot, the fine particulate matter linked to asthma, heart disease and even early death. The proposal brings the annual standard down from 12 micrograms per cubic meter to a level between nine and 10.

Jadine Sonoda, campaign coordinator for the Sierra Club-Wisconsin, said it is a step in the right direction, but still inefficient in addressing the effects of the pollutant.

"I think it's a huge, missed opportunity," Sonoda contended. "There are so many folks who don't have to be impacted by this that we could help protect."

The agency said the plan reflects the latest health data and scientific evidence, but it is accepting feedback based on other suggestions as well. Opponents of updating the standard in the manufacturing industry said they are already leading the way to improve air quality and do not need additional rules. The agency is holding public hearings this week and accepting public comment until March 28.

An independent scientific advisory committee for the EPA had recommended a standard between eight and 10 micrograms per cubic meter.

Patrick Drupp, director of climate policy for the Sierra Club, said that's what the agency should be going with, noting soot pollution is a big issue across the country.

"Over 63 million Americans live with unhealthy particle pollution spikes, and 20 million live with dangerous levels of particle pollution year-round," Drupp reported. "It's not a small amount of people who are impacted by this."

Sonoda noted with Wisconsin still home to several coal-fired power plants, there is greater concern about the communities surrounding the facilities, having to deal with issues such as coal dust.

"Any of these industrial sites emitting pollution such as this, there'll be local impacts and folks who are bearing the brunt of the negative outcomes," Sonoda pointed out.

The group added the industrial sites are often located near marginalized communities, perpetuating environmental injustice.

Disclosure: The Sierra Club contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, and 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
The Economic Policy Institute found the number of child labor law violations increased from 1,012 in 2015 to 3,876 in 2022. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A bill in Congress with a Connecticut House sponsor aims to reduce child labor in the United States. Called the "Children Harmed in Life-Threatening …


Social Issues

play sound

As the opioid crisis continues, more New Hampshire grandparents are seeking financial help to raise their grandchildren. Already struggling with the …

Social Issues

play sound

As of Jan. 1, insulin will become a lot more affordable for many Nebraskans, and those who have come to rely on telehealth visits are more likely to …


Health and Wellness

play sound

November has been Diabetes Awareness Month - but heading into the holidays, people who are diabetic know they can't lose their focus on keeping it in …

Wolverine need deep snow for their habitats, but experts say snow levels are dwindling due to climate change. (jamenpercy/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Conservation groups are celebrating a long-fought battle to protect the dwindling population of wolverine in the Northwest and northern Rockies…

Environment

play sound

A new report is calling for greater accountability in the system providing funding to farmers in underserved communities. The research takes a dive …

Social Issues

play sound

An Alabama bookstore is working to make sure people in prison have access to books. The Burdock Book Collective in Birmingham is on a mission 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