Posts Tagged: Environmental Protection Agency

Beach (clean-up) reading

This blog has looked a lot at the federal money available, and unavailable, to clean the Great Lakes. Laura Fosmire of Wisconsin’s Ashland Current has an in-depth look at the issue of money for monitoring beach contamination, clearly an unavoidable issue, especially with the atrocious heat wave that has hit the Great Lakes region in the last week.

Naturally, there’s a major funding issue here: Ohio gets almost as much money as Michigan, even though Michigan has three times as many beaches. The funding formula used by the EPA doesn’t sufficiently take into account the fact that Michigan and Wisconsin have a lot of beaches — many which become very popular when it gets up to 95 degrees each day.

Cost-benefit analysis of new EPA air rule

Lee Bergquist and Thomas Content of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel analyze the local impact of the new EPA rule to fight ozone and particle pollution from power plants. The authors focus on the higher electric bills that may result from the regulation. But the more important issue seems to be whether EPA’s claim is true that the “rule will save up to 34,000 lives a year.” That seems well worth a slight increase in fees to Wisconsin electricity users.

What is the EPA? It’s the Environmental Protection Agency

Businesses survive if they are healthy in every possible way.  They need ideas, energy, people, and the ability to solve problems. This includes problems posed by government regulation.  The head of the EPA, Lisa Jackson, is facing a lot of heat from business leaders, as John Broder’s thoughtful overview in the New York Times makes clear.   But whatever the EPA does, it’s not trying to make life difficult for businesses — it’s trying to protect the environment.  And in the end, as Elizabeth Shogren reports on NPR, EPA’s regulations don’t actually make life all that hard for businesses.

EPA tells Chicago community to get the lead out

A section of Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood has lead levels in the atmosphere that exceed the amount allowable by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA released a preliminary report on the area Wednesday, reports the Chicago Sun-Times’ Monifa Thomas. If a final report, released this fall, comes to the same conclusion, then the state must submit a lead reduction plan to U.S. EPA. The Chicago Tribune’s Michael Hawthorne first documented in March that dangerous levels of lead were actually being emitted near an elementary school in Pilsen. The likely culprit is the nearby H Kramer & Co. smelting plant.

Deadlier than shooting fish in a barrel

Power plants across the Midwest kill millions of fish each year by sucking in fresh water as part of their cooling intake process. The Chicago Tribune’s Michael Hawthorne has obtained information from power plants and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicating massive fish kills from these plants, “even as fish populations decline sharply throughout the lakes and states spend millions of taxpayer dollars to stock the waters with game fish.” (more…)

EPA scolds State Department on oil pipeline

It’s one thing for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be mad at an oil company, but, in the case of a proposed oil pipeline that will start in Alberta, Canada and snake through the Midwest, EPA is directing their ire at the State Department. The State Department must approve a pipeline built by TransCanada that will start in Alberta, because it crosses the American border. Elizabeth McGowan at Solve Climate reports that the State Dept. seems unconcerned about the numerous environmental problems — for greenhouse gas emissions, for migratory birds, for wetlands — that such an enormous pipeline might cause. (more…)

EPA takes on Calumet River

Kari Lyderson of the Chicago News Cooperative looks at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency efforts to clean up the Calumet River in Northwest Indiana. If there was a prize for nation’s dirtiest river, the Calumet might win. Lyderson describes “decades of dumping from nearby steel mills, chemical plants, meatpacking operations and other industries.”

Finally time to clean the Chicago River

St. Patrick's Day in Chicago

Three weeks ago the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency demanded Illinois and Cook County clean up the Chicago River in order to make it suitable for recreation. Cook County’s Metropolitan Water Reclamation District has — for eight years running — opposed spending money to clean up waste from the water. But the Chicago Tribune’s Michael Hawthorne has an in-depth report explaining how and why Cook County’s water bureaucrats have acceded to EPA wishes. So the County will now take action like forking over the money for equipment used to scour for disease-causing bacteria.

A brief history of mercury (non)regulation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held a public hearing in Chicago yesterday on new regulations to reduce mercury emitted from coal-fired power plants. According to Jeff Brandel of Chicago Public Radio, most providing testimony energetically favored the new limits on mercury, a toxic metal that contaminates waterways.

The health impact of mercury is not like something scientists are suddenly discovering in 2011. (more…)

Combating sulfur in the Illinois coal basin

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has written more stringent regulations for sulfur dioxide emissions and a handful of Illinois communities must figure out how to comply. Ed McMenamin of GateHouse News Service reports on Pekin in central Illinois, where a public meeting was held yesterday on how to lower sulfur emissions, which can cause respiratory problems.

New sulfur dioxide regulations affect Illinois more than most states. Coal used in Illinois power plants has one of the highest concentrations of sulfur in the country.