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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House members have endorsed a bill that attempts to resist proposed federal regulations of wood-burning stoves.
The legislation received initial approval Wednesday. It would prohibit the state Department of Natural Resources from implementing regulations on wood-burning heaters without specific approval from the Legislature.
 
It's prompted by a proposed rule change by the Environmental Protection Agency that would give manufacturers five years to meet tougher standards that would reduce emissions from wood stoves by an estimated 80 percent.
Some manufacturers contend it would drive up the costs and could put them out of business.
 
Supporters of the Missouri legislation hope to prevent state regulators from helping to implement the proposed EPA regulations. The bill needs another House vote to move to the Senate.
Published in Local News

   After months of requesting that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers take the lead in resolving the issues surrounding two landfills in Bridgeton, it looks as though local residents will get at least part of what they've been demanding.  EPA officials announced Friday that the Corps of Engineers will help construct an isolation barrier between an underground fire at the Bridgeton Landfill and radioactive materials in the adjacent West Lake Landfill.

   Last week, Attorney General Chris Koster had urged the EPA to move quickly on the barrier.  

   The radioactive waste was dumped illegally in North County about 40 years ago.  Environmental groups and residents have been calling for the Army Corps to take over the cleanup.  Those calls became more urgent in recent months as the risk of the fire spreading became known. 

Published in Local News

After months of requesting that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers take the lead in resolving the issues surrounding the West Lake and Bridgeton Landfills, the Environmental Protection Agency says the Corps will help construct an isolation barrier between an underground fire at the Bridgeton Landfill and radioactive materials in the adjacent West Lake Landfill.  

According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, EPA Region 7 administrator Karl Brooks wrote to Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster on Friday saying he will keep Koster and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources closely informed about the status of the project.

Earlier this week, Koster urged the EPA to move quickly on the barrier.  The radioactive waste is a byproduct of the Manhattan Project and was dumped in North County illegally about 40 years ago.

Environmental groups and residents have been calling for the Army Corps to take over the cleanup of the Superfund site as the Corps has worked on other nuclear waste cleanup projects in the St. Louis area.

Published in Local News
   Bridgeton city officials want to transfer control of the of the West Lake Landfill and the radioactive waste buried there to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The Bridgeton City Council Wednesday night passed a resolution asking the Corps to take charge.  
   Proponents say some of the materials buried at West Lake came from other sites controlled by the Corps, so it makes sense for them to take over of the Bridgeton site too.
   Bridgeton homeowner Dawn Chapman agrees. She spoke with Fox 2 News about the vote. "We want the experts to come in and figure out what needs to happen to this," she said.  "We want objective, scientific results and then let's make a decision." 
   Concern continues to grow over the risks posed to the local community by a slow-smoldering fire at the adjacent Bridgeton Landfill.  EPA officials have said the fire is inching closer to West Lake.
 
Published in Local News
   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A federal proposal to clean up the smoke from wood-burning stoves has sparked a backlash from some rural residents, lawmakers and manufacturers.
   Proposed regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would significantly reduce the amount of particle pollution allowed to flow from new residential wood-powered heaters.
   Some manufacturers contend the proposed standards are so stringent that the higher production costs would either force them out of business or make their products unaffordable to lower- and middle-income consumers.
   In Missouri, some lawmakers are fighting back with state legislation seeking to discourage the enforcement of tougher standards on wood-burning stoves. Concerns over wood-stove pollution and regulations also have been simmering in other states, including in some places where local officials are pushing for stronger environmental standards.
   
 
Published in Local News
Sunday, 23 February 2014 09:12

High court climate case looks at EPA's power

WASHINGTON (AP) — Industry groups and Republican-led states are leading an attack at the Supreme Court against the Obama administration's sole means of trying to limit power-plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.

The court is hearing arguments Monday about a small but important piece of the Environmental Protection Agency's plans to cut the emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. At issue is a requirement that companies expanding industrial facilities or building new ones that would increase overall pollution must also evaluate ways to reduce the carbon they release.

As President Barack Obama is pledging to act on environmental and other matters when Congress doesn't, or won't, opponents of the regulation cast it as a power grab of historic proportions.

Published in National News

 

   Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency not to follow through on its own proposal to reduce amounts of ethanol that must be blended with gasoline.  
   The EPA wants to reduce by billions of gallons the amount of biofuels required in gasoline sold in America.  The agency says the additive is less necessary with more fuel-efficient engines and lower fuel demand.
   Governor Quinn says lowering the requirement could hurt farmers growing renewable fuel crops, like corn.  His office says Illinois' ethanol industry is one of the nation's largest.  
   Critics say ethanol isn't as environmentally friendly as advertised.  The pressure to grow more crops for ethanol has led to planting in areas that might otherwise be set aside for conservation.  Critics also say diverting crops for fuel has contributed to rising food prices.  
   But ethanol advocates say its essential to American energy independance.
 
Published in Local News
   Questions are being raised over the way a Sunday morning fire was handled at the Bridgeton Landfill.  The smokey surface fire broke out in the southwest corner of the dump after a mechanical failure allowed gas to build up.  
   Technicians who monitor the facility are supposed to call first responders when there's an emergency.  Pattonville Assistant Fire Chief Matt Lavanchy tells Fox 2 News it was concerned residents who called 911 Sunday morning, not landfill monitors. "I don't know what happened or what their thought process is," Lavanchy said.  "I can only tell you we were not notified the way we should have been."
   Landfill technicians were able to put the fire out fairly quickly and no evacuations were ordered.
   Residents concerned about their safety also called their state representative, Bill Otto Sunday morning.  He tells Fox 2 News that the way the landfill is being handled isn't fair to the people who live nearby.  "They deserve the right to live in their home comfortably and safely, and know that every morning, they don't have to look out the window to see if something's going on," Otto said.
   The landfill owners released a statement Sunday that said in part they plan to "conduct an after-action review of the entire incident to include notification of and coordination with first responders."
 
Published in Local News

   The construction of a trench designed to keep the slow smoldering fire at the Bridgeton Landfill away from radioactive soil buried at the West Lake Landfill may have hit a snag.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that EPA testing has revealed more radioactive material at West Lake.  

   The paper reports that Florissant City Engineer Tim Barrett wrote about the newly discovered materials in a letter to Mayor Thomas Schneider.  Barrett wrote that the EPA is expected to release a report on the new findings later this week.  

   Barrett also wrote that the location of the radioactive materials and the results of additional testing will determine how and where the trench will be built. 

 

Published in Local News
Tuesday, 22 October 2013 12:45

Testing set to begin at Bridgeton Landfill

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Initial testing work is about to start on a trench to help keep an underground fire at a suburban St. Louis landfill from reaching World War II-era nuclear waste buried 1,200 feet away.

Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks told The Associated Press Tuesday that initial survey work for the fire break at the Bridgeton Landfill will begin next week. Actual construction of the trench will start early next year and take several months.

The testing work was delayed more than two weeks by the federal government shutdown.

Bridgeton Landfill owner Republic Services Inc. is paying to build the dirt-filled trench aimed at keeping the smoldering away from the adjacent West Lake Landfill. EPA is supervising the work - West Lake was designated a Superfund site in 1990.

 
Published in Local News
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