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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

 

   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

   New air and water tests showed no health risk from the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton.  That was the message from the EPA to the big – and sometimes rowdy – crowd Tuesday night at Pattonville High School.  

   Residents say they are concerned that the underground fire burning at the nearby Bridgeton Landfill could spread to radioactive waste buried in the 1970s at the West Lake facility.  About 650 came to Tuesday night's meeting, many demanding immediate action.  

   But EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks says preliminary studies show there is time to study the situation before making a decision.  "That event over there on the Bridgeton side does not threaten the West Lake Landfill," Brooks said.  "It gives us time to assess the science, take a look at the engineering and make good choices about it."

   Some residents want the radioactive materials removed.  Others favor a buyout.  

   Brooks says all options are on the table, but nothing will happen right away. 

 
Published in Local News

   The St. Louis Cardinals make it a habit to honor others before many of the team's home games.  But Monday night, it was the baseball franchise that was honored.  

   The Environmental Protection Agency recognized the team with a plaque for their leadership in food recovery and recycling.  

   By composting leftovers, like old hot dogs, and donating unused, uncooked food to food pantries, the team has kept 2000 tons of waste out of landfills.  According to the EPA, that’s far and away the best of any pro sports franchise.

Published in Local News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, of Missouri, is threatening to block President Barack Obama's choice for Environmental Protection Agency administrator until plans are resolved for a long-stalled levee project in southeast Missouri.

Blunt and Democratic Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill expressed disappointment on Monday that the EPA and two other agencies missed a self-imposed March 15 deadline to establish a plan to move forward with the St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway project.

Construction to close a 1,500-foot gap in the levee was halted in 2007 due to technical problems with the project's Environmental Impact Statement.

Obama announced his choice of Gina McCarthy as EPA chief earlier this month. Blunt says he'll use a parliamentary procedure known as a hold to block the nomination until the levee issue is resolved.
Published in Local News

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