air pollution

Ameren's power plant in Labadie is the largest in the state.
Art Chimes

Updated 5:00 p.m., Sept. 24 with vote result - The Missouri Air Conservation Commission has voted to designate parts of Franklin and St. Charles counties as "unclassifiable" for sulfur dioxide pollution.

Thursday's vote follows a recommendation by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources earlier this week.

Flares at the Bridgeton Landfill are used to burn off smelly underground gases.
Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

The Saint Louis County Department of Health is launching a survey to assess the health of people living near the Bridgeton Landfill.

An underground fire has been smoldering at the Bridgeton Landfill since 2010, causing odors emanating from the landfill to increase.

Air pollution from coal-fired power plants, industrial activities, and cars contributes to asthma and other health problems in the St. Louis area.
Syracuse University News Services

Cutting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants would also reduce other types of air pollution, both here in Missouri and nationally.

That's according to a recent analysis by researchers at Harvard and Syracuse Universities.

Along with carbon dioxide, coal-fired power plants emit other pollutants, like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Those in turn can contribute to forming particle pollution, ozone, and smog.

ozone air pollution St. Louis
Missouri Department of Natural Resources

A new report by the American Lung Association finds that the St. Louis metro area still

has high levels of ozone pollution, the main ingredient in smog.

The annual State of the Air report ranked St. Louis 13th out of 217 metro areas in the country for ozone pollution. That’s worse than St. Louis performed in last year’s report, although the trend over recent decades has been gradual improvement.

Provided by Saint Louis University

It’s a stretch to think about summer now. 

But close your eyes and imagine.

The sun is shining; bees are buzzing; your arms move through warm air; you even have to mop a thin veil of perspiration from your brow. And on the news in the morning, Geri Mitchell intones the familiar admonition: “It’s a red air quality day. Sensitive groups should avoid exercising outdoors.”

Sarah Skiold-Hanlin, St. Louis Public Radio & The Beacon

Updated Thursday 10:15 p.m.

The Sierra Club says Ameren has been routinely violating air quality standards at its St. Louis-area power plants.

In a Notice of Intent to Sue delivered to Ameren on Wednesday afternoon, the Sierra Club alleges the company's Labadie, Meramec, and Rush Island plants have exceeded air pollution limits almost 10,000 times since 2008.

via NASA

A new report released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council warns that smoke from wildfires poses health risks to people living far from the actual blaze.

The study used data from 2011, an especially bad year for wildfires in the US, to rank states with the greatest number of residents affected by wildfire smoke for longer than a week.

Illinois and Missouri were ranked second and fourth respectively, despite having no wildfires of their own.

(Art Chimes)

If you happen to be near the Saint Louis Science Center planetarium at around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, look up. You might see a weather balloon.

Students at Saint Louis University are launching them as part of a study sponsored by the U.S. space agency NASA.

The mission aims to improve our understanding of air pollution and global climate.

Missouri Department of Natural Resources

A report released today by the American Lung Association shows that air pollution in the St. Louis region has recently increased.

The annual report ranks the St. Louis area 12th worst among U.S. metropolitan regions for particulate pollution and 25th for ground-level ozone, the main component of smog.

Susannah Fuchs is the Senior Director of Environmental Health for the American Lung Association’s Plains-Gulf Region, which includes Missouri.

Bridgeton Landfill
Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

The company that owns the Bridgeton Landfill is gearing up for the next phase of an effort to control an underground fire that has been burning at the site for more than two years.

Starting on Monday, Republic Services will begin excavating sections of the landfill to remove underground concrete pipes.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

A coalition of environmental and worker rights organizations held a meeting today to lobby government officials about the risks posed by an underground fire at the Bridgeton landfill.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio (left) and Art Chimes (right)

 

(EPA.gov website)

Updated 4 p.m.

A federal appeals court has vacated an EPA rule that would have limited the amount of power plant pollution that drifts across state lines. The impact of the ruling by the three-judge panel will be felt in Missouri.

The EPA passed the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule last summer.

Ameren's coal-fired power plant in Labadie
Véronique LaCapra / St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 6:30 p.m. to add information on mercury pollution.

A new report released today puts both Missouri and Illinois among the top 20 states with the most toxic air pollution from power plants.

The Natural Resources Defense Council report ranked Missouri 15th and Illinois 16th nationwide, based on 2010 data from the Environmental Protection Agency, the most recent data available.

Holcim U.S. Inc.

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to extend the deadline for cement manufacturers to comply with federal air pollution standards.

The extension could impact some local companies.

The EPA proposal would extend the deadline by two years, giving cement manufacturers until September 2015 to comply with the standards.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5:50 p.m. to add comments from Senator Roy Blunt.

The U.S. Senate has rejected a bill that would have done away with new federal limits on mercury and other toxic air pollutants from power plants.

The resolution introduced by Republican Senator James Inhofe would have eliminated the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency in December.

Missouri’s senators were divided on the issue.

(Missouri Department of Natural Resources)

Warming temperatures may have you wanting to spend more time outdoors. But warm weather can mean more unhealthy air.

Susannah Fuchs of the American Lung Association says our region’s sunny, hot, nearly windless summer weather creates the perfect conditions for the formation of ozone – the main component of smog.

(EPA.gov)

Power plants are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the U.S., followed by petroleum refineries.

That's according to data released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The data set shows 2010 emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases from more than 6,700 of the largest sources in the U.S., including large industrial facilities and suppliers of certain fossil fuels and industrial gases.

(Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated 4:39 p.m.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced the first-ever national standards for air pollution from power plants.

The rule will require Ameren and other electricity companies to reduce emissions of toxic pollutants like mercury and arsenic, which can cause developmental effects, cancer, asthma, and other serious health problems.

(EPA.gov website)

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced new limits on air pollution from coal-fired power plants. The rule aims to lower emissions from power plants in 27 states including Missouri and Illinois.

The goal is to reduce soot (fine particulates) and smog (ground-level ozone) and improve air quality downwind. (Check out this map from the EPA, a preview of which is above, to see how the new limits affect your state).

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