Environmental Protection Agency

(via Flickr/xpda)

The city of Joplin, Mo. is getting an additional boost in an effort to clean up soil contaminated by lead and cadmium that was blown around by the fatal EF-5 tornado in May 2011.

Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today clean-up methods it will take on a former mining site in Madison County.

The Madison County Mines Superfund site is part of the Old Lead Belt, where the mining of heavy metals began in the 1700s. The nearly 500-square-mile area is contaminated by lead, a highly-toxic metal that can wreak havoc on organs and tissues in the human body.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

New report: "vast improvements" at John Cochran VA Medical Center

A new government report says the John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis has made "vast improvements" after an earlier report noted problems.

(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.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

EPA, Kellwood reach settlement over contamination

St. Louis-based Kellwood Company has agreed to a plan to clean up the site of former metal fabrication plant in Franklin County.

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.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Some Mississippi River tugboats will be getting an upgrade thanks to a federal grant aimed at reducing air pollution.

The more than $300,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency will go toward new, cleaner-burning diesel engines for the tugboats.

One of those boats was on view this morning at JB Marine Service, Inc., the barge cleaning and repair company that received the EPA grant.

(courtesy of Ted Heisel/Missouri Coalition for the Environment)

Updated at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday to correct election date error and add vote totals.

There was sparse voter turnout but overwhelming support for a major bond issue Tuesday that will allow the Metropolitan St. Louis  Sewer District, to gradually increase rates to pay for necessary upgrades.

Referred to as Proposition Y, the bond issue’s passage means the average MSD customer’s bill will go up from around $29 a month to nearly $44 over the next four years.  That's compared to almost $65 a month had the bond issue not been approved. 

Times Beach, Mo. site of EPA dioxin tests once again

Jun 4, 2012
Google Earth

In the 1980s, the town of Times Beach, Mo. hired a contractor to spray the town’s dirt streets with oil to cut down on dust.  That oil was later found to contain extremely high levels of dioxin, a known cause of cancer.  Tests in the town revealed levels of dioxin 300 times what is considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency.

(courtesy of Ted Heisel/Missouri Coalition for the Environment)

Customers of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District can expect a bigger bill in July.  A vote tomorrow will determine if those increases are gradual or immediate.

(Amy Lampe/SLDC)

The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $400,000 in grants to the St. Louis Development Corporation. The funds will be used to assess and plan for cleaning up hazardous substances.

EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks says the Agency has a long history of working with the SLDC to clean up contaminated properties, also known as brownfields.

(via EPA.gov)

The Environmental Protection Agency is holding a public meeting tonight in East St. Louis. 

The agency will to explain its proposed plan to clean up the North Alcoa site. The property is bounded on the north by Lake Drive, on the east by the Alton and Southern railroad, on the south by Missouri Avenue and on the west by 29th Street.

EPA's remedial project manager for the 400-acre site, Dion Novak, says the area is contaminated with waste products produced over 100 years ago by a former alumina refinery.

(via EPA.gov)

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to test 256 Jefferson County residential properties amid concerns that lead in the Big River is contaminating soil.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that testing is expected to be completed by midsummer. Recent studies and samples indicated widespread lead contamination in the flood plain that extends from Leadwood in St. Francois County to the confluence with the Meramec River near Eureka.

(via NASA/Goddard SVS)

Updated 4:43 p.m. with comment from Glynnis Collins of the Prairie Rivers Network.

A coalition of environmental groups is taking legal action to push the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to limit nutrient pollution.

snebtor | Flickr

Insect scientists say federal regulators need to take action against a growing pest problem in biotech corn.

They say corn rootworm has started to become resistant to Monsanto's Bt corn, which is genetically engineered to resist the damaging and costly pest.

The 22 scientists expressed their concerns in a letter sent to EPA earlier this week. 

University of Illinois insect behaviorist Joseph Spencer was one of them.

(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

The Environmental Protection Agency will hold another community meeting on Tuesday evening, to talk about the cleanup of the former Carter Carburetor plant in north St. Louis.

This is the third community meeting the EPA has held to discuss the cleanup.

(via flickr/benclark)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a new tool that allows the public to access information about pollutants that are released into local waterways.

The Discharge Monitoring Report Pollutant Loading Tool brings together millions of records and lets users search for and map water pollution.


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.

(via Flickr/mskogly)

Out today is the Environmental Protection Agency's latest Toxics Release Inventory, which allows the public to know what toxic chemicals are released into their communities. Information is released two years in arrears.

You can drill down in the data to your specific area here, but, in general, here are some of the findings for the states in our region, Illinois and Missouri:


(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.

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

The federal Environmental Protection Agency will provide the city of Joplin, Mo. with $500,000 to help test and clean up lead-contaminated soils that were exposed by the May 22 tornado that devastated the city.

The money from the Superfund program will allow the city to hire one full-time and one part-time person to coordinate a soil testing and remediation plan. The funds will also pay for a vehicle, equipment, supplies and travel expenses.

(Courtsey of the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group)

Updated 5:01 p.m. with comment from EPA, and 6:05 with comment from Sean Thomas.

Old North St. Louis has won the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement.

(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

A new report released today by Environment Missouri shows power plants in the state produce more airborne mercury than 46 other states.

The report, which uses data from the Environmental Protection Association's toxic inventory release, found that of the nearly 4,000 pounds of mercury that Missouri's 17 coal-fired power plants released in 2010, more than 70 percent came from four plants owned by Ameren Missouri.

A new report released today by the advocacy group Environment Missouri ranks St. Louis as the 10th smoggiest metropolitan area in the country.

(Photo courtesy of Illinois EPA)

Demolition of the former Chemetco copper smelter took another step forward on Tuesday. The demolition is the start of a long clean-up process for the hazardous Metro East eyesore.

The Illinois EPA is overseeing the dismantling of the smelter buildings, which began last year.

(Image courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency)

The Environmental Protection Agency is fining Washington University for failing to tell tenants about lead paint hazards in some of its married student housing units. The violation will cost the university close to $28,000.

The civil settlement involves three rental apartments northeast of Washington University’s Danforth campus.

The consent agreement says that between 2008 and 2010, the university failed to tell student tenants about previous citations for lead paint violations from the City of St. Louis Health Department.

(via Flickr/pasa47)

The EPA today issued its decision on Missouri's water quality standards, approving how the state categorized 244 streams, rivers and lakes.

That decision means water bodies newly designated for high contact uses like swimming will need more protection.

Some sewage treatment plants, municipalities and others will need to start treating their wastewater discharges.

(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

The Environmental Protection Agency says testing near the old Carter Carburetor plant in north St. Louis shows offsite contamination is too low to cause health problems.

The EPA tested air, soil, and sediments in a one-block radius around the plant for PCBs, dioxins, and other industrial pollutants.