EPA, NOAA: May 2-May 6 is “Air Quality Awareness Week”

Credit: Señor Codo, Flickr

The EPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have dedicated this week to air quality awareness.

This comes on the heels of a year in which Iowa exceeded federal air quality standards at a record clip due to stricter criteria. Iowa’s violations more than doubled between 2009 and 2010, as IEF reported in January and the Des Moines Register reported on Saturday. Continue reading

Industrial Muscatine continues to struggle with air pollution, health affects

This story, originally published by Midwest Energy News, was republished under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License. Midwest Energy News is a daily collection of the top energy stories of importance to the region. Its objective is to keep stakeholders, policymakers, and citizens informed of the important changes taking place as the Midwest shifts from fossil fuels to a clean energy system.

By B. Adam Burke

An Iowa town with the worst air quality in the state is again under EPA scrutiny after years of maintaining allowable air pollution levels.

But plans to clean up emissions from burning coal won’t be adopted for several years, leaving residents in a haze of regulation and red tape.

Last month, the EPA declared Iowa’s pollution-fighting plans “substantially inadequate” for maintaining fine particulate matter standards in Muscatine, an industrial town on the Mississippi River. Continue reading

Iowa Environmental Council: Proposed bill could kill air quality program

Iowa lawmakers have introduced a bill that would block the Department of Natural Resources from raising fees for polluters to plug budget shortfalls and keep a federally mandated state air quality program operating.

House Study Bill 75 would cap the per-ton emissions fees charged to big emitters of air pollutants under Title V of the federal Clean Air Act. The bill would also prevent the DNR from finding other ways to offset that loss of income – like charging fees for new construction permits.

Lee Searles, air quality program director for the Iowa Environmental Council, says the impacts of HSB 75, if made into law, would probably make Iowa fall out of compliance with requirements of the federal Clean Air Act.

“That could lead to a loss of our state-friendly program and its replacement by federal agency authority,” he said.