Environmental Protection Agency

What we know about air pollution and health has roots in the mountain valleys of Utah. Winter smog episodes here are legendary.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

The Environmental Protection Agency just announced its plan to roll back vehicle emissions standards. That could be cause for concern in Mountain West communities with poor air quality.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said he’s putting new limits on which scientific studies can be factored into the nation’s environmental laws and policies. He told the conservative web site, The Daily Caller, last week that he wants more “transparency” in scientific research.

Carolyn Kaster / AP Images

Tuesday, President Trump unveiled his long-awaited $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan. But in order to streamline these projects, the administration is proposing changes to the way they are reviewed for environmental impact.

The National Environmental Policy Act was enacted in 1970. Called NEPA for short, the law was created after the construction of the Interstate Highways System damaged delicate ecosystems around the country.

Federal officials are proposing approving Idaho's request to loosen field burning rules that backers say offer more flexibility to disperse smoke away from people but that health advocates say will lead to breathing problems for some area residents.

Susan Walsh / AP Images

Michael Dourson has consulted with companies including Dow Chemical and Koch Industries – according to the Intercept. He’s the Trump Administration pick to lead the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention at the EPA.


Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

If you’re a city manager looking to renew your town’s sewer treatment plant permit, you’re going to have to wait a while to get a new one. The EPA administers permits for the state under the Clean Water Act.

Parolan Harahap / Flickr

The Environmental Protection Agency says it plans to require mining companies to show they have the financial wherewithal to clean up their pollution so taxpayers aren't stuck footing the bill.

Friday's announcement follows a 2015 court order for the agency to enforce a long-ignored provision in the 1980 federal Superfund law.

The requirement would apply to hard rock mining, which includes mines for precious metals and other ores.

Jerry McFarland / Flickr

Three environmental groups and two commercial fishing advocacy groups say they will file a lawsuit against the federal government over heat-related fish kills in the Columbia River Basin in the Pacific Northwest.

The groups on Monday sent a 60-day notice of their intent to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for what the groups say are violations of the Clean Water Act.

The groups say 250,000 adult sockeye salmon died in 2015 due to high temperatures in the Columbia River and lower Snake River.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has settled a lawsuit against the J.R. Simplot Company for alleged Clean Air Act violations. The Idaho-based agriculture giant will pay $899,000 in a civil penalty.

The company owns five sulphuric acid plants that make fertilizer in Idaho, California and Wyoming. Sulphur dioxide is a gas scientists have connected to climate change as well as respiratory issues in humans.

Curtesy of Ann Kennedy / USDA

Ann Kennedy’s bacterial compound is called ACK55, and it has been shown to cut the amount of cheatgrass in half in just a few years.

The Department of Agriculture soil scientist is getting closer to seeing her discovery registered with the EPA, and is giving state and federal land managers hope in the battle against the invasive weed. Once it gets approved, farmers can begin using it to treat cheatgrass on their land.

Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

A federal judge in North Dakota has blocked a new rule that would give the federal government jurisdiction over some state waters.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota issued a temporary injunction Thursday against the Obama administration rule. The rule gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers authority to protect some streams, tributaries and wetlands under the Clean Water Act.

The Obama administration set carbon dioxide limits for electric power plants Monday. The objective is to combat climate change by clamping down on power plant pollution, especially coal-fired electricity.

IcaWise / Flickr Creative Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release updated air quality standards for the Treasure Valley in the next two months.

The Idaho Statesman reports the Treasure Valley includes Boise, and Idaho Department of Environmental Quality regional air quality monitoring coordinator Mike Toole says ground-level ozone pollution in the area typically hits below the current standard of 75 parts per billion.

That standard is expected to decrease, but officials are unsure by how much.

The Idaho Transportation Department has agreed to pay a $52,000 fine after demolishing an asbestos-containing building in northern Idaho and potentially exposing the public to the cancer-causing fibers.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the agreement Thursday involving the November demolition of the state-owned building in Priest River.

The federal agency says the state agency failed to do an asbestos survey before the demolition and only learned of the demolition after receiving a public complaint.

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