epa

Open Spaces
4:10 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Pinedale Air Improves As State Toughens Industry Regs

Drill rigs like this one are one source of emissions that could be contributing to ozone formation in Sublette County.
Credit Willow Belden

Several years ago, there were days when air pollution in Pinedale was worse than in Los Angeles. Residents complained of respiratory problems, and visits to local medical clinics increased.  In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency said the area was violating federal air quality standards, and gave Wyoming three years to fix the problem. Since then, air quality has been better. But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports, nobody knows whether the problem is really fixed, and some worry that the state is not doing enough to prevent similar problems from happening elsewhere.

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News
7:16 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Proposed Regulations for Wood Stoves Worry Businesses

Credit sciencenewsonline.com

Rural states are bristling over proposed regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce emissions from wood stoves. 

Currently, wood stove manufacturers must keep emissions down to 7.5 grams of particulates per hour.  But the proposed rules would reduce the allowable amount to less than two grams over the next five years. Soot emissions are a serious public health concern in some areas of the country because they can cause lung problems and heart attacks.  

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News
3:03 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Wyoming And Environmental Groups Sue EPA Over Pollution Plan

The state of Wyoming and a coalition of environmental groups have each filed lawsuits against the Environmental Protection Agency over its regional haze plan.

The plan, which was finalized earlier this year, requires new emissions controls for coal-fired power plants. The goal is to reduce air pollution.

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Legislative
6:09 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

House Discusses EPA Pushback Proposals

A bill that would expand Wyoming's ability to fight the Environmental Protection Agency in court received initial approval in the state House of Representatives.

The bill gives the Wyoming Attorney General's Office over two million dollars to fight back against EPA policies that the state deems unacceptable.  The state is already engaged in a number of lawsuits against the agency.

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News
4:04 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

WY Appeals EPA Decision On Wind River Borders

Wyoming has filed an appeal in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals for the Environmental Protection Agency decision that drew the borders of the Wind River Indian Reservation to include Riverton.

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Open Spaces
3:58 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Negotiation Vs. Litigation: A Look At The Reservation Borders Decision

The governments of Riverton, Fremont County, the state, and of the two tribes who share the Wind River Indian Reservation are arguing, again, over the reservation’s borders.

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News
4:54 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

EPA Puts Hold On Wind River Border Decision

The Environmental Protection Agency has decided to put a hold on its decision to grant the tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation status as a state for the purpose of air monitoring.

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News
5:43 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

DEQ Seeks To Lower Environmental Standards For Many Streams

About three-quarters of the streams in Wyoming could soon be subject to less stringent environmental standards.

The streams are currently classified as “primary contact” water bodies, meaning that people swim or otherwise recreate in them. Now, the Department of Environmental Quality is proposing to designate them as “secondary contact” streams, meaning human contact is less likely. The change would lower the standards for how much pollution can be discharged into the waterways.

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Topic of the Week
3:43 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

What do you think of the EPA’s decision to include Riverton as part of the Wind River Reservation?

What do you think of the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision that includes Riverton as part of the  Wind River Reservation?

WPM/NPR Community Discussion Rules

News
4:17 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

EPA Tells DEQ to Host Public Meeting for Aquifer Exemption Request

The Environmental Protection Agency is telling the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality that it has to conduct a public hearing about an aquifer exemption request by Linc Energy. Linc is proposing an underground coal gasification project in Campbell County. The coal is in the Wyodak Aquifer, and the exemption would relieve the company from adhering to the strict protections outlined in the Safe Drinking Water Act.

DEQ already approved the aquifer exemption, but it did so without public input, so EPA, which makes the final decision, is calling for a do-over.

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News
6:45 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Northern Arapaho Tribe Blasts Wyoming's Bid To EPA

Credit Wind River Reservation

The Northern Arapaho Tribe is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reject a request from the state of Wyoming to halt implementation of the agency's decision that over 1 million acres around Riverton remains legally Indian Country.
 
Lawyers for the tribe wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy this week urging her to reject the request the state submitted earlier this month.
 

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News
5:32 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

EPA releases latest Wyo. haze reduction plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released its final version of a plan to reduce atmospheric haze by cutting emissions from coal-fired power plants in Wyoming.

EPA officials say the plan will improve visibility across wide-open spaces while protecting natural resources and local economies which depend on recreation.

They say the 714-page document adopts most of a separate plan proposed by Wyoming environmental regulators.

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News
8:01 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Tribes concerned over state response to EPA's reservation boundary ruling

Agreement over the boundaries of the Wind River Indian Reservation seems to be a long way off between the state’s tribes and Governor Matt Mead. 

The dispute is over an Environmental Protection Agency ruling that the city of Riverton falls on tribal land. In a letter to the governor Wednesday, the Northern Arapaho tribe says it was surprised by the governor’s reaction to the EPA ruling.  They say in the past, the state has actively promoted the idea of giving the tribes Treatment as a State status and allowing the EPA to settle the 1905 Act boundary dispute, once and for all. 

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News
4:54 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Tribes still waiting for answer from EPA on air quality monitoring

Almost five years ago, the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes submitted an application to the federal government asking for the Wind River Indian Reservation to be treated as a separate state for monitoring air quality. They're still waiting on a response. 

Eastern Shoshone tribe chairman Darwin St. Clair says it’s a matter of tribal sovereignty as well as stewardship of their land. He says with a coal power plant and oil and gas fields nearby, air quality is a high priority.

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Linc
1:32 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Environmental Quality Council rejects challenge to underground coal gasification permit

A project that proposes setting fire to deep coal seams in order to produce fuel is moving forward. At a hearing last week, the Environmental Quality Council rejected arguments that Linc Energy’s proposed underground coal gasification project would contaminate drinking water supplies in Campbell County. But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, concerns linger about the safety of the technology.

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News
7:17 am
Wed August 28, 2013

EPA to finalize regional haze plan for WY by Nov.

The comment period closed Monday on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Regional Haze Plan. The plan seeks to address the issue of air pollution produced by coal fired power plants. Wyoming put together its own regional haze program, but the EPA rejected parts of it, saying it wasn't strong enough, particularly when it came to nitrogen oxide emissions at four plants.

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News
6:57 am
Fri July 19, 2013

EPA to consider renewing produced water discharge permits on Wind River Reservation

Dirty water from the oil wells flows through oil-caked pipes into a settling pit where trucks vacuum off the oil. A net covers the pit to keep out birds and other wildlife. Streams of this wastewater flow through the reservation and join natural creeks and rivers.
Credit Elizabeth Shogren/NPR

The Environmental Protection Agency is taking public comments on the extension of several water discharge permits on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

The EPA is looking at renewing existing permits that allow companies to pump waste water from oil and gas fields to the surface on the Reservation. The produced water exemption allows this practice only in the arid West. In general, state agencies have tighter regulations than the EPA about what can be pumped to the surface, but tribal land is under the EPA’s jurisdiction.    

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News
4:19 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Wyoming leaders say Washington targets coal

Wyoming leaders say the state's energy-based economy is suffering under recent Obama administration environmental initiatives.

Republican Gov. Matt Mead plans to testify next week in Cheyenne against a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposal to restrict emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Mead says the rule will cost Wyoming's five coal-fired power plants about $1 billion initially and perhaps $100 million a year thereafter. He says implementing the regulations won't affect haze.

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News
6:27 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Governor says Wyoming will do a better job with Pavillion than the EPA

Wyoming’s Governor says the state will work hard to find out what contaminated water in Pavillion , and will develop a long term solution to the water woes for residents in the area. 

Last month the E-P-A announced it was relinquishing its role in a study that had tentatively linked hydraulic fracturing with groundwater pollution. Landowners are upset with that the fact that the state will now handle the investigation.  Governor Matt Mead says the E-P-A was taking too long.            

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News
4:55 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Study outlines risks of injecting waste into aquifer

A study found that if wastewater were injected into a deep portion of the Madison Aquifer, it could potentially contaminate drinking water supplies in other areas.

Encana Oil and Gas has asked for permission to dispose of brine and drilling waste in the aquifer. The company says it would inject the waste into an area where water quality is already poor and which is so deep that it would be an impractical source for drinking water, regardless.

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News
6:25 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Environmental groups disappointed by handover of water contamination study

Environmental groups say they’re disappointed that the Environmental Protection Agency has handed over control of the Pavillion water quality study to the state.

In 2011, the EPA issued a draft report tentatively linking groundwater contamination to fracking around Pavillion. Yesterday, the agency announced that it will not finalize that report.

Richard Garrett with the Wyoming Outdoors Council says he’s unhappy with EPA’s decision.

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News
4:05 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Landowners upset over EPA’s handover of water study in Pavillion

Landowners in Wyoming are upset that the Environmental Protection Agency is relinquishing its role in a study that could link hydraulic fracturing with groundwater pollution.

The State of Wyoming is taking over an investigation of water quality in Pavillion, from the EPA. Encana Oil and Gas has natural gas wells in the area…and the EPA started testing water wells there after residents complained that the water was becoming polluted. The agency released a draft report in 2011, which tentatively linked the contamination to fracking.

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News
3:39 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

EPA won't confirm Pavillion frack-pollution tie

The Environmental Protection Agency is abandoning its plan to confirm hydraulic fracturing is linked to groundwater pollution in central Wyoming.

A draft news release obtained today by The Associated Press says the EPA won't have independent scientists review its finding that fracking may have caused the pollution.

EPA spokesman Tom Reynolds in Washington, D.C., confirms the information.

The EPA says it won't finalize its report on the issue. Instead, it will let state officials investigate.

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News
3:56 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

EPA hesitates to allow waste water disposal in Madison Aquifer

The Environmental Protection Agency is asking for more information from Encana before it okays an aquifer exemption allowing the company to pump waste water into the Madison aquifer near Casper.

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Open Spaces
4:10 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Wyo. Lawmakers Tangle with Obama Over EPA

Wyoming Republican lawmakers are up in arms over efforts by the Obama Administration to regulate carbon emissions through the Executive Branch. Matt Laslo reports from Washington on the energy debate that’s boiling on Capitol Hill.

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News
6:33 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Torrington ethanol plant pays $49K in environmental fines

An ethanol plant in Torrington has agreed to pay $49,000 in fines for violations regarding hazardous chemicals.

David Cobb with the Environmental Protection Agency says Wyoming Ethanol did not tell the public it was using large quantities of ammonia, and did not have adequate risk management plans for handling flammable mixtures. Both are violations of federal law.

Cobb says the chemicals in question are dangerous.

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News
4:13 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Sen. Barrasso to take a close look at Obama's nomination for EPA head

President Obama today announced his nomination for an Environmental Protection Agency administrator. President Obama’s pick, Gina McCarthy, is currently an assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.

McCarthy has been said to work well with industry while being an aggressive regulator. She helped create rules to curb mercury and soot emissions from power plants during President Obama’s first term.

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Coal
6:38 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Analysis: Coal is weakening without help from the EPA

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Coal is weakening its dominion over the energy market, and according to a presentation at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, new EPA regulations are not to blame.

Wyoming lawmakers including Sen. John Barrasso and Rep. Cynthia Lummis have pointed to what they call President Obama’s war on coal as the reason for declining coal production.

But David Schlissel of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis -- who led the presentation -- says other factors are responsible.

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News
6:43 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

EPA urges Carbon Monoxide awareness

As winter approaches and temperatures dip, the Environmental Protection Agency is urging people to protect themselves against carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tricky to detect. But 400 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year, and 20,000 more are hospitalized.

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News
9:11 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Surface discharge of water used in oil recovery common throughout Wyoming

The EPA issues water discharge permits on the Wind River Indian Reservation to oil and gas companies bringing up water with their oil. 

That water, called produced water, is dirty and often warm even in winter. The permits are issued through an EPA waiver that allows such water to be discharged in the arid West if it’s being used beneficially.  In the drier parts of Wyoming it is sometimes the only source of water for livestock and wildlife.

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