Wisconsin DNR responds to air pollution watch listThe Wisconsin DNR says some sites being on an EPA air pollution "watch list" does not mean the sites automatically threaten local public health.
By: By Chuck Quirmbach, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
The Wisconsin DNR says some sites being on an EPA air pollution "watch list" does not mean the sites automatically threaten local public health.
NPR and the Center for Public Integrity are doing a series of stories on failures to enforce the Clean Air Act amendments of the early 1990's. In one report, the media partnership disclosed that the EPA keeps a list of more than 400 U.S. sites that may be chronic or serious violators of the air pollution law, and didn't get the attention of regulators within nine months. The 20 Wisconsin sites on the list include companies in the forest products industry, foundries, chemical coating firms and a few power plants, though fixes are underway at some of those plants. State DNR spokesman Bill Cosh says the agency will be looking at the reports' claims of potential health problems.
A DNR spreadsheet on the 20 sites shows one case already closed, and some cases of incomplete monitoring records or other procedural problems. But in some cases there were violations or what are called excessive emissions. So the Sierra Club's Jennifer Feyerherm worries some of the sites could threaten the public.
Feyerherm says she's especially dismayed that a state owned power plant at the Waupun prison continues to show too much soot is being emitted. The Wisconsin Department of Administration did not respond to a request for a comment about the site.