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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

EPA wood-stove proposal prompt rural MO backlash

Monday, 24 February 2014 00:41 Published in Local News
   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A federal proposal to clean up the smoke from wood-burning stoves has sparked a backlash from some rural residents, lawmakers and manufacturers.
   Proposed regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would significantly reduce the amount of particle pollution allowed to flow from new residential wood-powered heaters.
   Some manufacturers contend the proposed standards are so stringent that the higher production costs would either force them out of business or make their products unaffordable to lower- and middle-income consumers.
   In Missouri, some lawmakers are fighting back with state legislation seeking to discourage the enforcement of tougher standards on wood-burning stoves. Concerns over wood-stove pollution and regulations also have been simmering in other states, including in some places where local officials are pushing for stronger environmental standards.
   
 
   After website issues caused a slow start, new data from the federal government shows enrollment in health-care plans through federal and state online marketplaces is taking off, particularly when it comes to young women.
   Laura Burbank, the lead certified application councilor for Planned Parenthood of St. Louis says more insured, young, women today will mean a healthier Missouri in the future.  "Women and families are going to have a lot more options to take care of themselves and their families," Burbank said.  "And that's going to really have long-term health impacts on our community."
   Burbank says she's not surprised to see so many young women taking advantage of the Affordable Care Act, because of features such as preventive care, maternity services and prescription birth control with no co-pay. "Having them included at no cost really kind of frees women up to be able to make those health-care choices for themselves," she said.
   According to the federal data, nearly 55,000 Missourians already have signed up for a marketplace plan. Nationwide, 55 percent of the 3.3 million new enrollees are women, with one in three of those who signed up in January younger than age 35.  
   Open enrollment ends March 31.
 

   It should be business as usual Friday at the Bank of America building in downtown St. Louis after an overnight hazmat scare.  

   St. Louis Police and Firefighters were called in about 12:30 a.m. after employees at the office tower found a white, powdery substance spilling out of a package.  

   Hazmat crews investigated and determined the substance wasn't dangerous.  There's no word what that white powder may have been.

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