Missouri House Speaker Pro Tem Bryan Pratt, R-Blue Springs voted against a bill that would have supplied $12M to Metro and restore some of the service recently cut. "The Metro bill may have killed the bill on its own," Pratt said. "I'm not aware of any plan right now for the longtime sustainability of the Metro. They were looking for an infusion of cash without any plan to say they're not going to need the cash next year or the year after."The fact is that the system does need the cash next year and the year after and the year after that and so on. What are the funding options for the Metro mass transit system? Increased fares? Additional sales tax revenue? More government support?
For decades, researchers have studied the dangers of coarse particles emitted by power plants and vehicles, which can aggravate asthma and other health problems and are regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Ultrafine particles are less understood and not subject to direct government limits, even though many scientists believe they could be even more harmful.
"Since we see associations with asthma and cardiovascular disease with people living near highways, you have to ask what's causing that," said Doug Brugge, director of the Tufts Community Research Center and the scientist leading the study, which will begin this summer. "There is a lot of smoke suggesting that there is a fire."
Researchers suspect the health risk from ultrafine particles is greatest downwind and within 300 feet of busy highways.