Friday, August 24, 2007

Week's top environmental & political news

Some of the top stories appearing in EnviroPolitics from Aug 20-24. Captured from newspapers and other information sources in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and beyond.

New Jersey Environment

The cost to NJ if nuclear reactor is retired Retiring the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in Lacey would cost NJ more than $300M a year in higher electricity prices and lost economic activity, says a report funded by the plant's parent AP Press

Wastewater plant fined $30,000 The government agency that operates Bergen County's wastewater treatment system is fined for emitting more sulfur that permitted Bergen Record

Codey wants a say on NYC traffic fee Senate President calls on New York City officials to add NJ representatives to a newly formed commission that will study a plan to charge motorists fees to enter parts of Manhattan Bergen Record Star-Ledger

NJ moves to head of Marcal claim line In its effort to emerge from bankruptcy protection, Marcal Paper Mills struck a deal last month with federal environmental officials regarding the manufacturer's responsibility to help clean up the polluted lower Passaic River. Now, it's time to deal with the state Star-Ledger

Water rules in the works The public comment period has closed and state officials are moving forward with the expansion of water protection rules that would likely curb development. If adopted, the change would limit where sewer and septic systems are placed and expand the number of streams that require 300-foot buffers from development. Express-Times

New Jersey Politics

Torricelli using campaign funds to lobby When he was last running for the U.S. Senate from New Jersey in 2002, Robert G. Torricelli collected donations from thousands of people who apparently wanted to see him re-elected. They might be surprised to see how he spenta portion of their money—on politicians with an influence over Mr. Torricelli’s, or his clients’, business interests New York Times

Battle looms on stadium expansion Rutgers is raising tuition and cutting other sports programs but wants to cash in on football team’s popularity with a $116 million stadium expansion Star-Ledger
> Editorial: Football uber alles? Bergen Record

James: I cannot pay my attorneys Federal prosecutors have accused former Newark Mayor Sharpe James of bilking the city to subsidize a lavish lifestyle, including trips to Martha's Vineyard when he allegedly shipped his Rolls-Royce along at taxpayers' expense. Now James claims he doesn't have the cash to pay a law firm representing him to fight those charges Star-Ledger

Ex-commerce official: Family woes inspired corrupt acts Devereaux apologizes for "really bad judgment" in finding state work for her relatives and conducting her law practice on state time, but says she never intended to commit a crime Star-Ledger

Two of Newark’s triple-slay suspects caught In series of raids, task force catches up to brothers near Washington, planning to escape to El Salvador Star-Ledger NY Times
> 'How did you catch me?' Hard work and MySpace Star-Ledger

Pennsylvania Environment

Ethanol plant in the works Northeast Ethanol is evaluating four sites in northeast PA for construction of a plant, including a 100-acre property in Mayfield owned by Carrier Coal Enterprises Times-Tribune

DEP leans toward auto club permit; neighbors fear pollution PA regulators are leaning toward approval of a permit for a four-mile high speed driving course on 360 wooded acres at the foot of Blue Mountain Inquirer

Fines a possibility in fish-kill spill DEP says Aug. 10 spill from a meat rendering plant in Franconia that killed 10,000 small fish in a mile-long stretch of the Skippack Creek is “ripe” for a penalty The Reporter

Its bats and birds versus energy blades The Pennsylvania Biological Survey has gone to bat for the bats in a swirling policy debate over whether commercial wind power development should be permitted in state forests Post-Gazette

High tension Proposed power line through region sparks concerns. Imagine a new interstate highway, six to eight lanes wide, slicing across the landscape of Northeastern Pennsylvania Times Tribune

Pennsylvania Politics

Taxpayers poised to pay $2 billion for pensions Legislature let state, school boards shortchange funds by not contributing enough Morning Call

Lawmakers blast PHEAA bonuses “The interests of struggling students are once again overshadowed by the interests of those who occupy PHEAA's executive suite,” says governor’s spokesperson Patriot News

Foxwoods casino advances, under fire, in Philadelphia To shouts of "Shame!" and "The people want a say!" from more than 100 onlookers, the City Planning Commission votes unanimously to give the go-ahead to the Foxwoods riverfront casino in South Philadelphia Inquirer

Indicted judge won't seek retention Michael Joyce was indicted last week on nine counts of money laundering and mail fraud related to two insurance claims he filed after a 2001 car accident Post-Gazette

New York/Nation/World

GOP consultant resigns amid ‘phone’ uproar Roger Stone Jr., accused of threatening Gov. Spitzer's father, quits campaign job with the Senate GOP, claiming he is the victim of a "dirty trick" by gubernatorial aides “capable of wire tapping" Newsday

Con Ed: Echo Bay cleanup is finally done Twenty-six years after a transformer fire spilled oil laden with a suspected carcinogen near Echo Bay, Consolidated Edison says it has finished its cleanup of the 2.6-acre site Journal News

LIPA chief kills wind farm project Long Island Power Authority chairman says he will "terminate" a controversial project to install 40 wind turbines off the coast of Jones Beach Newsday

Enviros decry talk of new Tappan bridge

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