Friday, August 17, 2007

Week's top environmental/political news: Aug 13-17

Some of the top stories appearing Aug 13-17 in EnviroPolitics. Captured from newspapers and other information sources in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and beyond.

NJ Environment

- Exelon hires lobbyists to promote nuclear reactor Two lobbyists being paid by the corporate owner of the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant announce the formation of a coalition that will tout the benefits of nuclear energy in the face of a grass-roots effort to close the Lacey reactor AP Press Star-Ledger AC Press

- State says hauler put toxic dirt onto farm The 64-year-old owner of a Burlington County trucking company has been charged with billing the state for proper disposal of more than400 truckloads of contaminated soil, then dumping the dirt on a Moorestown farm
Courier Post Star-Ledger

- Firms cry foul over Marcal's cleanup deal A group of 73 businesses objects in federal court to the proposed settlement between Marcal Paper Mills and the federal government over Passaic River cleanup costs Herald News

- DEP defends dredge spoils decision NJ DEP commissioner Lisa Jackson tries to convince an overflow Burlington County crowd that dredge deposits and nature hikes can peacefully coexist Courier Post

- BASF wins lawsuit against supplier A Morris County jury yesterday ordered Texas-based chemical company Lyondell to pay BASF $170M after determining it overcharged the Florham Park-based business for eight years Star-Ledger

- Buddhist ritual brings no peace to NJ enviro-regulators A New York sect of Amitabha Buddhists who bought hundreds of eels, frogs and turtles in Chinatown to set them free in the Passaic River face a NJDEP fine of up to $1,000 Herald News

- Highlands Act is fair, court rules The state's controversial law restricting development across a large swath of North Jersey doesn't trample property owners' constitutional rights, an appellate court ruled on Friday Express-Times Bergen Record

NJ Politics

- Poll: Voters concerned about Lautenberg’s age Three out of five NJ voters think it's time for someone else to take his job, as Senator turns 84 as new term starts Star-Ledger

- Hospital in Paterson seeks bankruptcy protection Barnert the latest to seek relief from financial pressures Star-Ledger

- Behind bars, Brennan still owes investors Eight years after imprisoned stock promoter Bob Brennan agreed to pay $45M to settle allegations he directed stock frauds at two brokerage firms he was said to have secretly controlled, the state Bureau of Securities is taking steps to distribute nearly $5.6 million to certain investors Star-Ledger

- After killings, sense of unity surprises Newark A brutal triple murder has provoked a level of outrage not seen since the riots of 40 years ago NY Times

- Former MUA director gets 51-month jail term Former Western Monmouth Utilities Authority executive director Frank G. Abate is sentenced to 51 months in federal prison today for taking thousands of dollars in free architectural services paid for by developers with applications pending before the WMUA AP Press

PA Environment

- Site, timeline set for PA's first ethanol plant BioEnergy International officials announce that they expect to begin construction as early as October on their new ethanol plant to be located in Clearfield Borough Technology Park Centre Daily Gant Daily

- Report says renewable energy would lift PA’s economy Moving to "a renewable energy economy" would create more than $6 billion in new economic activity, including a $460 million increase in net farm income, and create more then 44,000 new jobs in Pennsylvania, according to a study released yesterday Post-Gazette

- Coal industry all fired up about liquid fuels While the energy industry has been focused on alternative fuels and new sources of oil, the coal industry is going ahead with plants to turn coal into liquid fuels such as diesel and gasoline AP

- PPL's nuclear plant may hike power output in 2008 PPL could get permission as soon as January to increase the power it puts out from its Salem Twp. nuclear plant here, says an NRC official Press Enterprise

- Rendell late in delivering global warming proposal Gov. Ed Rendell, who has been outspoken on the need to limit emissions of global warming gases, has not delivered on a promise to come up with his own strategy for Pennsylvania. Part of the problem may be the state’s prevalent use of coal for energy Associated Press

- Rush has I-80 interchange compromise on the table Township supervisors may have found a compromise that will finally bring a proposed privately funded interchange off of Interstate 80 to a resolution The Progress

PA Politics

- Future of I-80 tolls unclear PA’s two U.S. senators differ over whether the state should toll I-80 to raise transportation money, and Gov. Ed Rendell’s again talking up the idea of leasing the Pennsylvania Turnpike instead Centre Daily

- Specter: Driven to crisscross the state When Sen. Arlen Specter takes the stage at one of his famous town-hall meetings, you can’t be sure what you'll get Inquirer

- New speaker O'Brien settles into role in divided House Rep. Dennis M. O'Brien is no obscure backbencher, but who could have been prepared for the history making deal in January that elevated the Philadelphia Republican, out of the blue, to speaker of the Democrat-controlled chamber? Observer-Reporter

New York/Nation/World

- 50 staffers cut from nuclear cleanup project Buffalo News

- Study: Dredging causing 'leaks' in Great Lakes AP

- Bloomberg’s traffic plan gets U.S. boost NY Times

- Spitzer ally returns to DEC to oversee 9-county region Times Union

- East River fights bid to harness its currents NY Times

- When it rains, sewage often pours into NY harbor NYT
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