Sunday, February 3, 2008

Week's top environmental & political news

Some of the top environmental and political news stories
for New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and beyond
appearing in EnviroPolitics from January 28 - February 1.

New Jersey Environment

South Mountain deer hunters have harvested 102 Sharpshooters killed 38 deer yesterday during the second day of a hunt being held at the Essex County-owned South Mountain Reservation Star-Ledger

Developer pays $76.5M for GM tract Nearly three years after closing its assembly plant in Linden, General Motors Corp. has sold the 100-acre property to Duke Realty, a commercial real estate investment trust, for $76.5 million, officials said Star-Ledger

State to investigate destruction of nest The deliberate destruction of a bald eagle nest in Cumberland County triggers a probe by New Jersey and federal wildlife officials, along with reward offers that climbed to $3,500 last night Star-Ledger Inquirer

Enviros want Highlands freeze until master plan is done A coalition of 53 environmental groups wants Gov. Jon Corzine to issue an executive order to protect NJ's Highlands until a master plan to preserve open space and woodlands in the seven-county area is finalized this year Star-Ledger Bergen Record

PSE&G cost-recovery bid faces opposition A bid to block the state's largest electric utility from recovering hundreds of millions in disputed costs from ratepayers gains support from an unlikely coalition of consumer and business groups Star-Ledger

DEP chief outlines her goals, without funds to realize them The state environmental protection commissioner said yesterday she has seven priorities for 2008, but lacks the additional money and staff needed to do the work Star-Ledger

Power export to raise bills? Public Service Enterprise Group wants to export electricity from a power plant it runs in Bergen County to New York City, a step consumer advocates fear could threaten reliability and drive up electric bills in NJ Jersey Journal

Nuclear energy debate revived for Oyster Creek In the next few weeks, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is expected to decide whether to grant a 20-year license extension to the nation's oldest commercial nuclear station, a step even the plant's most ardent foes expect to happen Star-Ledger

Cleanup effort lags on source of pollution Four years ago, NJ approved far-reaching new rules aimed at reining in storm water — its greatest water pollution problem and largest source of ocean, bay, river and lake swimming bans. But many towns have failed to win approval for their plans AP Press

New Jersey Politics

GOP stews while Chamber backs Corzine's toll plan
It's a decision that has Republicans puzzled—the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce supporting Democratic Gov. Jon S. Corzine's plan to increase tolls on some of the nation's busiest highways. "Their endorsement is inexplicable," said Sen. Joseph Kyrillos, R-Monmouth Associated Press Chamber Statement

Friend says former Newark mayor set aside land The woman accused of conspiring with former Newark mayor Sharpe James to rig discounted city land deals told FBI agents he ordered city officials to set aside certain lots specifically for her to buy, according to evidence disclosed yesterday Star-Ledger

New Jersey politicians quick to switch horses As the field of presidential contestants narrowed yesterday, much of NJ's political class worked to realign itself with the new reality. Codey switches to Obama; other Dems rush back to Clinton Star-Ledger

Ashcroft, Christie are focus of monitoring deals hearing House Democrats announce plans for a special hearing to examine the Justice Department's use of private monitors in out-of-court settlements and asked former attorney general John Ashcroft to testify about the multimillion-dollar monitoring fees he is collecting for work in a New Jersey case Star-Ledger

Rutgers board OKs stadium expansion Star-Ledger Cartoon
Opinion: Rutgers needs new game plan Norman Glickman

Codey pitches bailout plan: Lease lottery As Gov. Jon Corzine went to Camden County last night to make his case for higher tolls to revamp the state's finances and fund transportation projects, Senate President Richard Codey advanced another idea to raise cash: leasing the state lottery Star-Ledger

Corzine: Budget to take toll on Trenton status quo While the debate rages over the big toll hikes in his plan to restructure the state's finances, Gov. Jon Corzine predicts a less publicized part of the proposal -- a state budget that includes deep cuts -- may cause even more controversy Star-Ledger

Pennsylvania Environment

Drilling to begin for area’s natural gas Natural gas reserves that are located throughout parts of Northeastern PA could pump millions of dollars into the local economy, researchers say Times Tribune

Group: State needs more high-voltage power lines to avert shortages Utility–led coalition says residents and businesses could run short of electricity by 2011 without the upgrades Patriot News

Power line project promises protests PPL Utilities is girding up for its largest project in 25 years — a 60-plus mile, 500,000-volt power line from Berwick to the state border — and it’s likely to raise environmental and health concerns along the way Times Tribune

Conservation group: Delaware River plan dangerous to trout Slaking the thirst and ensuring the safety of millions of people living along the Delaware River are not the only burdens to be met by a controversial draft of a plan for its management Pocono Record

Railroad drops site for wind turbine Norfolk Southern Corp. has crossed the Enola freight yards in East Pennsboro Twp. off its list of potential sites for a wind turbine Patriot-News

DEP fines Hawbaker on air violations Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. has been fined $61,850 by the state Department of Environmental Protection for multiple air quality violations at its asphalt plant and quarry in Spring Twp Centre Daily Times

Pocono Medical Center fined for waste dumping Hospital must pay a $100,000 fine for improperly handling medical waste in 2006, the state DEP announced Friday Pocono Record

Firm wants to wrap up remediation The company responsible for the cleanup of a 2005 petroleum pipeline explosion in South Whitehall Township has applied to the state to have the soil remediation at the site declared complete Morning Call

Pennsylvania Politics

Gaming board takes control over Mount Airy casino State gambling regulators met with executives at Mount Airy Casino Resort on Thursday to discuss a power transfer now that its owner has been charged with perjury and at least temporarily stripped of his license Associated Press

Dougherty resolves to unseat Fumo State Sen. Vince Fumo offers a brief reaction to the news that John Dougherty, head of the electricians' union, is running for his Senate seat: Bring it on

Nutter, Council moves aim at trades diversity Mayor Nutter will name a 30-member commission to assess ways to increase diversity in the construction industry as part of a plan to get the Convention Center expansion moving, according to sources familiar with discussions under way

Medicaid will not cover errors in PA Rendell said hospitals will no longer be paid for costs to correct serious medical mistakes Inquirer

New York/Region/World

Plan calls for $8 entry fee to New York City Associated Press

Air Force pitches coal-to-liquids plant Air Force officials have laid out an ambitious plan to develop a privately financed coal-to-diesel plant at Malmstrom air base within the next four years at a cost of $1 billion to $4 billion Business Week

More testing of seafood to address mercury concerns A number of restaurants and retailers in different parts of the country have started testing the fish they sell in response to concerns about the amount of mercury in seafood, and the Environmental Protection Agency is beginning to examine the mercury content in fish sold in the New York City region NY Times

Ex-Assemblyman spreads largess as a lobbyist NY Times

In NY state’s woods and streams, a modern-day Artemis Patricia Riexinger is the first woman director of the New York State’s Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources, a traditionally masculine domain New York Times

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