Sunday, April 19, 2009

Week's top environmental & political news in NJ, PA, NY and beyond: Apr 13-17 2009


Below are just a few of the environmental and political news stories for New Jersey, Pennsylvania and beyond that appeared in EnviroPolitics during the week of April 13-17, 2009.

New Jersey Politics

Another New Jersey polititian convicted Former State Sen. Joseph Coniglio was found guilty Friday on six counts of mail fraud and extortion on charges he funneled millions of dollars in state funding to Hackensack University Medical Center in exchange for a lucrative consulting job
Star-Ledger Bergen Record

Corzine's income down $2.75 million Like many New Jerseyans, Gov. Corzine has been battered by investment losses. That's according to income tax estimates that his office released showing an income of minus $2.7 million Star-Ledger

Report: Police exceed rules on immigration questions State, local and county police have abused a two-year-old directive that empowers them to question suspects in serious crimes about their immigration status, according to a study by Seton Hall Law School due out today Inquirer

Corzine's capital budget a record $3.6 billion A stretch of Admiral Wilson Boulevard that often spends rainy days underwater is due to receive a $13.9 million fix under a record $3.6 billion transportation capital plan unveiled by Gov. Corzine yesterday Inquirer Star-Ledger

Unions at center of race for N.J. governor Gov. Corzine has asked state workers to take a dozen furlough days and forgo a 3.5 percent raise to avoid 7,000 layoffs Inquirer
> Some see a brighter side to job furloughs Courier-Post

New Jersey Environment

High level of tritium found at nuke plant site
Workers found an elevated level of radioactive tritium in water on the site of the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in Lacey on Wednesday, according to plant officials AP Press AC Press

$100M to clean toxic sites New Jersey will receive more than $100M in new federal funding for the cleanup of Superfund sites, including one in South Plainfield that an environmental activist called "one of the worst of the worst" in the country Star-Ledger
> Imperial Oil site to get $25M in cleanup funds AP Press

Coast Guard's response time questioned at NJ hearing The owner of a scallop trawler that sank 75 miles off the Jersey Shore last month - claiming the lives of his two sons, his brother, and three other crew members - questions the response time of the Coast Guard during the opening yesterday of the agency’s inquiry into the accident and rescue efforts Inquirer Star-Ledger

Residents near N-plants will continue to get iodide pills Just as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the relicensing of the nation's oldest continuously operating nuclear plant, the same agency announced plans to continue to provide pills to residents to protect them against radiation in the event of a nuclear accident AC Press Bridgeton News

Feds may give up on beach projects Like saltwater taffy and snack-pilfering seagulls, replenishing eroding beaches has been a long tradition at the Jersey Shore. This year, the beach-fill program, long criticized by environmentalists, might be in the fight of its life Inquirer

Pennsylvania Environment

Alliance Landfill taking case to streets Since Tuesday, several hundred residents in Taylor and Ransom Twp. have received door hangers from Alliance Sanitary Landfill outlining benefits the landfill provides under host-municipality pacts Times Tribune


Haz-mat team keeps chemical out of creek A hazardous materials team spent several hours Wednesday cleaning up from the ground what was initially considered a mysterious substance around the Little Lehigh Creek in Allentown, a fire official said Morning Call


Towns’ lawsuit over Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan clears hurdle
A state court refuses to throw out a lawsuit brought by dozens of municipalities and local sewer authorities claiming the state's Chesapeake Bay watershed cleanup plan is illegal
AP


State solar-rebate funding approved
Pennsylvania's long-stalled solar-rebate program for homeowners and small businesses will soon have funding - an infusion of cash that could result in the creation of scores of "green" jobs
Inquirer


Carbon joins opposition to DEP’s gas-oil decision
County last week formally expressed opposition to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s move to eliminate conservation districts from the permitting process for natural gas and oil drilling
Hazleton Standard Speaker


Pennsylvania Politics

Governor's race heats up A lawsuit the state has filed against a New Jersey pharmaceutical company is causing things to heat up in the Republican contest for governor in 2010 Post-Gazette

PAC with ties to Rendell is fined $15,750
A political committee with ties to Gov. Rendell has agreed to pay $15,750 in fines to the Philadelphia Board of Ethics to settle a nearly month-old lawsuit Inquirer


Toomey announces
GOP senate bid
Conservative Pat Toomey, a former Lehigh Valley congressman, this morning announced he is running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in the 2010 election in a videotaped message on his new campaign website, saying the nation is at a "crossroads" between a greatly expanding federal government and more economic freedom Inquirer


Rendell: $200 in property tax help for Pa. homeowners
Pennsylvania homeowners outside of Philadelphia will for the second year receive at least $200 in property-tax reductions from slot-machine gambling revenue
Inquirer


Despite recession, plans for legislators' convention proceed
PA is moving ahead with plans to host a national convention for legislators this summer in Philadelphia despite a recession that has states pinching pennies, especially travel expenses
Inquirer

Elsewhere


$1.8B in stimulus funding already spent in NY
Almost all of it has been used for Medicaid costs Times Union


Murphy gains as judge narrows challenges
Times Union


Pension ‘piggy bank’ net expands
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday exposed more ugly strands in an alleged corruption web involving misuse of hundreds of millions of dollars in state retirement fund dollars to enrich friends, associates and relatives of former comptroller Alan Hevesi Times Union


Timothy Dolan takes helm as NY's Catholic lea
der Archbishop-designate Timothy Dolan urged Americans to swap fear for faith during a prayer service that began his formal installation as New York's Roman Catholic leader AP


Will melting ice mean more drilling?






Andrew Trites photo

Melting ice in the Arctic may not be good for species like the walrus which are being forced onto small pieces of remnant ice, but it does mean those icy waters are much more accessible and cost-effective places to drill for oil and gas National Public Radio

Feds oppose gas terminal in Long Island Sound
Federal officials yesterday may have sunk the Broadwater, upholding New York state's objections to the controversial proposal to pump liquid natural gas from a massive terminal floating in Long Island Sound
NY Journal News


Long Islanders rush to switch to solar power
Hefty new federal tax credits and ambitions for cheaper, cleaner energy have lured record numbers of Long Islanders to install solar energy systems this year, raising concerns about LIPA's ability to keep up with the demand Newsday


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