Saturday, July 18, 2009

Week's top environmental news in New Jersey, Pennsylvania & New York: July 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 July 13-17, 2009.

New Jersey Environment

New Jersey is now a true solar power In just a few years of coordinated efforts, NJ has gone from a non-factor to number two among the states in solar installations. While still far behind California, New Jersey currently generates about twice as many solar kilowatt hours as number three Colorado NJ Newsroom

Group looks to restore shellfish in Barnegat Bay A half-century ago, wild oysters grew reliably in the Toms River, in such numbers that Henry Althouse remembers his father, Chester, gathering the seed shellfish and planting them on leased beds in Barnegat Bay AP Press

More tests urged for state's public bathing areas New Jersey has outdated public recreation bathing rules that do not allow for testing of water off many of its beaches, subjecting unsuspecting swimmers to serious health risks, a group of environmental activists said yesterday Star-Ledger

A year of groundbreaking legislation Builders cheer a ‘sea change’ in development process, but still await answers on critical issues NJBIZ

Port Authority gets $11.6M for clean air plan The bistate agency receives two grants from the U.S. EPA totaling $9.8M and another $1.8M grant from the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority to implement the first part of a Comprehensive Clean Air Strategy for the port AP Press

New Jersey Politics

Millionaire governor seeks to raise $15M for campaign Of all the gloomy economic indicators since the Wall Street collapse, perhaps the most startling one seen by New Jersey residents is this: Gov. Jon Corzine with his hand out NY Times

Christie releases video welcoming Obama Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie posted a YouTube video welcoming Obama to the Garden State and taking shots at Corzine's leadership Star-Ledger

Trump backs his apprentice for Lieutenant Governor The Donald says a former winner of his TV reality show would do "fantastically" as New Jersey's lieutenant governor AP

Anticipating a win, GOP boosts Christie As Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine prepares to showcase his support from President Obama in a big rally planned for Thursday, Republicans are using their own bold-faced names to draw attention to challenger Chris Christie

Congressman Payne faces ethics probe The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) has recommended that the House Select Committee on Ethical Standards launch an investigation into two privately funded Caribbean trips by U.S. Rep. Donald Payne (D-Newark) and four others PolitickerNJ

Trail to governor's office turns green The campaign trail has turned green in the New Jersey governor's race as candidates try to outdo one another in their devotion to windmills and solar panels Inquirer

Pennsylvania Environment

Casino fined for wetlands violation Philadelphia Park violated the Pennsylvania Clean Streams law when it entered protected wetlands to remove trees that blocked views of the new Parx Casino, the state has ruled Courier Times

Merck plans solar-energy system in Upper Gwynedd The Commonwealth Financing Authority approves a $1 million grant to support the pharmaceutical company’s plans for a $11.3 million, 1.6mw system that is expected to cover 22 percent of the facility’s electric needs PhillyInc

New charges filed against recycler that worked with area charities EarthEcycle, the company that ran a free electronics recycling program for the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society and other area charitable organizations earlier this year, is charged with dumping electronic waste in South Africa Post-Gazette

First Lackawanna County gas drilling permit issued Exco-North Coast Energy Resources Inc. received the permit from the state DEP to drill two sites in Greenfield Twp. But the company isn't sure when it will begin building a drill pad to tap into the natural-gas-rich shale a mile below the surface Scranton Times-Tribune

DEP orders NY company to halt drilling An oil and gas developer cited for more than 300 violations of state environmental regulations in Warren and McKean counties is ordered to stop drilling Times Observer

Pennsylvania Politics

Did Fumo get what he deserved? It's a hung jury The 12 jurors and three alternates who found Vince Fumo guilty on all 137 counts of fraud, obstruction of justice and related tax offenses split on the question of what he deserved Daily News

Sources: Fumo rejected Fed plea deal, ended up with less time Daily News

Fumo sentencing is a scene of high drama He walked into the courtroom pushing the wheelchair of a political ally Inquirer

Rendell takes budget battle to the Internet The state budget battle is now being waged on YouTube Inquirer

Houses Republicans unveil new budget proposal; Rendell reacts The Eye Opener

New York/Nation/World

Cuomo fundraising a gubernatorial tip-off? Journal News

Senate completes no business as usual Buffalo News

Joseph Bruno's war chest helps legal fees Daily News

NY investigates river's fish die-off New York State is running tests to determine the cause of a fish die-off in a river that flows into New Jersey Newsday

Natural gas production drops in New York recordonline

Study suggests much larger wind energy potential
Green, Inc. - New York Times

Horseshoe crabs pile up for night of whoopee NPR

Nuclear plant owner promises plan to fix fund shortfall The Post Standard

Asian demand drives Rhino poaching
Driven by Asian demand for rhinoceros horns, worldwide poaching of these endangered animals is at a 15-year high, new conservation research reveals. At least 162 rhinos were illegally killed in 2008 and another 62 have been poached during the first six months of 2009 ENS

Largest green-power program stumbles Austin Energy, which offers homeowners and businesses the chance to power their homes with renewable energy (mainly wind) through its Green Choice Program, has signed up only 1 percent of its hoped-for customers for its latest wind power offering NYT

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