Sunday, December 20, 2009

Week's top environmental news in NJ, PA & NY: Dec. 14-18, 2009

Below are just a few of the environmental and political news stories for New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and beyond that appeared in
EnviroPolitics during the week
of Dec 14-18, 2009.

NJ Environmental

Christie may kill offshore LNG terminal

Plans to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on a 60-acre man-made island off the New Jersey/New York coast have run aground, with published reports saying that New Jersey Governor-elect Chris Christie will veto the project Queens Courier

Audubon lobbyist declines Pinelands Commission post
New Jersey Audubon's top state lobbyist says she will decline an appointment to the state Pinelands Commission, a move by the Corzine administration that has stirred the ire of farmers and conservation groups AP Press

NJ vows more cancer reviews for Pompton Lakes
Less than 24 hours after hearing impassioned pleas for help from cancer victims and their relatives in the so-called “plume” neighborhood of about 450 homes, the state Health Department on Wednesday said it will expand a recent analysis of cancer rates in the community The Record story and video

Camden water oversight slammed
A scathing state audit, which compares Camden's water system to that of a developing country, says millions have been lost due to city mismanagement and a private water firm's poor performance Courier-Post

Federal takeover sought in DuPont pollution
One by one, residents of a pollution-threatened Pompton Lakes neighborhood told state health officials about the cancers they were being treated for, or a relative was suffering from, or the tumor that killed their neighbor The Record

Pine snake, builders battle continues The New Jersey Builders Association asks that the Pinelands dweller be removed from the state endangered species list Bulco Times

Senator: Oyster Creek must change cooling method The operators of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station must look to alternative cooling methods -- whether cooling towers, geothermal exchange or even an ocean outfall line -- to lessen its ecological impact on Barnegat Bay, says the chairman of the NJ Senate Environment Committee at the start of a contentious hearing on his cooling tower bill AP Press EnviroPolitics Blog

NJ Politics

Christie's transition team gets up to speed Leaders shift from monitoring election to remaking Trenton Statehouse
> Full listing of all transition team members Star-Ledger Is this what they meant by a smooth transition? Incoming Gov. Chris Christie says waning-hours appointment of more than 200 to boards and commissions “creates an extension of the Corzine Administration after the time the people have already said they want the Corzine administration to end” AP Press S-L

Can anyone here fix a pothole? New Jersey can’t afford to inspect bridges, repair drainage systems or even fill potholes so it’s pushing off nearly $70 million in routine repairs onto a trust fund that is nearly bankrupt Statehouse Bureau

Report: Democratic leader paid for work he didn’t do In a scathing report, the state inspector general said a Democratic county chairman from South Jersey, who took the stand in defense of former Sen. Wayne Bryant during his federal corruption trial, received a salary and pension credits for legal work he did not perform Star-Ledger PolitickerNJ

Chris Christie chooses Paula Dow as attorney general Gov.-elect Chris Christie is to begin introducing his cabinet today by announcing Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow as the state's next attorney general Statehouse Bureau

Gay marriage vote unlikely until after New Year The Assembly sponsor of gay marriage legislation said Friday he believes that after a volatile week in Trenton, further action on the bill could wait until after the holidays Statehouse Bureau
Same-sex marriage proponent's fervor backfires Inquirer
> Opinion: How Dems distort same-sex debate P. Mulshine

PA Environmental

Susquehanna wary of gas-drilling plan From the center of Dimock, Pa. a natural gas drill rig lit up at night looks like a rocket launch pad. While it has stirred local anger, a Texas drilling firm has also given landowners hopes of making millions of dollars in gas royalties Inquirer

DEP chief: State must step up to protect bay The state's top environmental official said Thursday that the state must make tough decisions that result in cleaner water flowing into the Chesapeake Bay or face unwanted dictates from the federal government or a judge

PPL has to rebate $30 million to residential customers The electric utility must pay the refund to residential electric customers in 2010 because it overcharged them for infrastructure investments, rules the PUC
The Morning Call Times-Tribune

Report: 2004-06 flooding would have happened regardless Lower water levels at the reservoirs that feed the Delaware River could have reduced but not stopped the devastating floods that ripped through the Lehigh Valley several years ago, according to the Delaware River Basin Commission
Morning Call
> Flood model online
> More steps needed

Commission set to begin water quality monitoring The Susquehanna River Basin Commission announced it will install 30 water quality monitoring stations in 2010. Stations will be placed in waters just north of Williamsport and spread beyond the NY state line
Williamsport Sun-Gazette

Gas drilling in state forests top concern for conservation chief As Pennsylvania prepares for what could be a 50-year period of drilling for deep natural gas pockets in its state forests, the long-term health of these previously damaged forests is on the mind of this conservation official

Politicians choose sides in Marcellus Shale drilling debate State Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton wants to slow it down. Sen. Thomas Libous is for speeding it up. Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo is torn between extremes
Press & Sun-Bulletin

PA Politics

Prosecutors charge DeWeese, 2 others Prosecutors in Pennsylvania’s so-called Bonusgate investigation today announced theft and conspiracy charges against former House Speaker Bill DeWeese and former state Revenue Secretary Stephen Stetler - just hours after Stetler resigned Inquirer

Funds for Pennsylvania universities approved The prospect of unprecedented midterm tuition hikes at four state-related universities ended late last night when the House voted to approve funding after a months-long delay Inquirer

Local congressmen break with Dem. leaders on jobs bill Rep. Patrick Murphy, one of the fiscally conservative "blue dog" Democrats in the U.S. House, broke with his party's leadership Wednesday night to vote against a plan to finance job-creating infrastructure projects in part with bank bailout money Inquirer

For some, Corbett not a friendly face State Attorney General Tom Corbett, the front-runner for the Republican nomination for governor, was probably the most whispered-about politician during the PA Society weekend in New York Daily News

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