EPA takes step to improve Lake Champlain water quality

first_imgAfter a careful review, EPA has disapproved Vermont’s 2002 water quality plan that set phosphorus targets for discharges into Lake Champlain. Following this action, EPA intends to work closely and collaboratively with the State to develop a new plan for reductions in phosphorus from sources in Vermont. Elevated levels of phosphorus cause algae blooms and other water quality problems in Lake Champlain. Today’s action follows EPA’s reconsideration and withdrawal of its 2002 approval of the plan. The Conservation Law Foundation had challenged that approval in federal court.EPA’s decision concerns Vermont’s 2002 Lake Champlain Phosphorus ‘TMDL,’ a technical document that establishes the ‘Total Maximum Daily Load’ for phosphorus in the lake. The TMDL is a pollution budget for an impaired water body, which identifies the pollutant loads that may be contributed by various sources at levels that will restore and maintain water quality. Under the federal Clean Water Act, TMDLs must meet certain requirements.In the decision announced today, EPA concluded that certain aspects of Vermont’s 2002 phosphorus TMDL for Lake Champlain did not satisfy federal requirements. EPA found that the TMDL did not provide sufficient assurance that phosphorus reductions from polluted runoff will be achieved, and it did not provide an adequate margin of safety to account for uncertainty in the analysis. EPA will now begin working closely with Vermont environmental officials to prepare a new TMDL for the parts of Lake Champlain addressed in Vermont’s 2002 TMDL. During this upcoming process, EPA will ensure ample opportunity for public input.‘We plan to work together with the State in our shared goal of better protecting Lake Champlain,’ said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. ‘Our action today doesn’t mean that Vermont’s earlier efforts haven’t had value. But looking forward, clearly more needs to be done to address the challenges presented by ongoing pollution. This action also should not affect ongoing lake restoration projects such as those supported by Vermont’s Clean and Clear initiative and the Lake Champlain Basin Program. These projects are very important and should continue while the TMDL is being revised.’With or without the 2002 TMDL in place, Lake Champlain remains impaired and in need of restoration. Water quality monitoring data clearly indicate that significant work is needed to reduce phosphorus to the levels necessary to protect the lake. In the past, some observers have speculated that a new TMDL could result in stricter pollution limits for wastewater treatment plants within the Lake Champlain basin, but Spalding cautioned that ‘It is too early to know what effect a revised TMDL will have on permits for wastewater treatment plant discharges or stormwater discharges. This will become clearer as the TMDL is developed.’Although this disapproval does not apply to the New York portion of the Lake Champlain TMDL (which was approved separately from the Vermont portion in 2002 and was not contested), EPA will seek to involve New York in the development of any aspects of the new Vermont TMDL that might affect the New York TMDL, including for example, any updates to the lake modeling work used to develop the phosphorus loading capacity of the lake.More information:- TMDLs in New England (http://www.epa.gov/region1/eco/tmdl/index.html(link is external))- EPA Disapproval Decision Document for VT 2002 Phosphorus TMDL (http://www.epa.gov/region1/eco/tmdl/approved.html#vt(link is external)) (Boston, Mass. ‘ Jan. 24, 2011) ‘last_img read more

‘Obama Administration Coal Mining Review Could Reshape Long-Suffering US Industry’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享BY Maria Gallucci in International Business Times: At a public hearing in Casper, Wyoming, this week, local coal miners and environmentalists squared off inside a spacious auditorium. Coal supporters slapped on stickers and bracelets reading “Friends of Coal” and hoisted posters saying “Coal = Jobs.” Coal’s critics dubbed themselves “Climate Voters” and passed out pamphlets warning that burning coal imperils “our lands, our future.”The Wyoming standoff is part of a broader review process by the Obama administration that could transform a major slice of the U.S. coal industry. Officials are scrutinizing a decades-old program that allows private companies to mine coal on federal lands. The decision they make could ultimately raise the cost of extracting coal in certain regions and, as a result, encourage greater use of lower-carbon energy.The Casper hearing on Tuesday was the first of six such events to be held in coal-rich states in May and June. The U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, which is leading the review, will use public comments for an environmental impact study — a process that could take up to three years to finish. The Obama administration — which ends in January — said it won’t issue new coal leases until the review is completed. “We have an obligation to current and future generations to ensure the federal coal program delivers a fair return to American taxpayers and takes into account its impact on climate change,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in January when announcing the review and moratorium.Coal companies, which largely oppose the program review, have argued that any revisions would only hurt an industry that’s facing its worst downturn in decades. At the meeting in Casper, Wyoming’s Republican governor, Matt Mead, railed against what he said was an attack on the U.S. coal sector.“This administration is pursuing an unrealistic vision of a world without coal,” he said after two hours of public comments, local media reported. “Instead they should pursue a realistic vision that recognizes coal’s place in the world, and should invest to make it better.”In the U.S., demand for the black rock is slowing and prices are plunging thanks to sluggish growth in China’s economy, stiff competition from natural gas and growing concerns about climate change and air and water pollution. Dozens of American mining companies, including industry giants like Peabody Energy Corp. and Arch Coal Inc., have filed for bankruptcy in recent months as their earnings declined and debt loads soared.Most of the major coal firms operate mines on public land, primarily in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin and other Western states. Roughly 40 percent of U.S. coal, especially in the West, comes from federal property, meaning any changes to the BLM program would likely affect coal pricing and regulations across the overall market, said Mark Squillace, a law professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder and natural resources expert.“Whatever the federal government decides to do will influence the market for coal generally, particularly in the Western U.S.,” he said. Mining companies still hold leases for roughly 20 years’ worth of recoverable coal reserves on federal lands, so a shortage isn’t likely, he added.The BLM now manages more than 300 active coal leases spanning about 475,000 acres in 10 states. The coal lease program began in 1920 to enable the government to offer up selected tracts of public lands, with private companies placing competitive bids to lease that coal-rich acreage.Over time, however, the program has largely transformed into a model of “lease by application,” in which an individual coal company submits its own proposal to mine on public land. Critics say this approach discourages competition and allows coal companies to secure prices well below what they would pay to mine on private property.The U.S. Government Accountability Office found that about 90 percent of coal lease sales attracted only a single bidder, even though federal law requires multiple companies to compete for a lease, according to a December 2013 report. The Interior Department’s inspector general separately found that multiple deficiencies within the BLM program had “put the government at risk of not receiving the full value for coal leases.”Beyond leasing, coal companies are also under scrutiny for what they do with the coal once it’s mined from public lands. A 2012 Reuters investigation found that miners sell some of those coal reserves to “affiliates,” which are wholly owned subsidiaries. The companies in turn can hide profits and avoid paying full government royalties on exported coal, since they technically sold the coal to a domestic affiliated company.All told, taxpayers may have lost an estimated $28.9 billion in revenue from coal leases over 30 years, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, which favors use of renewable energy, found in a 2012 study.Full article: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/money/the-coming-war-on-coal/ar-BBtgJsF ‘Obama Administration Coal Mining Review Could Reshape Long-Suffering US Industry’last_img read more

Chile Quake Moved Earth’s Axis, Shortened Days: Scientist

first_imgBy Dialogo March 04, 2010 I believe these continuous earthquakes will increase until the Earth can’t stand it anymore because we aren’t taking care of our planet. Instead we are destroying it more and more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The powerful earthquake that shook Chile on Saturday probably shifted the Earth’s axis and made days slightly shorter, a NASA scientist said. Richard Gross, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, calculated that the planet’s axis would have shifted by eight centimeters (three inches) during the 8.8 magnitude quake, NASA said in a statement. Earth days are 24 hours long because that’s the amount of time it takes the planet to make one full rotation on its axis, so shifting the axis would affect rotation. If, indeed, the planet’s axis did shift by eight centimeters during the Chilean quake, days would have shortened by 1.26 microseconds, Gross calculated. A microsecond is one-millionth of a second, so no need to adjust watches just yet. The Chilean quake shifted the Earth’s axis by even more than the 9.1-magnitude temblor off Indonesia that set off the deadly tsunami in Asia in 2004, Gross worked out. That’s partly because the faultline responsible for the earthquake in Chile “dips into Earth at a slightly steeper angle than does the fault responsible for the 2004 Sumatran earthquake” and is more effective at moving Earth’s mass vertically and shifting the planet’s axis. The 2004 quake in Asia caused the Earth to move by around seven centimeters and chopped an estimated 6.8 microseconds off the length of a day, NASA said.last_img read more

East Patchogue School Bus Crash Injures 5 Teens

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Several teenagers were injured Monday when a dump truck driver blew a stop sign and crashed into a school bus in East Patchogue, officials said.Five teenagers—14-year-old twin boys, a 15-year-old male, a 15-year-old female and a 16 year-old female—were transported by ambulance to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center with minor injuries, a Patchogue Fire Department spokesman said.Authorities said the Holy Angels mini bus was driving east on Carman Street around 3:30 p.m. when an All County Block and Supply dump truck drove past a stop sign and struck the bus. The 36-year-old woman driving the bus wasn’t injured, police said.The 65-year-old dump truck driver, who didn’t suffer any injuries, was cited for disobeying a stop sign and for an equipment violation, police said.last_img read more

Government announces travel requirements during transition to ‘new normal’

first_imgThose intending to go on inter-provincial trips using public transportation are required to show their ID cards, health certificates stating they are COVID-19-negative after undergoing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or rapid tests and have the government-made Peduli Lindungi app installed and activated on their mobile phones at the time of departure.”People living in areas that do not provide PCR or rapid test facilities can present health certificates showing they are free from influenza-like illnesses issued by hospitals or community health centers [Puskesmas],” the letter said.Read also: Train stations packed as transition into ‘new normal’ begins in JakartaTravelers arriving in Indonesia from abroad are also required to present COVID-19-free health certificates. Those who have yet to obtain such certificates will be asked to undergo COVID-19 tests on the spot upon arrival. They will also be required to stay at government-provided quarantine facilities while awaiting their results.”The government, local administrations, public transport organizers and security personnel will together ensure safe-travel arrangements [are implemented during the new normal],” the latter further said.The new circular letter overrides previous letters No. 4/2020 and No. 5/2020 on travel restrictions during the handling of COVID-19.Its issuance comes as the central government calls for citizens to begin adapting to what it refers to as the “new normal” as it looks to gradually relax restrictions and reopen businesses under health protocols.Jakarta, for instance, has now entered a transition phase in which it will gradually ease restrictions on several sectors, after the country’s capital city extended the period of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) for the third time until the end of June.Topics : The Indonesian government has issued a circular stipulating requirements for people seeking to travel within or into the country during the transition to the so-called “new normal” period so as to prevent further spread of COVID-19.The circular letter No. 7/2020, issued on Saturday by the national COVID-19 task force, specifically regulates “people’s movements from one region to another within the country, as well as international arrivals, using private vehicles or public transportation”.In general, travelers are required to abide by and implement health protocols, including wearing face masks and following physical distancing measures during their trips.last_img read more

Arsenal submit opening £40m offer for Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha

first_imgArsenal submit opening £40m offer for Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha Advertisement Arsenal have made an official bid for Wilfried Zaha (Picture: Getty)Arsenal have made an official £40m bid for Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha, according to Sky Sports.The 26-year-old informed Palace of his wish to move this summer in order to join a club capable of challenging for trophies and to fulfil his ambition of playing in the Champions League.Although Arsenal would be unable to offer Zaha Champions League football this season, the Ivory Coast international is said to be interested in joining as he supported the club as a child.Zaha is also believed to be keen to remain in London should he leave the Eagles and although Spurs have been linked with him in the past, Arsenal appear to be in pole position to sign him.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTIt is highly unlikely that Arsenal’s opening bid for Zaha will be accepted, though, as Palace value their prized asset at between £80-100m – more than double what Arsenal have offered. Comment Metro Sport ReporterMonday 1 Jul 2019 5:56 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link666Sharescenter_img Zaha is currently representing the Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt (Picture: Getty)A further issue in the deal is that Manchester United are due a 25% sell-on clause in any deal involving Zaha. Palace had attempted to have the clause removed as part of the clubs’ negotiations over the Wan-Bissaka transfer, however United refused.Zaha enjoyed statistically the best season of his career last term, scoring ten goals and providing five assists in 34 Premier League appearances while he terrorised Arsenal’s defence during Palace’s shock 3-2 win at the Emirates in April.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Advertisement Unai Emery has made Wilfried Zaha one of his top transfer targets (Picture: Getty)That could prove problematic for Arsenal as Unai Emery is widely-reported to have a reduced transfer budget to work with of around £40-45m which can be increased by player sales.Palace are also under no financial obligation to sell Zaha this summer either having already allowed Aaron Wan-Bissaka to join Manchester United in a deal worth £50m last week.According to reports, the club are wary about selling two of their best players in the same transfer window due to potential supporter backlash while they also fear doing so could negatively impact potential takeover talks.last_img read more

Governor Wolf Announces 216 New Jobs with Expansion of Cotiviti in Montgomery County

first_img Economy,  Jobs That Pay,  Latest News,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Cotiviti Holdings, Inc., a provider of payment accuracy services, will expand operations at its existing location in Blue Bell, Montgomery County, and create 216 new, high-paying jobs.“I’m pleased to share that Cotiviti has chosen to expand its operations in Montgomery County and that it will grow its employee headcount in the commonwealth to more than 900,” said Governor Wolf. “Cotiviti offers stable employment opportunities that provide family sustaining wages, helping to rebuild Pennsylvania’s middle class.”To accommodate projected growth, Cotiviti has leased an additional 86,000 square feet of space at its existing location in the Arborcrest office campus at 785 Arbor Way, Blue Bell. Cotiviti will invest at least $8.2 million in the project, including leasehold improvements, upgraded IT equipment, and fixture purchases. Cotiviti has committed to the creation of 216 new, full-time jobs over the next three years, and to the retention of 719 existing jobs. Construction is expected to begin May 2017.Cotiviti received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development that includes a $450,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant and $432,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of the new jobs.The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.Cotiviti Holdings, Inc. is a payment accuracy provider that helps healthcare payers and retailers achieve their business objectives by discovering incongruities in the interactions customers have with stakeholders. The company helps clients capture over $3 billion annually through improved payment accuracy. Cotiviti provides services to eight of the top ten U.S. healthcare payers and eight of the top ten U.S. retailers.Last year, DCED approved nearly $1.1 billion in low-interest loans, tax credits, and grants for projects across the commonwealth and secured private sector commitments for the creation and retention of more than 245,000 full-time jobs. In the same timeframe, the Governor’s Action Team completed 77 projects – creating and retaining more than 36,800 jobs. For more information about the Governor’s Action Team or DCED, visit dced.pa.gov. Governor Wolf Announces 216 New Jobs with Expansion of Cotiviti in Montgomery County March 15, 2017center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

yourtown offers Kingscliff beach house valued at more than $1.6m

first_imgA $15 ticket will win one lucky person a luxury Kingscliff beach house.A $15 TICKET will win one lucky person a luxury Kingscliff beach house package worth more than $1.6 million.yourtown’s latest prize draw includes the choice of the northern NSW property or an apartment in Brighton, Victoria, as well as furniture, electrics, and Flight Centre and a Tiffany & Co vouchers.The four-bedroom Kingscliff house at 18 Barrel St, Salt Village combines granite tiling, stainless steel and glass elements to create a stylish living space.A soundproof cinema, library, pool ad alfresco terrace are among the properties features. The Kingscliff beach house package is valued at more than $1.6 million.yourtown CEO Tracy Adams said money raised through ticket sales would make a difference in the lives of young people across Australia.“yourtown’s Kids Helpline @ School program is a national early intervention and prevention program that gives all primary schools the opportunity to invite a Kids Helpline counsellor into their classroom via video link or phone,” she said.“Our qualified specialists and mentors also work with teenagers who are struggling and at risk of leaving school early.“Together, they find ways to address the challenges in these young people’s lives.“It is only with the support of the community that we are able to achieve this. Together we’re creating brighter futures for young people across Australia.”The winner of draw 464 will be announced on March 3. Inside the Kingscliff house at Salt Village.Coastal Real Estate Group’s Mason Garten said the home offered an exceptional lifestyle nestled in one of the most sought-after areas on the Coast.“It’s not surprising property values are showing massive increases in Kingscliff with house prices leaping by 30 per cent in the last three years,” Mr Garten said.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North11 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day ago“The minute you drive over the Tweed River into Salt Village you instantly relax.“You find yourself in a seaside community among some of the world’s most beautiful world heritage listed sites.“Modern town planning and architecture combine with a community feel to make Salt anyone’s dream place to live.”center_img The kitchen in the Kingscliff beach house.last_img read more

APG to launch pension fund for Dutch self-employed

first_imgDutch pension manager APG is to launch a pension fund aimed at self-employed workers after reaching an agreement with four bodies representing the groups’ interests.The announcement comes only weeks after Ton Berendsen, former member of the executive board at the €309bn civil service scheme ABP, said the Dutch pension system needed to reform to address the growing number of self-employed workers in the country, an area of reform also recently acknowledged by Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary for Social Affairs.The scheme, announced after the €359bn manager signed a letter of intent, will be launched by early next year and allow the workers – known colloquially as zzp’ers – to set their own premium rates and retirement age.A spokesman for APG said the scheme would be “third pillar with collective elements”. In a joint statement, FNV Zelfstandigen, PZO-ZZP, Zelfstandigen Bouw and Stichting ZZP Nederland noted that the fund would allow workers to access investments “at significantly lower cost than comparable individual products” – a likely reference to the individual insurance contracts the workers would otherwise be required to sign as part of their retirement provision.They added they were confident APG would be able to put the new scheme in place by the beginning of next year.While details of the scheme were not disclosed, the statement stressed that assets would be owned by the individual – key in the Dutch system recently accused of intergenerational unfairness, with younger workers potentially shoring up the pensions of retirees.It is likely that APG will have its wholly owned subsidiary, Inadmin, carry out the administration of the DC scheme.The establishment of a dedicated savings vehicle for zzp’ers comes after years of debate, as there is a limit to how long a worker can remain a member of an industry-wide scheme once he is no longer active within the industry.Fieke van der Lecq, professor of pension markets at the Erasmus School of Economics, has previously called for the launch of a non-mandatory pension fund for zzp’ers.last_img read more

Minesto Gears for DG500 Kite Setup at Holyhead Deep

first_imgMinesto has completed the test site infrastructure installations at the Holyhead Deep site off North Wales. After installing the upgraded infrastructure, the site is ready for installation and commissioning of Minesto’s DG500 kite system.After a period of maintenance and upgrade, the microgrid system (MGS) buoy was lifted back into the sea from the quayside in Holyhead, towed to site and successfully reconnected to its pre-laid moorings. The MGS buoy, used for the first installation in Wales, handles and analyses generated electricity while also providing data communications with Minesto’s marine energy converter DG500.Unstable weather all over the UK then interrupted some of the marine operations that was planned for the weekend. When operations were resumed, the subsea umbilical connecting the DG500 kite system with the MGS buoy could be installed. During the last few months the umbilical has been modified to incorporate a dry-mate connector in order to make it much easier to connect and disconnect the DG500 kite system offshore.The last phase of the planned works is the installation and commissioning of the upgraded DG500 kite system. All the onshore commissioning tests have been completed and the kite system is ready for load out and installation. This will be carried out in the next suitable weather window and as soon as practicable after some testing of the offshore infrastructure, Minesto said.David Collier, the chief operations officer, on board the installation vessel, stated; “I am very pleased with the good progress made to date by our installation team, in spite of the changeable weather. After all of the hard work our teams have put in over the winter months in upgrading and preparing the systems, I am really looking forward to continue testing of the DG500 kite system.”last_img read more