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Brookhaven Passes Strict New Law to Protect Carmans River from Sewage

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The contaminated Carmans River got a step cleaner when Brookhaven Town officials enacted new requirements to reduce the concentration of nitrogen in surface and groundwater that are stricter than Suffolk County’s standards.Co-sponsored by Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine and Councilwoman Connie Kepert, the amendment to the town code was unanimously approved by the town board last week. The town held a public hearing about it on Tuesday. Environmentalists, civic leaders and elected officials hailed the action because it means that Brookhaven has become the first town on Long Island to have waste-water treatment standards of 3 parts-per-million per liter, which is more stringent than the 10 parts-per-million level currently allowed by the county’s health department—an amount seen as woefully inadequate given the imperiled health of the Island’s crucial waterways.The rules apply to all properties with existing or future septic systems in the intermediate flow category, which means producing between 1,000 and 30,000 gallons a day of waste water. On average a septic system for a single-family household processes about 300 to 400 gallons a day. Coming under this amended code are businesses, apartments, condos and planned retirement communities. Developers of new construction have to comply immediately, but owners of existing properties have 10 years or they’ll face fines of $500 or more. Only about a dozen buildings and two privately owned sewage-treatment systems are reportedly affected by the town’s action.“Existing state and county standards allowing sewage treatment plants to discharge 10 parts per million of nitrogen are not protective of the Carmans River ecosystem,” said Romaine in a statement. “Our new, stringent standard would offer greater protection, and result in the long-term conservation of the river and its water quality for the benefit of current and future generations.”The move grew out of a recommendation from the Carmans River Conservation and Management Plan, approved by the town board in October 2013, which called for a new science-based standard for effluent from medium flow sewage treatment plants to protect the river’s ecosystem from the harmful effects of too much nitrogen including harmful algae growth, the proliferation of non-native aquatic plants, low dissolved oxygen levels and other ecosystem changes caused by an excess of nitrogen.“I’m thrilled,” Kevin McAllister, president of Sag Harbor-based environmental advocacy group, Defend H20, told the Press. A long-time advocate for tougher sewage treatment to offset the county’s antiquated septic systems, McAllister praised Romaine for going beyond the county’s health standard to take into consideration the watershed’s ecology. “Ed’s been tremendous on this issue, going back to his tenure in the county legislature.”McAllister and other activists are hoping that the five towns on the East End will follow Brookhaven’s lead—and maybe their example will influence Long Island’s two counties.“I can’t tell you how many times I’m at these planning board and town board meetings where these developments are coming in and they’re still including the conventional septic systems that the county approves!” said McAllister.MaryAnn Johnston, president of the Affiliated Brookhaven Civic Organization [ABCO], credits McAllister as “a driving force” in his effort to “actually get the town off the dime” and finally adopt this new sewage-system requirement in the 18,000-acre Carmans River watershed, which includes all of the 100-year groundwater contributing area (a measurement of where the flow would take that long to eventually reach the river).“For a very long time the town was extremely resistant to doing it because they were continuing to tell us they could not override Suffolk County,” said Johnston. “We gave them case law that showed them that the Court of Appeals said that indeed you can.”As Pine Barrens Society Executive Director Richard Amper explained, under state law, “if a municipality wants to be more protective, then it is entitled to [do so.]”Amper views this amendment as an important first step.“The river isn’t going to get clear any time soon,” Amper explained, but “this is a good start, especially if it catches on with other towns… We know that we have too much nitrogen for the groundwater to support, so we have to reduce nitrogen and this is a good way to do it.”He’s hoping the state will also get in the act, noting that last year the Assembly passed a bill sponsored by former Assemb. Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst) that would have lowered the effluent standards to the level Brookhaven just approved but the state Senate never even brought it to the floor for a vote, much to the disappointment of its co-sponsor, state Sen. Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson).“We want a watershed specific discharge standard for every watershed, based on how contaminated that water is at the location,” Amper said.That Brookhaven—a town with a challenging environmental record—should now take the lead on watershed protection is especially gratifying to an activist like McAllister, who called it “tremendous” and “a feather in their cap.” He wants Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone to take notice.“Essentially when we’re dealing with un-sewered areas in Suffolk County,” explained McAllister, “this should be the law of the land.”And there’s a reason Long Island’s watersheds could use some help with nitrogen relief.As ABCO’s Johnston put it bluntly, “The Forge River is still dead!”last_img read more

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Homeless Man Found Dead in Greenport Garage

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 44-year-old homeless man was found dead Thursday night in a Greenport garage, Southold Town police said. German Mendoza was discovered inside a detached garage after a concerned friend went to check on him, police said in a news release.Mendoza’s death is not considered suspicious, police said. The Suffolk County medical examiner’s office has yet to determine a cause of death.A deep freeze has enveloped the region for days, but police did not say if the brutal cold was a factor in Mendoza’s death. Southold Town Police Chief Martin Flatley told Southold Local that the garage Mendoza was sleeping in was not constructed for living and lacked heat and facilities. A notification has been made to Mendoza’s next of kin, police said.last_img read more

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Local swimmers, divers receive honors at state banquet in Augusta

first_imgELLSWORTH — After a remarkable season, some of the area’s top swimmers and divers have finally been rewarded — formally, that is.Swimmers and divers from around the state were honored at the Maine Interscholastic Swim League’s annual awards banquet Saturday, March 12.Among the local athletes honored at the event were Ellsworth’s Sam Alvarado and Camden Holmes. Alvarado and Holmes both won individual state titles for the Eagles last month by finishing first in the 500-yard freestyle and 100- and 200-yard freestyles, respectively. The two were the top competitors throughout the season for an Ellsworth boys’ team that finished second at the Class B championships in Orono.Bucksport junior Anthony Wardwell, who was recently named the Penobscot Valley Conference’s best male diver, earned the Class A Diver of the Year Award. Although Bucksport doesn’t have a diving team, Wardwell competed the season as an individual diver as part of a cooperative arrangement with Brewer High School. He won the Class A individual title with a score of 339.3.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textWardwell started diving five years ago at the Bangor YMCA but did not do so competitively until his freshman year at Bucksport. He placed second in the state last year and earned a trip to Florida for the YMCA national meet in the process. Wardwell was formally named to the PVC All-Star and MISL All-State teams at the banquet as well.Another swimmer to be honored was George Stevens Academy’s Ava Sealander, who made the MISL All-State team and was named the PVC’s top female swimmer in February. Mount Desert Island’s Liam Sullivan and Lydia DaCorte were also honored after being named All-State swimmers in multiple events in February.last_img read more

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Tough road trip extends to Westwood

first_imgAfter an intense match against No. 9 Stanford, the road does not get any easier as the No. 5 USC men’s tennis team heads across town to play the No. 6 UCLA Bruins today.Premiere · Junior Peter Lucassen made his debut in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s singles rankings this week, coming in at No. 76. – Geo Tu | Daily Trojan This match will be the second time the rivals meet this season. The Trojans (11-1, 0-0) dominated the Bruins 4-0 at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in February.During the first meeting, USC only dropped one close doubles match and one tight singles set during a consolation round.Senior Robert Farah, junior Jaak Poldma and junior Peter Lucassen all won their singles matches, and sophomore Steve Johnson and sophomore Daniel Nguyen had leads in their sets when the match ended.Coming off a memorable 4-3 win in Palo Alto, Calif., and with one victory over UCLA already to their name, the Trojans will have momentum heading into this match.Momentum does not guarantee a positive result for the Trojans, however, especially when facing a bitter rival away from home.USC has historically struggled at UCLA (6-2, 0-0), and the Trojans do not expect today’s match to go as smoothly as the previous one.“It’s never easy to play UCLA; it’s been a tough environment for us,” Johnson said when describing matches at the Los Angeles Tennis Center — the Bruins’ home court.In the current ITA rankings — released March 2 — the Trojans boast three ranked doubles teams and six ranked singles players, including No. 3 Johnson and No. 9 Farah. Also, No. 76 Lucassen makes his first appearance in the singles rankings.The Bruins have four ranked singles players and two doubles squads.The recent performance of Nguyen has garnered attention as he earned Pac-10 Men’s Tennis Player of the Week honors, living up to his nickname — D-Win.Nguyen won both singles and doubles matches against San Diego State, and his performances against Stanford really stood out, with a dominating 6-2, 6-4 singles victory and the match-clinching doubles victory with Johnson.“[Nguyen] really came up with some big points in doubles — he was just so clutch,” USC coach Peter Smith said. “He is proving to be one of our go-to performers.”The Trojans will definitely be motivated to beat their rivals for the second time this season.“I don’t care where, when or how we play UCLA; we are always extra-motivated to play them,” Smith said. “That is a special match no matter what.”The match is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.last_img read more

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ROI on pork checkoff

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest U.S. pork producers receive a positive return on their Checkoff investment, according to a 2017 study conducted and released by Harry Kaiser, the Gellert Family Professor in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University.Additionally, 91% of pig farmers who took part in the annual producer survey in November acknowledge their overwhelming support of the Pork Checkoff, with a record-low opposition of just 3%. Return on investment study highlightsAn economic analysis of Pork Checkoff programs is commissioned every five years by the National Pork Board. The study quantifies the returns generated by Pork Checkoff investments in research, pork promotion and producer education programs. The latest results, published in 2017, cover 2011 to 2016 programs.“It’s important to producers — those who directly fund the Pork Checkoff — to understand and quantify the value of their investments,” said Terry O’Neel, National Pork Board president and a pig farmer from Friend, Nebraska. “The results indicate a positive impact of all aspects of the Pork Checkoff, from conducting production-focused research to growing consumer and export demand for pork.”Specifically, the study documented a growing return on investment through defined benefit-cost ratios across several key program areas from 2011 to 2016:Production Research:  Each dollar invested in production research to benefit on-farm practices yielded $83.30 in producer value.Foreign Market Development: Each dollar invested in developing foreign markets yielded $24.70 in producer benefits.Advertising and Non-advertising Promotion: Other pork promotion resulted in benefits of $14.20 for advertising and $12.40 for non-advertising promotion.Research to Grow Demand: Research on market drivers returned $8.30 for each $1 invested.Net Result: Collectively, the overall return of Checkoff program activities is $25.50 for each dollar invested.The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires a return on investment analysis every five years. The 2001 to 2006 study showed an overall return of $13.80 to $1 invested, and the most previous study, released in 2012 for the time period of 2006 to 2011, found a return of $17.40 to $1 invested.“This analysis provides a comprehensive review of program development, and more importantly, efficiency of our Checkoff program administration,” O’Neel said. “The net return of 25 to 1 on Checkoff investments demonstrates that we are meeting producer needs in the areas that drive sustainable production and grow consumer demand.” Annual producer survey resultsThe Pork Checkoff also reports findings from a study that gauges producer support of the Pork Checkoff. Since 2002, the National Pork Board surveys producers annually to gain insight about the condition of the industry, general attitudes on pig farming and their support of the Checkoff. The most recent survey of 550 pork producers, conducted Nov. 6-16, 2017, showed that for the eighth consecutive year, pig farmer support for the Checkoff has improved.Support for the Checkoff remained at 91%, while opposition declined to a record low of 3%, which is down from 4% in 2016.Other highlights:Right direction/wrong track: Producers grew in their industry optimism despite market supply pressure and other issues they face. In 2017, 78% of producers said that the industry was heading “in the right direction,” up from 76% in 2016. Only 12% said that the industry was “on the wrong track,” an improvement from a 2016 score of 19%.Support for the Pork Checkoff and general optimism of the industry was strongest among larger producers, or those that marketed more than 80,000 pigs in 2017. Support from this group was 95%.The No. 1 challenge facing producers was “managing hog health and disease,” which was a change from 2016’s No. 1 concern of “too many rules/regulations.”Regarding awareness and support of the strategic plan, the primary Pork Checkoff goals resonated with the random sample of producers surveyed. On a 10-point scale:Build Consumer Trust rated a mean score of 8.95, up from 8.91 in 2016.Grow Export Demand rated a mean score of 8.69. This was a new category this year since “Grow Consumer Demand” was broken into two elements — export and domestic demand.Grow Domestic Demand rated a mean score of 8.64, down from 8.70 in 2016.Drive Sustainable Production rated a mean score of 8.28, up from 8.18 in 2016.“These are the most positive results we have seen since we began the producer survey 15 years ago,” O’Neel said. “The findings underscore the value that the Pork Checkoff team delivers day-in, day-out to the pig farmers who fund the Checkoff. The results demonstrate that the board’s strategic goals are aligned with producers’ interest.”last_img read more

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“Zero Energy Challenge” Winner To Be Announced June 29

first_imgJust as green homebuilding competitions can help builder-contestants market their services and properties, the larger community of builders, remodelers, designers, and regulators can use them to discover new, cost-effective paths to energy efficiency, and maybe even the occasional construction innovation.Those are among the goals of the Zero Energy Challenge, a competition highlighting ultra-efficient market-rate and affordable homes constructed by five builders in Massachusetts. Sponsored by the state’s investor-owned electric utilities – National Grid, NSTAR, Unitil, and Western Mass Electric Company – the contest, which started last year, will culminate on June 29 with the announcement of the winner, distribution of $50,000 in prize money, and a talk by Secretary Ian Bowles, of the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.Getting near zeroThe power companies developed the Zero Energy Challenge to promote efficiency technologies and strategies in line with an initiative, announced last year by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, that is designed to raise the state’s green building standards. The goals of the contest also mesh with those of the Massachusetts Green Communities Act, an energy reform bill signed into law in July of last year.The five contestants used a wide range of energy efficiency materials, appliances, and techniques to bring the HERS ratings of their completed projects as close to zero as possible.One of the competitors, for example, is Bread & Roses Housing, a nonprofit focusing on building homes for low-income buyers. This builder constructed a 2,080-sq.-ft. 3-bedroom – one of six units being built on three sites in the town of Lawrence. Bread & Roses says it typically builds to the Energy Star Homes standard (an HERS rating of 85) and that this is its first home built to near-zero HERS. The project includes a 3.42 kW solar installation.Another entry is the Sevier-Farb residence, a 2,930-sq.-ft. market-rate 3-bedroom in Sudbury that features an extensive PV and solar thermal installation on its south-facing roof, passive solar on that side of the house, and tight construction throughout.The Zero Energy Challenge website, though, offers the quickest overview of the competition and its participants. Click here for brief profiles of all five contestants and updated details on their projects.last_img read more

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Spotted Stena Bulk Names 9th MR Tanker

first_imgImage Courtesy: Stena BulkSwedish tanker shipping company Stena Bulk has held a naming ceremony for the Stena Immaculate, the ninth of a total of 13 IMOIIMAX MR tankers at Guangzhou Shipbuilding International (GSI) shipyard in China.The 50,000 dwt vessel, which will be delivered from GSI within the next few days, will sail from Papua New Guinea to Europe on its maiden voyage.The chemical and product tanker has a length of 183 meters and a beam of 32 meters.All the IMOIIMAX tankers will be included in a fleet operated by Stena Weco and will sail in the company’s global logistics system, which currently employs more than 60 vessels.The delivery of the tenth tanker from the batch, the Stena Impeccable, is scheduled to take place in March 2017.The remaining three ships are set to join the company’s fleet by 2018.Five of the 13 tankers are wholly owned by Stena Bulk, four together with Singaporean palm oil company Golden Agri Resources (GAR), two by Stena Bulk’s sister company Concordia Maritime and two by Stena Weco.last_img read more

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Aadhaar will be linked to driving licence to avoid forgery Ravi Shankar

first_imgUnion Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Sunday said that driving licence would be linked to Aadhaar card to check forgery. While addressing the 75th anniversary celebrations of Bihar Industry Association in Patna, Prasad said to arrest forgery, the government would now ask Aadhaar to be linked with the driving licence. “Duplicate driving license could not be made if Aadhar becomes mandatory for it,” AIR quoted Prasad as saying. “Aadhar is playing a vital role in checking corruption. Rs 1,47,677 crore has been saved due to digital identity through Aadhar,” the law minister said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework The government has already stopped the process of verification using Aadhaar for driving license. “The Ministry in compliance to the order of the Supreme Court dated September 26, 2018 … stopped the process of verification using Aadhaar for the Driving Licences,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari told Rajya Sabha in a written reply in July.”The process of collection of biometric at the RTOs has been discontinued,” he had added. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen The Supreme Court last year struck down some provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, by a 4:1 majority. The apex court said a person’s rights could not be denied on the ground of lack of a unique ID. While the majority judgment, written by Justice AK Sikri in concurrence with CJI Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar, the court upheld the seeding of PAN with Aadhaar and set aside linking Aadhaar to bank accounts and mobile phone numbers.(Inputs from The Indian Express)last_img read more