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December 22, 2014
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PA and NY take back unused drugs

MONTICELLO, NY AND SHOHOLA, PA – Two “take back” programs, a national movement to lessen the availability of unused prescription drugs, will take place in Sullivan County, NY on Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Monticello at the Ted Stroebel Center at 2 Jefferson Street.

In Pennsylvania, the program will take place on Friday, April 29 and on Saturday, April 30. The PA program on Friday, April 29 will be held at the Senior Center s in Hamlin and Honesdale from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm..

On Saturday, April 30 the program will be at the PA State Police Barracks on Route 191 in Honesdale, at Elegante Restaurant in Forrest City and at Stephen’s Pharmacy in Honesdale and Hawley from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Each location will take back expired, unwanted and unused pharmaceuticals and other medications, no questions asked.
An estimated 20 percent of people in the United States (48 million ages 12 and older) have used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes. According to the Partnership for a Drug Free America, studies show that each day approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high.

River trips unaffected by bridge repair

POND EDDY, NY — According to Sean McGuinness, Superintendent of the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, boating trips on the Delaware River will be able to continue during the Pond Eddy Bridge repair, April 11 through September 30. “Boaters will be able to travel under the bridge during the repairs,” said McGuinness. “The bridge’s center pier forms two river channels. Each span on the bridge will be repaired separately. Only the channel below the construction will be closed. One channel of the river will always be open.”

As part of the emergency repair operations on the Pond Eddy Bridge, there will be scaffolding suspended by cables 15 feet below the bridge, creating a potential hazard for boaters traveling under the bridge. To ensure visitor safety, the section of river channel flowing under the span of Pond Eddy Bridge that is under repair will be closed to public use for a distance of 500 feet upstream and downstream of the bridge. The construction zone will be marked by buoys and signs directing boaters not to travel under the span of bridge under construction and to use the open channel. Call 570/729-8251.

Kipp Island closed to protect nesting bald eagles

HAWLEY, PA — As part of PPL's support for wildlife habitat around Lake Wallenpaupack, Kipp Island will be closed until the end of July to protect a bald eagle nesting area.

"Last year, Lake Wallenpaupack's first known bald eagle pair successfully raised an eaglet at Kipp Island, and so far this spring we've received several reports of eagles on the island," said Paul Canevari, PPL's community relations director for the Pocono region.

The Kipp Island nest is just one of the nests established by bald eagles and other threatened birds of prey in the Lake Wallenpaupack area.

Kipp Island, the second largest on the lake, will reopen for public recreation at the end of July, when the nesting season for eagles has ended.

Milk exempted from oil spill regs

NATION — Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency formally exempted milk and milk containers from the Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure rule, potentially saving the milk and dairy industries more than $140 million a year, according to the agency.

Since the 1970s, milk had been considered the same pollutant threat as oil. That’s because all kinds of oils, including animal fats and vegetable oils, had been considered oils under the EPA rule, with special requirements for storage and handling to keep them out of waterways.

Statuory requirements for farmers included measures such as building concrete dikes around milk tanks, drafting milk spill hazard control plans and reporting a spill when milk ends up on the ground.

The spill-prevention requirements on milk were never actually enforced, but the potential for enforcement remained, and farming groups have been pushing for an exemption for some time.

Samuel Kieffer, the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau's national governmental relations director, said, "There were two different deadlines where EPA said, 'Be prepared to do this.' There was the uncertainty of the farmers getting their ducks in a row and worried EPA would come on their farm and stick it to them."

EPA said it acted to formally exempt the dairy industry from the rules "as part of the Obama administration's efforts to make regulations more effective and eliminate unnecessary burdens."