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September 02, 2014
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TRR photo by David Hulse

ELDRED, NY — Forty-five years ago this month, Woodstock descended on Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel and Sullivan County has never been quite the same since.

Hundreds Will Gather Outside of Trenton War Memorial to Rally After Cancellation of Critical DRBC Vote on Fracking

Trenton, N.J. – Next week, residents from across the Delaware River Basin will gather outside of the Trenton War Memorial, once the site of a critical, scheduled meeting of the
Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to vote on a proposal that would have allowed fracking in the river basin. To the acclaim of residents and anti-fracking advocates alike, the vote was officially canceled on Friday.  Read more

PFBC seeks comments on environmental assessment component of grant

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is seeking public comments on an environmental assessment review the agency has drafted as part of its application for a federal grant.

The PFBC has applied for the grant through the Voluntary Public Access-Habitat Incentives Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency. The program is designed to provide private landowners various incentives to open their land to public fishing and wildlife-related recreation and to improve conditions for wildlife and their habitats.  Read more

DRBC postpones November 21 meeting; new date to be set

WEST TRENTON, NJ - The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) today announced that the special meeting scheduled for Nov. 21 to consider draft natural gas development regulations has been postponed to allow additional time for review by the five commission members.

No additional information is available at this time.  Read more

Northeast sees four pipeline projects

The first of four Northeast pipeline projects was placed in service earlier this month by Tennessee Gas Pipeline, (TGP) a subsidiary of El Paso Corporation. This action on TGP’s 300 Line Project marks the completion of one of the largest natural gas infrastructure projects currently under way in the Northeast United States.  Read more

Watershed General Assembly announced

With a vote coming soon on new rules for gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin, individuals opposed to it have announced a “Watershed General Assembly” to be held at the Tusten Town Hall in Narrowsburg, NY on Saturday, November 19 at 4:00 p.m.  Read more

Casey tries again for fair milk bill

One thing you’ve got to admit about Senator Bob Casey is that he doesn’t give up. Casey is proposing two pieces of legislation directed at the plight of dairy farmers.
The first bill is called the Federal Milk Improvement Act of 2011, numbered S-1640, and the second is a bill called the Dairy Improvement Act, numbered S-1682.  Read more

Redistricting is drawn in Pennsylvania

Efforts by the Republicans in the Pennsylvania Senate and House to redraw the boundaries of election districts have drawn complaint from some Democrats. The new boundaries will affect PA representatives’ districts in Wayne and Pike counties.  Read more

Sullivan 2012 budget dips into reserves

The tentative 2012 budget for Sullivan County was presented at the government center on November 10, and it will use about $6.3 million out of a reported $10 million of the undedicated reserve fund. County manager David Fanslau said he constructed the budget to stay within the Albany mandated 2% property tax cap, but also to offer the same level of services to the public as in 2011, and to avoid any layoffs.  Read more

Sullivan County labor election victory

Two days after the election on November 8, Sandy Shaddock was in a good mood; she said she was “ecstatic” at the results of the election. She said labor groups in general and Teamsters Local 445, which represents the largest block of county workers, in particular, backed the winning candidates in all but one of the legislative races.  Read more

Managing manure: PA issues new manual

The Wayne Conservation District (WCD) board of directors learned at its meeting on November 9 that a new Pennsylvania manure management manual has been issued and is now in effect since its publication in the PA Bulletin on October 29. Those who handle animal manure must complete plans based on the new manual.  Read more

Honesdale Farmers Market continues through winter

The Honesdale Farmers’ Market is so popular that its organizers agreed to continue during the winter. In order to get out of the cold, it will move to a new space that is still in development called the Cooperage on Main Street.
The building at 1030 Main Street used to be a cooperage where barrels were manufactured in olden days; thus the name, The Cooperage, is being preserved.  Read more

NYSEG program helps storm victims

ROCHESTER, NY — NYSEG now has applications online for its Emergency Economic Development Programs for eligible businesses, municipalities, large residential establishments, agri-businesses and farms affected by Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee. NYSEG will spend up to $7 million on these programs. Funding will be provided to eligible customers on a first come, first served basis until available funds are exhausted. Visit http://www.nyseg.com/YourBusiness/economicdev/progandincentives.html.

Tusten zoning vote delayed

On advice from land-use attorney Mark Sweeney, the Town of Tusten Town Board has delayed the meeting at which it will vote on its zoning rewrite from Monday, November 14 to Monday, November 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Tusten Town Hall on Bridge Street.  Read more

Absentee ballot vote delayed

Due to a very tight New York State Supreme Court race for the third judicial district, which the state has given a priority to resolving, the counting of absentee ballots for town races in Sullivan County has been delayed from Wednesday, November 16 to Tuesday, November 22 at 10 a.m.  Read more

EagleFest cancelled

The Delaware Valley Eagle Alliance, organizers of the annual EagleFest normally held in mid-January, has decided to cancel next year’s event because of the unavailability of the closed Narrowsburg school building. The announcement follows the Sullivan West Central School District’s decision to return developer Ilwon Kang’s deposit on the Narrowsburg and Delaware Valley school properties at the school board meeting two weeks ago. Pending further action on the properties’ fate, the board has decided to drain the pipes and shut them down.  Read more

Honoring area veterans

On Veteran’s Day, newly refurbished monuments were dedicated in the Town of Highland at Heroes Park in Eldred in honor of those who served in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and for all who have served America.  Read more

PA legislation could trade community control for drilling fees

UPDATED:

PA House lawmakers have joined the Senate in approving their own version of legislation related to a natural gas tax and regulations. Reconciling the differences and developing a compromise bill to provide to Governor Corbett before the year ends comes next.

See an analysis of this outcome by PA Environment Digest's David Hess, who served as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection from 2001 to 2003, as staff in the Pennsylvania Senate and in the former Department of Environmental Resources for over 30 years at http://paenvironmentdaily.blogspot.com/

A petition is being circulated by those who oppose the bill at signon.org/sign/petition-opposing-pa?source=s.em.cr&r_by=1548617&mailing_id=1157

UPDATED:

PENNSYLVANIA — The state Senate on Tuesday, November 15, approved legislation to establish a statewide Marcellus Shale impact fee, and to hand over decisions related to local zoning ordinances and gas drilling to the state attorney general.

The Senate bill would levy a $50,000 per well fee in the first year that would decline to $10,000 during the 11th through 20th years. Approximately 55 percent of the revenue would go to local governments, with 45 percent allocated for statewide initiatives. Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson County, said the bill imposes an effective tax rate of 3 percent.

The House may vote today on legislation that would allow counties an optional fee.

November 15:
PENNSYLVANIA — As a growing number of New York towns scramble to establish zoning protections against the industrialization that characterizes natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale, Pennsylvania residents may be seeing that opportunity traded away in exchange for a drilling impact fee as the PA legislature moves quickly on House Bill 1950.  Read more

Forest Service announces future advisory committee for Planning Rule

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Forest Service announced today that it will form an advisory committee that will provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture on the implementation of the new Planning Rule set for finalization this winter.

The Federal Advisory Committee – which could be formed early next year – will advise the Secretary on how the new rule is implemented. The U.S. Forest Service manages 155 national forests and 20 grasslands that will be affected by the new rule, which, if finalized later this year, will replace a 1982 version.  Read more

DEP Updates Operating Hours, Holiday Schedule for Disaster Recovery Centers

HARRISBURG -- Although the Department of Environmental Protection’s regional offices will be closed Nov. 11 for Veterans Day, all state Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) will offer normal operating hours, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., to serve residents in areas affected by flooding.

Because of the shelf life on well water samples, residents who need to drop off test kits for analysis at DEP regional offices and DRCs should wait until the week of Nov. 14 to do so. Test kits can be picked up at the regional offices and DRCs during posted operating hours.  Read more

Gas news at a glance: Citizen organizer training offered

PennEnvironment, a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization has scheduled training to equip Pennsylvanians with the skills and information to “protect Pennsylvania's environment and communities from gas drilling.”  Read more