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Thursday headlines and audio

Oct 06, 2011 12:14 am
House to vote on delaying cement plant mercury rule
The Post-Star reports that the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote Thursday on legislation that would delay the implementation of a new federal Environmental Protection Agency regulation meant to reduce mercury emissions from cement plants. "We're not striking them. But let's delay them for 15 months and give the EPA time to repropose and finalize them. And also direct the EPA to make sure that these rules comply with the President's executive order on regulations," said Stephanie Valle, a spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook. The Holcim Cement plant in Catskill is in Gibson's district. H.R. 2681, the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act of 2011, would, according to the Post-Star:
• Give the EPA at least 15 months to re-propose and finalize revised rules for cement manufacturing facilities;
• Extend compliance deadlines from three to at least five years to allow facilities time to comply with standards and install new equipment.
In February, Gibson voted for an amendment the House passed to suspend EPA funding for implementation and enforcement of the rule, but the Senate voted the amendment down. This time the House is voting on delaying implementation, but not suspending funding. Read the full story in the Post-Star.
Free Speech Radio News, which airs on WGXC at 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, aired a report on this issue on its newscast Wed., Oct. 5. Click here to listen to Free Speech Radio News report from Matt Lazlo. PLAY CLIP

Medicaid spending $173 million less in August
Governor Andrew Cuomo is touting his "Medicaid Redesign Team," as its measures enacted in the state budget in April resulted in savings in August of $173 million, or 2.5 percent lower. Monthly, New York State spends $6.8 billion on the program. “Governor Cuomo’s initiative to reform Medicaid represents an unprecedented effort to bring the public into the process of improving health care, controlling health care costs, and reforming health care in New York State," said Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H in a press release. "With the hard work and dedication of the legislature, the industry, and the public, New York is becoming a model for the nation in improving health outcomes while controlling growth."

GEIS and the ten-day waiting period
Carole Osterink reports in The Gossips of Rivertown that Common Council President Don Moore issued this statement to members of the Council and the press, though not WGXC, at 4:58 this afternoon:
"Regarding the ten day period called for by SEQRA, the City is required to wait ten days after the filing of a completed GEIS before agreeing on a Findings Statement, the summary of findings from the GEIS. The City filed its notice of completion of the GEIS with the involved agencies on October 4. The ten day period will end at the close of business Friday, October 14. During that ten day period, concerned parties may file comments with the City. The City does not have an obligation to reply to the comments as was the case during the official public comment period in early 2010."
Monday, Sept. 26 Moore and the Common Council passed the GEIS without first allowing the public to speak at a special meeting at the Hudson Central Fire Station. Click here to listen to the entire meeting recorded by Dan Udell. PLAY CLIP

Seward in Catskill
New York State Senator James Seward (R/C/I–Oneonta) will attend the Greene County Department for the Aging Volunteer Recognition Luncheon at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, October 6 at the First Baptist Church in Catskill. The ceremony is to honor folks in the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program. First Baptist Church is at 20 West Main St. in Catskill.

Mountain Top Arboretum photo contest winners
The Mountain Top Arboretum announced the winners of its photo contest Wed., Oct. 5. Dustin Draffen took first place, Nicholas Spychalsky took second, and Zachary Tripsas won third place.
[caption id="attachment_14420" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="From left to right in photo provided by Mountain Top Arboretum, Principal of the Hunter-Tannersville Middle/High School Simon Williams, winners Dustin Draffen and Zachary Tripsas, and Executive Director of the Mountain Top Arboretum Joan Kutcher."][/caption]

THURSDAY AUDIO
Click on titles or PLAY CLIP to listen to mp3 audio clips.

Wall Street Song
Performed by Chris Neumann. PLAY CLIP
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