New York compost week, DEC still considering Eldred Preserve sewage permit and more
New York compost week
ALBANY, NY — New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced that New York State Compost Awareness Week is May 5 to 11. The week aims to bring attention to the many environmental benefits of composting and celebrate the significant 2019-20 state budget victory of establishing a new food waste program that maximizes the donation of unused food, expands the availability of composting and diverts food waste from landfills.
“New Yorkers are leaders in sustainability and effectively managing and recycling the waste we generate, but there is always an opportunity to do more,” Seggos said. “New York took a huge step in the recent state budget by creating a new organics recycling program for large-scale food waste, and now we need to increase the number of individuals who compost to help us further reduce our dependence on landfills and protect the planet from harmful methane emissions. I encourage all New Yorkers to consider composting as a way to protect our resources and lessen the impacts of climate change.”
Wayne GOP commissioner candidate dies
HONESDALE, PA — On Thursday, May 2, the Wayne County Board of Elections announced the “untimely passing” of Scott Kinzinger, 54, of Honesdale on April 24. The brief statement did not list a cause of death, but an earlier coroner’s statement said his death was not considered suspicious.
Kinzinger was, and remains, a Republican candidate on the May primary ballot for one of two seats to be selected in May. His name will remain on the Republican ballot along with incumbents Brian Smith and Joseph Adams. Should he receive enough votes for one of the two nominations, the position will be declared vacant and the county Republican Committee will have until August 22 to file a substitute nomination for the November 5 municipal election.
The two top vote-getters in the fall vote become the majority party on the three-seat panel, and the top vote-getter from the minority party takes the remaining seat.
Wayne County Democrats have named two primary candidates, incumbent Wendell Kay and Jocelyn Cramer of Damascus Township.
DEC still considering Eldred Preserve sewage permit
ELDRED, NY — According to a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regional official, as of May 3, no final decision on a controversial resort sewage plan, which would discharge 17,000 gallons of treated wastewater daily into Halfway Brook, had been made.
Responding to a question about the Eldred Preserve’s permit status following the May 2 Upper Delaware Council meeting, Bill Rudge, DEC Region 3 Natural Resources Supervisor, wrote that “we are still evaluating the applicant’s response to all of the comments received.”
After receiving numerous comments on the project, the agency had extended the comment period, saying “This will allow the department one week to evaluate any additional comments received on the application prior to making a determination on the need for a public hearing.” However the DEC deadline, April 22, to schedule a hearing passed without further notice.
The stated deadline for a decision on permit issuance is May 22.
Pro-fracking group meets
EQUINUNK, PA — Over 90 people attended the second annual spring seminar hosted by the Upper Delaware River Basin Citizens (UDRBC) at the Lookout Firehouse on May 2. The hall was filled with guest speakers, state and local officials, and citizens interested in protecting their rights as residents and landowners.
The first guest speaker was Brian Oram, a professional geologist and soil scienest for B.F. Environmental Consultants. He is also a private well owner and educator at PA Cleanwater. He spoke about the relationship between natural gas development and water quality. He said, “Most people think it has to be one or the other. I say it can be both!”
Another speaker was Jeff Belardi, one of the attorneys representing the Wayne Land and Mineral Group with its lawsuit against the DRBC. He cautioned the group about the mission creep of the DRBC as it seeks to control any water use and has admitted that it feels it has more authority than DEP or EPA.
Sen. Lisa Baker addressed the group. Her bill SB 305, which basically references eminent domain and a takings of landowner property, i.e. natural gas, is still in committee.
Rep. Jonathan Fritz addressed the group regarding his similar bill in the House, HB 827. The full house will soon be vote on the bill.