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PA lawmakers consider emissions, false positive for fentanyl and more

False positive for fentanyl in weed

MONTICELLO, NY —  On April 8, 2019, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office arrested an individual in the parking lot of the Monticello Walmart for several vehicle and traffic violations. At the time of his arrest, the defendant was found to be in possession of approximately seven grams of marijuana.

Based on statements made by the defendant regarding the marijuana’s potency, deputies tested the marijuana for the presence of fentanyl using a NARK II field test kit. The field test of two separate packages that were seized indicated positive for the presence of fentanyl. The sheriff’s office then forwarded the evidence to the New York State Police Crime Laboratory in Newburgh for a confirmatory test.

The test results from the laboratory have indicated that the marijuana was not laced with fentanyl. “After consulting with experts, it appears the chemicals in the NARK II field test kit react with organic plant matter in such a way that it gives a false positive for fentanyl,” said Undersheriff Eric Chaboty. “The sheriff’s office has notified the district attorney of the test results so that the charges against the defendant can be adjusted accordingly.”

Chaboty said that the initial results indicated by the field test were accepted as valid by investigators since “additives” such as angel dust, cocaine and LSD have appeared in marijuana over the years, exposing users to dangerous side effects.

Two teen pedestrians killed in Rock Hill

ROCK HILL, NY — Two teenage pedestrians were struck by a vehicle in the afternoon June 2, and were killed at the scene.  The incident took place near 187 Glen Wild Rd. in Rock Hill.

 Authorities have identified the operator of the vehicle as 86-year-old Isaac Kantrowitz of Woodridge. Kantrowitz, a retired Fallsburg town justice, was driving a 2018 Hyundai Elantra.  Police say both the vehicle and the pedestrians were headed south on the road.

 The teen victims were identified as 14-year-old Justin Finkel, and 16-year-old Devin Zeininger, who both lived in the Town of Thompson. A third youth was also injured in the accident.

Police say there is no indication that Kantrowitz was impaired at the time of the incident.

The investigation is ongoing and police ask anyone with any information about the incident to contact New York State Police at Wurtsboro at 845/888-2681.

Pike County Conservation District gets $1,600 grant

HAWLEY, PA — The Pike County Conservation District (PCCD) received a $1,600 grant to create a bioswale with an educational component.

The funding is part of a larger program in which conservation programs across the state were awarded more than $72,000 for 35 pollution reduction projects in 31 counties. These projects promote water pollution prevention activities through the Non-point Source (NPS) Pollution Prevention Educational Mini-Grant Program. The projects will take place over the next year.

“Pennsylvania’s conservation districts work every day to control pollution and ensure enough clean water for future generations. Through this mini-grant program, conservation districts can help citizens do their part for clean water and healthy soil,” said Brenda Shambaugh, executive director for the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts (PACD). Funding for the grants is provided through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, administered by the U.S.    Environmental Protection Agency. A description of the projects funded in the past is available at under the education tab.

PA lawmakers consider emissions

HARRISBURG, PA — A group of Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Kim Ward (R-39), announced a package of bills on June 3 to reform Pennsylvania’s vehicle emissions testing program, also referred to as the Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) Program.

“Pennsylvania has an outdated I/M program, and we should not require costly emissions testing if counties are meeting or exceeding air quality standards first established in the federal Clean Air Act amendments of 1990,” said Ward who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee.  “Today, an average of 96% of vehicles pass the emissions testing, particularly due to newer, more fuel-efficient vehicles entering the fleet. Although we are meeting or exceeding federal air quality standards and fewer vehicles are failing the emissions testing, there has not been any action in recent years to modernize the I/M program.”

Experts have recommended that gas-powered passenger cars, vans and light-duty trucks should be exempted from the I/M program for the first eight years after manufacture in counties that require emissions testing.


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