Statewide burn ban in effect and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware region March 23 to 29

Posted 3/21/23

Burn ban now in effect statewide

MONTICELLO, NY — With the New York State Burn Ban in effect through May 14, Sullivan County Fire Coordinator John Hauschild is emphasizing the fact that open …

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Statewide burn ban in effect and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware region March 23 to 29


Burn ban now in effect statewide

MONTICELLO, NY — With the New York State Burn Ban in effect through May 14, Sullivan County Fire Coordinator John Hauschild is emphasizing the fact that open burning isn’t just illegal—it’s incredibly dangerous. “Vegetation is still dry and easily set aflame by sparks and ash,” he said. “I’m urging everyone to avoid open burning and the consequences that can come with it—callouts of local fire departments, damage to plants and properties, and injuries, even death.” 

Brown endorses Pike Commissioners

PIKE COUNTY, PA — Sen. Rosemary Brown (R-40) has announced her support for the reelection of Pike County Commissioners Matthew Osterberg and Ronald Schmalzle in the May 16 Pennsylvania primary. “They are qualified and hard-working leaders [who] have a clear vision for the future of Pike County. They have extensive business experience, fiscal responsibility and accomplishments on behalf of the people they serve.” 

Reward increased for missing plaque

SHOHOLA, PA — The reward for the safe return of the plaque commemorating the July 15, 1864 Erie Railroad train wreck has been increased.

The plaque has been missing from its place on a bolder just outside Shohola since approximately mid-December. 

An anonymous donor has added $500 to the reward, which now totals $600. The plaque cannot be replicated. Anyone with information leading to the return is requested to call the president of the Shohola Railroad and Historical Society, Rolf Buchmann, at 570/559-7608.

Baker, Fritz announce $1 million in Wayne County grants

HARRISBURG, PA — Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne/Pike/Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming) and Rep. Jonathan Fritz (R-Susquehanna/Wayne) announced that over $1 million in new funding was recently awarded for two projects in Wayne County. The lawmakers were crucial in supporting these funds, a press release noted. 

Damascus Township received $250,000 for phase two of the Damascus Township Park upgrades. Oregon Township received $850,000 for road improvements along Beardsley Road. 

Luzerne/Monroe pipeline faces lawsuit

HARRISBURG, PA — On March 14, PennFuture and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network appealed the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s water quality permits for the Transcontinental Gas and Pipeline Company’s (Transco) Regional Energy Access Expansion (REAE) fracked-gas pipeline expansion that will run through Luzerne and Monroe counties. 

Transco’s expanded pipeline includes 22.3 miles of pipeline to be cut through Luzerne County, and 13.8 miles to be cut through Monroe County. 

The Transco REAE pipeline proposes to dig trenches and divide connected natural waterways and ecosystems, many of which are special-protection headwaters of the Delaware River Basin. PennFuture and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network say that this construction will damage 114 exceptional value wetlands, 77 bodies of water supporting cold water fisheries, 39 high quality streams, two exceptional value streams, 17 Class A wild trout streams, 57 waterbodies with naturally reproducing trout and 297 acres of forest.

Gunther bills signed by governor

ALBANY, NY — Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D-100) announced that two of her bills have been signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul. The first bill, encouraging organ donations, requires space for Donate Life registration in the initial process of setting up an online member service portal with an insurer. The second bill strengthens oversight over the use of mandatory overtime by health care employees during an emergency. 

A resiliency plan for Sullivan

MONTICELLO, NY — Sullivan County is developing a county-wide plan that will identify and improve what drives the county’s resiliency, through the perspectives of the economy, the community and the environment, according to a press release. 

“Resiliency” describes a community’s ability to withstand and recover from damaging economic, environmental and climate events, and to learn from these challenges and build on strengths in preparation for future challenges.

The project website (www.resilientsullivan.com) hosts an overview of resiliency issues, plus a set of town and village fact sheets (click the “engage” tab) that provide baseline information about county communities. 

The “connect” tab lets residents provide feedback or steer project leaders toward additional important information.

You can find a mapping tool at mudworkshop.mysocialpinpoint.com/sullivanresiliency . It allows users to pinpoint a location in any of the county’s 15 towns and six villages—down to a specific property or street intersection—and provides a note about economic, environmental or social resiliency relevant to that location.

Questions can be directed to the Division of Planning and Community Development at 845/807-0527 or via email to planning@sullivanny.us.

DEC releases draft solid waste management plan

ALBANY, NY — New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the release of the draft New York State Solid Waste Management Plan for a 60-day public comment period. The plan, titled “New York State Solid Waste Management Plan: Building the Circular Economy Through Sustainable Materials Management,” recommends actions to reduce the climate impact of solid waste. It also provides direction for New York’s waste reduction, reuse, recycling, collection, transportation and disposal investments, policies and practices over the next decade. The draft plan is available at dec.ny.gov/chemical/41831.html,  and public comments will be accepted through Monday, May 15; the DEC will host an informational webinar on the draft plan on Tuesday, April 11 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Tourism dollars boost Wayne County events and nonprofits

HONESDALE, PA — Wayne County Commissioners and the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau (PMVB) are proud to announce more than $220,000 in funding for events and nonprofit organizations for the coming year thanks to the Tourism Project Disbursement Allocation Program.

Applications underwent review by the Wayne County Tourism Promotion Committee and the PMVB resulting in allocations including awards such as $4,430 for the Newfoundland Library in order to market its second annual Taste of the Poconos event in May and $20,000 for the Downtown Hawley Partnership in order to market seasonal events in the downtown.

“Our nonprofit organizations and events keep driving visitation to Wayne County each and every year,” said Wayne County Chief Financial Officer Vicky Botjer.

2023 DEC camping system changes

ALBANY, NY —  The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced changes to reservations at DEC campgrounds. All NYS campgrounds now accept reservations on the same day as arrival. Patrons can book a camping reservation until 5 p.m. on the desired day of arrival. The public will also be able to book a one-night stay for the 2023 season at any DEC campground beginning Friday, April 7.

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