Monday, April 7, 2014

oil train/barge update-- Dutchess Co. Leg. Dems sign new letter for moratorium-- again, no GOP sign on(!)

[thx again to six of my Dem Co. Leg. colleagues present at tonight's full board mtg. for signing on to new letter I circulated for moratorium on crude oil shipments on barge/train on/near our river(!)...(again, incredibly, just as last month, no GOP county legislator would sign on)...but these folks did-- Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Alison MacAvery, Micki Strawinski, Francena Amparo, April Marie Farley, and Rich Perkins...J] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [text here below of letter I circulated signed by Co. Leg. Dem caucus] April 7, 2014 Governor Andrew Cuomo; State Senate Co-Leaders Dean Skelos and Jeffrey Klein; Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver; State Senators Greg Ball and Terry Gipson; Assemblymembers Didi Barrett, Kevin Cahill, Stephen Katz, Kieran Lalor, and Frank Skartados Dear State Leaders: As Scenic Hudson stated Apr. 4th: “Our beloved Hudson Valley is facing the biggest threat in a generation. The unprecedented and dangerous increase in the shipment of highly volatile Bakken crude oil through our communities risks contaminating our clean water and decimating our tourism economy. That's why we’re asking you to call for a moratorium on volatile crude oil shipments TODAY. An explosion or spill of this toxic material on or along the Hudson would forever change the way we live, work and play. Wetlands critical to filtering drinking water supplies and buffering against flooding would be damaged beyond repair. River-based recreation and tourism would come to an abrupt end. Our neighborhoods are at risk. We must learn the lesson of the tragic explosion of Bakken crude-filled rail cars at Lac-Megantic, Canada, which claimed 47 lives last summer. And we must remember the July 2010 tar sands oil spill that fouled 35 miles of Michigan's Kalamazoo River, making portions of it inaccessible to the public to this day. Scenic Hudson is partnering with Riverkeeper and other allies in pressing for a moratorium on the transport of crude down the Hudson until safe conditions are established. You can help by contacting U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and calling on him to place a moratorium on the shipment of Bakken crude and tar sands crude oil through the Hudson Valley. The risks are just too great. Our federal designations (American Heritage River, Estuary of National Significance and National Heritage Area) are meaningless if laws protecting the Hudson from the shipping of crude oil under dangerous conditions are not enforced. Most Bakken crude and tar sands oil is transported in unsafe and outdated DOT-111 railcars. Most oil tanker trains exploit a federal loophole that exempts 700-gallon tanker cars from having a safety plan. Outdated emergency response plans don't have provisions for Bakken-type crude shipments or its explosive nature. Many rail operators lack the resources to finance high-cost cleanup and mitigation of Bakken crude and tar sands oil spills.” As the Daily Freeman reported yesterday on its front page, “Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter Conservation Director Roger Downs said, ‘Every day that these trains are allowed to traverse New York State with millions of gallons of volatile Bakken crude oil is another opportunity for catastrophe.’ There are proposals afoot to transport an even thicker crude, known as tar sands crude, on the Hudson River. This oil does something the Bakken oil does not when spilled into waterways: It sinks. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, Global Partners has applied for a permit to install seven oil heating units in Albany to facilitate transfer of the tar sands crude from tanker cars to ships or barges. Transport of tar sands on or along the Hudson would be particularly risky for the river's aquatic life, as tar sands spilled in water sink to the bottom and is expensive and difficult to remove. Atlantic and shortnose sturgeons spawn in the riverbed of the Hudson, and young sturgeon find shelter in gravel-bottomed areas as they migrate downriver. Sea turtles that ply the mouth of the river in the warmer months forage on the river bottom, and could be killed by dredging, or their food sources could be damaged." Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter— on behalf of the Hudson Valley! [undersigned Dutchess County Legislators] [email countylegislators@dutchessny.gov re: below-- I'm circulating new letter at tomorrow night's mtg.!] [again: join our new Fossil-Fuel-Free Dutchess coalition on Facebook; sign my new petition on this too: (see http://www.TheSolutionsProject.org : Earth Day soon all)] [wake up folks-- none of this fossil fuel insanity is necessary-- not the oil trains, not the oil barges, not lack of green jobs, not new 130-foot power line/towers in Dutchess/Columbia, not "new capacity zone" electric rate hike, not recent Central Hudson rate hike, not dangerous "smart" meters, not climate madness, not fracking, not Danskammer booting up again, not Indian Point, not county incinerator(!): ; ] [recall front page of yesterday's Freeman as well-- "Asthma Costly for NY Medicaid System, New Report Says"-- NYS Comptroller DiNapoli-- asthma costs NYS taxpayers $532 million annually in Medicaid costs-- half of which is borne by counties like Dutchess(!): ] [there are 35,000 Dutchess residents with asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema, and our air quality here in our county has been ranked a "D", according to the American Lung Association of NYS ; see StateoftheAir.org] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Scenic Hudson Fri.: "TAKE ACTION: Time for Moratorium on Crude Oil Shipments through our Valley": ] From the front page of today's Daily Freeman... Shipments of crude oil on Hudson River alarm environmentalists, but oil industry envisions job growth By Paul Kirby, Daily Freeman Posted: 04/05/14, 5:53 PM EDT | Updated: 1 hr ago [excerpt here below; click on link above for full article] KINGSTON >> Explosions of railroad cars carrying crude oil in parts of the U.S. and Canada have drawn significant attention, from politicians and environmental groups alike, to the questionable safety of those trains. Particularly outspoken is U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who has taken to the bully pulpit time and again to demand tougher new federal rules. He wants the tanker cars known as model DOT-111 cars, off the tracks, either replaced by safer ones or seriously retrofitted. While Schumer and others make their case to government transportation watchdogs, others are simultaneously focused on another form of crude oil delivery. Oil transport on ships and barges along the Hudson River is drawing objections from environmental groups like Riverkeeper, which is based in Westchester County. Just two years ago, environmentalists say, shipments of unrefined, thick, black, and sticky crude began on the Hudson River. John Lipscomb, a Riverkeeper patrol boat captain and manager of its Water Quality Sampling Program, says the Hudson River should be fiercely protected against a potentially disastrous crude oil spill. "We have spent decades cleaning up the river and we are getting there," said Lipscomb, who has done extensive research on crude oil transport. "We are starting to turn things around. We are trying to help the river and we should not put the river at risk for a catastrophic crude oil spill. "The river can't take any more," he said. "No crude oil should be moving on the Hudson River, period"... Lipscomb and others say the startup of crude oil shipments on the Hudson River is creating new worries. The crude oil began moving on the Hudson River to refineries in New Jersey and New Brunswick, Canada, Lipscomb said. The majority of the oil moving through New York state is coming from the Bakken formation in North Dakota, Montana and the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Two terminals in the Port of Albany, operated by Global Partners and Buckeye Partners, are allowed to transport 2.8 billion gallons a year from trains that bring it there to barges and ships that move it along the Hudson River. Nowadays, one barge a day carries 4 million gallons of crude oil on the Hudson River, Lipscomb said. A tanker called Afrodite, Lipscomb says, carries an additional 8 million gallons once every eight to 10 days. That amount of crude oil, transported by barge past the coastlines of Ulster and Dutchess counties, is added to the 6 million gallons that is hauled by trains through the west side of the Hudson Valley, Lipscomb said Shipping of energy-producing products on the Hudson River is not something new. For decades, heating oil, diesel fuel, and gasoline has been shipped on the river, only recently with required double-hulled vessels, to locations where it is pumped into tanks, Lipscomb said. "Although there have been spills, these refined products are not as damaging as crude oil would be," Lipscomb said. The double-hulled barges and ships are used still when transporting crude oil, but the protection from spillage is only good in a grounding. "Collisions are another story," Lipscomb said. And the result of crude oil leakage would be significantly more environmentally damaging than a refined petroleum product spill, he added. "When you have spilling of heating fuel or gasoline, you don't get those images of black-coated shorelines or black-covered wildlife," Lipscomb said. "It doesn't cover them." Crude oil spills are much more dramatic and more difficult to clean up, particularly in fast-moving currents like that of the narrow Hudson River, according to Lipscomb. Lipscomb said cleanup specialists have told him that if there were a significant crude oil spill in the Hudson River, only about 20 to 25 percent of the oil would likely be recovered before it "found its way onto the shoreline. "That is the best we could hope for," he said. And that's not all, he added. There are proposals afoot to transport an even thicker crude, known as tar sands crude, on the Hudson River. This oil, Lipscomb said, does something the Bakken oil does not when spilled into waterways: It sinks. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, Global Partners has applied for a permit to install seven oil heating units in Albany to facilitate transfer of the tar sands crude from tanker cars to ships or barges. "Transport of tar sands on or along the Hudson would be particularly risky for the river's aquatic life, as tar sands spilled in water sink to the bottom and is expensive and difficult to remove," the center said. "Atlantic and shortnose sturgeons spawn in the riverbed of the Hudson, and young sturgeon find shelter in gravel-bottomed areas as they migrate downriver. Sea turtles that ply the mouth of the river in the warmer months forage on the river bottom, and could be killed by dredging, or their food sources could be damaged." The center said a 2010 spill of tar sands in the Kalamazoo River in Michigan has cost nearly $1 billion to remove and the cleanup is still not complete. Dredging - which has been done in the Kalamazoo River - could be particularly harmful to fish and other wildlife in the Hudson, the center said. "To recover sinking oil, you have to find it," Lipscomb said. "In the Hudson, that would be almost impossible, because you can't see anything." In the case of a tar sands spill, only 5 percent of the oil would likely be recovered from the river's bed, Lipscomb said. Said Mollie Matteson, a senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity, "The Hudson River is the lifeblood of New York - its past, its future, its identity. It's also a natural treasure. A major oil spill here would be a disaster for wildlife and people alike." Lipscomb said it may be impossible to prevent oil transport along the Hudson River. Still, it is the position of Riverkeeper and other groups that no crude oil should be transported on the Hudson River until: * Federal and state agencies complete a full review of spill response plan for the Hudson River to account for worst-case scenario of crude oil spill and "test response to ensure its adequacy." * The state Department of Environmental Conservation completes a full environmental impact study for proposal by Global Partners oil terminal expansions in Albany and New Windsor. * The same state agency reopens and completes the same type of review "for existing permits that allowed Port of Albany crude oil throughout to increase from zero to 2.8 billion (gallons) in two years." Meanwhile, the Center for Biological Diversity has filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency for failing to update oil spill plans. "The existing antiquated protocols - developed before the oil transport boom that now funnels billions of gallons through the region annually - fail to adequately protect endangered species and people dependent on the river," according to the center's statement. The notice identifies 17 federally protected endangered species, including the Atlantic sturgeon, sea turtles and piping plovers, that are threatened by the increased risk of spills. Lipscomb said a crude oil spill would also have a devastating effect on other river life, including blue crab and eel. A spill may also seriously damage Hudson Valley tourism, as well as place a substantial burden on communities that draw drinking water from the Hudson River. On Friday, three environmental groups stepped up calls on the federal Department of Transportation to protect the Hudson River, both from possible spills from barges and oil-transporting railroad cars. In Friday's press release, they pointed out that March 24 was the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. They also pointed to more recent spills. "As the nation marked the recent 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez spill that devastated Alaska's coastline, crews were cleaning up 170,000 gallons of oil that flowed from a barge into Galveston Bay in Texas," the release said. "In February, 30,000 gallons of oil spilled into the Mississippi River near New Orleans. There have been two recent oil-tanker train derailments in the Hudson River Valley, fortunately with no spills." Paul Gallay, president of Riverkeeper, said the federal government needs to take action on something officials know is dangerous. "All of the federal agencies involved acknowledge how dangerous DOT-111 tank cars are and are aware of the imminent threat these moving time bombs pose to our communities," Gallay said. Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan, whose group in based in Poughkeepsie, also issued a warning. "A spill in the Hudson River could be catastrophic to the public health and natural resources of the region," Sullivan said. "It could foul wetlands, halt recreational fishing and gridlock commercial traffic." And Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter Conservation Director Roger Downs said, "Every day that these trains are allowed to traverse New York State with millions of gallons of volatile Bakken crude oil is another opportunity for catastrophe." As far as crude oil transport on the Hudson goes, Lipscomb is convinced the risk is really too great. "We just can't roll the dice," he said. About the Author Paul Kirby is a reporter for the Freeman, covering Kingston politics. He has been at the Freeman since August 1996. Reach the author at pkirby@freemanonline.com or follow Paul on Twitter: @PaulatFreeman. ############################################# [here below-- posted on to Scenic Hudson's website Friday] TAKE ACTION: It's Time for a Moratorium on Crude Oil Shipments through our Valley April 4, 2014 - 4:23pm -- Scenic Hudson Our beloved Hudson Valley is facing the biggest threat in a generation. The unprecedented and dangerous increase in the shipment of highly volatile Bakken crude oil through our communities risks contaminating our clean water and decimating our tourism economy. That's why I'm asking you to call for a moratorium on volatile crude oil shipments TODAY. An explosion or spill of this toxic material on or along the Hudson would forever change the way we live, work and play. Wetlands critical to filtering drinking water supplies and buffering against flooding would be damaged beyond repair. River-based recreation and tourism would come to an abrupt end. Our neighborhoods are at risk. We must learn the lesson of the tragic explosion of Bakken crude-filled rail cars at Lac-Megantic, Canada, which claimed 47 lives last summer. And we must remember the July 2010 tar sands oil spill that fouled 35 miles of Michigan's Kalamazoo River, making portions of it inaccessible to the public to this day. Scenic Hudson is partnering with Riverkeeper and other allies in pressing for a moratorium on the transport of crude down the Hudson until safe conditions are established. You can help by contacting U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and calling on him to place a moratorium on the shipment of Bakken crude and tar sands crude oil through the Hudson Valley. The risks are just too great. CONTACT SECRETARY FOXX TODAY - TELL HIM NO CRUDE IN THE HUDSON VALLEY! Call: 202-366-1111 Tweet: @SecretaryFoxx #NoCrudeonHudson E-mail: anthony.foxx@dot.gov Here are some points to make when calling for a moratorium on the shipment of Bakken Crude and tar sands oil along the Hudson: * Our federal designations (American Heritage River, Estuary of National Significance and National Heritage Area) are meaningless if laws protecting the Hudson from the shipping of crude oil under dangerous conditions are not enforced. * Most Bakken crude and tar sands oil is transported in unsafe and outdated DOT-111 railcars. * Most oil tanker trains exploit a federal loophole that exempts 700-gallon tanker cars from having a safety plan. * Outdated emergency response plans don't have provisions for Bakken-type crude shipments or its explosive nature. * Many rail operators lack the resources to finance high-cost cleanup and mitigation of Bakken crude and tar sands oil spills. ############################################# [recall below sent out on this Weds. a.m.] Today's Times: "Albany's Perilous Oil Boom"-- oil trains still threat here in Hudson Valley! - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - From ...(today's Times): [yes, pertinent here in Hudson Valley still, folks-- wake up-- re: New Windsor-- and local oil trains] The Opinion Pages|EDITORIAL Albany's Perilous Oil Boom By THE EDITORIAL BOARD APRIL 1, 2014 Daniel McCoy, who manages Albany County and its port on the Hudson River, decided last month, that he had to do something about the dangers presented by the rumbling oil tank cars carrying crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken fields to Albany, from which it is then shipped to refineries in the Northeast. Concerned about the safety of the county's 300,000-plus residents, Mr. McCoy imposed a moratorium on the expansion of oil processing facilities at the Port of Albany by Global Partners, an energy company that processes the oil so that it can be transferred to river barges. It was the strongest weapon in Mr. McCoy's limited arsenal, but he was on the right track: Tank cars are accidents waiting to happen, and regulators at all levels should take all possible steps to reduce the risks. In July, a string of tank cars derailed and exploded in the small Quebec town of Lac-M├ęgantic, killing 47 people. There have been other explosions and derailments. With these in mind, last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration completed a second round of inspections of tank cars and facilities at rail yards in the Albany area and in western New York, and called on the federal government to update its old spill response plans. Mr. Cuomo could go further by ordering an environmental impact statement of any proposals for crude oil facilities, including the one that Mr. McCoy has on hold. He might also consider bigger fees on tank cars entering New York and use the proceeds to train and equip emergency workers. Two Canadian railroads have said they are phasing out or repairing some of the older tank cars, known as DOT-111s, that do not provide necessary protections against derailments and explosions. Washington should do the same. And it should follow through on rules jointly proposed with Canada under which trains from the Bakken fields would avoid populated areas, while the oil itself would be regulated like other toxic materials. That would require more security, better spill-response plans and assurances that the cargo is properly identified. ################################################### [recall below sent out to this list Mar. 11th on all this] Re: oil trains/barges-- Co. Leg. Dems sign moratorium letter; Fossil-Fuel-Free Dutchess!... [finally-- thx tons to the other seven members of our Co. Leg. Dem caucus for signing on to this letter below circulated by yours truly at last night's Co. Leg. full board mtg.-- endorsing Scenic Hudson/Riverkeeper/NRDC call (inspired by PoJo editorial Sat. as well)-- calling for immediate moratorium on oil trains/barges through our local communities-- until it can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are truly safe! (feel free to follow up: call Cuomo, state leg.'s-- at (877) 255-9417!...J] [specifically, Mar. 10th signers to this letter (besides myself) included my Co. Leg. colleagues Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Alison MacAvery, Micki Strawinski, Francena Amparo, April Marie Farley, Gwen Johnson, and Rich Perkins-- sadly, only Dem co. leg.'s signed on to this; hopefully GOP will wake up] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - March 10, 2014 Governor Andrew Cuomo; State Senate Co-Leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein; Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver; State Senators Greg Ball and Terry Gipson; Assemblymembers Didi Barrett, Kevin Cahill, Kieran Michael Lalor, and Frank Skartados: Dear State Leaders: We the undersigned members of the Dutchess County Legislature, strongly echo the March 6th statement last Thursday from Riverkeeper that Governor Cuomo's actions taken so far towards making crude oil transport safer through the Hudson Valley "have done nothing to prevent this virtual pipeline from continuing to flow through our communities and waters. Knowing that the federal government isn't doing enough, the governor should take the next step and call for a moratorium on crude oil shipping by rail and vessel until heightened risks are reduced or eliminated." The Poughkeepsie Journal editorial this past Saturday (March 8th) additionally noted the following-"The transportation of volatile crude oil by train and barges has grown dramatically in the last 10 years and, with it, the threat of a massive environmental disaster along or in the Hudson River. The state, in fact, has seen several derailments, including one on CSX's River Line near KingstonŠOil trains typically run 80 to 100 tank cars, so just consider what would happen if one derails full of capacity and the tanks are compromisedŠGovernor Andrew Cuomo is ratcheting up inspections and taking other actions, including directing state agencies to do a thorough review of safety regulations and emergency response preparedness for these shipments coming into the state. But more needs to done not only by the state but by federal regulators and private industry to ensure the crude is contained and carried safely - and that the tracks and other equipment needed for safe passage are in sound working order." Finally, we also strongly echo the February 7th statement from Scenic Hudson, Riverkeeper, and the Natural Resources Defense Council "calling on Governor Cuomo to work with our Congressional delegation to achieve the following additional steps, beyond those required by the Governor's executive order: -- Direct New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to conduct a full environmental review of Global Companies' pending application to expand its oil terminal operations in Albany and its application to expand its operations at its facility in New Windsor, New York. -- Invoke the power of his office as Governor of the State of New York, in collaboration with our U.S. representatives, to persuade federal authorities with relevant jurisdiction to impose a moratorium on the transport of crude oil by rail through New York cities and towns and by ship on New York waterways until essential safety improvements are in place and spill response and firefighting capabilities are demonstrated to be adequate to cope with "worst case scenario" spills and fires, including derailment and explosion of rail tanker cars carrying flammable Bakken crude, and spills of heavy crude into New York waters. -- Call on federal agencies to prohibit the use of outdated, dangerous DOT-111 rail cars for the transportation of crude oil in New York, expand the scope of the state agency review directed by the executive order to include an assessment not only of the state's but also of local government's spill prevention and response capabilities, and take action to immediately determine the financial capability of companies currently operating in New York storing, handling and transporting petroleum products, including crude oil by rail and vessel, to respond to a worst case scenario spill as defined by the U.S. Coast Guard" Thank you for your attention to this matter. ################################################### [recall below sent out to this list Sat. a.m.-- after I first shared it with my 24 Co. Leg. colleagues] From: Joel Tyner To: countylegislators@dutchessny.gov Subject: Colleagues-- re: today's Poughkeepsie Journal editorial on crude oil, Hudson River... [please let me know if you'd be interested in signing on to letter Monday night echoing this below!...Joel] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Editorial: Crude oil spill could devastate Hudson Mar. 7, 2014 11:05 PM | Coming Sunday In an exclusive report, the Poughkeepsie Journal examines the efficacy of oil spill drills like the one conducted by the state in New Windsor in November. The transportation of volatile crude oil by train and barges has grown dramatically in the last 10 years and, with it, the threat of a massive environmental disaster along or in the Hudson River. The state, in fact, has seen several derailments, including one on CSX's River Line near Kingston. The state has been lucky. So far in these derailments, there haven't been injuries or significant spills but, quite frankly, the odds are lousy that the state's fortune will hold out unless changes are made. Oil trains typically run 80 to 100 tank cars, so just consider what would happen if one derails full of capacity and the tanks are compromised. Unquestionably, the state and federal government have been incredibly slow to react and should have been far more prepared for this. Now they must scramble to get better, much stronger safety standards in place. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ratcheting up inspections and taking other actions, including directing state agencies to do a thorough review of safety regulations and emergency response preparedness for these shipments coming into the state. But more needs to done not only by the state but by federal regulators and private industry to ensure the crude is contained and carried safely - and that the tracks and other equipment needed for safe passage are in sound working order. Much of this crude oil is coming from Bakken oil fields in North Dakota. The Port of Albany handles much of the disbursement; the crude is placed on ships and barges that head down the Hudson to refineries in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and north to Canada. Cuomo is calling on the U.S. Coast Guard to review certain safety precautions for facilities and vessels - and to strengthen the protocols where appropriate. The state also has fined CSX railroad $10,000 for failing to meet reporting requirements in two of the oil train derailments. But this is a pittance to pay for one of the nation's leading transportation suppliers, and it shows, in stark terms, why penalties for these violations and others must be dramatically increased. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and others, including many environmental groups, also are calling for old oil tank cars to be phased out in a matter of months. They have every reason to push for such a fast time frame. These so-called "DOT-111s" cars have ruptured in accidents across the country, and state inspections have found various defects on these tank cars. Federal authorities have been working with the state on inspections, and this is critical because the state's authority is limited in some cases. So far, the federal government and the Association of American Railroads have worked through a voluntary deal aimed at improving safety. That strategy includes having trains slow down when traveling through major cities and improving emergency response planning along the routes. No one should be satisfied by any "voluntary" agreement. If a barge or trainload of crude spills, the environmental damage could be catastrophic, the cleanup expensive, the finger-pointing unending, and the lawsuits considerable. Such scenarios also must be put into a much larger discussion about the nation's energy sources, but the reality is these shipments are coming now and will be for the foreseeable future. Far more thought - and resources - must be spent on their safe transport. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3.06.14 :: PRESS RELEASES :: PRESERVE RIVER ECOLOGY Governor Cuomo's Concerns about Crude Oil Transport Should be followed by Immediate Actions to Protect New York Communities and the Environment FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 6, 2014 Contact: Tina Posterli, 914-478-4501 x 239, tposterli@riverkeeper.org Statement from Riverkeeper "Governor Andrew Cuomo's statement during an interview on 'The Capitol Pressroom' that New York State and federal government need to do more to prepare for the influx of trains transporting crude oil, is welcome news. However, the governor's strong statements and initial call to federal agencies to strengthen regulations and controls over rail and vessel shipments of these hazardous materials needs to lead to swift, tangible state actions. The governor conceded that he needed more details on Global Partners' proposed Port of Albany facility before he could weigh in on its plan to heat and transport thick, heavy crude through Albany and down the Hudson River. Given that Governor Cuomo clearly recognizes the danger of transporting volatile crude, he should direct the DEC to immediately require a full environmental impact statement that evaluates the potential impacts connected with all of Global's current and proposed operations in the Port of Albany and in New Windsor, New York, and provide all potentially impacted communities with the opportunity to fully participate in that environmental review. Anything less does not honor the governor's repeated calls to take action to protect communities from the risks of crude oil transport. The actions taken so far have done nothing to prevent this virtual pipeline from continuing to flow through our communities and waters. Knowing that the federal government isn't doing enough, the governor should take the next step and call for a moratorium on crude oil shipping by rail and vessel until heightened risks are reduced or eliminated." - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Print 02.07.14 :: PRESS RELEASES :: PRESERVE RIVER ECOLOGY Groups Support Governor Cuomo's Executive Order Directing State and Federal Agencies to Comprehensively Review Safety of Crude Oil Shipments, but Urge Additional Actions to Protect New York Communities and the Environment Immediately FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts: Kate Slusark Kiely, Natural Resources Defense Council, 212 727 4592; kkiely@nrdc.org Tina Posterli, Riverkeeper, 516 526 9371; tposterli@riverkeeper.org Jay Burgess, Scenic Hudson, 845 473 4440, Ext. 222; jburgess@scenichudson.org Call for a moratorium on crude oil shipping by rail and vessel until heightened risks identified by governor's order are reduced or eliminated HUDSON VALLEY, NY - February 7, 2014 - Natural Resources Defense Council, Riverkeeper, and Scenic Hudson commend Governor Cuomo for issuing a January 28, 2014 Executive Order that identifies the immediate major risks to New York communities and waterways, including the Hudson River, from the significant increase in transport of unrefined petroleum products by rail, ship and barge and that directs five state agencies to report by April 30 on the state's preparedness to handle a potential crude oil spill or fire resulting from that transport. The environmental groups also strongly support the Cuomo Administration's call for federal agencies to strengthen regulations and controls over rail and vessel shipments of these hazardous materials. The groups call on Governor Cuomo to take additional steps to safeguard New York's environment and public safety from the ongoing risk of the devastating impacts of a spill, explosion or fire that communities and the environment in the U.S. and Canada have suffered repeatedly over the past several months. "We agree with the governor that there are unacceptable risks to New Yorkers presented by the current and expanding transport of crude oil by rail and vessel through hundreds of New York communities and on and along New York's unique waterways. However, the governor's executive order will not bring about any actual, immediate changes or protections on the ground to reduce or eliminate those risks because the transport of crude oil will continue at breakneck pace," said Kate Hudson, Watershed Program Director at Riverkeeper. "While the three month study called for by the governor's executive order is an important evaluation of the state's and local communities' ability to respond to spills of crude oil petroleum products shipped by rail or vessel, the study does not begin to address the underlying source of the threats to public safety that would make emergency response necessary. It isn't sufficient to ensure the state's 'readiness for potential disasters,' we must prevent the disasters from occurring in the first place." Natural Resources Defense Council, Riverkeeper, and Scenic Hudson are calling on Governor Cuomo to work with our Congressional delegation to achieve the following additional steps, beyond those required by the Governor's executive order, in order to begin to address the ongoing threat to public safety and the environment that he has identified: * Invoke the power of his office as Governor of the State of New York, in collaboration with our U.S. representatives, to persuade federal authorities with relevant jurisdiction to impose a moratorium on the transport of crude oil by rail through New York cities and towns and by ship on New York waterways until essential safety improvements are in place and spill response and firefighting capabilities are demonstrated to be adequate to cope with "worst case scenario" spills and fires, including derailment and explosion of rail tanker cars carrying flammable Bakken crude, and spills of heavy crude into New York waters. * Call on federal agencies to prohibit the use of outdated, dangerous DOT-111 rail cars for the transportation of crude oil in New York. The NTSB and its Canadian counterpart have both issued unprecedented joint warnings about DOT-111 tank cars, citing them for insufficient lining, external shields and venting to protect against punctures or gas build-ups that have been factors in recent fiery derailments involving crude. The chair of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said her agency "was concerned that major loss of life, property damage and environmental consequences can occur" as a result of the 400-per-cent increase in oil shipments by rail since 2005. "Our safety regulations need to catch up with this new reality." * Direct New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to conduct a full environmental review of Global Companies' pending application to expand its oil terminal operations in Albany and its application to expand its operations at its facility in New Windsor, New York. * Call on DEC to immediately reassess all previous permit modifications granted to Global Companies LLC and Buckeye Partners, L.P. that have allowed these companies to transport millions of gallons of crude oil per day into the Port of Albany without any comprehensive environmental review or public participation. * Expand the scope of the state agency review directed by the executive order to include an assessment not only of the state's but also of local government's spill prevention and response capabilities and invite county and local elected representatives and emergency response officials from communities at risk from crude oil shipping to join the state agency review at the outset, so that local communities can provide input from the beginning on local risks and preparedness needs. * Clarify that the assessment of the state's and local communities' capacity to prevent and respond to accidents resulting from the transport of crude oil by rail and vessel include evaluation of spills involving both Bakken-type light crude oil and heavy crude oil and tar sands diluted bitumen, the type of petroleum products that are nearly impossible to remove from water bodies and the type Global Companies LLC would be capable of transporting if its current oil terminal expansion application were granted. * Take action to immediately determine the financial capability of companies currently operating in New York storing, handling and transporting petroleum products, including crude oil by rail and vessel, to respond to a worst case scenario spill as defined by the U.S. Coast Guard and to require such operators to provide proof of financial ability to respond to clean up efforts and claims resulting from such a spill in order to continue to lawfully operate in New York (currently required in the states of California and Alaska). Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan said, "Governor Cuomo has demonstrated his commitment to preserving and enhancing the natural resources of the Hudson Valley through his support of the regional economic development councils' green jobs projects, and he has shown strong leadership in responding to Hurricane Sandy. His executive order lays the groundwork for future strengthening of crude oil spill prevention and response. In view of the grounding of a crude oil tanker on the Hudson and growing numbers of rail accidents and disasters in the U.S and Canada, we urge the governor, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and our Congressional delegation to call on federal authorities with jurisdiction over rail and navigable waterways to impose a moratorium on the transport of crude oil in the Hudson River Valley and beyond while appropriate spill prevention and response measures are put in place. In addition, the existing and proposed Global Companies permits should be subject to a comprehensive environmental review by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation before any further authorizations are issued and transport allowed. The health and safety of our citizens and the integrity of our treasured natural resources will be at grave risk from the transport of crude oil until these actions are taken." Sullivan added: "We are not asking for the moratorium on the transportation of home heating oil, industrial materials or any other substances that are properly regulated and transported, only these crude oils that evidence shows are dangerous and not currently subject to appropriate controls while being transported. We look forward to implementation of Governor Cuomo's executive order as the responsible and appropriate process for determining when safe conditions have been established and when the proposed moratorium on transportation of crude oil through the Hudson Valley can be lifted." "A spate of horrific spills and accidents involving the transport of crude oil across North America have demonstrated not only the serious threats it presents to human life, health and the environment, but also the gross inadequacy of current federal and state safeguards against those threats," said Kate Sinding, Senior Attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. "We commend Governor Cuomo for taking these important first steps towards addressing the potentially catastrophic risks presented by crude oil storage and shipment in New York State, and we urge him to undertake additional measures to ensure that this activity not be permitted to continue unless the full measure of risks is understood and essential safeguards are in place." As much as 1.2 billion gallons of crude oil enter the Port of Albany annually, and that capacity will jump to 2.8 billion gallons annually under oil terminal permits for Global Companies and Buckeye Partners that were approved by DEC in 2012 and 2013 before many of the concerns about these shipments came to light. In addition to the executive order issued by the governor on January 28, 2014, the governor released a letter from the Commissioners of NYS DOT, DEC, DOH and the Division of Homeland Security and Community Services to four federal officials calling on the federal government to tighten controls over rail freight transport of dangerous crude, including rail car safety, which "federal law preempts New York from regulating." Stating that voluntary efforts on the part of the rail and petroleum industries are insufficient to protect the public, the state commissioners urged the federal agencies to work together to ensure that new safety regulations are adopted expeditiously. By immediately taking the additional steps recommended above, even while the state and federal agencies named in the executive order begin to address the concerns he has raised, Governor Cuomo and our elected federal representatives will more quickly advance efforts to effectively prevent crude oil spills and fires in New York State and will ensure that if and when crude oil transport resumes, New Yorkers will be fully aware of all environmental risks and that response equipment and financial resources will be more than adequate to cope with any spills which do occur. ### About Natural Resources Defense Council NRDC is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC. About Riverkeeper Riverkeeper is a member-supported, watchdog organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and its tributaries and protecting the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents. www.riverkeeper.org About Scenic Hudson Scenic Hudson works to protect and restore the Hudson River and its majestic landscape as an irreplaceable national treasure and a vital resource for residents and visitors. A crusader for the valley since 1963, we are credited with saving fabled Storm King Mountain from a destructive industrial project and launching the modern grass-roots environmental movement. Today with more than 25,000 ardent supporters, we are the largest environmental group focused on the Hudson River Valley. Our team of experts combines land acquisition, support for agriculture, citizen-based advocacy and sophisticated planning tools to create environmentally healthy communities, champion smart economic growth, open up riverfronts to the public and preserve the valley's inspiring beauty and natural resources. To date Scenic Hudson has created or enhanced more than 50 parks, preserves and historic sites up and down the Hudson River and conserved more than 30,000 acres. www.scenichudson.org - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 02.26.14 :: CATEGORIES: BARGE, CRUDE OIL, CSX, FISH, AND HUDSON RIVER. On notice: Crude oil transport on Hudson threatens endangered species By Neale Gulley on February 26, 2014 Photo credit: Cacophny The recent massive increase in crude oil shipments on and along the Hudson River by rail, ship and barge poses an unacceptable triple threat to the many significant or protected marine species that rely on miles of unique and irreplaceable habitat. Because the river is a tidal estuary, meaning it ebbs and flows with the ocean tide, it supports a biologically rich environment, making it a vital ecosystem for various species of aquatic life. For many key species, it provides critical habitats and essential spawning and breeding grounds. Atlantic Sturgeon in the Hudson feed on the river bottom, grow to 8 feet in length and live 50-plus years. The River used to be home to many thousands of these beautiful fish, though now there are less than 300 spawning age adults in the river during spawning season. This species and 16 others are either threatened or listed on the endangered species list. Now, with millions of gallons of oil being shipped down the river on ships and barges, and millions more carried each day on trains along the river's edge, the threat is even greater - the danger more imminent. The Center for Biological Diversity http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/ this week took a heroic first step in holding industry and regulators accountable for the likely devastation of a crude oil spill in the Hudson River, when the group boasting some 625,000 members filed a notice of intent to sue sent to the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Coast Guard based on alleged "Violations of the Endangered Species Act" related to the New York and New Jersey Area Contingency Plan, a federally-mandated document intended to guide response to a catastrophic oil spill on the Hudson River and in New York Harbor. See CBD's press release accompanying the notice.

Monday, March 10, 2014

re: oil trains/barges-- Co. Leg. Dems unite to sign Scenic Hudson/Riverkeeper/NRDC/letter for moratorium-- join us!...

[here below-- letter I just convinced the other seven members of our County Legislature's Democratic Caucus to sign on to at tonight's full board mtg.-- thx again-- Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Alison MacAvery, Micki Strawinski, Francena Amparo, April Marie Farley, Gwen Johnson, and Rich Perkins!...(pls follow up with your own calls to Gov. Cuomo on this-- at (877) 255-9417!...J] [see: www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20140308/OPINION01/303080027/Editorial-Crude-oil-spill-could-devastate-Hudson ; www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20140309/NEWS04/303090043/Oil-spill-drills-Crude-shipments-raise-concerns-about-readiness-Hudson ] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - March 10, 2014 Governor Andrew Cuomo; State Senate Co-Leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein; Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver; State Senators Greg Ball and Terry Gipson; Assemblymembers Didi Barrett, Kevin Cahill, Kieran Michael Lalor, and Frank Skartados: Dear State Leaders: We the undersigned members of the Dutchess County Legislature, strongly echo the March 6th statement last Thursday from Riverkeeper that Governor Cuomo’s actions taken so far towards making crude oil transport safer through the Hudson Valley “have done nothing to prevent this virtual pipeline from continuing to flow through our communities and waters. Knowing that the federal government isn't doing enough, the governor should take the next step and call for a moratorium on crude oil shipping by rail and vessel until heightened risks are reduced or eliminated." The Poughkeepsie Journal editorial this past Saturday (March 8th) additionally noted the following—“The transportation of volatile crude oil by train and barges has grown dramatically in the last 10 years and, with it, the threat of a massive environmental disaster along or in the Hudson River. The state, in fact, has seen several derailments, including one on CSX's River Line near Kingston…Oil trains typically run 80 to 100 tank cars, so just consider what would happen if one derails full of capacity and the tanks are compromised…Governor Andrew Cuomo is ratcheting up inspections and taking other actions, including directing state agencies to do a thorough review of safety regulations and emergency response preparedness for these shipments coming into the state. But more needs to done not only by the state but by federal regulators and private industry to ensure the crude is contained and carried safely - and that the tracks and other equipment needed for safe passage are in sound working order.” Finally, we also strongly echo the February 7th statement from Scenic Hudson, Riverkeeper, and the Natural Resources Defense Council “calling on Governor Cuomo to work with our Congressional delegation to achieve the following additional steps, beyond those required by the Governor's executive order: -- Direct New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to conduct a full environmental review of Global Companies' pending application to expand its oil terminal operations in Albany and its application to expand its operations at its facility in New Windsor, New York. -- Invoke the power of his office as Governor of the State of New York, in collaboration with our U.S. representatives, to persuade federal authorities with relevant jurisdiction to impose a moratorium on the transport of crude oil by rail through New York cities and towns and by ship on New York waterways until essential safety improvements are in place and spill response and firefighting capabilities are demonstrated to be adequate to cope with "worst case scenario" spills and fires, including derailment and explosion of rail tanker cars carrying flammable Bakken crude, and spills of heavy crude into New York waters. -- Call on federal agencies to prohibit the use of outdated, dangerous DOT-111 rail cars for the transportation of crude oil in New York, expand the scope of the state agency review directed by the executive order to include an assessment not only of the state's but also of local government's spill prevention and response capabilities, and take action to immediately determine the financial capability of companies currently operating in New York storing, handling and transporting petroleum products, including crude oil by rail and vessel, to respond to a worst case scenario spill as defined by the U.S. Coast Guard” Thank you for your attention to this matter. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [recall info below sent out this past Sat. a.m. to my e-list] PoJo editorial today on point-- "Crude Oil Spill Could Devastate Hudson"-- follow up!... [just sent this below to my colleagues; follow up-- email countylegislators@dutchessny.gov!...J] #################################### [see http://www.Riverkeeper.org ; http://www.ScenicHudson.org ] From: Joel Tyner To: countylegislators@dutchessny.gov Subject: Colleagues-- re: today's Poughkeepsie Journal editorial on crude oil, Hudson River... [please let me know if you'd be interested in signing on to letter Monday night echoing this below!...Joel] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Editorial: Crude oil spill could devastate Hudson Mar. 7, 2014 11:05 PM | Coming Sunday In an exclusive report, the Poughkeepsie Journal examines the efficacy of oil spill drills like the one conducted by the state in New Windsor in November. The transportation of volatile crude oil by train and barges has grown dramatically in the last 10 years and, with it, the threat of a massive environmental disaster along or in the Hudson River. The state, in fact, has seen several derailments, including one on CSX's River Line near Kingston. The state has been lucky. So far in these derailments, there haven't been injuries or significant spills but, quite frankly, the odds are lousy that the state's fortune will hold out unless changes are made. Oil trains typically run 80 to 100 tank cars, so just consider what would happen if one derails full of capacity and the tanks are compromised. Unquestionably, the state and federal government have been incredibly slow to react and should have been far more prepared for this. Now they must scramble to get better, much stronger safety standards in place. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ratcheting up inspections and taking other actions, including directing state agencies to do a thorough review of safety regulations and emergency response preparedness for these shipments coming into the state. But more needs to done not only by the state but by federal regulators and private industry to ensure the crude is contained and carried safely - and that the tracks and other equipment needed for safe passage are in sound working order. Much of this crude oil is coming from Bakken oil fields in North Dakota. The Port of Albany handles much of the disbursement; the crude is placed on ships and barges that head down the Hudson to refineries in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and north to Canada. Cuomo is calling on the U.S. Coast Guard to review certain safety precautions for facilities and vessels - and to strengthen the protocols where appropriate. The state also has fined CSX railroad $10,000 for failing to meet reporting requirements in two of the oil train derailments. But this is a pittance to pay for one of the nation's leading transportation suppliers, and it shows, in stark terms, why penalties for these violations and others must be dramatically increased. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and others, including many environmental groups, also are calling for old oil tank cars to be phased out in a matter of months. They have every reason to push for such a fast time frame. These so-called "DOT-111s" cars have ruptured in accidents across the country, and state inspections have found various defects on these tank cars. Federal authorities have been working with the state on inspections, and this is critical because the state's authority is limited in some cases. So far, the federal government and the Association of American Railroads have worked through a voluntary deal aimed at improving safety. That strategy includes having trains slow down when traveling through major cities and improving emergency response planning along the routes. No one should be satisfied by any "voluntary" agreement. If a barge or trainload of crude spills, the environmental damage could be catastrophic, the cleanup expensive, the finger-pointing unending, and the lawsuits considerable. Such scenarios also must be put into a much larger discussion about the nation's energy sources, but the reality is these shipments are coming now and will be for the foreseeable future. Far more thought - and resources - must be spent on their safe transport. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - From www.Riverkeeper.org ... 3.06.14 :: PRESS RELEASES :: PRESERVE RIVER ECOLOGY Governor Cuomo's Concerns about Crude Oil Transport Should be followed by Immediate Actions to Protect New York Communities and the Environment FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 6, 2014 Contact: Tina Posterli, 914-478-4501 x 239, tposterli@riverkeeper.org Statement from Riverkeeper "Governor Andrew Cuomo's statement during an interview on 'The Capitol Pressroom' that New York State and federal government need to do more to prepare for the influx of trains transporting crude oil, is welcome news. However, the governor's strong statements and initial call to federal agencies to strengthen regulations and controls over rail and vessel shipments of these hazardous materials needs to lead to swift, tangible state actions. The governor conceded that he needed more details on Global Partners' proposed Port of Albany facility before he could weigh in on its plan to heat and transport thick, heavy crude through Albany and down the Hudson River. Given that Governor Cuomo clearly recognizes the danger of transporting volatile crude, he should direct the DEC to immediately require a full environmental impact statement that evaluates the potential impacts connected with all of Global's current and proposed operations in the Port of Albany and in New Windsor, New York, and provide all potentially impacted communities with the opportunity to fully participate in that environmental review. Anything less does not honor the governor's repeated calls to take action to protect communities from the risks of crude oil transport. The actions taken so far have done nothing to prevent this virtual pipeline from continuing to flow through our communities and waters. Knowing that the federal government isn't doing enough, the governor should take the next step and call for a moratorium on crude oil shipping by rail and vessel until heightened risks are reduced or eliminated." - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - More from www.Riverkeeper.org ... 02.07.14 :: PRESS RELEASES :: PRESERVE RIVER ECOLOGY Groups Support Governor Cuomo's Executive Order Directing State and Federal Agencies to Comprehensively Review Safety of Crude Oil Shipments, but Urge Additional Actions to Protect New York Communities and the Environment Immediately FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts: Kate Slusark Kiely, Natural Resources Defense Council, 212 727 4592;kkiely@nrdc.org Tina Posterli, Riverkeeper, 516 526 9371;tposterli@riverkeeper.org Jay Burgess, Scenic Hudson, 845 473 4440, Ext. 222;jburgess@scenichudson.org Call for a moratorium on crude oil shipping by rail and vessel until heightened risks identified by governor's order are reduced or eliminated HUDSON VALLEY, NY - February 7, 2014 - Natural Resources Defense Council, Riverkeeper, and Scenic Hudson commend Governor Cuomo for issuing a January 28, 2014 Executive Order that identifies the immediate major risks to New York communities and waterways, including the Hudson River, from the significant increase in transport of unrefined petroleum products by rail, ship and barge and that directs five state agencies to report by April 30 on the state's preparedness to handle a potential crude oil spill or fire resulting from that transport. The environmental groups also strongly support the Cuomo Administration's call for federal agencies to strengthen regulations and controls over rail and vessel shipments of these hazardous materials. The groups call on Governor Cuomo to take additional steps to safeguard New York's environment and public safety from the ongoing risk of the devastating impacts of a spill, explosion or fire that communities and the environment in the U.S. and Canada have suffered repeatedly over the past several months. "We agree with the governor that there are unacceptable risks to New Yorkers presented by the current and expanding transport of crude oil by rail and vessel through hundreds of New York communities and on and along New York's unique waterways. However, the governor's executive order will not bring about any actual, immediate changes or protections on the ground to reduce or eliminate those risks because the transport of crude oil will continue at breakneck pace," said Kate Hudson, Watershed Program Director at Riverkeeper. "While the three month study called for by the governor's executive order is an important evaluation of the state's and local communities' ability to respond to spills of crude oil petroleum products shipped by rail or vessel, the study does not begin to address the underlying source of the threats to public safety that would make emergency response necessary. It isn't sufficient to ensure the state's 'readiness for potential disasters,' we must prevent the disasters from occurring in the first place." Natural Resources Defense Council, Riverkeeper, and Scenic Hudson are calling on Governor Cuomo to work with our Congressional delegation to achieve the following additional steps, beyond those required by the Governor's executive order, in order to begin to address the ongoing threat to public safety and the environment that he has identified: * Invoke the power of his office as Governor of the State of New York, in collaboration with our U.S. representatives, to persuade federal authorities with relevant jurisdiction to impose a moratorium on the transport of crude oil by rail through New York cities and towns and by ship on New York waterways until essential safety improvements are in place and spill response and firefighting capabilities are demonstrated to be adequate to cope with "worst case scenario" spills and fires, including derailment and explosion of rail tanker cars carrying flammable Bakken crude, and spills of heavy crude into New York waters. * Call on federal agencies to prohibit the use of outdated, dangerous DOT-111 rail cars for the transportation of crude oil in New York. The NTSB and its Canadian counterpart have both issued unprecedented joint warnings about DOT-111 tank cars, citing them for insufficient lining, external shields and venting to protect against punctures or gas build-ups that have been factors in recent fiery derailments involving crude. The chair of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said her agency "was concerned that major loss of life, property damage and environmental consequences can occur" as a result of the 400-per-cent increase in oil shipments by rail since 2005. "Our safety regulations need to catch up with this new reality." * Direct New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to conduct a full environmental review of Global Companies' pending application to expand its oil terminal operations in Albany and its application to expand its operations at its facility in New Windsor, New York. * Call on DEC to immediately reassess all previous permit modifications granted to Global Companies LLC and Buckeye Partners, L.P. that have allowed these companies to transport millions of gallons of crude oil per day into the Port of Albany without any comprehensive environmental review or public participation. * Expand the scope of the state agency review directed by the executive order to include an assessment not only of the state's but also of local government's spill prevention and response capabilities and invite county and local elected representatives and emergency response officials from communities at risk from crude oil shipping to join the state agency review at the outset, so that local communities can provide input from the beginning on local risks and preparedness needs. * Clarify that the assessment of the state's and local communities' capacity to prevent and respond to accidents resulting from the transport of crude oil by rail and vessel include evaluation of spills involving both Bakken-type light crude oil and heavy crude oil and tar sands diluted bitumen, the type of petroleum products that are nearly impossible to remove from water bodies and the type Global Companies LLC would be capable of transporting if its current oil terminal expansion application were granted. * Take action to immediately determine the financial capability of companies currently operating in New York storing, handling and transporting petroleum products, including crude oil by rail and vessel, to respond to a worst case scenario spill as defined by the U.S. Coast Guard and to require such operators to provide proof of financial ability to respond to clean up efforts and claims resulting from such a spill in order to continue to lawfully operate in New York (currently required in the states of California and Alaska). Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan said, "Governor Cuomo has demonstrated his commitment to preserving and enhancing the natural resources of the Hudson Valley through his support of the regional economic development councils' green jobs projects, and he has shown strong leadership in responding to Hurricane Sandy. His executive order lays the groundwork for future strengthening of crude oil spill prevention and response. In view of the grounding of a crude oil tanker on the Hudson and growing numbers of rail accidents and disasters in the U.S and Canada, we urge the governor, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and our Congressional delegation to call on federal authorities with jurisdiction over rail and navigable waterways to impose a moratorium on the transport of crude oil in the Hudson River Valley and beyond while appropriate spill prevention and response measures are put in place. In addition, the existing and proposed Global Companies permits should be subject to a comprehensive environmental review by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation before any further authorizations are issued and transport allowed. The health and safety of our citizens and the integrity of our treasured natural resources will be at grave risk from the transport of crude oil until these actions are taken." Sullivan added: "We are not asking for the moratorium on the transportation of home heating oil, industrial materials or any other substances that are properly regulated and transported, only these crude oils that evidence shows are dangerous and not currently subject to appropriate controls while being transported. We look forward to implementation of Governor Cuomo's executive order as the responsible and appropriate process for determining when safe conditions have been established and when the proposed moratorium on transportation of crude oil through the Hudson Valley can be lifted." "A spate of horrific spills and accidents involving the transport of crude oil across North America have demonstrated not only the serious threats it presents to human life, health and the environment, but also the gross inadequacy of current federal and state safeguards against those threats," said Kate Sinding, Senior Attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. "We commend Governor Cuomo for taking these important first steps towards addressing the potentially catastrophic risks presented by crude oil storage and shipment in New York State, and we urge him to undertake additional measures to ensure that this activity not be permitted to continue unless the full measure of risks is understood and essential safeguards are in place." As much as 1.2 billion gallons of crude oil enter the Port of Albany annually, and that capacity will jump to 2.8 billion gallons annually under oil terminal permits for Global Companies and Buckeye Partners that were approved by DEC in 2012 and 2013 before many of the concerns about these shipments came to light. In addition to the executive order issued by the governor on January 28, 2014, the governor released a letter from the Commissioners of NYS DOT, DEC, DOH and the Division of Homeland Security and Community Services to four federal officials calling on the federal government to tighten controls over rail freight transport of dangerous crude, including rail car safety, which "federal law preempts New York from regulating." Stating that voluntary efforts on the part of the rail and petroleum industries are insufficient to protect the public, the state commissioners urged the federal agencies to work together to ensure that new safety regulations are adopted expeditiously. By immediately taking the additional steps recommended above, even while the state and federal agencies named in the executive order begin to address the concerns he has raised, Governor Cuomo and our elected federal representatives will more quickly advance efforts to effectively prevent crude oil spills and fires in New York State and will ensure that if and when crude oil transport resumes, New Yorkers will be fully aware of all environmental risks and that response equipment and financial resources will be more than adequate to cope with any spills which do occur. ### About Natural Resources Defense Council NRDC is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC. About Riverkeeper Riverkeeper is a member-supported, watchdog organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and its tributaries and protecting the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents. www.riverkeeper.org About Scenic Hudson Scenic Hudson works to protect and restore the Hudson River and its majestic landscape as an irreplaceable national treasure and a vital resource for residents and visitors. A crusader for the valley since 1963, we are credited with saving fabled Storm King Mountain from a destructive industrial project and launching the modern grass-roots environmental movement. Today with more than 25,000 ardent supporters, we are the largest environmental group focused on the Hudson River Valley. Our team of experts combines land acquisition, support for agriculture, citizen-based advocacy and sophisticated planning tools to create environmentally healthy communities, champion smart economic growth, open up riverfronts to the public and preserve the valley's inspiring beauty and natural resources. To date Scenic Hudson has created or enhanced more than 50 parks, preserves and historic sites up and down the Hudson River and conserved more than 30,000 acres. www.scenichudson.org - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - More from www.Riverkeeper.org ... 02.26.14 :: CATEGORIES: BARGE, CRUDE OIL, CSX, FISH, AND HUDSON RIVER. On notice: Crude oil transport on Hudson threatens endangered species By Neale Gulley on February 26, 2014 The recent massive increase in crude oil shipments on and along the Hudson River by rail, ship and barge poses an unacceptable triple threat to the many significant or protected marine species that rely on miles of unique and irreplaceable habitat. Because the river is a tidal estuary, eaning it ebbs and flows with the ocean tide, it supports a biologically rich environment, making it a vital ecosystem for various species of aquatic life. For many key species, it provides critical habitats and essential spawning and breeding grounds. Atlantic Sturgeon in the Hudson feed on the river bottom, grow to 8 feet in length and live 50-plus years. The River used to be home to many thousands of these beautiful fish, though now there are less than 300 spawning age adults in the river during spawning season. This species and 16 others are either threatened or listed on the endangered species list. Now, with millions of gallons of oil being shipped down the river on ships and barges, and millions more carried each day on trains along the river's edge, the threat is even greater - the danger more imminent. The Center for Biological Diversityhttp://www.biologicaldiversity.org/ this week took a heroic first step in holding industry and regulators accountable for the likely devastation of a crude oil spill in the Hudson River, when the group boasting some 625,000 members filed a notice of intent to sue sent to the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Coast Guard based on alleged "Violations of the Endangered Species Act" related to the New York and New Jersey Area Contingency Plan, a federally-mandated document intended to guide response to a catastrophic oil spill on the Hudson River and in New York Harbor. See CBD's press release accompanying the notice.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Micki Strawinski agrees-- time for strong progressive agenda for 2014 Dutchess County Legislature!...


Hi all...

Join us this Thursday, Feb. 20th at 4:30 pm in front of our County Office Building at 22 Market Street in Poughkeepsie for our Press Conference/Rally for Democracy-- if you agree that at the very least these eight resolutions below drafted by yours truly and co-sponsored by various members of our County Legislature's Democratic Caucus at least deserve an up-or-down vote and placement on the agenda for March Committee Day(!)...

[recall-- current GOP Co. Leg. majority prevented my/Dem caucus resolutions re: stopping county/city bus merger, stopping fracking brine on roads, and for Women's Equality Act from all even appearing on agenda for Feb. Co. Leg. Committee Day-- even though all had strong support in Democratic Co. Leg. caucus and had all been submitted on time to Co. Leg. offices in mid-January!]

So-- one more time-- again-- here are the eight we're focusing on for March-- help us make 'em reality-- and thx big-time to new County Legislators like Micki Strawinski and April Marie Farley for their support on these eight and more besides:

[important-- can't join us?...email all 25 of us-- at countylegislators@dutchessny.gov; scroll down just a bit to see full proposed text of all eight resolutions]

1. To bring back our county's Human Rights Commission here in county of Eleanor Roosevelt
[co-sponsors: Barbara Jeter-Jackson, April Marie Farley, Alison MacAvery, Micki Strawinski]
www.dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2011/10/rally-with-ann-perry-mae-parker-harris.html

2. To respect the wishes of City of Poughkeepsie residents and stop county takeover of city bus system.
[co-sponsors: Gwen Johnson, April Marie Farley, Micki Strawinski]
www.midhudsonnews.com/News/2013/December/17/Pok_buses-17Dec13.html

3. For Dutchess County to join 100,000 Homes campaign to save tax dollars and turn lives around.
[co-sponsor: April Marie Farley; see http://www.100kHomes.org ]

4. To prevent fracking brine from being applied to county roads here in Dutchess.
[co-sponsors: Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Alison MacAvery, April Marie Farley, Micki Strawinski, Francena Amparo]
www.wamc.org/post/riverkeeper-raises-concern-over-fracking-waste-de-icer-ny-roads

5. To endorse the new, strong, unanimous Feb. 4th resolution from the Dutchess County Association of Supervisors and Mayors against new transmission towers and overhead high-voltage lines locally.
[co-sponsors: Micki Strawinski, Alison MacAvery, Barbara Jeter-Jackson, April Marie Farley; see below]

6. To endorse the New York State Conference of Mayors' efforts to increase state AIM (Aid and Incentives to Muncipalities) for towns, villages, and cities-- in opposition to Cuomo's latest skewed tax scheme (see www.StoptheTaxShift.org ; www.FiscalPolicy.org ; http://www.ABetterChoiceforNY.org ; www.NYInequality.org ).
[co-sponsors: Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Alison MacAvery, April Marie Farley, Micki Strawinski]

7. In support of Women's Equality Act in NYS Legislature: www.NYWomensEquality.org .
[Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Francena Amparo, Micki Strawinski, April Marie Farley, Gwen Johnson]

8. For new county law in Dutchess to protect tenants in apartment buildings from unwanted pesticides.
[April Marie Farley's idea; other co-sponsor: Micki Strawinski: www.PANNA.org ; www.BeyondPesticides.org ]

Thanks again to new Beacon Co. Leg. April Marie Farley for agreeing to co-sponsor resolutions from yours truly for all of these ideas for county-level initiatives below...

And-- new-- thx to new Red Hook Co. Leg. Micki Strawinski for agreeing to co-sponsor resolutions from yours truly on the vast majority of these below (no.'s #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15-- and stonger resolution vs. new overhead power lines and county law to protect tenants from unwanted pesticides!):

[again-- email all 25 of us at countylegislators@dutchessny.gov-- to build support for ones you want!]

 1. New, stronger resolution vs. new overhead power lines (modeled after Supervisors/Mayors resol.) www.HudsonValley-CC.org www.NoMonsterPowerLines.com www.ClintonUnited.org

 2. Bring back our county's Human Rights Commission (here-- county w/Eleanor Roosevelt, NAACP too) www.dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2011/10/rally-with-ann-perry-mae-parker-harris.html

 3. Forum to promote alternatives to prolonging county incinerator contract w/Covanta (expires this June) www.dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2013/0/speak-up-with-shabazz-jackson-thurs-apr.html www.petitiononline.com/zeroyes

 4. Stop county takeover of city bus system (City of Poughk. Common Council want help from us on this-- thx to Gwen Johnson for her leadership on this; why isn't entire Dem Co. Leg. caucus on board?) www.midhudsonnews.com/News/2013/December/17/Pok_buses-17Dec13.html

 5. Forum on importance of investing in youth programs/activities/education to prevent incarceration www.njafter3.org/edu/docs/Statistics_ResearchFindings-Benefits-of-Afterschool.pdf

 6. Forum on proven, innovative ways to slash recidivism in Newark, Albany, and Brooklyn (not here yet) www.uptownmagazine.com/2011/11/mayor-cory-booker-save-newark-save-the-world/ www.PYHIT.com ; www.petitiononline.com/comalert

7. Forum to expose millions in county subsidies for large chain stores/restaurants paying poverty wages www.demos.org/publication/underwriting-bad-jobs-how-our-tax-dollars-are-funding-low-wage-work-and-fueling-inequali

 8. Prevent fracking brine from being put on county roads (as Beacon, Red Hook, other counties have-- thx to Micki Strawinski and Francena Amparo on this) 
www.wamc.org/post/riverkeeper-raises-concern-over-fracking-waste-de-icer-ny-roads www.dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2013/07/why-wont-gop-in-dutchess-follow-gop.html

10. Put specific groundwater contamination info about roads in towns on DCDOH website; warn locals www.dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2011/04/why-are-caldwell-steinhaus-gop-still-so.html

11. Follow example of Albany County and close large bank accounts with Wall Street banks like BofA www.bizjournals.com/albany/print-edition/2011/06/10/albany-county-legislators-want-to.html www.dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2011/12/fact-dutchess-county-has-50-million.html

12. Public forum on New Economy possibilities for Dutchess County to create jobs, revitalize economy www.NewEconomicsInstitute.org www.yesmagazine.org/issues/the-new-economy/clevelands-worker-owned-boom

13. Push Albany for effective property tax relief with circuitbreaker legislation from Krueger/Englebright www.abetterchoiceforny.org/CircuitBreaker.pdf ; www.FiscalPolicy.org

 14. Enact Oregon-style "pay-it-forward" plan: DCC tuition-- to help working families send kids to college www.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/education/in-oregon-a-plan-to-eliminate-tuition-and-loans-at-state-colleges.html?_r=0

15. Push for Women's Equality Act to be passed and signed into law here in NYS [thx to Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Micki Strawinski, Francena Amparo on this-- but current GOP Co. Leg. majority won't even allow our resolution on this to be on agenda for monthly Committee Day unless someone in NYS Senate introduces companion bill!] www.NYWomensEquality.org  

Joel
845-464-2245/453-2105/876-2488

joeltyner@earthlink.net

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BRING BACK DUTCHESS COUNTY HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

WHEREAS, Dutchess County is home to the legacy of Eleanor Roosevelt, long        considered the mother of the international human rights movement, and the birth  of the NAACP in Amenia a century ago, and 

WHEREAS, the Dutchess County Office Building has been rededicated to former County Executive Lucille Pattison; our county's Human Rights Commission is part of her legacy, and

WHEREAS, literally hundreds of different Dutchess County residents used to contact our county's Human Rights Commission under both Republican and Democratic County Executive administrations annually for various reasons, and

WHEREAS, women are still discriminated against far too much here in Dutchess County in 2014, and

WHEREAS, folks with different sexual orientation are still discriminated against far too much here in Dutchess County in 2014, and

WHEREAS, senior citizens are still discriminated against far too much here in Dutchess County in 2014, and

WHEREAS, people of color are still discriminated against far too much here in Dutchess County in 2014, and

WHEREAS, people with disabilities are still discriminated against far too much here in Dutchess County in 2014, and therefore be it 

RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature requests that the Dutchess County Executive work with the Dutchess County Legislature to find a way bring back the Dutchess County Human Rights Commission in 2014, and be it further

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Dutchess County Executive

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STOP PROPOSED MERGER OF DUTCHESS COUNTY LOOP BUS SYSTEM WITH CITY OF POUGHKEEPSIE BUS SYSTEM

WHEREAS, the duly elected representatives of the City of Poughkeepsie, the Common Council there, voted overwhelmingly in December against a proposed merger of the city bus system with the Dutchess County LOOP bus system, and

WHEREAS, repeatedly dozens of City of Poughkeepsie residents have come out to speak up at Common Council meetings against such a merger, and

WHEREAS, various well-attended rallies have also been held on this issue over the last few months as well; it is clear that the people themselves in the City of Poughkeepsie are dead-set against such a merger, and

WHEREAS, Dutchess County government needs to respect the wishes of local municipalities and their residents, and therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature goes on record to publicly oppose any merger of the Dutchess County LOOP bus system with the City of Poughkeepsie bus system, and be it further

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Dutchess County Executive,
Dutchess County Transit Administrator, City of Poughkeepsie Mayor, and City of Poughkeepsie Common Council

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TO SAVE TAX DOLLARS AND LIVES THROUGH DUTCHESS COUNTY JOINING 100,000 HOMES CAMPAIGN

WHEREAS, 100,000 Homes communities have already moved more than 20,000 homeless Americans into permanent housing, transforming their public systems along the way; powered by Community Solutions and supported by a broad base of national and local partners, the Campaign helps communities turn their services systems into solution systems capable of ending street homelessness for good; as a movement, they are not interested in managing homelessness indefinitely, they are interested in ending it, and
WHEREAS, over 200 communities across the United States are participants in the 100,000 Homes campaign; participating communities do three things differently, as noted recently on "60 Minutes", turning lives around while saving county tax dollars: • First, they identify every homeless person on their streets by name. For several mornings in a row, volunteers comb the streets to survey their homeless neighbors using a questionnaire called the Vulnerability Index. This tool, based on leading medical research, helps each community build a database with the names, photos, health conditions, and institutional and social histories of its homeless residents. The resulting data allows communities to prioritize systematically, match people to appropriate housing subsidies and dramatically expedite the rate of housing;
•Second, they track and measure their local housing rates against clear monthly goals. All communities are working toward housing at least 2.5% of their chronic and vulnerable neighbors each month, a figure that puts them squarely on track to end homelessness in roughly four years;
•Third, they improve local systems to make housing simpler, faster and more efficiently targeted. Using quality improvement methods drawn from industry, local teams work together to set and achieve clear goals for systems change. Many communities have dramatically reduced the time required to house a single individual. Others have logged measurable improvements in outreach, resource targeting and service delivery; and therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature strongly urges that Dutchess County join the 100,000 Homes campaign to house all of our local homeless while saving county tax dollars, and be it further

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to our County Executive and our county's Commissioner of Community and Family Services
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REQUESTING THAT DUTCHESS COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS NOT USE HYDROFRACKING BRINE ON COUNTY ROADS

WHEREAS, the Ulster County Legislature recently voted unanimously to ban the use of hydrofracking brine on roads there, and

WHEREAS, Riverkeeper is also urging the state to ban the use of hydrofracking liquid wastes as an alternative to traditional snow and ice melting materials, and

WHEREAS, some companies using fracking to harvest natural gas have offered the fluid at no charge to communities for use on roads, but Riverkeeper has stated that it has been proven to contain dangerous chemicals, and

WHEREAS, the chlorides found in these fracking wastes are as much as 20 times more concentrated than commercial solutions; there is minimal chemical testing of these wastes before they are approved for application on roads and no testing whatsoever required after that approval; there has been no testing whatsoever for radioactive materials; ten counties have banned this dangerous practice, and

WHEREAS, unfortunately, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has approved the use of fracking waste fluid as a deicing agent on highways in 13 western New York municipalities, and

WHEREAS, unfortunately, the state has approved the use of fracking waste fluids for deicing, dust control and road stabilization, even though studies have not been conducted to determine whether there are harmful impacts, and

WHEREAS, Riverkeeper's December report stated that the “extraction of natural gas using fracking produces large amounts of liquid and solid waste than can contain ... chemical additives, which may include ethylene glycol, naphthalene, and sulfuric acid; metals; organic compounds and other contaminants; fracking waste from extraction activities in the Marcellus Shale can also contain naturally-occurring radioactive materials such as radium-226 and radium-228,” and therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature request that the Dutchess County Department of Public Works not use hydrofracking brine on county roads, and be it further

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Dutchess County Executive and Dutchess County Public Works Commissioner.

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ENDORSING STRONG STATEMENT FROM DUTCHESS COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF SUPERVISORS AND MAYORS IN OPPOSITION TO NEW ABOVE-GROUND TRANSMISSION TOWERS IN DUTCHESS COUNTY

WHEREAS, the Dutchess County Association of Supervisors and Mayors February 4th unanimously passed a strong resolution February 4th that pledging ,"their commitment to protecting the special and significant scenic, historic, agricultural, and natural resources pivotal to Dutchess County's ongoing economic success and viability, and here do memorialize strong opposition to the construction or expansion of above-ground transmission towers through scenic Dutchess County in the New York Hudson Valley," and

WHEREAS,  also noted that they "urge Albany and the New York Public Service Commission to consider this initiative as an opportunity to consider all long-range options and new technologies and to ensure that all current and future projects are scoped, or re-scoped, to incorporate a well-publicized commitment to protecting the Hudson Valley's special and significant natural resources and viewsheds," and

WHEREAS, the Dutchess County Association of Supervisors and Mayors unanimous resolution also noted that "mitigating past viewshed damage to improve the Hudson Valley and restore value to towns and tax rolls badly damaged by poorly scoped utility proposals should be added as a consideration and objective of all projects, to bring direct and tangible benefits to proposed project areas," and therefore be it 

RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature agrees with these strong sentiments from the Dutchess County Association of Supervisors and Mayors, and urges the New York State Public Service Commission on this matter as well, and be it further

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the New York State Public Service Commission

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FOR INCREASED STATE AID TO MUNICIPALITIES (AND OPPOSING CUOMO'S LATEST TAX SCHEME)

[below text is almost identical to East Nassau resolution]

WHEREAS, the New York State Conference of Mayors has expressed strong opposition to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget proposal for a  freeze on property taxes within local governments, and

WHEREAS, such proposal would require all local governments to consolidate services in order for local tax payers to be eligible for the tax freeze, and
 
WHEREAS, the Governor’s budget again fails to increase Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM), a program whose funding has decreased by 75% since 1980, and
 
WHEREAS, the state mandated property tax cap has limited local governments’ ability to raise needed revenue in order to offer critical services in a proper and safe manner.

WHEREAS, local governments already proactively share services with other governments in order to streamline programs and save taxpayers money, and
 
WHEREAS, in addition to sharing services, local governments have reduced their workforce by tens of thousands of employees through layoffs and attritions over the past four years in order to keep property tax increases to a minimum, and
 
WHEREAS, local governments that have previously shed or consolidated services with other municipalities will not receive any credit for doing so under this proposal.
 
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Dutchess County Legislature strongly opposes Part FF of S. 6359A / A. 8559A, and ask that the state budget increase AIM funding for local governments in order for them to preserve existing services and
 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be forwarded to our respective members of the New York State Senate and Assembly.

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FOR WOMEN'S EQUALITY ACT FOR DUTCHESS COUNTY AND NEW YORK STATE

WHEREAS, the Women's Equality Act would protect a woman's freedom of choice, achieve pay equity, stop sexual harassment in all workplaces, allow for the recovery of attorneys’ fees in employment and credit and lending cases, strengthen human trafficking laws, end family status discrimination, stop source-of-income discrimination, stop housing discrimination for victims of domestic violence, stop pregnancy discrimination once and for all, and protect victims of domestic violence by strengthening order-of-protection laws, and

WHEREAS, recent polls prove that eighty-nine percent of New York voters agreed that equal pay for women should be a high priority for state leaders, and 80% support updating New York’s abortion law, and

WHEREAS, the Women's Equality Act coalition, which includes the support of 860 women’s groups, businesses, religious organizations, medical groups, and advocacy organizations from across the state, is united in its efforts to mobilize New Yorkers and push legislators to get the job done in 2014, and

WHEREAS, the measures of the Women’s Equality Agenda reflect the complexity of women’s lives–securing equal pay, access to reproductive health care, and freedom from discrimination and violence are all essential to women’s equality; New York State needs to update and strengthen its laws to reflect the reality of women’s lives today, and

WHEREAS, members of the statewide Women's Equality Act coalition include Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Grace Smith House, Inc., Family Services, Inc., American Association of University Women - Poughkeepsie Branch, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, 9 to 5, ACLU, AFSCME, ALIGN - NY, Alliance for Quality Education, BALCONY (Business and Labor Coalition of New York), Center Against Domestic Violence, Center for Law and Justice, Center for Reproductive Rights, Center for Working Families, Citizen Action of New York, Community Voices Heard
Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action at Manhattanville College, CSEA Local 1000 AFSCME; Eleanor Roosevelt Leadership Center, Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee, Feminist Majority Foundation, Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation, New York State Academy of Family Physicians, New York State AFL-CIO, New York State Alliance for Retired Americans, New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition, New York State Association of Electrical Workers, New York State Association of Licensed Midwives, New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA), New York State Community Action Association, New York State Laborers Health & Safety Trust Fund, New York State Nurses Association, New York State Pay Equity Coalition , New York State Public Affairs Committee of the Junior Leagues, New York State United Teachers, New York State Women, Inc.
New York Union Child Care Coalition, New York Women in Communications, Inc.
New York Women in Film & Television, New York Women's Agenda/Equal Pay Coalition
New York Women's Chamber of Commerce, New York Younger Women's Task Force
New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, and Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley (PPMHV), and therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature strongly urges that the New York State Legislature pass and Governor Cuomo sign into law the Women's Equality Act, and be it further 

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo, State Senate Co-Leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Dutchess County's delegation of state legislators

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LOCAL LAW NO. OF 2014, A LOCAL LAW PROTECTING TENANTS FROM UNAUTHORIZED PESTICIDE OR INSECTICIDE SPRAYING BE IT ENACTED by the County Legislature of the County of Dutchess as follows:

 § Section 1. Legislative Intent. This Board finds that individuals and their personal property are, or can be, unwittingly exposed to negatively impacted by pesticides and insecticides applied in their apartments. This Board further finds that pesticides and insecticides may pose health and safety risks to people, particularly children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with infirmities. The intent of this local law is to provide information to county residents about certain pesticide and insecticide applications to which they may be exposed, so that they can take steps to minimize such exposure to themselves, their families, pets, and property. It is intended that this local law be read and applied consistently with that section and all other applicable provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law and regulations promulgated there under. This law shall be known as the Dutchess County Tenant Pesticide and Insecticide Notification Law.

§ Section 2. Definitions. "Pesticide" means any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest.

§ Section 3. Notification Requirements for Application of Pesticides in Apartments There shall be no application of any pesticide or insecticide in any apartment in Dutchess County unless the tenant of that apartment has given written permission for that application, the pest has been identified, the pesticide or insecticide to be applied has been identified, and sufficient rationale for that application has been provided to the tenant.

 § Section 4. Enforcement. The Dutchess County Department of Health shall enforce the provisions of this local law administratively, provided that all sanctions, which shall be assessed after providing a hearing or opportunity to be heard, shall be as specified in the Penalties provision herein of this law and shall be payable to and deposited with Dutchess County. In particular, the Department of Health shall be responsible for neighbor and applicator provisions and the Department of Consumer Affairs shall be responsible for retail establishment provisions.

 § Section 5. Penalties and Administrative Sanctions. (1) A person applying pesticides or insecticides who violates any provision of this local law shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars for a first violation, and not to exceed two thousand dollars for a subsequent offense. (2) An owner or owner's agent of a multiple dwelling or apartment complex who violates any section of this law shall for a first such violation, in lieu of penalty, be issued a written warning and shall also be issued educational materials prepared by the Dutchess County Health Commissioner. Such person shall, however, for a second violation, be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed one hundred dollars, and not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars for any subsequent violation.

§ Section 6. Severability. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, or part of this law or the application thereof to an person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, entity, or circumstance shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such order or judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, or part of this law, or in its application to the person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, entity, or circumstance directly involved in the controversy in which such order or judgment shall be rendered.  

§ Section 7. Effective Date and Filing. This law shall take effect on the first day of January after it shall have been adopted and filed with the office of Secretary of State. Within twenty days after adoption of this law, the Clerk of the County Legislature shall forward one certified copy thereof to the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and one to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and one to the New York State Attorney General.