Activists say EPA rule doesn’t go far enough to ban asbestos

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward on a proposal that would require companies to get EPA approval to manufacture and import asbestos, but activists say they are concerned the U.S. hasn’t gone far enough to ban the dangerous material completely.A rule proposed by the EPA says the agency has identified several areas where asbestos is no longer used, such as roofing materials, and would require that any company that wants to manufacture or import asbestos for that purpose has to notify the agency at least 90 days in advanceWhen the rule was announced the EPA said the proposal was part of “important, unprecedented action on asbestos” and EPA spokesman James Hewitt said the rule would actually give the agency the grounds to restrict new uses of asbestos.“The EPA action would prohibit companies from manufacturing, importing, or processing for these new uses of asbestos unless they receive approval from EPA,” Hewitt said in a statement.The uses for asbestos that the rule covers are not illegal. The EPA has banned some uses for asbestos, like spray-on insulation, but a ban on most products that contain asbestos proposed in 1989 was later overturned by a federal appeals court.But advocates say the rule still opens the door to give some companies that approval and that the EPA should ban asbestos completely because of the health risks.Breathing asbestos can increase the risk of lung cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and people who work with asbestos are even more likely to develop lung problems. A campaign by the Environmental Working Group says that between 12,000 and 15,000 Americans die from asbestos-related illnesses every year.That group also pointed out last month that a Russian company that is one of the world’s biggest asbestos producers stamped President Donald Trump’s face on its palettes of asbestos and posted on Facebook thanking him and former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt for excluding some uses of asbestos from the agency’s risk assessment.Melanie Benesh, legislative attorney for Environmental Working Group, said the EPA is not considering the impact of exposure to asbestos from old buildings or health effects other than cancer in its analysis under the toxic chemicals law passed in 2016. She said the EPA is behind other developed countries by not banning asbestos and that its a “very big public health concern” if the agency is limiting the scope of its risk evaluation in a way that makes it more likely to find less risk associated with asbestos.“Asbestos is a carcinogen regardless of whether it’s in building material that was installed 40 years ago or whether it’s in a newly manufactured product,” she said. “Cancer doesn’t distinguish between these two uses so when EPA is evaluating asbestos we think they should take a comprehensive look.”On Tuesday, Chelsea Clinton tweeted an article about the EPA proposal in The Architects Newspaper that reported the EPA rule allowed asbestos in construction materials, which Hewitt said was inaccurate, commenting that the Trump administration is “making asbestos great again.”Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization President Linda Reinstein tweeted that the proposal was “shocking” and “disgusting” and said it would increase asbestos imports to the U.S.Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, tweeted that voters need to support Democrats in the midterms because the Trump administration is the “worst in modern history” for the environment.The full text of the EPA rule proposed on June 1 is available here for public comment until Aug. 10.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Valero Texas Open: Si Woo Kim in lead after 6-under 66; Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler lurking

first_imgSi Woo Kim is in the solo lead at the Valero Texas Open after shooting a 6-under 66 in Round 1 action.Kim got off to a good start, but truly closed it out well as he birdied five of his last eight holes. Masters 2019: Tiger Woods’ outfit revealed, brings back memorable top Spieth had some trouble closing out his round as well, but a birdie at the par-4 17th got him back to two shots back of Kim.Pure [email protected] moves to 4-under.#LiveUnderPar— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 4, 2019Matt Kuchar is one shot back of Spieth and Fowler at 3 under while Jim Furyk is at 2 under.Caddie loves it.Player loves it.Matt Kuchar is tied for the lead @ValeroTXOpen.#LiveUnderPar— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 4, 2019Elsewhere on the course, Tony Finau and Martin Kaymer are at even par while Billy Horschel is at 1 over. The finish gave him a one-shot lead over several golfers at 5 under and puts him two clear of Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler who finished their days at 4 under.Fowler was one shot back until his second-to-last hole at the eighth when he tallied a bogey at the par 5. Related News A good start though put him in position to climb toward the top of the leaderboard.“It’s always nice to get out and make some birdies early, shake off some rust,” Fowler told reporters, via Golf Week. “Happy with where we’re at going into tomorrow, but also looking forward to the weekend with some work to do tomorrow as well as how I feel about the game going into next week. So really only one blemish, the tee shot on our 17th hole, No. 8, but other than that, solid day of golf and some good work.”last_img read more

Holmdel Committee Introduces $25M Budget

first_imgCurrently, the township has one volunteer fire company. It responds to all calls, including reports of fire, smoke, hazardous materials releases, carbon monoxide, motor vehicle accidents with serious injuries, and more, the report claims. It answers to about 400 calls for service each year. There are about 525 veterans in town and 22.1 percent of residents are foreign-born. There are 5,516 housing units, with the median value of owner-occupied housing units being $652,100. The median gross rent is $2,045. The Breakdown Additionally, looking back on 2019, the Holmdel Police Department’s calls for service were above 25,000 for the fourth consecutive year. Motor vehicle stops, “a proven crime deterrent,” the department said, were also high and officers have remained “vigilant and proactive” to address increases in vehicle thefts and burglaries. Accidents have increased by less than 2 percent, mostly resulting from increased traffic, the report continued. There are 11 major line items in the police department’s budget requests for 2020, with goals to increase public engagement and public information, hire a new officer due to an anticipated retirement, purchase five vehicles and trailers, finalize a radio project and implement E-Ticketing and body cameras. Unanimously approved on introduction that night, the public hearing and adoption is now set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 9. The proposed township tax rate is $0.340, a zero percent increase from 2019. According to the township, the average homeowner in Holmdel will pay $2,334 in municipal taxes, based on the average home valuation of $686,578. “I am very proud of this because we delivered this in unprecedented areas that we’re dealing with, uncharted territories,” said Mayor Greg Buontempo. “This was a concern since we started out, in this pandemic, being able to deliver to Holmdel residents the same quality of service, not cutting anything from the budget.”  As introduced, appropriations for the budget are broken down as 40.8 percent for salaries; statutory expenditures at 10.95 percent; 2020 capital at 0.4 percent; debt service, 13.07 percent; and uncollected taxes, 5.4 percent; The remaining 29.38 percent goes to other expenses, including over $1.3 million in outside contracts. The COVID-19 pandemic will also have an impact on the township’s revenues, and officials anticipate that. According to the budget presentation, the proposal reduces projected revenues from uniform fire safety inspections from $25,000 to $16,000, court fees from $525,000 to $250,000 as well as payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) revenues by approximately 35 percent from the amount in 2019. The anticipated uniform construction fees remain the same as 2019, however, though the township anticipates collecting 18 percent more than last year. Public Safety “The Fire Department requires an increase in funding to ensure apparatus, personal protective equipment, recruitment services and maintenance needs are all met,” the report states. Demographics By Allison Perrine According to the township, the salary and wage obligation will increase overall by $9,385 over last year. Police and fire retirement systems will also increase by about $125,000. And the municipal debt service obligations will increase by nearly $810,753 in the current fund and Open Space Trust Fund. About 53.6 percent are female. About 75.3 percent are white alone and 1.20 percent are black or African American alone. About 19.70 percent are Asian alone, according to the presentation. Its goals for 2020 are to find more volunteers, increase training, find more office space and better accommodations for its operations and to increase funding. Members propose a $136,660 fire department budget with two major line items – salaries and operating expenses. Buontempo said that the township incurred “expenses that were never anticipated” because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “To come up with a flat tax rate,” at the same time, he said, showed that the Holmdel team did an “outstanding” job with this budget. HOLMDEL – The township committee introduced a $25 million 2020 municipal budget May 26, after a public presentation about the township’s tax rates, debt service, demographics and much more. Holmdel Township has an estimated population of 16,668, according to the most recent U.S. Census data from 2010. That is expected to increase in 2020. About 3.8 percent of the population is anticipated to be children under 5 years old, 22.6 percent under 18 and 22 percent individuals over the age of 65. “While we have not seen a significant decrease in revenues as a result of COVID-19, we kept this number flat in an effort to be conservative,” according to the presentation. The township broke down its departments through the presentation, highlighting accomplishments, savings and future goals for each. One of those included the department of public safety, a topic of conversation in Holmdel lately as the township prepares plans for a new fire department. On the other hand, fewer summonses were issued last year, “which tells us that they continue to use discretion and are issuing ‘warnings’ to violators when warranted,” the report claims. Arrests were down 10 percent. The 2020 budget proposes a 2.76 percent increase over last year, bringing the total to $25,084,009. Of that total, $19.8 million is within the cap and $5.1 million is outside of the cap.  The article originally appeared in the June 4 – 10, 2020 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

Nelson Youth Soccer back on the pitch

first_imgMost house teams are back on the pitch with the season winding down in early October with playoffs and final games. Nelson Youth Soccer has commenced the unofficial season half of the roundball season this week.Saturday is the start of Soccer Saturday as mini teams head back to the pitch for the beautiful game.Meanwhile, in Revelstoke and Sandpoint, Idaho, many of the NYS teams are entered into the Rep Tournament.last_img

Creating jobs, tackling climate change

first_img21 October 2011Climate change innovation is taking off in a big way in South Africa – as demonstrated by initiatives such as The Fresh Air Factory, a Durban-based community project that creates “green” products by recycling locally available materials.Through the project, based at the Eco Park in Durban’s Bluff area, a group of previously disadvantaged locals are being given the opportunity to earn money and acquire business skills by producing environmentally friendly products from recycled materials.One of the challenges for achieving climate change sustainability is getting local communities to respond in ways that will not only see their environments looked after, but will also create jobs, impart new skills, and help the community to prosper.Making new challenges work for peopleMiller Matola, CEO of Brand South Africa, says success stories such as The Fresh Air Factory demonstrate the commitment of South Africans to making new challenges, such as climate change, work for them through innovation and entrepreneurship.“The project is established as a community factory that produces green products from recycled and locally available materials,” says Matola. “At the same time, participants are taught skills for their own future business ventures.“It’s a showcase illustrating how local economic development can be achieved, and this is through community participation, skills development and being creative with the resources that are available.”The products made at The Fresh Air Factory are targeted for corporate gifting through the co-ordination of Little Green Gifts and Packaging, and the factory is open to the public – allowing visitors to see firsthand what is being made from the recycled waste.Focus on human resource developmentAntoinette Kruger of Little Green Gifts and Packaging says her business is keen to support The Fresh Air Factory initiative, along with various other similar projects around South Africa. However, she adds, that the downfall of many community projects is quality control, and the fact that large orders cannot always be met.Because of this, The Fresh Air factory is being developed as a pilot project with an eye to franchising. “The aim is to have a network of Fresh Air Factories, so that the greater quantities of products often required by retailers and corporates can be produced,” says Kruger.An additional component to the success of the project is that it moves away from focusing on capital development to focusing on human resource development – therefore increasing the platforms for skills transfer and employment.“Every South African should play their part in dealing with climate change, and the people of the Bluff are showing the value that comes from collective effort,” says Matola.“Projects like The Fresh Air Factory link those who were previously disadvantaged into the real and active economy, and allow for increased participation and production in local markets, as well as sustainable job creation.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Brand South Africa, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Stakeholders play their part in Soweto for Mandela Day

first_imgNelson Mandela International Day commemorates the lifetime of service Nelson Mandela gave to South Africa and the world.Brand South Africa volunteers its time at the YMCA Centre in Soweto on Nelson Mandela International Day, 18 July 2017. (Image supplied)Ntombifuthi Ntanzi In the words of Nelson Mandela; “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”Nelson Mandela International Day commemorates the lifetime of service Nelson Mandela gave to South Africa and the world. Eight years later since the launch of Mandela day, it has gained momentum, with worldwide support from citizens of all races and ages, playing their part by giving 67 minutes of their time to the less fortunate and taking #ActionAgainstPoverty.The Nelson Mandela Foundation last month adopted the theme #ActionAgainstPoverty as a firm call to take action towards eradicating poverty and making a meaningful contribution to the lives of those facing poverty and inequality in society. It all begins with small steps from each and every stakeholder.This was evident at the YMCA Centre on Tuesday the 18th, it was abuzz with young and old coming to contribute to the Mandela Day activities.Brand South Africa volunteered their time and hands to paint the premises. Brand South Africa’s Strategic Relationship Manager: Government, Ms Toni Gumede said, “Brand South Africa is pleased to be reiterating the words of Nelson Mandela through action and our involvement to the Mandela Day does not just end here, we encourage everyone to play their part.”Absa also pledged a mentorship programme, renovated the computer centre, donated 30 computers and stocked the library.Speaking to the community, David Hodnett, Deputy Chief Executive of Barclays Africa and Chief Executive of the group’s South African banking operations said, “The success of today really lies in there being so many partners who have come together.”“The YMCA is a very historical place for our country’s liberation story and the work that is done by the YMCA organisation for the young children is inspirational. We are so happy to give back to a location that is so very important to our history”, said Nelson Mandela Foundation spokesperson Lunga Nene.See more below:Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Zendesk Hack Compromises User Data Of Twitter, Tumblr & Pinterest

first_imgHow to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? nick statt Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid Tags:#hack#Pinterest#twitter#Zendesk 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac…center_img What better way to celebrate the week hackers ran rampant than with another security breach? Zendesk, a company that offers IT support tools and customer service software, announced on Thursday that it had been hacked. In a blog post, CEO Mikkel Svane stated, “We’ve become aware that a hacker accessed out system this week,” though he did not say by which method or for how long.What separates this attack from the malicious malware that infected machines at Facebook and Apple is that these hackers managed to compromise a healthy amount of Zendesk’s stored user data, putting users of three of the company’s big clients – Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest – at risk for phishing and other attacks.“Our ongoing investigation indicates that the hacker had access to the support information that three of our customers store on our system,” wrote Svane, adding, “We believe that the hacker downloaded email addresses of users who contacted those three customers for support, as well as support email subject lines.”Svane did not specifically cite Tumblr, Twitter and Pinterest, but support emails sent out from the companies informing users of the attack confirms that user data could have been compromised indirectly. While usernames and passwords were not compromised, the threat of individualized attacks aimed at gaining access to accounts and stealing personal information does exist.Tumblr, for example, sent out emails stating the following: “The subject lines of your emails to Tumblr Support may have included the address of your blog which could potentially allow your blog to be unwillingly associated with your email address.”It went on to advise users to review any emails received from support, abuse, dmca, legal, enquiries or lawenforcement with a tagged on the end. The fear is that hackers, equipped with people’s email addresses and the issues they raised with specific departments at a service like Tumblr, could then phish users with a masked version of that same address.Tumblr’s support email ended with a warning along those very lines: “Tumblr will never ask you for your password by email. Emails are easy to fake, and you should be suspicious of unexpected emails you receive.”While it’s not exactly comforting to know that you should be suspicious of any and all “unexpected emails,” companies like Twitter are taking measures to ensure that the tools are in place to help flag these attacks if they do occur.In a public announcement yesterday, Twitter said that it has been utilizing DMARC authenticaion technology  to help lessen the risk of users giving away personal information. Using established authentication protocols, DMARC gives email providers a way to block email from forged domains. “While this protocol is young, it has already gained a significant traction in the email community with all four major email providers – AOL, Gmail, Hotmail/Outlook, and Yahoo! Mail – already on board…” the post reads.While its good to know that Twitter is addressing the hacker threat alongside its fellow social network giants, all these measures are merely reactionary moves following widespread breaches. The Zendesk hack makes it abundantly clear that we need more proactive security measures that include third-parties to keep these attacks from wreaking havoc. Until then, the hackers will keep succeeding, and users will pay the price.  Related Posts Why You Love Online Quizzeslast_img read more

BJD wins Patkura poll

first_imgOdisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal on Wednesday won the Patkura Assembly constituency by defeating the BJP by a margin of over 17,000 votes. The Congress finished third in the election held on July 20.BJD nominee Sabitri Agarwalla bagged 96,017 votes, while BJP’s Bijoy Mohapatra secured 78,097 and lost yet another battle to enter the State Assembly. Jayanta Mohanty of the Congress secured only 2,104 votes and lost his deposit. Mohapatra’s lossMr. Mohapatra, who won from Patkura four times — 1980, 1985, 1990 and 1995 — was a member of late Biju Patnaik’s Council of Ministers in his last term as Chief Minister. Although he was a founder-member of the BJD, Mr. Mohapatra failed to contest the 2000 Assembly polls when the party cancelled his ticket at the last minute. He lost all elections in the subsequent years.In 2001, he formed the Odisha Gana Parishad, which he later merged with the Nationalist Congress Party. He joined the BJP when the NCP turned an ally of the BJD before the 2009 polls. Mr. Mohapatra quit the BJP in November last, but returned to the party again before this year’s general election.Polling in Patkura, which was initially scheduled for April 29 as part of the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the State, was first adjourned due to the death of the BJD nominee and former Minister Bed Prakash Agarwalla, the husband of Ms. Agarwalla.The Election Commission had fixed May 19 as the next date of polling, but it was postponed again due to Cyclone Fani that hit the State’s coast on May 3.The seat witnessed high-voltage campaigning, with senior leaders from the three major parties holding meetings to woo voters. BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik campaigned for Ms. Agarwalla for a day, apart from engaging a majority of his Ministers and party MLAs to ensure the defeat of Mr. Mohapatra, often referred to as his bête noire.Ms. Agarwalla thanked the people of Patkura for electing her. BJD leaders and workers celebrated the victory by taking out a procession from the BJD headquarters in Bhubaneswar to Naveen Niwas, the residence of their party president.Mr. Patnaik expressed his gratitude to the people of Patkura for electing the BJD nominee and assured that development of the constituency will be given priority.last_img read more

Saina Nehwal takes to the skies in IAF jet trainer

first_imgIt was a dream come true for Indian ace badminton player Saina Nehwal. She had her flight of fancy on Friday, when she flew Kiran MK II Jet trainer aircraft of the Indian Air Force and joined the prestige club of elite sportspersons to receive the honour.Accompanied by Group Captain Nagesh Kapoor, a visibly excited and equally nervous 22-year old Saina, wearing the military green uniform, boarded the aircraft and had a 22-minute sortie in the skies at Air Force Academy, Dundigal on the outskirts of Hyderabad. And it was a dream flight for the Olympics bronze medallist, who was given the opportunity as an inspiration to the young cadets at the academy to work hard and bring laurels to the country.Kiran MK II aircraft is being used by the Air Force to train its rookie pilots before they move to fly other fighter and transport aircraft.Saina Nehwal waves as she alights after flying in a Kiran MK II Jet trainer aircraft of the IAF.Though Saina appeared nervous before she was taken to the aircraft, she was all smiles and excited when she returned to the hanger after the flying in the skies. It was obvious that she was on Cloud Nine. “It was a very exciting experience. It is a dream of everybody to fly in the jet aircraft and I am thankful to the Indian Air Force Academy for giving me this wonderful opportunity. I am here because of the badminton game,” Saina told mediapersons after completing the sortie.Asked how she felt amidst the clouds, the ace shuttler said honestly she had felt nervous. “I was shouting no-no, when we passed through clouds. But I enjoyed the ride, as it was very interesting. I have been promised that I would be taken in a fighter jet next time,” she said.Before entering the academy, too, Saina appeared very exciting. Asked whether she was feeling as nervous as she was playing with the Chinese shuttler at the Olympics, she said: “Obviously, I feel more nervous now, because I never faced this experience in the past.”Interacting with the cadets later, Saina said she was proud to be associated with the Indian Air Force and its pilots. “Everybody should serve the country in the best possible way in whichever field they may be in.”Saina was invited to the Air Force Academy as a special guest for the closing ceremony of the Inter Squadron Sports Championship. She also witnessed the closing ceremony of the sports championship, where she played an exhibition badminton match.Saina joins the select group of sportpersons who were fortunate to get associated with the Indian armed forces. Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was made an honourary Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army while legendary Sachin Tendulkar, became the first sportsperson to be conferred a rank by the Air Force when he was made an honourary Group Captain. Both the cricketers also share the distinction of enjoying a sortie in a Sukhoi fighter aircraft — SU-30MKI.advertisementlast_img read more

Stars Launch Joint PSA To Support National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

first_imgFormer Vice President Joe and Dr. Jill Biden of the Biden Cancer Initiative (BCI), two-time Super Bowl winning coach and Executive Vice President of Operations for the Jacksonville Jaguars Tom Coughlin of the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation and Grammy Award-winning band Imagine Dragons of the Tyler Robinson Foundation (TRF) have joined forces to deliver a powerful public service announcement (PSA) in support of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September.Approximately 15,000 people under the age of 20 are diagnosed with some form of cancer each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – that’s 43 children diagnosed with cancer each day. Cancer does not discriminate and its impact has been felt in every community across the U.S. leaving a devastating emotional and financial toll on the families tackling the disease. The founders of each of these nonprofit organizations, BCI, the Jay Fund and TRF, have each been touched by cancer’s devastation having walked the journey with a child, a loved one, teammate, fan or friend.In coming together, the groups hope to generate greater awareness and support for families. In a joint statement, the group appeals to the public to join their cause: “In the spirit of Beau Biden, Jay McGillis, Tyler Robinson and all the courageous young people who have fought this disease, please help us make this month matter by supporting those who need it most. No one should fight childhood cancer alone.”Beginning September 1, the PSA will be played on television outlets and in sporting venues across the nation. In addition to making a donation to BCI, the Jay Fund or TRF, there are other practical ways for individuals to support families and get involved in the cause including volunteering with a local pediatric cancer nonprofit.BCI, the Jay Fund and TRF each fill separate, yet critically important, missions in supporting childhood cancer. BCI is accelerating progress in cancer research and care, making more therapies available to more patients, while working to detect and prevent the disease.The Jay Fund has touched more than 5,000 families through their cancer journeys providing more than $10 million in financial assistance to families in northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. Since its inception just five years ago, TRF has raised in excess of $5.5 million to support more than 500 families across the U.S. battling childhood cancer by providing grants to offset the many unseen costs associated with treatment.For more information or to learn how to get involved, visit, and read more