Vermont Senators Sanders, Leahy praise EPA on power plant pollution

first_imgUS Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) today praised the Environmental Protection Agency for forcing coal- and oil-fired power plants to reduce emissions. Leahy Statement: “I commend the Environmental Protection Agency for doing the right thing, under tremendous special interest pressure, in standing up for the public’s interest.  The Utility Air Toxics Rule to control toxic air pollutants such as mercury is a health and environmental breakthrough for the American people, and especially for Vermonters.  Finally, after 20 years of dodging regulation, coal- and oil-fired electric power plants, the largest contributors of these toxics, will be held accountable for the pollution they emit, just as many other industries are.These controls are particularly important to Vermont, which is why I have long fought to reduce mercury pollution and protect public health.  Though we have no major sources of mercury, we are on the receiving end of much of the rest of the country’s pollution.  So much, in fact, that the mercury data crucial to the development of this rule came from the atmospheric monitoring station at Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center, for which I secured funding.  Unfortunately, deep budget cuts will hamper EPA’s data gathering from this location, making it difficult for the EPA to get the full swath of information needed to keep the public safe, and informed.In Vermont, the devastating effect of all this mercury pollution is most evident in our waterways.  While we celebrate greatly improved fishing on Lake Champlain, we also know that large game fish from every water body in Vermont, including Champlain, are so heavily contaminated with out-of-state mercury that Vermonters are warned against eating them. That needs to change, and these new actions will help.Pollution control technology is already widely available, affordable, and in use at many plants nationwide.  We cannot allow outdated technology to endanger lives and stifle the innovation, investment and productivity that new technologies offer.  It is time for those older power plants that have failed to install this life-saving technology to catch up with the 33 percent that already comply with all of EPA’s emission limits, and with the 60 percent that already comply with EPA’s mercury limit. Without these safeguards, the public would continue to shoulder the cost of dirty industries, with their health, their children’s health, and sometimes with their lives. These poisonous emissions lead to more than 17,000 premature deaths every year, and they compromise our children’s brain development.  But with clear and effective Clean Air Act rules, we see tremendous benefits: cleaner air, healthier and more productive citizens, and the creation of thousands of good-paying clean jobs.  Skilled laborers are standing ready to fill the 31,000 short-term construction jobs and 9,000 long-term utility jobs that the Utility Air Toxics Rule will create.  This is about five times more jobs than the controversial Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline would employ.  And unlike the pipeline, these clean air improvements do not gamble with the public’s health and our environment.For the hundreds of thousands of Americans suffering from heart attacks, bronchitis, asthma attacks and even worse, the EPA must act now to implement the Utility Air Toxics Rule.  We have the opportunity to create thousands of jobs that will make this nation safer and cleaner.  I look forward to fewer poisonous power plant emissions drifting over us to settle in Vermont’s backyards.” Sanders Statement: ‘I strongly support the Clean Air Act standards announced today that will slash toxic air pollution, such as mercury and arsenic, from our nation’s power plants,’ said Sanders, a member of the Senate environment committee. ‘We know from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that mercury can cause brain damage and is particularly harmful to infants and young children. We also know that installing the necessary pollution control scrubbers and equipment will create jobs as we update our power plants. This clean air rule is long overdue, and I commend EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson for protecting our families’ health and wellbeing,’ Sanders added. Sanders and other senators sent a letter to the White House on December 16 urging President Obama not to delay implementation of the rule. Power plants that have not installed equipment to reduce emissions are the largest remaining source of uncontrolled toxic air pollution in the United States. The EPA rule would prevent the release of about 90 percent of the mercury in coal and cut emissions of other toxic substances, such as arsenic. Medical experts estimated that the rule would prevent 11,000 premature deaths and 4,700 heart attacks a year, prevent 130,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms and result in about 6,300 fewer cases of acute bronchitis among children each year. Enforcing the stricter rule, Sanders said, also would create an estimated 46,000 short-term construction jobs and result in 8,000 permanent jobs. 12.21.2011last_img read more

Novak Djokovic tests positive for coronavirus after organizing Adria Tour

first_img“The moment we arrived in Belgrade we went to be tested,” Djokovic said in a statement. “My result is positive, just as Jelena’s, while the results of our children are negative. “Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region. The Tour has been designed to help both established and up and coming tennis players from south-eastern Europe to gain access to some competitive tennis while the various tours are on hold due to the COVID-19 situation. It was all born with a philanthropic idea, to direct all raised funds towards people in need and it warmed my heart to see how everybody strongly responded to this.” World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has tested positive for coronavirus. The 33-year-old and his wife Jelena returned tested positive after returning from the Adria Tour, while his children tested negative. The 17-time grand slam singles champion is asymptomatic and will now isolate for 14 days.  View this post on Instagram “The moment we arrived in Belgrade we went to be tested. My result is positive, just as Jelena’s, while the results of our children are negative. Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region. The Tour has been designed to help both established and up and coming tennis players from South-Eastern Europe to gain access to some competitive tennis while the various tours are on hold due to the COVID-19 situation. It was all born with a philanthropic idea, to direct all raised funds towards people in need and it warmed my heart to see how everybody strongly responded to this. We organized the tournament at the moment when the virus has weakened, believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met. Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with. I am hoping things will ease with time so we can all resume lives the way they were. I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine. I will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days, and repeat the test in five days.”A post shared by Adria Tour (@adriatourofficial) on Jun 23, 2020 at 5:28am PDTMORE: Nick Kyrgios slams ‘boneheaded’ Novak Djokovic-led Adria Tour eventDjokovic was a driving force behind the creation of the Adria Tour, which took place in Serbia and Croatia in front of large crowds and saw players shaking hands despite concerns over social distancing. However, the final between Djokovic and Andrey Rublev was canceled when Grigor Dimitrov tested positive for COVID-19 and Borna Coric later confirmed he too had contracted coronavirus. Viktor Troicki, who played in the tournament in Belgrade, and his wife also tested positive for the virus.The decision to hold the event during the pandemic has been criticized by Tour players including Nick Kyrgios and Dan Evans, while long-term rival and friend Andy Murray described the fall-out as “a lesson for all of us.” Kyrgios was a bit more direct with his anger.🤦🏽‍♂️🤦🏽‍♂️🤦🏽‍♂️ Boneheaded decision to go ahead with the ‘exhibition’ speedy recovery fellas, but that’s what happens when you disregard all protocols. This IS NOT A JOKE. https://t.co/SUdxfijkbK— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) June 22, 2020As for Djokovic, he provided some additional thoughts on the tournament.”We organized the tournament at the moment when the virus has weakened, believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met,” Djokovic said. “Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with. I am hoping things will ease in time so we can all resume lives the way they were. I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine. I will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days, and repeat the test in five days.”last_img read more

Suspended NCD Officials Speak Out, Want Arrears, Allowances

first_imgTwo suspended employees of the National Commission on Disabilities (NCD) have for the first time voiced the “wrong” associated with their suspension, terming it as “unfortunate.”They have therefore appealed to the leadership of the commission for their salary arrears and allowances. Those suspended are Mrs. Hannah J. Watson, Human Resource officer, and Michael Nagbe, Special Assistant to the deputy director for administration respectively.They have meanwhile praised God for sustaining them to see the New Year (2019).“On New Year’s Day at the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, the Human Resource officer and Special Assistant of NCD gave praises and appreciation to the Almighty God for delivering them from the hardship of six months’ suspension without pay,” the affected group said in a statement, a copy of which is in the possession of this newspaper.The duo therefore expressed gratitude to Cllrs. Jonathan Williams and Nathaniel Boley Cohma for the “legal and humanitarian services rendered them during the investigation.”They also paid respects to Representative Munah Pelham Youngblood, chair on Executive, for her intervention, Civil Service Agency for its “goodwill standing order/procedures,” the criminal service department and Interpol Affairs of the Liberia National Police (LNP), and all those who have given their spiritual and moral support as they have been reinstated.However, they await arrears of the balance 50 percent of their salaries and allowances payment from the NCD administration.It can be recalled that in June last year, NCD officials suspended the affected personnel for “misapplication of entrusted properties and giving sensitive (NCD) financial records to Beyan G. Kota, President of the Christian Association of the Blind.”This, the suspended officials recalled, was preceded by official letters of suspension on May 7, 2018, “suspending us for time indefinite without pay and directing that the LNP investigate us,” the affected personnel said.Though none of the NCD officials have commented on the issue, the affected personnel have added that, “In the absence of our arrears and allowances, our children are being put out of school, and so we want our balance payment of 50 percent arrears and allowances.”What disability means A disability is a condition or function judged to be significantly impaired relative to the usual standard of an individual of their group. The term is often used to refer to individual functioning, including physical impairment, sensory impairment, cognitive impairment, intellectual impairment, mental illness, and various types of chronic diseases.This usage has been described by some disabled people as being associated with a medical model of disability. Persons with disabilities, “the world’s largest minority,” have generally poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities.This is largely due to the lack of services available to them (like information and communications technology (ICT), justice or transportation and the many obstacles they face in their everyday lives.These obstacles can take a variety of forms, including those relating to the physical environment, as well as prejudice and discrimination, etc.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more