Monday, March 23, 2015

New leadership for NY's largest engineering firm, CHA

Raymond L. Rudolph -  Photo:Donna Abbott-Vlahos\ABR
Engineering firm CHA — based in Albany, New York and one of the largest in the nation — is making leadership changes at the top, including hiring a new president and CEO.

Michael DiMasi reports in Albany Business Review:

"Michael Carroll is succeeding Raymond L. Rudolph as president and CEO.
"Rudolph, who has led the firm since January 2012, was elevated to the position of executive chairman in which he will lead the firm's corporate and business development activities and serve as chief client officer.
Carroll has 22 years of experience with global, multi-billion dollar engineering and consulting firms, including serving as executive vice president of AECOM and CEO of ARCADIS in the United Kingdom.
"CHA, based in downtown Albany, has grown rapidly in recent years through acquisitions and now has more than 1,000 employees in a dozen offices in the United States and abroad. Billings totaled $253.2 million in 2013."

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Three competing routes to open space funds in NJ

The discussion on how to spend money from an open-space ballot question approved last November is growing more contentious, Tom Johnson writes today in NJ Spotlight.
"The Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee narrowly approved on Thursday its own version of a plan to divvy up the money, but it differs in many ways from a bill now moving through the Senate -- as well as from the Christie administration’s proposal in its budget for next year.
"But it’s not just legislators and the administration that are divided on how to split a smaller amount of money (at least $71million a year compared to as much as $200 million in past years); the environmental community also is at odds as to where the funds should be directed.
"The version (A-4206) approved by the Assembly committee provides more money for farmland preservation than has been traditionally allocated, less money for stewardship of public lands for nonprofit groups, and not enough money for capital expenditures at state parks, according to critics"
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Environment bills in NJ legislative committees today

Here's the lineup of environmental bills that will be considered today, March 23, 2015, in the Assembly Budget and Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committees in Trenton.

3/23/15 10 AM
Room 11, 4th Floor, State House Annex, Trenton, NJ
A-3062 (ACS) (Lagana), A-4281 (McKeon) / S-2791 (Sarlo), A-4300 (Mukherji) / S-2788 (Stack), S-2789 (Sacco) and S-1998/2119 (SCS/2R) (Weinberg) are pending referral. A-4311 (Johnson) and A-4326 (Schaer) are pending intro and referral.
A-4281  McKeon, J.F. (D-27); Schaer, G.S. (D-36); Prieto, V. (D-32); Quijano, A. (D-20)
Amends Fiscal Year 2015 budget to provide one-half of certain environmental damage amounts recovered are appropriated for costs of remediation, restoration, and clean up.
Related Bill: S-2791
S-2791  Sacco, N.J. (D-32); Sarlo, P.A. (D-36)
Amends Fiscal Year 2015 budget to provide one-half of certain environmental damage amounts recovered are appropriated for costs of remediation, restoration, and clean up.
Related Bill: A-4281

3/23/15 11 AM
Room 15, 4th Floor, State House Annex, Trenton, NJ
Revised 3/20/15 - Please note time change.
A-2780  Andrzejczak, B. (D-1)
Prohibits DEP from reducing fishing quotas established by federal or regional entities, unless authorized by law.
A-2786  Andrzejczak, B. (D-1); Wilson, G.L. (D-5)
Creates striped bass license plates.
Related Bill: S-2821
A-3860  Riley, C.M. (D-3); Burzichelli, J.J. (D-3)
Clarifies provisions with regard to pet trusts.
A-3897  Andrzejczak, B. (D-1); Wilson, G.L. (D-5)
Allows nonprofit organizations to serve food made from wild game animals at charity and fundraising events and meetings.
Related Bill: S-2580
A-4025  Mazzeo, V. (D-2); Andrzejczak, B. (D-1); Space, P. (R-24); McHose, A.L. (R-24)
Creates "Fishing Buddy License."
Related Bill: S-2567
AR-151  Singleton, T. (D-7); Wimberly, B.E. (D-35); Wilson, G.L. (D-5)
Urges Congress to pass "Summer Meals Act of 2014," which ensures children across America have access to quality meals during summer months.
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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Obama administration tightens federal rules on fracking

"The Obama administration imposed tougher restrictions Friday on oil and gas “fracking” operations on public lands, seeking to lower the risk of water contamination from a controversial practice that is chiefly behind the recent boom in U.S. energy production."

Joby Warrick reports in the Washington Post:
"The regulations represent the administration’s most significant effort to tighten standards for hydraulic fracturing, a technique that helped make the United States the world’s No. 1 producer of natural gas while igniting a fierce debate over environmental consequences.
"The Interior Department rules apply only to oil and gas drilling on federal lands, or about
a quarter of the country’s current fossil-fuel output. But the prospect of new regulations has drawn sharp opposition from industry groups who say the new requirements will drive up production costs everywhere."
The rules announced on Friday are intended chiefly to minimize the threat of water
contamination from fracking. Companies that drill on public lands would be
subject to stricter design standards for wells and also for holding tanks and
ponds where liquid wastes are stored.

Interior officials also introduced new transparency measures that require firms to publicly disclose the types of the chemical additives they use. The liquid injected into fracking wells consists mainly of water and sand, with small amounts of other substances that can range from coffee grinds to acids and salts.

Old gunpowder plant to become port on Delaware River

Greenwich Mayor George Shivery outside DuPont plant in 2011- Tim Hawk photo
A long-shuttered gunpowder factory along the Delaware River is set to become a privately owned port in a major deal announced by (New Jersey) officials on Friday
afternoon, Michelle Caffrey reports in SJ Times.
"State Sen. President Steve Sweeney led a press conference in Greenwich Township to announce the sale of the township's former DuPont Repauno plant to Fortress Investment Group, which aims to turn the dormant 1,800-acre property into a port-related industrial park for imports and exports.  "
"This has been a very long journey," Sweeney said about the more than nine years of marketing, searching and negotiating of the sale of the plant, a brownfield site that's been the subject of environmental remediation by state and federal agencies.
"We finally got to the place we wondered at times if we would," said Greenwich Mayor George Shivery. "This is a great day for Gibbstown ... We're talking about jobs, talking about ratables and we're talking about bringing Gibbstown back to the level it was 20 years ago."
Friday's announcement capped off years of discussion about what the plant could become in its next life, with talk of a port being considered since at least 2011.

Unlike the Port of Paulsboro -- another project long in the works that has gained traction recently as its first tenant was announced last fall -- the entire port will be privately owned by Fortress, a New-York based investment group that invests in and operates ports

Saturday, March 21, 2015

NJ Supreme Court lets Fenimore Landfill ruling stand

"The New Jersey Supreme Court is letting an appeals court decision stand that rescinded the state's 2013 takeover of the troubled Fenimore landfill in Roxbury, where rotten egg-like smells were spreading for miles throughout town, " Ben Horowitz reports for

"In a brief order issued Monday, the state Supreme Court declined to hear the state Department of Environmental Protection's appeal of the lower court decision.

Although the long-term future of the landfill is unclear and will likely be resolved through further court action, a DEP spokesman said today that the agency's work to clean up the facility "is still going on" and will continue unless the agency is specifically told to stop."

"The DEP has capped the landfill and just a week ago, it installed a new oxidizer to "burn off" the hydrogen sulfide gas that has been the subject of odor and health complaints, said spokesman Bob Considine."

See the full story at: Ruling invalidating takeover of Fenimore landfill stands |

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Our Friday Legislative Edition--Free today--Take a look

Every day, from Monday through Thursday, EnviroPolitics carries the top political, energy and environment news from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware.

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  • New bills introduced that week                           
  • Bills voted out of committee
  • Bills passed in either house
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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Enviro groups react to vote on NJ Gov's Pinelands pick

When the New Jersey Senate, on a one-vote margin Monday, approved Governor Chris Christie's nomination of Robert Barr to serve on the Pinelands Commission, many in the gallery that was packed with preservation advocates erupted with groans and cries of protest.

Representatives of the NJ Sierra Club, Environment New Jersey and Clean Water Action sounded off minutes after the vote.

In the video above, Jeff Tittel, Doug O'Malley and Dave Pringle express their frustration over what they saw as political pressure tactics exerted by GOP Governor Christie and Democrat Senate President Steve Sweeney.

They also voiced fears that Mr. Barr's appointment could lead to future Commission decisions to permit a natural gas pipeline and other developments that would undermine Pinelands protections.

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Michael C. Gross joins Post & Schell's enviro practice

Post & Schell announces that Michael C. Gross has joined the firm in its Environmental Practice Group, resident in the Firm’s Philadelphia Office.
Mr. Gross, formerly a partner at the  boutique environmental law firm Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP where he began his legal career, represents clients in a wide array of environmental matters including: the facilitation of environmental due diligence; contractual allocation of environmental risks and liabilities; brownfields redevelopment; site remediation; regulatory compliance; responding to environmental enforcement actions; and environmental insurance.

His national client base includes industrial entities, commercial and residential real estate developers, energy producers, and municipalities. Mr. Gross has specialized brownfields redevelopment experience in the Lehigh Valley, having represented multiple purchasers of former Bethlehem Steel Site parcels within the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park.
Established in 2014, Post & Schell’s Environmental Practice Group has grown to five attorneys focused on sophisticated, transaction-oriented and regulatory compliance environmental counseling across a wide range of transactional, regulatory and litigation matters. The Group’s national client base comes from industries with complex regulatory schemes and significant potential liabilities that benefit from a practical, business-oriented approach to environmental issues. Representative clients include: private equity funds, real estate developers, investors and managers, municipalities, as well as energy, chemical, health care, and manufacturing companies.
Prior to his legal career, Mr. Gross was a senior legislative aide on Capitol Hill and recently served on a committee advising Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf on environmental policy issues during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign. He also served on former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell's environmental policy transition team, and the Vapor Intrusion Legal Task Group of ASTM International. The latter included crafting a uniform standard for assessing vapor intrusion risks in commercial real estate transactions. These experiences provide him with a unique perspective to counsel clients in regulatory compliance matters, representing clients before government agencies in environmental permitting and enforcement matters. Since 2013, he has been listed inPennsylvania Super Lawyers/Philadelphia Magazine for environmental law and was selected as a “Rising Star” by the same publication in environmental law in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
Mr. Gross is a 2000 graduate of Temple University School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Temple Environmental Law & Technology Journal. He also holds an M.A. in Government from Johns Hopkins University, and B.A. from Colorado College.
He serves as Vice Chair of the Lower Merion Township Environmental Advisory Council, and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance. He and his wife, the Deputy General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of a leading national security services provider, live with their two children in Merion, PA.
Post & Schell has fully staffed offices in Washington, D.C., Princeton, NJ, and Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Lancaster, and Allentown, Pa. 

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