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POLITICO New York Energy: Murphy re-sparks wind deployment -- Airport possible Superfund site -- Energy research cuts

By Marie J. French and Danielle Muoio | 02/01/2018 09:58 AM EDT

MURPHY RE-SPARKS WIND DEPLOYMENT — POLITICO'S Danielle Muoio: "Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order Wednesday to kick-start his campaign promise to build 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind generation by 2030, an ambitious goal that would surpass targets set by New York and Massachusetts. The primary purpose of the order is to make up for lost time. It requires the Department of Environmental Protection and Board of Public Utilities to implement the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act that was signed by former Republican Gov. Chris Christie in 2010. The act had called on the BPU to develop a renewable credit program for at least 1,100 MW of offshore wind. But under Christie, the agency, which the governor controls, allowed the act to lay dormant for years, and its policies were never implemented. Until now. Murphy, a Democrat who took office this month, said the act will serve as the first step to make New Jersey a leader in offshore wind development. 'Today, New Jersey will end the nearly eight years of stalling and stonewalling,' Murphy said." Read more here.

RONKONKOMA AIRPORT POSSIBLE SUPERFUND SITE — Newsday's Emily Dooley and Valerie Bauman: "State environmental officials Tuesday listed Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma as a possible Superfund site over concerns that past use and storage of a firefighting foam could have contaminated drinking water supplies. Samples taken at a nearby well earlier this month detected a compound known as perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, above federal health advisory levels, officials from the state Department of Environmental Conservation said. The well in question is in Bohemia, about 7,500 feet away from the airport, and is operated as a water supply source by the Suffolk County Water Authority, which already had treatment at the site that removes the contaminant, the water authority's CEO, Jeff Szabo, said in a statement. 'Since there is an active remedial system in place, there have been no exposures,' said Martin Brand, DEC's deputy commissioner for remediation and materials management." Read more here.

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— Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he wants New York State to provide up to $7 million to repair and replace flood-damaged homes in Underwood Estates mobile home park in the City of Plattsburgh.

— State Sen. Joe Griffo told The Independent Power Producers of New York that the Legislature wouldn't support utility-owned offshore wind.

— The Poughkeepsie Journal examines looming environmental issues including the cleanup of the Hudson River.

— PSEG Long Island's top communication officer has left the company in what a source says was a "mutual decision."

— The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees are coming after GE to clean up the Hudson River.

— New York dairy farmers say they're getting hit with another costly state regulation just when they can least afford it because of declining milk prices.

— The EPA has announced it will take no action for vapor intrusion on properties below a dry cleaners in Ballston Spa.

— DEC began the preliminary cleanup to a three-acre Superfund site a half-mile north of the center of Norwich.

— Kingston's planning board is expected to decide at its February meeting whether a natural gas regulator proposed by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. can be installed.

— New York residents are hoping to get some support from their Connecticut neighbors as they fight a power plant already being built in Dover Plains, N.Y.

— Cuomo cleared $209 million in funding to provide high-speed internet across the state.

— New York farmers can now get a tax credit for food donations.

— EDITORIAL: Bill to stop wind construction in Fort Drum doesn't go far enough.


— Property owners in the path of PennEast's 120-mile natural gas pipeline say they've been given until Monday to accept the company's final best offer for easements or risk ending up in court.

— The Board of Public Utilities says utility companies must pass on savings from the new federal tax law back to ratepayers.

— Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg said in an op-ed that Gov. Phil Murphy is a "champion of the environment" for rejoining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Murphy was quick to thank Bloomberg on Twitter.

— The state is taking steps toward creating an energy efficiency standard, but environmental advocates say it's not going far enough.

TRUMP SEEKS ENERGY RESEARCH CUTS — The Washington Post's Chris Mooney and Steven Mufson: "The Trump administration is poised to ask Congress for deep budget cuts to the Energy Department's renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, slashing them by 72 percent overall in fiscal 2019, according to draft budget documents obtained by The Washington Post." Read more here.

EPA DELAYS WOTUS RULE — The Hill's Timothy Cama: "The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pushing back by two years an Obama administration rule redefining the federal government's power over small waterways. The Trump administration is working to repeal the rule, dubbed the Clean Water Rule or Waters of the United States (WOTUS), and formally proposed to do so last year. But earlier this month, the Supreme Court overturned a federal appeals court's action halting the rule, so it could take effect soon." Read more here.

EPA CULLS CLIMATE CHANGE MENTIONS — Wired's Eric Niller: "If you're curious about bed bugs, radon gas, or toxic waste in landfills, the EPA website has got you covered. But if you are interested in climate change, you might better off going somewhere else instead—say over to or even the Department of Energy. The phrase 'climate change' hasn't been entirely eliminated from, but you need to follow a winding path to encounter it." Read more here.

ENERGY SECTOR WANTS INFRASTRUCTURE MONEY — Houston Chronicle's James Osborne: "With President Donald Trump pushing Congress to fund a national infrastructure overhaul, lobbyists for energy companies are pressing the administration to look beyond highways and airports to the future of U.S. energy needs." Read more here.

FEMA WON'T END PUERTO RICO AID — NPR's Adrian Florido: "A spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday that the agency's plan to end its distribution of emergency food and water in Puerto Rico and turn that responsibility over to the Puerto Rican government would not take effect on Jan. 31. 'Provision of those commodities will continue,' spokesman William Booher said. A different spokesperson, Delyris Aquino-Santiago, had earlier told NPR that it would 'officially shut off' its food and water mission on the island on Jan. 31 and hand its remaining food and water supplies over to the Puerto Rican government to finish distributing. But on Wednesday, Booher said that date 'was mistakenly provided.'" Read more here.

BIG OIL TIGHTENS BUDGET — The Wall Street Journal's Sarah Kent: "Big oil companies are returning to ambitious offshore projects that languished during the slump in crude prices, but they are working on tighter budgets as investors urge them to rein in spending." Read more here.

ELECTRIC HARLEY — Bloomberg's Hannah Elliot: "On Tuesday, during a routine earnings call, Harley-Davidson Inc. announced it will produce an all-electric motorcycle. The announcement accompanied news of additional job cuts and a plant closure at the Milwaukee-based company. It also came four years after Harley unveiled its 'LiveWire' project, a prototype all-electric motorcycle." Read more here.

CHESAPEAKE LAYOFFS START — CNBC's Tom DiChristopher: "Chesapeake Energy has announced it will lay off hundreds of employees as the debt-burdened natural gas driller continues to overhaul its business." Read more here.

FIRST U.S. RESORT ON RENEWABLES — Bloomberg's Chris Martin: "Come next winter, skiing at two Lake Tahoe resorts won't drive up emissions that threaten to melt the industry's future. Squaw Valley Ski Corp. plans to source all its electricity from solar and other renewable sources as soon as December." Read more here.

CAPE TOWN'S "DAY ZERO" — The New York Times' Norimitsu Onishi and Somini Sengupta: "It sounds like a Hollywood blockbuster. 'Day Zero' is coming to Cape Town this April. Everyone, be warned. ... The reason for the alarm is simple: The city's water supply is dangerously close to running dry. If water levels keep falling, Cape Town will declare Day Zero in less than three months." Read more here.

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