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POLITICO New York Energy: Century Waste's mob ties -- Recycling woes in focus -- PennEast win

By Danielle Muoio and Marie J. French | 08/14/2018 09:59 AM EDT

CENTURY WASTE'S MOB TIES — ProPublica's Kiera Feldman: "Shortly after a wheel came loose from a Century Waste garbage truck in Brooklyn, killing a motorist in an oncoming car, the New York City agency that oversees the private sanitation industry announced it would help the police investigate the crash. ... But ProPublica has discovered something else the city agency, known as the Business Integrity Commission, could look into as well: Records show that Century Waste's headquarters sit on land owned by a man the city had run out of New York's private sanitation industry years ago during a crackdown on mob influence and corruption. The Business Integrity Commission, which oversees New York City's trash collection industry, bars companies from doing business of any kind with such individuals. In fact, the agency was created with the express purpose of keeping such people out of the garbage industry."

— The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a client of Century Waste, has opened its own investigation into the safety record of the trash hauler. Read more here.

RECYCLING WOES IN FOCUS — Times Union's Brian Nearing: "As Albany faces a steep new bill for its recycling program, state environmental officials are seeking fixes to a dramatic contraction in the global market for recyclables that is straining finances in recycling programs across the state. DEC staffers will meet Aug. 29 at the downtown Albany headquarters with 'representatives from industry, local government, state and federal agencies, and the public across the state to develop innovative and sustainable solutions for recycling in New York and identify open markets to utilize recyclables,' according to a statement released Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo." Read more here.

A WIN FOR PENNEAST — POLITICO'S Danielle Muoio: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday denied several requests to reconsider its approval of the $1.2 billion PennEast pipeline, including one filed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. PennEast has said the project will deliver 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, enough to serve 4.7 million homes. But local property owners and the Murphy administration have fought it tooth and nail, arguing it's unnecessary and will have an adverse impact on the local environment. The ruling is a blow to environmental advocates and state officials who have been fighting the proposed 118-mile natural gas pipeline that would run from Luzerne County, Pa., to Mercer County, N.J., cutting across the Delaware River.... In a 69-page ruling filed late Friday, FERC said it was rejecting both the request for rehearing and motion for a stay filed by the DEP and several other parties, including the townships of Hopewell, Kingwood and Lower Saucon. Requests for a rehearing filed by state Sens. Kip Bateman and Shirley Turner, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora were also denied, as were ones filed by environmental groups New Jersey Sierra Club and New Jersey Conservation Foundation. Read more here.

— FERC also granted approval for Williams' $127 million Rivervale South to Market project in New Jersey.

GOOD TUESDAY MORNING: Let us know if you have tips, story ideas or life advice. We're always here at dmuoio@politico.com and mfrench@politico.com.

And if you like this letter, please tell a friend and/or loved one they can sign up here.

AROUND NEW YORK:

— Newsday's Mark Harrington has a retrospective on the 2003 blackouts.

— Susan DesRoches, deputy director in the Mayor's Office of Energy, raised concerns about cost and emissions impacts from Indian Point's closure.

— Babylon Town and a professor at Stony Brook University are seeking a state permit to extract reusable metal from the town's ash fills, a project that would be the first of its kind on Long Island.

— ICYMI: Cuomo apparently violated federal law by keeping an eagle feather picked up on a family trip.

— The Town of Babylon will hold a special meeting to vote on bonding for $500,000 to replenish two beaches eroded by a spate of nor'easters.

— A Brooklyn shark scientist wants to educate folks about them.

— EDITORIAL: The Buffalo News says Tesla must meet its job commitments, despite market uncertainties.

— Eight home septic systems investigated as possible sources of contamination of a Glen Cove beach are not discharging waste directly into a stream that feeds into Long Island Sound, the state has concluded after a monthslong investigation.

— Council Member Donovan Richards introduced a bill that would require the city to study district-wide geothermal systems, which could make the energy source more accessible to a larger array of residents.

— Greenlight, the Tom Golisano-backed Internet company, is expanding to Greece.

— Borrego Solar is planning a second solar farm in Clifton Park, just months after proposing to build a solar farm elsewhere in the town.

— Hazardous waste containers have been found in the St. Lawrence River.

— Lourdes Camp in Skaneateles is closing, asking parents to pick up their children "as soon as possible" after blue-green algae blooms made the camp's water unsafe to drink or swim in.

— ICYMI: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer talked about the problem of acid rain during a trip to Saranac Lake.

— AM New York opines on the potential of distributed generation to prevent another Northeast blackout.

ACROSS THE RIVER:

— Urban runoff is posing the biggest threat to the Delaware River, according to a new interactive map.

CALIFORNIA'S WILDFIRES MOVE QUICKLY — Bloomberg's Brian K. Sullivan: "California's wildfires are now burning through land at a pace more than three times faster than last year's blazes." Read more here.

— PG&E, the California utility facing liability for last season's fires, blames climate change for the growing problem.

— Researchers at a lab in Montana are working to solve mysteries about how wildfires behave in hopes of developing modeling to help fight them.

MUSK TALKS TO SAUDIS — The New York Times' Tiffany Hsu: "Elon Musk, Tesla's chief executive, said on Monday that he had held meetings with representatives of a Saudi sovereign wealth fund who expressed an eagerness to help him take the electric-car maker private." Read more here.

SEND IN THE DRONES — Bloomberg's Brianna Jackson: "Cheap drones are poised to boost output and cut operating expenses for the energy industry. The unmanned aerial vehicles are generally faster and less expensive than people, and can go places that may not be safe for workers. As costs fall, and their capabilities increase, drones are spotting leaks in natural gas pipelines, helping utilities inspect transmission and distribution lines and evaluating thermal power plants, according to a Bloomberg NEF report Monday." Read more here.

BATTERY BOOM RISKS — Bloomberg's Anna Hirtenstein: "Some of the latest battery technologies may become obsolete before reaching the market because of the breakneck pace of advances in the industry." Read more here.

SWEDISH ELECTION FOCUSES ON CLIMATE — Bloomberg's Jesper Starn and Amanda Billner: "The Swedish election next month was supposed to be all about immigration, but with the sweltering heatwave that's had the Nordic region's biggest economy in its grip for months, the parties are now jostling to meet growing climate angst among voters." Read more here.

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