US Nationwide Pollution Permit Restrictions Upheld

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

The US Army Corps of Engineers decision to place restrictions on issuance of nationwide pollution permits has been upheld by a federal court. In National Association of Home Builders v. Army Corps of Engineers, the District Court for the District of Columbia found that the Corps of Engineers had not acted in an “arbitrary” or “capricious” manner in changing the terms and conditions for issuance of a national pollution permit, including reducing the size of area into which pollutants may be discharged from 10 acres to 1 acre, raising the threshold for requiring additional permits from 1 acre to 1/10 acre,

A nationwide permit allows an organization to engage in certain industrial activities on a national basis (such as mining and construction), reducing the amount of paperwork and filings needed for otherwise minor environmental impacts, as opposed to an ordinary permit for a specific location which will engage in activities which generate water pollution.

Due to concerns over the amount of discharge taking place in waterways, the Corps of Engineers began in the 1980s to reduce the authority granted by nationwide permits and to bar use of the permits in certain ecologically sensitive areas.

Some industry groups, including the plaintiff in the above case, The National Association of Home Builders, sued the Corps of Engineers in 2000 over the change in an attempt to block its implementation. Environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, were given permission to intervene in the case in support of the actions of the Corps.

Environmental groups were pleased with the decision, but are concerned over other actions of the Bush Administration, such as the attempts to weaken provisions of the 2002 Clean Water Act to allow additional dumping of construction and mining waste into waterways as fill material.

Sheffield tram-train project back on the rails

Monday, March 28, 2011

An ambitious project to bring a unique tram-train service to Sheffield and Rotherham, in the United Kingdom, is back on track, following the announcement of a £150,000 Government grant on Thursday. The plans, which were originally to see tram-train operation on a trial basis over the Penistone line during 2010, have been on the cards since 2008, but were shelved during 2009 to allow alternative proposals to be drawn up. The current plans will now see the vehicles operating along a currently-freight-only line between Rotherham and Meadowhall, before linking up with the existing South Yorkshire Supertram network there and continuing onto the streets of Sheffield.

The plans to use tram-trains — which are already in widespread use throughout continental Europe, but not at all within the UK — have come about as an alternative to an original proposal to extend the Supertram network to Rotherham, which would be a much larger expense for the same or even fewer benefits.

Whilst the journey between Sheffield and Rotherham is already covered by mainline trains, project officials believe that the new service – running via Meadowhall South and Rotherham Central and terminating at Parkgate, with a twenty-minute headway throughout – will attract extra custom to the intermediate points between the two conurbations, as well as making travel easier for people who find it hard to walk to and from Sheffield’s railway station; the tram-trains will serve the heart of the city-centre.

Now that the funding for further feasibility work has been approved, Network Rail, Northern Rail and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) can continue to look at the business and project case for the trial, which will look at a range of issues, including economic and environmental benefits of the tram-trains, and ensuring that the vehicles will be safe to run on both the Supertram network and heavy rail tracks.

Transport Minister Norman Baker announced the sum, and stressed the Government’s commitment to the scheme: “There is no doubt about finance being available to deliver the scheme. The Government is committed to a trial of tram-trains in the UK and the route between Sheffield and Rotherham is the best place to develop it. This is a unique scheme.

“Tram-trains offer passengers travelling from rural and suburban areas into city centres a viable, environmentally sound alternative to short and medium car commuting that can cut congestion and reduce overcrowding at railway stations.

“These sorts of rail fleets are already in use on the continent, but this is a first for the UK. The funding we are providing for this exciting project represents a real chance for us to test whether they can be adapted successfully for South Yorkshire and the rest of the UK.”

David Brown, director of SYPTE, added: “We have done an awful lot of work on the plans so far and further efforts will look at ensuring the vehicles are compatible with both types of network, which are the same gauge.”

If further investigations are successful, the system could be up and running by 2014.

Look Into Water Purification In Warner Robins Ga

byAlma Abell

Water plays an essential part in all daily life, yet it is easily taken for granted. You turn on a faucet or a hose and there it is for your use. You wash clothes in it, cook with it, clean with it, bathe in it and drink it without even thinking twice about it. That is unless it tastes funny, smells a bit off or leaves stains in your sink or tub. Then you notice it and it is not a good thing. Water Purification in Warner Robins GA will fix these issues. Having your water analyzed before it takes on those unpleasant qualities can eliminate the funny taste, the off putting smell and the rust stains altogether. The process is quick, inexpensive and can grant a wealth of information about the water you drink.

Extensive water analysis and water purification services are small things you can do for your home, your family, your business and even your industrial endeavors, that can have big results. The analysis determines what services will give you the safest, best tasting water. From there, the highly trained technician can discuss with you all the options available. Water Purification in Warner Robins GA will explain the possibilities open to you. You may be all set and need nothing done to your current system. You may need some system repairs or you may do well to consider a new water purification system. The benefits of conditioned water in your home alone include stain-free fixtures, dishes and clothing, Odorless water, better tasting water, more efficient and longer lasting appliances and less time spent on personal care. The benefits for your business or industrial needs grow exponentially from that and extend to customers, business partners, and the general public.

Water Purification in Warner Robins GA can be provided for residential, commercial and industrial customers with minimal maintenance and low operational costs. You can get a quote for a customized system to meet your needs once your on-site analysis is completed. Either way, you will know the condition of your water and can proceed from there. Services and products to help achieve clean, clear water range from water softeners, iron filters and bacterial systems to DE-ionized water systems and media filters. Find a company that has the technicians and the expertise to handle any and all your water purification needs. Water Purification in Warner Robins GA is available to set your mind at ease.

“Woofstock” dog festival in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

North America’s largest outdoor dog festival came back to Toronto last weekend for its fifth year. It ran from the 9th of June to the 10th of June at Toronto’s historical St. Lawrence Market. A Wikinews reporter was there on Sunday to report on some of the events that happened on the last day.

The “Woofstock” dog festival attracted as many as 140,000 people with their dogs. The festival had tons of accessories, sold under tents, to buy for dogs; food, toys, designer clothes, and more. About 400 vendors and exhibitors were there to promote their products, which also gave private dog companies or groups a chance to show their new products. The local SPCA and some animal rescues were under tents answering questions from visitors. While walking, all visitors could see the CN Tower and other very tall buildings.

One of the local TV stations, Citytv, was there. They hosted a live event at the show which was broadcast on TV. People came up on the stage and asked questions regarding their dogs and the host and co-host answered them.

A man, who called himself the “Chalk Master”, drew two pictures on pavement with chalk. He did it for free but donations were welcome. One was a picture of a girl’s head beside a dog’s head, and another with a wolf.

“Hello Humans. I’ve been invited here to provide your eyeball(s), with some pretty colours. I don’t get paid as I work this weekend strictly for tips… so, if you like what you see please make a DONATION. If you don’t like it simply reach into the pocket of the person next to you and give me their money. CHALK MASTER.”

A contest called “Canada’s top dog” had its own tent with a professional photographer taking pictures of dogs behind a white screen; the winning photo is to be published on the cover of “Puppy and dog basics” magazine.

Large “Gourmet” dog bones were also served from a cart and table.

Next year’s festival is expected to be bigger and better with even more attractions.

Wikinews interviews Rocky De La Fuente, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Businessman Rocky De La Fuente took some time to speak with Wikinews about his campaign for the U.S. Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

The 61-year-old De La Fuente resides in San Diego, California, grew up in Tijuana, and owns multiple businesses and properties throughout the world. Since getting his start in the automobile industry, De La Fuente has branched out into the banking and real estate markets. Despite not having held or sought political office previously, he has been involved in politics, serving as the first-ever Hispanic superdelegate to the 1992 Democratic National Convention.

De La Fuente entered the 2016 presidential race last October largely due to his dissatisfaction with Republican front-runner Donald Trump. He argues he is a more accomplished businessman than Trump, and attacks Trump as “a clown,” “a joke,” “dangerous,” and “in the same category as Hitler.” Nevertheless, De La Fuente’s business background begets comparisons with Trump. The Alaskan Midnight Sun blog described him as the Democrats’ “own Donald Trump.”

While receiving only minimal media coverage, he has campaigned actively, and according to the latest Federal Election Commission filing, loaned almost US$ 4 million of his own money to the campaign. He has qualified for 48 primary and caucus ballots, but has not yet obtained any delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Thus far, according to the count at The Green Papers, De La Fuente has received 35,406 votes, or 0.23% of the total votes cast. He leads among the many lesser-known candidates but trails both Senator Bernie Sanders who has received nearly 6.5 million votes and front-runner Hillary Clinton who has just shy of 9 million votes.

With Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn?, De La Fuente discusses his personal background, his positions on political issues, his current campaign for president, and his political future.

Contents

  • 1 Interview
    • 1.1 Background
    • 1.2 Campaign
    • 1.3 Issues
    • 1.4 Future
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External link

2006 “Stolenwealth” Games to confront Commonwealth Games in Melbourne

Friday, March 3, 2006

The possibility of large-scale protests in the face of the 3,000 journalists covering the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, has event organisers and the Government worried.

The group “Black GST” – which represents Indigenous Genocide, Sovereignty and Treaty – are planning demonstrations at prominent Games events unless the Government agrees to a range of demands including an end to Aboriginal genocide, Aboriginal Sovereignty and the signing of a treaty.

The Black GST say they hope the focus of the world’s media will draw attention to the plight of indigenous Australians during the Games. Organisers say supporters are converging from across Australia and from overseas. Organisers say up to 20,000 people may take part in talks, rallies, colourful protests and many cultural festivities designed to pressure the Federal Government on Indigeneous rights issues. They want the Government to provide a temporary campsite for the supporters, saying “organised chaos was better than disorganised chaos.”

The 2006 Stolenwealth Games convergence, described by organisers as the “cultural festival of the 2006 Commonwealth Games,” was virtually opened on March 2nd with the launch of the official “Stolenwealth Games” website. Scoop Independent News and Perth Indymedia reported that the launch was held at Federation Square in Melbourne. The site contents were projected via wireless laptop by the Stolenwealth Games General Manager, and a tour of the website was given on the big screen. He said “overwhelming amusement was the response from the audience.” The group say permanent access points to the website are being set up at public internet facilities across Victoria during the coming weeks.

“Interest in the Stolenwealth Games is building all over the world and this fresh, exciting and contemporary site will draw in people from Stolenwealth Nations around the globe to find out about the latest news and events,” said a Stolenwealth Games spokesperson. “We have been getting many requests from around the world wanting to know about the Stolenwealth Games. We have provided many ways that individuals and organisations can support the campaign by spreading the word.”

The Victorian Traditional Owner Land Justice Group (VTOLJG) which represents the first nation groups of Victoria, has announced its support to boycott the 2006 Commonwealth Games until the Government “recognises Traditional Owner rights.” The group asserts that culture has been misappropriated in preparation for the Games.

Organisers of the campaign say they welcome the formal support from the Traditional Owners. “While some seek to divide and discredit Indigenous Australia, this support is further evidence that the Aboriginal people are united in opposition to the ongoing criminal genocide that is being perpetrated against the Aboriginal people” said Black GST supporter and Aboriginal Elder, Robbie Thorpe.

“We now have endorsement from the VTOLJG and the Aboriginal Tent Embassy for the aims and objectives of the Campaign and we are looking forward to hosting all indigenous and non-indigenous supporters from across Australia in March,” he said. The Black GST group have said “the convergence will be held as a peaceful, family-focussed demonstration against genocide, and for the restoration of sovereignty and the negotiations towards a Treaty.”

But the campaign has received flak in mainstream media, such as Melbourne’s Herald Sun, who wrote: “the proposal to allow BlackGST to set up an Aboriginal tent embassy at a site well away from the Commonwealth Games will be interpreted by some as the State Government caving in to a radical protest group. A major concern for the Government… is to protect the event from disruption… no chances should be taken…”

The Black GST has been planning the convergence for months, calling for Aboriginal people and their supporters to converge on Melbourne. The Melbourne-based Indigenous rights group have called on thousands of people concerned about the plight of indigenous Australians to converge on Melbourne during the Games, which they have dubbed “the Stolenwealth Games”. But the choice of Kings Domain has made conflict almost inevitable, as the area is one of the areas gazetted by the State Government as a “Games management zone”.

Under the Commonwealth Games Arrangements Act, any area gazetted as a management zone is subject to a range of specific laws – including bans on protesting, creating a disturbance and other activities. The protest bans will be in effect at different times and places, and offenders can be arrested. A spokeswoman for the Black GST, which advocates peaceful protest, said the site had been chosen because it was close to where the Queen will stay on March 15. “We figured that she is only in Melbourne for 27 hours or something like that so we thought we would make it easy for her to come next door and see us,” she said. “We are a very open, welcoming group, so she will be welcome to come and join us.”

Kings Domain is the burial site for 38 indigenous forefathers of Victoria. Black GST elder, Targan, said trade union groups have offered to install infrastructure at the site. The group initially worked with the State Government to find a suitable camp site, but the relationship broke down when the Government failed to meet a deadline imposed by the protesters. “While we are disappointed the ministers were not able to meet deadline on our request, we thank them for their constructive approach towards negotiations and the open-door policy exercised,” said Targan.

A spokesman for Games Minister Justin Madden said the Government was still investigating other sites. Victoria Police Games security commander Brendan Bannan said he was not convinced the Black GST represented the views of most indigenous people. “We are dealing with the Aboriginal community and they don’t seem to support it at all … the wider Aboriginal community don’t support disruption to the Games at all,” he said.

The Government was told that Black GST supporters would camp in Fitzroy Gardens and other city parks should it fail to nominate a site. A spokesman for Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gavan Jennings said the Government was taking the issue seriously, but had not been able to finalise a campsite before the deadline.

Under special Games laws, people protesting or causing a disturbance in “Games management zones” can be arrested and fined. While prominent public spaces such as Federation Square, Birrarung Marr, Albert Park and the Alexandra Gardens fall under the legislation, such tough anti-protest laws cannot be enforced in the nearby Fitzroy Gardens.

Games chairman Ron Walker has urged the group to choose another date for its protest march through the city, which is currently planned to coincide with the opening ceremony on March 15. The group believes that an opportunity to gain attention for indigenous issues was lost at the Sydney Olympics and has vowed to make a highly visible presence at the Games.

The Black GST said the Australian Aboriginal Tent Embassy’s sacred flame, burning over many years at the Canberra site will be carried to Melbourne before the Games, and its arrival would mark the opening of the protest camp from where a march will proceed to the MCG before the Opening Ceremony.

Black GST claims supporters from all over Australia, including three busloads from the West Australian Land Council, will gather in Melbourne during the Games for peaceful protests.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gavin Jennings had offered Victoria Park to the protesters. Victoria Park, former home of Collingwood Football Club, where one of the strongest statements of Aboriginal pride, when St Kilda star Nicky Winmar in 1993 raised his jumper and pointed to his bare chest after racial taunts from the Collingwood crowd.

Black GST, which has labelled the Games the Stolenwealth Games, said the State Government had failed to find a suitable venue. Black GST may encourage protesters to camp in prominent parks such as Fitzroy Gardens and Treasury Gardens. Graffiti supporting the action has also appeared in central Melbourne.

Melbourne City councillor Fraser Brindley has offered his home to the Black GST organisers. “I offered my home up to people who are organising visitors to come to the Games,” he said. Cr Brindley will be overseas when the Commonwealth Games are held and has offered the free accommodation at his flat at Parkville. He said he agreed with the protesters’ view that treaties needed to be signed with indigenous Australians. “I’m offering it up to the indigenous people who are coming to remind Her Majesty that her Empire took this land from them,” said Cr Brindlley. Nationals leader Peter Ryan said: “This extremist group has no part in the Australian community.” Melbourne councillor Peter Clarke said the actions were embarrassing and that he would try to discourage him. “It’s not in the spirit of the Games,” he said.

Aboriginal elder, Targan, said the possibility of securing Victoria Park was delightfully ironic. “There’s a lot of irony going on,” Targan, 53, a PhD student at Melbourne University, said. “GST stands for Genocide, Sovereignty and Treaty. We want the genocide of our people to stop; we want some sovereignty over traditional land, certainly how it is used, and we want a treaty with the government,” Targan said.

Four Russian stores hit with gas attacks

Monday, December 26, 2005

In Russia’s second largest city, St. Petersburg, four gas attacks left more than 70 people ill. Devices with wires, timers, and glass vials of a gas determined on scene to be methyl mercaptan were found in outlets of Makisdom, a home improvement chain store. The chemical is both naturally occurring and manufactured and is used as an oderant for detection of propane or natural gas leaks.

Store officials have said that they had received threats that sales would be disrupted before New Year’s. Russians traditionally give gifts on the holiday. Police officials said they believed a commercial dispute or a prank not terrorism.

The local emergency hospital was overflowed from the influx of ill people from the attacks. Valentina Matviyenko, Governer of St. Petersburg, said that those who sought medical help were not suffering any further medical problems.

A custodian at one of the stores found the devices and alerted police. The devices were found at another store with their vials broken. The devices in the two other stores were carried outside by employees and covered with buckets. The police explosives experts defused them.

  • Interfax. “Gas Attack in Russian Store Poisons Dozens of Shoppers, Workers” — Bloomberg, December 26, 2005
  • “Russia gas attack sickens scores; commercial dispute suspected” — Jerusalem Post, December 26, 2005
  • Irina Titova (ap). “Gas Attack at Russia Store Sickens Dozens” — Washington Post, December 26, 2005

How the Army Corps of Engineers closed one New Orleans breach

Friday, September 9, 2005

New Orleans, Louisiana —After Category 4 storm Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, on the night before August 29, 2005, several flood control constructions failed. Much of the city flooded through the openings. One of these was the flood wall forming one side of the 17th Street Canal, near Lake Pontchartrain. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is the primary agency for engineering support during such emergencies. A USACE team was assessing the situation in New Orleans on the 29th, water flow was stopped September 2nd, and the breach was closed on September 5th.

Contents

  • 1 Background
  • 2 August 27: Before the storm
  • 3 August 29: Day of the storm
  • 4 August 30: Flood
  • 5 August 31: Recovery begins
  • 6 September 1: Construction
  • 7 September 2: Water flow stopped
  • 8 September 3
  • 9 September 4: Almost done
  • 10 September 5: Breach closed
  • 11 September 6: Pumping and moving on
  • 12 See also
  • 13 Sources

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Four explosions at Spanish power station

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Four explosions have rocked a brand new, soon to be online power station in Spain’s Basque reigon in the city of Amorebieta.

Shortly before the blasts, warning calls were made to Basque newspaper Gara and the Basque emergency road service known as DYA, police rushed to the scene and evacuated workers. The calls were made by the Basque separatist group ETA.

There are no confirmations of injuries or structual damage from the blasts at the moment. Spanish radio however reports that there were no injuries and some minor structual damage. Witnesses to the explosions say they were small.

Warning calls before blasts are common by ETA, usually Gara will get the call.

The plant is run by ESB International.