Clarke Opposes Undermining Environmental Review for Natural Gas Pipelines
Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Brownsville, Sheepshead Bay) yesterday voted against H.R. 2910, a bill that would expedite the permitting approval process for natural gas pipelines by eliminating protections for property owners and local communities and undermining the existing environmental review process.
Referred to as the “Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act,” the measure would allow companies that build natural gas pipelines to complete land surveys on private property without the consent of the owners or obtaining a permit from local governments.
In addition, the bill would limit the ability of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to consider information from other federal and state agencies about the potential consequences of a pipeline for the environment.
“Again we find the Trump administration and its allies in Congress promoting fossil fuels at the expense of American families and the environment. There are already procedures that allow natural gas pipeline companies to start their projects quickly – FERC has testified that ninety percent of applications are approved in less than one year. When we allow a company to transport natural gas or any other potentially hazardous substance through our communities, we need to know that all precautions have been used to protect us and avoid any risk of groundwater contamination or air pollution. By limiting the amount of information available to FERC about the potential risks of a proposed pipeline, this bill threatens the public health and safety,’ said Clarke.
The bill passed by a vote of 248 to 179.
Espinal Resolution Declares September “Prostate Cancer Awareness Month”
City Council Member Rafael Espinal (D-Bushwick, East New York) yesterday introduced Res. No. 1588 calling on the Council of the City of New York to recognize “September as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in New York City.”
In introducing the measure, Espinal noted that:
Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer among white, African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and hispanic men.
The risk of prostate cancer is 74 percent higher in blacks than in whites and African American and Hispanic men are less likely to receive treatment compared to White men.
The American Cancer Society estimates that 161,360 new cases of prostate cancer will arise in the US in 2017, including 10,000 new cases in New York. Yet, most men with prostate cancer are older than 65 years and do not die from the disease because it usually grows slowly.
Most men are not aware that there are two methods of detection, including a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a second screening, which measures the prostate specific antigen (PSA) level in the blood. Therefore public awareness is key to promote early detection and design a treatment plan that is best for the particular patient.
“For a long time prostate cancer has been a taboo subject– particularly in communities of color– yet, it is the most common non-skin cancer among American men,” said Espinal. “We have seen the success of so many recent cancer awareness campaigns and it is high time we spread awareness of prostate cancer so that we can remove the stigma and encourage early detection. I am happy to work with Ed Randall and Fans for the Cure, who have been great partners in bringing this issue to the fore.”
Gentile Announces Better Sanitation Services For District
City Council Member Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach) yesterday announced improved sanitation services for the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and Bensonhurst.
The improved services come from Gentile getting $200k in funding through the City Council’s NYC Cleanup Initiative, of which $180k will go to the Department of Sanitation to fund trash pickups at the most highly trafficked intersections for pedestrians six days a week, an increase from the current five days per week. The service will also include a mechanical broom to be used weekly to clean streets in the district.
Also, $20k of the NYC Cleanup Initiative will be allocated to the Wildcat Service Corporation, which does year round work in sweeping, cleaning sewer grates, eliminating graffiti, and shoveling snow from properties for the elderly and disabled.
Gentile also announced he came through with two important capital allocations to the Department of Sanitation for his district in the Fiscal Year 2018 City Council budget. The first is a $120k capital allocation for two skid steer trucks which are plow trucks to clear snow from crosswalks and bus stops. The second is a $165k capital allocation for a haulster truck to salt, plow, and clear snow and ice from tertiary streets.
“For a number of years, I have been committed to providing a great service to Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and Bensonhurst in the form of funding for Sanitation services, and getting the best ‘bang for our buck’ as hardworking taxpayers to keep our neighborhoods clean, safe, and healthy,”Gentile said.
Donovan Lauds Reauthorization Of Department of Homeland Security
Congressman Dan Donovan (R-Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island) yesterday lauded the House passage of reauthorizing the Department of Homeland Security for the first time since its establishment after 9/11.
Amongst other provisions, the bill includes Donovan’s PREPARE Act, streamlines DHS programs, provides training and resources for first responders, enhances U.S. cyber security and anti-terror defenses, and improves disaster preparedness and response efforts.
“Our nation is reminded each day of the increased and evolving threat environment we face. Whether it’s multiple terror attacks in Europe, global cyber threats, drugs being smuggled through our borders, or the risk of a powerful storm reaching our coast – it’s clear that we must continue to enhance our preparedness capabilities,” said Donovan.
“This bill takes necessary steps to reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and puts in place reforms to ensure that DHS is better able to secure our homeland. The federal government’s most fundamental responsibility is protecting the people of the United States, and this legislation will help us do that,” the lawmaker added.
Kings County Democratic Committee To Meet
The Kings County Democratic Party Committee is meeting next week. The meeting is free and open to the public.
The meeting is slated for 8 p.m., Wednesday July 26, at the Hebrew Educational Society Auditorium, 9502 Seaview Avenue (between E. 95th Street and St. Jude Place, enter on E. 95th Street) in Canarsie.