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March 11, 2005     Cape Gazette
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March 11, 2005

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• • . : • • ' v" "  ." '" =" i  .'cfi ' b42 :': • .:[  • "/" - • CAPI GE, Friday,   1- Ma/ic]4, 2()05 1 Senate stalls Bush's Clear Skies proposal By Jim Cresson One day after a U.S. Senate En- vironmental and Public Works Committee vote halted the Bush administration's Clear Skies leg- islative proposal to reduce smoke- stack pollution in America, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed its Clean Air Inter- state Rule to reduce air pollution that moves across 28 eastern state boundaries. EPA Acting Administrator• Steve Johnson described the March 10 regulations as providing "the largest pollution reductions and health benefits of any air rule in more than a decade." Johnson spoke to national envi- ronmental reporters via a telecon- ference March 10, saying that the new air rule action will perma- nently cap emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides in the eastern United States. He said that when fully implemented in 2015, the new rule would reduce sulfur dioxide in the eastern states and the District of Columbia by more than 70 percent. Nitrogen-oxides would be reduced by more than 60 percent from 2003 levels, he said. The EPA claims that those air pollution reductions will result in more than $100 billion in health and visibility benefits per year by 2015 and will substantially reduce premature deaths in the eastern U.S. Next week, the EPA is expected to issue the first-ever requirement for coal-fired power plants to con- trol mercury emissions. The new Clean Air Interstate Rule, Johnson said, mandates the largest reduction in air pollution since the reductions set by the Acid Rain Program under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Under the new EPA rule, states will achieve the required emis- sions reductions using one of two options for compliance: • by requiring power plants to participate in an EPA-adminis- tered interstate cap-and-trade sys- tem that caps emissions in two states, or • by meeting an individual state air-emission limit through meas- ures of the state's choosing. "We remain committed to Rehoboth officials mull Hazard Mitigation Plan By Maggie Beetz The Rehoboth Beach Board of Commissioners heard a presenta- tion at the March 7 meeting on a Hazard Mitigation Plan, which is  being implemented throughout the state. Joe Thomas, dire.ctor of the Emergency Operations Center in Georgetown, told the commis- sioners the state has received a federal grant through the Depart- ment of Homeland Security to de- velop a statewide plan to mitigate hazards. "The plan spells out different projects ahead of time to mitigate future disasters," said Thomas, who is acting as a liaison between Delaware Emergency Manage- ment Agency (DEMA) and the municipalities. Rehoboth Beach is one of Sussex County's 24 munic- ipalities being asked to approve the plan. The plan would start at the city level and feed into the county plan, which would then feed into the state plan. Thomas said Gov. Ruth Ann Minner has alrddy signed on to the Hazard Mitiga- tion Plan. "I hope the mayor and the city commissioners pass the resolu- tion," said City Manager Greg Ferrese. "I don't know why they wouldn't." If Rehoboth Beach approves the plan, the city would then submit certain projects based on the risk of natural disaster, for example drought and flooding. The Depart- ment of Homeland Security ulti- mately approvesthe projects, ...... "This allows you to not wait for a disaster to do something," Thomas said. Thomas said cities that implement the plan could still receive mitigation funding for projects not covered in their plan, if the need arose. The plan will al- so be reviewed and revised as necessary every five years. Rehoboth Beach Mayor Sam Cooper asked Thomas what would happen if the city did not sign onto the plan. It is not mandatory that cities take part in the Hazard Mitigation Plan, however, that choice could affect funding, said Thomas. If disaster strikes and a city has not signed onto the plan, it can still re- ceive funding to reimburse disas- ter-related damages, but would not be eligible to receive addition- al funding for changes or im- provements to mitigate future dis- asters. Thomas said when thele are no disasters, funding is competitive and would likely be granted to municipalities with mitigation plans and specific projects in place. The Hazard Mitigation Plan was spurred from the Disaster Mitigation Act, which the U.S. Congress passed in 2000 to en- courage pre-disaster infrastructure mitigation planning, reduce disas- ter losses nationwide and stream- line federal disaster relief. The Rehoboth Beach commis- sioners- will vote on the plan at their next meeting slated at 7 p.m., Monday, March 21, in the com- missioners roomat cityhall ............. working with Congress to help advance the president's Clear Skies legislation in order to achieve greater certainty and na- tionwide emission reductions," said Johnson. "But we need regu- lations in place now to help over 450 counties in the eastern United States protect people's health by meeting stringent new air quality standards." Carper prefers his plan Sen. Tom Carper, the senior De- mocrat on the Senate's Clean air subcommittee, was among De- mocrats who voted against the Clear Skies proposal. Republican Sen. Lincoln Chaffee Of Rhode Is- land broke party ranks and voted against Clear Skies, as did Inde- pendent Sen. Jim Jeffords of Ver- mont. The final 9-9 vote stopped movement of the legislation, but did not kill it, Carper said. Carper criticized the Bush plan, saying it did not go "far enough, fast enough" and "completely misses the mark on carbon diox- ide and global warming." Carper said he believes Con- gress can do a better job of reduc- ing harmful air emissions than the president's plan, especially in the area of global warming. "Over the past several weeks, I've been meeting with Sen. Voinovich, the nation's ut.ilities and environmental groups in or- der to find common ground on clean air," said Carper. "Our talks have yielded some progress, but we weren't able to reach consen- sus because of EPA's reluctance to provide detailed cost-benefit analyses of various clean air pro- posals before Congress. That in- formation, which I've requested repeatedly over the past several years, will tell us the environmen- tal and cost implications associat- ed with developing new clean air standards. "We need that information in order to come up with the best proposal possible. It's my hope that the White House will give us the information we've requested so we can roll up our sleeves and get back to work." Milton approves final Preserve site plan After hearing remarks from Milton Carrow, a part- ner in Preserve on the Broadkill, Milton Town Coun- cil approved the final site plan for Phase II of that de- velopment during the March 7 meeting. Carrow said that streets and walks are going in for Phase I and most of the lots are sold. He said he plans to build a home and live in Phase n. "So then, I will be known as Milton from Milton," he said. The approval was made contingent on the developers obtaining a final permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. 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