2017 August 30

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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Harvey Danger: Major Chemical Plant Near Houston Likely to Explode, Facility Owner Warns

Don't worry, be happy!

"One of the world's largest chemical companies warned Wednesday that its flooded plant near Houston will likely catch fire and explode in the next few days — and there's nothing the company can do about it."

"Arkema Group's plant in Crosby, Texas — about 20 miles northeast of Houston — was inundated by more than 40 inches of rain by Hurricane Harvey and has been without electricity since Sunday, the company, based in Colombes, France, said in a statement."

"The plant manufactures organic peroxides commonly used in everyday products like kitchen countertops, industrial paints, polystyrene cups and plates and PVC piping. The materials must be kept very cool, but refrigerators for the plant's low-temperature containers are out of commission, and backup generators were also swamped, meaning "the potential for a chemical reaction leading to a fire and/or explosion within the site confines is real," the company said."

Estimated Full Time Staff at NYS DEC, by Program Area

Full time equivalent positions as of March 31, 2017.

The largest staffed area at the NYS DEC is the program of Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, which is what 20% of full time employees are dedicated to at the agency. About the same amount is dedicated to the DEC's program of Air and Water Quality Management. 14% of the staff works in Environmental Enforcement (Forest Rangers and Conservation Officers). 13% of the staff works in Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources (hunting and fishing) and 11% of staff is allocated to Forest and Land Resources. 8% of the staff works in Operations, which manages campgrounds and infrastructure like bridges and roads on DEC lands. Rehabilitation and Improvement staff, another 8% of the agency, work on various Capital Projects. 7% of the agency is classified as Administrative, about half of which is agency administration and other half is legal services relating to superfund.

Data Source: New York State Enacted Budget Appropriations (Non-Capital): 2016-2017. https://data.ny.gov/Government-Finance/New-York-State-Enacted-Budget-Appropriations-Non-C/q2z7-9eaw

DEC: PCB removal project did not work

"The EPA has failed New York."

"Those were the words of state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos Wednesday. He was on the banks of the Hudson River, where he says General Electric has come up woefully short of cleaning up PCB contamination."

"It wasn't just the DEC commissioner who was blasting the Environmental Protection Agency. Environmental leaders and elected officials up and down the Hudson River were shooting seething salvos across the bow of the nation's top environmental watchdog."

Good evening! Mostly sunny and 75 degrees in Albany. There is a west-northwest breeze at 7 mph. The dew point is 51 degrees. Not a terrible evening. Sunset is too early though to go to the library. Going to relax tonight then decide tomorrow if I’m going out camping this weekend. 

A little bit of traffic on 787 tonight but it will be really bad come next week. Once school is back in session, traffic will be really heavy getting out of the city, although since the traffic light timing was improved it seems like things are going a lot better. 

The sun will set at 7:31 pm with dusk around 8:00 pm, which is one minute and 42 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for mostly clear conditions and 70 degrees. The dew point will be 52 degrees. There will be a west breeze at 6 mph.

Tonight will be mostly clear, with a low of 57 degrees at 5am. Typical for tonight. Maximum dew point of 55 at 11pm. West wind 5 to 7 mph becoming south after midnight. In 2016, we had partly cloudy skies. It got down to 62 degrees. The record low of 37 occurred back in 1965.

Tonight will have a Waxing Gibbous Moon with 76% illuminated. The moon will set tonight at 1:42 am. The Full Moon is on Tuesday night. The sun will rise at 6:18 am with the first light at 5:49 am, which is one minute and 4 seconds later than yesterday. Tonight will have 10 hours and 48 minutes of darkness, an increase of 2 minutes and 46 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will be scattered showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 10am. Partly sunny, with a high of 74 degrees at 3pm. Four degrees below normal. Maximum dew point of 58 at 10am. Southwest wind 5 to 13 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. A year ago, we had partly cloudy skies. The high last year was 76 degrees. The record high of 93 was set in 1953.

Right now, a split verdict on the weekend. Saturday, sunny, with a high near 72. Maximum dew point of 48 at 8pm. Sunday, a chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 73. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Maximum dew point of 61 at 2pm. Typical average high for the weekend is 77 degrees. Definitely going to be a cool weekend for the long Labor Day Weekend. The real question is how things will play out with the hurricane. I don’t want to get soaked camping. 

In four weeks on September 27 the sun will be setting at 6:42 pm, which is 49 minutes and 24 seconds earlier then today. In 2016 on that day, we had rain, heavy fog, fog, shallow fog, patches of fog, mist, partly cloudy skies and temperatures between 72 and 52 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 68 and 47 degrees. The record high of 84 degrees was set back in 1998.

Looking ahead, Harvest Moon is Next Wednesday, 6:30 PM Sunset is in 5 weeks, Coldest Day of Year (Avg. 14-30 degrees) is in 19 weeks and Inaugeration Day 2021 is in 177 weeks.