2017 December 05

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December 2017
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Trump’s EPA Seeks Deadly Air Pollution Loophole for Dirty Trucks

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to roll back emission safeguards against sales of dirty trucks, leaving the public to cough and wheeze on more air pollution. NRDC is opposing the rollback at a public hearing on Dec. 4 in Washington, DC."

"The EPA proposal would lift restrictions on the number of new trucks that can be sold using old, refurbished engines (so-called "glider vehicles") that don't meet modern emissions standards. The proposal creates a dirty truck loophole that permits niche industry players to circumvent necessary clean air safeguards and sell an unlimited number of new, dirty trucks on the cheap."

"Approximately 10,000 heavy trucks have been sold annually in recent years that lack modern combustion and emissions control technologies to reduce dangerous nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) from diesel exhaust. These pollutants contribute to ground-level ozone, or smog, and soot, and are directly linked to asthma attacks, respiratory and heart problems, and premature death."

Subpoena For Deutsche Bank May Put Mueller On Collision Course With Trump

"Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly subpoenaed Trump family financial records from the German financial giant Deutsche Bank, a move that could signal a major new direction for his inquiry."

"Deutsche Bank has so far not accommodated or discussed American requests for information about the Trumps' accounts. The German business newspaper Handelsblatt, which first reported the subpoena, quoted a spokesman saying that the bank cooperates with official investigators but would not discuss individual cases."

Dunn Construction Landfill, Monthly Tonnage 2016

Many people don't realize that the Albany-area's largest landfill in total tonnage in 2016 was the Dunn Construction Debris Landfill in Rensselaer. It only accepts construction debris unlike the Rapp Road Landfill which takes in a variety of wastes. Nearly every month the Dunn Landfill took in a greater tonnage of waste then any other Capital Region Landfill. Compare to the Rapp Road Landfill: http://andyarthur.org/chart-tons-of-waste-accepted-at-rapp-road-landfill-2016.html

Data Source: NYSDEC Annual Solid Waste Facility Reports, 2016. ftp://ftp.dec.state.ny.us/dshm/SWMF/Annual%20Reports_Solid%20Waste%20Management%20Facility/Annual%20Reports_by%20Activity%20Type/Landfill/Landfill%20Annual%20Reports%20-%202016/R4/42D20_Dunn_cd_R4_2016.2017-03-02.AR.pdf

Moody’s Warns Cities to Address Climate Risks or Face Downgrades

Welcome to the future.

"Coastal communities from Maine to California have been put on notice from one of the top credit rating agencies: Start preparing for climate change or risk losing access to cheap credit."

"In a report to its clients Tuesday, Moody’s Investors Service Inc. explained how it incorporates climate change into its credit ratings for state and local bonds. If cities and states don’t deal with risks from surging seas or intense storms, they are at greater risk of default."

Good morning! Happy Tuesday. Cloudy and 46 degrees in Delmar. Light breeze. No rain yet, but it’s expected later on today. Despite the rain, it should be quite mild with 54 degrees later on. I made sure to bring my rain coat.

Feeling a bit congested this morning, as I did yesterday, but this seems like lately it’s more of an early week thing then anything else. Usually I recover relatively quickly. Maybe I just don’t like Mondays or Tuesday. Not really coughing, but I have an itch in my throat. It’s been a problem all late November into December. I can wait until winter is over and summer returns, and I can open the windows up for fresh air.

The sun will set at 4:22 pm with dusk around 4:53 pm, which is 8 seconds earlier than yesterday. It won’t be long before the sunset start getting later. At sunset, look for rain and 54 degrees. The dew point will be 48 degrees. Breezy, 18 mph breeze from the south with gusts up to 29mph. Forget about that umbrella. Today will have 9 hours and 11 minutes of daytime, a decrease of one minute and 6 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will rain before midnight, then showers likely, mainly between midnight and 3am. Low of 40 degrees at 6am. 15 degrees above normal. South wind 13 to 16 mph becoming west after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. In 2016, we had light rain in the evening, remaining overcast into the early morning. It got down to 28 degrees. The record low of -5 occurred back in 1901.

This weekend looks pretty nice but seasonably cold. Saturday, partly sunny, with a high near 37. Sunday, partly sunny, with a high near 34. Typical average high for the weekend is 38 degrees. We might want to watch the wind though, as that could make it feel cold, not to mention the risk of lake effect snow showers blowing west to Albany.

Regardless, I will probably stay in town, because I’ve been out camping this past two weeks and I need to save some money. I also want to work on some electronics projects I’m building and maybe get the aluminum bar drilled and mounted on the truck for the solar panel. It would be nice if I could get the solar panel finished this weekend, but that will depend on a number of factors. I might go out hiking during the weekend but will probably avoid heading out small game hunting until after regular deer closes next Sunday.

Last night, the Route 719 CDTA conked out on Interstate 787 near Exit 2 and the oil trains. Low air pressure it seemed like based on all the beeps that were chiming, but also the driver said there was a diesel or maybe motor oil leak in the back. Lots of lights were flashing on the dash board. Fortunately the driver was able to get us to the shoulder. He went back to see if he could dump the air tanks, and noticed the leak. He called in another bus which got us home. Bus eventually stalled out on the shoulder, and the lights dimmed without the alternator turning, until the driver killed the headlights. They got us a replacement bus within 15 minutes so it wasn’t more then a minor annoyance, but you have to wonder why this happens so frequently.

Granted, this is the first time a bus has broken down in 2017 when I’ve been on it. The new buses, being newer, are just a lot more reliable. It used to be in the bad old days that the buses broke down a lot more on the expressway. Honestly, I’ve only once had problems with a local bus breaking down, but on the expressway they seem to have a lot of problems with the air brakes acting up, especially after dropping the hammer to merge onto the expressway. I think the governor on the air brakes compressor sometimes get stuck after hard acceleration, which is different from the stop and go the buses do all day in the city.

Looking ahead, there are 7 weeks until National Pie Day when the sun will be setting at 4:57 pm with dusk at 5:28 pm. On that day in 2017, we had rain, freezing rain, snow, sleet, mist, mostly cloudy skies and temperatures between 39 and 32 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 31 degrees. We hit a record high of 64 back in 1906.

Map: Plantation Island Wildlife Management Area

Map: Plantation Island Wildlife Management Area

The primary purposes of Plantation Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is approximately 200 acres of Mohawk River floodplain in the Town of German Flats, Herkimer County. The Mohawk River is the north perimeter of the island, with the NYS Barge Canal defining the south border. Historically, Plantation Island was used for agriculture and canal maintenance. Agricultural activity has long ceased, but portions of the island are still managed by the NYS Thruway Authority for Barge Canal management and upkeep. The island is a mixture of wetlands (open marsh, wet meadow, and small, shallow wetland pools), old pasture and meadow, and floodplain forest. Due to previous significant disturbance, the island has large stands of invasive plant species such as honeysuckle, buckthorn, purple loosestrife, and Phragmites. Since access is limited, the island has little infrastructure.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/49640.html