White House Moves to Rein In Methane Emissions

       

New EPA standards will aim to significantly cut methane emissions from oil and gas sites in the U.S.

The Obama administration makes its latest move to take on climate change.

usnews.com - by Alan Neuhauser - January 14, 2015

In the Obama administration’s latest use of executive authority to address climate change, the White House announced plans Wednesday to impose new regulations on the oil and gas industry that would nearly halve methane emissions from wells, drill sites and pipelines in 10 years.

The new standards, to be developed by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act, would aim by 2025 to cut methane emissions by up to 45 percent from levels recorded in 2012. They would also slash the spread of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, key components of ground-level smog that have been linked to cancer, neurological conditions and other illnesses.

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Climate Change Threatens Health - Extreme Heat: More Intense Hot Days and Heat Waves

      

nrdc.org

Across the nation, climate change is making hot summer days hotter and stretching their numbers into heat waves that never seem to end. And the heat is causing more than just discomfort - as temperatures rise, so are the number of illnesses, emergency room visits, and deaths.

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Climate Change Health Threats in New York

Air Pollution Vulnerability

Ozone Smog and Allergenic Ragweed Occurrence

nrdc.org

Climate change will worsen smog and cause plants to produce more pollen pollution, increasing respiratory health threats, particularly for people with allergies and asthma.

CLICK HERE - See how New York is vulnerable to air pollution impacts...

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Geographic information helps provide public health intelligence at mass gatherings

MEDICALNEWS TODAY                                                            Jan. 6, 2015

Infectious diseases are one of the many health issues that worry the organizers of mass gatherings, such as the Hajj and the World Cup. Geographers' tools of the trade can help event organizers to better plan, monitor and respond timely to such eventualities. The ways in which geographers gather, analyze, and visualize information provide health officials with clearer pictures of the transport routes and environmental factors that may further the spread of viruses to and from the attendees' home countries.

In Chapter 3 of the new book Health, Science and Place: A New Model, geographer and biologist Dr. Amy Blatt explains how geographic information is used for disease surveillance at mass gatherings.
Read complete article

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/287577.php?tw

Read excerpt from the book,chapter 3.

by Dr. Amy Blatt
http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-319-12003-4_3

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Governor Cuomo Launches New Effort to Boost Solar Implementation in Communities Across New York State

An array of solar panels.Image: An array of solar panels.

longisland.com - December 7th, 2014

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of Community Solar NY, a new effort under the NY-Sun initiative to make implementing solar easier and more affordable for communities across the state. The program launched today supports community projects known as “Solarize” campaigns – locally-organized community outreach efforts aimed at getting a critical mass of area homes and businesses to install solar.

“Transitioning to affordable and clean energy is a large part of our goal of building a better New York State – and today we’re taking another step forward to make that goal a reality,” Governor Cuomo said.

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Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State, Citing Health Risks

CLICK HERE - REPORT -
New York State Department of Health
A Public Health Review of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas Development (184 page .PDF report)

nytimes.com - By THOMAS KAPLAN and JESSE McKINLEY
December 17, 2014

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration announced on Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State because of concerns over health risks, ending years of uncertainty over the disputed method of natural gas extraction.

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COMMENTARY: When the next shoe drops — Ebola crisis communication lessons from October

CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE AND POLICY                                                                   Dec. 9, 2014          
By  Peter M. Sandman, PhD, and Jody Lanard, MD  

In contrast to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, which started in late 2013 and will last well into 2015 or longer, the US "Ebola crisis" was encapsulated in a single month, October 2014. But there may well be US Ebola cases to come, brought here by travelers or returning volunteers. And other emerging infectious diseases will surely reach the United States in the months and years ahead.

So now is a propitious time to harvest some crisis communication lessons from the brief US Ebola "crisis."

We're putting "crisis" in quotation marks because there was never an Ebola public health crisis in the United States, nor was there a significant threat of one. But there was a crisis of confidence, a period of several weeks during which many Americans came to see the official response to domestic Ebola as insufficiently cautious, competent, and candid—and therefore felt compelled to implement or demand additional responses of their own devising....

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Notable Absence of New Ebola Quarantines at New York Area Airports

NEW YORK TIMES    By Anemona Hartocollis                                                          NOV. 24, 2014

NEW YORK   ...since Kaci Hickox, a nurse, flew into Newark’s airport on Oct. 24 and was kept at a hospital for three days, no one else has been caught up in the quarantine dragnet at the New York and New Jersey airports.

The absence of quarantines is striking, not only because both governors emphatically defended the policy as a necessary precaution, but also because most people returning from Ebola-stricken countries arrive in the United States through Kennedy and Newark Liberty International Airports.

...New York and New Jersey officials say no one coming through the two airports since Ms. Hickox has reported direct contact with Ebola patients.

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Ebola becomes latest stock scam, U.S. SEC says

REUTERS                                                                                                 NOV. 20, 2014
By Sarah N. Lynch

U.S. regulators on Thursday suspended trading in four small over-the-counter stocks of companies that they said have been touting the development of products to prevent or treat the Ebola virus, and warned investors to beware of similar scams.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said it had suspended trading in the shares of New York-based Bravo Enterprises Ltd, California-based Immunotech Laboratories Inc, Canada-based Myriad Interactive Media Inc and Wholehealth Products Inc, which is also located in California.

The SEC also issued a warning that "con artists" may be soliciting investors and claiming to be developing treatments or medicine to prevent the deadly virus.

Read complete story

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/20/us-sec-ebola-scams-idUSKCN0J41V820141120

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N.Y. doctor, free of Ebola, discharged from hospital

USA TODAY                                             Nov. 11, 2014
By Matthew Diebel, Doug Stanglin and Liz Szabo

NEW YORK — Craig Spencer, a New York doctor whose hospitalization for Ebola stirred fears that the disease might spread throughout Manhattan, was declared free of the virus Tuesday and released from the hospital...

Dr. Craig Spencer, center, is flanked by New York City Mayor Bill Bill de Blasio, left, and his wife Chirlane McCray as he leaves Bellevue Hospital after being declared free of the Ebola virus on Nov. 11 in New York. (Photo: Andrew Gombert, European Pressphoto Agency)

The release of the 33-year-old physician, who tested positive for the virus Oct. 23, means there are no longer any known Ebola cases being treated in the United States.

The volunteer with Doctors Without Borders, who contracted the disease while treating Ebola patients in Guinea in West Africa, said:

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Craig Spencer, New York Doctor With Ebola, Will Leave Bellevue Hospital

UPDATE 

New York doctor cleared of Ebola, which means there are no known Ebola cases in the U.S.

WASHINGTON POST                                                                     Nov. 10, 2014

By Mark Herman

The doctor who contracted Ebola in West Africa before returning to New York City has been declared free of the virus, hospital officials announced Monday. This news means that 41 days after the first Ebola diagnosis in the United States, there are no known cases of the virus in the country.

Craig Spencer, 33, who had been treating Ebola patients in Guinea, was diagnosed with Ebola on Oct. 23. Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City, where Spencer was being treated, confirmed in a statement Monday that he “has been declared free of the virus.” Spencer will be discharged on Tuesday, according to the hospital.

See complete story

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357 people now being monitored for Ebola in New York

LOS ANGELES TIMES                                                                                        Nov.5, 2014
By Michael Muskal                                      
The number of people who are being actively monitored for Ebola in New York has tripled to 357 people, none of whom has displayed any symptoms, city health officials announced Wednesday.

The vast majority of those being monitored arrived in New York in the last 21 days from West Africa, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation said in a statement. Those under monitoring are being checked out of “an abundance of caution,” the statement said.

The latest announcement comes as Ohio said it was officially Ebola-free and Texas prepared to end its observation period for the last 27 healthcare workers. The Texas group will complete its 21-day monitoring period on Friday, according to state officials.

Read complete story
http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-ohio-ebola-free-monitoring-20141105-story.html

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Superstorm Sandy Two Years Later: New York Is Becoming More Resilient But More Is Needed

Avenue C and 14th Street during Hurricane Sandy. Photo credit: Matthew Kraus

Image: Avenue C and 14th Street during Hurricane Sandy. Photo credit: Matthew Kraus

huffingtonpost.com - October 28th 2014 - Frances Beinecke

Two years ago this week, Hurricane Sandy came barreling up the East Coast, killing 117 Americans and damaging hundreds of thousands of homes along the way. Here in my hometown of New York, it delivered an 11-foot storm surge and a reminder that climate change wasn't just a challenge for the future. On this anniversary, we honor those who lost their lives to the storm.

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Analysis: Alarmed by Ebola, Public Isn’t Calmed by ‘Experts Say’

NEW YORK TIMES                        NOV. 1, 2014
By
When public health leaders and government officials make the case against isolating more people returning from the Ebolahot zones in West Africa, or against imposing more travel restrictions from that region, time and again they cite science and experts. It isn’t working very well.

Many support the efforts of Gov. Paul R. LePage of Maine to isolate a nurse who treated Ebola patients in West Africa. Credit Craig Dilger for The New York Times

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Judge rejects strict limits on U.S. nurse who treated Ebola patients

REUTERS
By Joe Page                              Oct. 31, 2014

(FORT PAGE, Maine)  Declaring Ebola fears in the United States "not entirely rational," a judge rejected Maine's bid for a quarantine on a nurse who treated victims of the disease in West Africa but tested negative for it, and instead imposed limited restrictions.

Nurse Kaci Hickox (L) joined by her boyfriend Ted Wilbur speak with the media outside of their home in Fort Kent, Maine October 31, 2014.Credit: Reuters/Joel Page

Nurse Kaci Hickox's challenge of the Maine quarantine became a key battleground for the dispute between officials in some U.S. states who have imposed strict quarantines on health workers returning from three Ebola-ravaged West African countries and the federal government, which opposes such measures.

Maine Governor Paul LePage said that while he was disappointed by the order from Charles LaVerdiere, the chief judge of Maine District Court, the New England state would abide by it.

Hickox, 33, said she was pleased with the ruling and said people need to "overcome the fear."

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