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Reps. call for review of EPA mandates
Written by Larry Limpf   
Friday, 22 October 2010 08:06

Is it time to change the funding criteria for sewer separation projects mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency so communities aren’t left overwhelmed financially by project costs?
 
A bi-partisan group of congressional representatives thinks so.
 
Nine members of congress, including Robert Latta, (R-Bowling Green), is asking the EPA to update its 13-year-old set of rules for scheduling projects to separate combined storm and sanitary sewer systems and assessing the financial capabilities of communities undertaking the projects.
 
The representatives are asking the chairman and ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to have the EPA update its guidance document that was adopted in 1997 for combined sewer overflows.
 
“…EPA has increased the number of enforcement actions it is pursuing against communities with combined sewer systems. In pursuing these enforcement actions, EPA often requires communities to undertake projects to correct these events often seeking rate increases that amount to 2 percent of the ratepayer’s Median Household Income,” a letter from the representatives to the chairmen says.
 
Relying on median income as the primary indicator of financial ability doesn’t accurately reflect a community’s ability to undertake the projects or correspond to “an equally determinable water quality improvement,” the letter says.

 
Oregon looks to alternate energy to save money
Written by Kelly Kaczala   
Friday, 22 October 2010 08:04

City Administrator Mike Beasley said last week that he will look into the possible use of wind turbines to power city facilities as a way to cut utility costs.
 
Beasley said he’s looked at the issue for the last several years, but was not sold on the idea.
 
“I’ve looked at the issue of using alternative energy sources for public, governmental buildings over the last 10 years or so,” Beasley said at a committee of the whole meeting Oct. 18. “I had a hard time making the math work so that the cost per kilowatt hour, or for a thousand cubic feet of gas, would work right for the governmental side.”
 
The issue has changed over the years, making it a feasible alternative energy source, he said.
 
“That really has changed in recent times with the public-private partnership model, which allows a private entity to take advantage of tax credits for the alternative energy product, and at the same time, essentially providing power directly to the governmental entity, or having a lease system so that the governmental entity never has a capital obligation,” said Beasley. “In some models, it cashes out in year one for the governmental entity. So you provide an alternative power source and we save money in year one on our bottom line, while at the same time shifting some of our load to sustainable energy. The wind turbine models look very good.”

 
Rebuilding Lake Twp. ‘brick by brick’
Written by Larry Limpf   
Friday, 22 October 2010 08:02

Pledging to remember the victims of the June 5 tornado and rebuild the community, Lake Township officials broke ground for a new township administration building with a gathering of about 80 persons looking on.
 
“Brick by brick we will rebuild this township,” Mark Hummer, township administrator and police chief said. “June 5th seems like a lifetime ago for a lot of us. Unfortunately it was a lifetime for seven of us.”
 
Melanie Bowen, a township trustee, asked the gathering for a moment of silence for the victims and their families.
 
“We will never forget them, never,” she said.
 
She thanked the many agencies and departments that assisted the township in the aftermath of the storm.

 
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