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Poor LO Identification Was The Biggest Mistake Of The First PNG LNG: Maru

Papua New Guinea Mine Watch - 37 min 59 sec ago

So will the government refuse to sanction new projects if the identification is not done properly?

Matthew Vari | Post Courier | January 21, 2019

National Planning Minister Richard Maru has said the biggest mistake ever made for the first PNG LNG project was the lack of landowner identification before going ahead with the project.

Mr Maru said this when making reference to the next lot of key mining projects set for development within the next couple of years and the need for developers to learn from such oversights.

“The biggest mistake we did with the PNG LNG project is that we didn’t identify the landowners first, that is a requirement by law and the responsibility for that is on the resource developer and not the government, I want to make that clear,’’ he said.

“My appeal to the proponents of the Freida project and Wafi-Golpu is to make sure all the landowners are identified now and they all have NID (National Identification) cards.

“Identify them early so we do not have the same problem when it comes to the distribution of royalties and deciding who we deal with.”

He made the call to companies not to make the same mistakes and go out early and identify the genuine landowners.

“It will help the forum process because the right people will come and talk.

“So I want to appeal to the developers while we support the project we want them to follow the laws and identify the landowners now early so when it comes to negotiations, the right people are represented and they have their say so we avoid problems in the future.

“By just following the lawful legal processes established by law to make sure we involve our people very early,” he said.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Locals star in television commercial to protect Hunter farmland from coal mining

Lock the Gate Alliance - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 19:52

A new television advertisement starring Hunter Valley locals begins screening in the region tomorrow (Jan 22), highlighting the need to protect farmland from destructive coal mining.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Papua New Guinea Clans Unite Against Exxon

Papua New Guinea Mine Watch - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 14:53

Armed clansmen in the town of Komo in Papua New Guinea’s Hela Province. Photo – Michael Main

Irina Slav | Oil Price | January 19, 2019

Papuan landowners and communities in the vicinity of Exxon’s Papua New Guinea LNG project are growing increasingly disgruntled about how the company and the national government are handling royalty distribution, a Reuters investigation has found. This sentiment has led to inter-communal clashes in some areas and might lead to more serious trouble for the project.

“Our clans fought each other, but now there is peace; we are one team fighting Exxon.” These are the words of a local clan leader, Johnson Tape, one of 16 such leaders who are claiming rights over the Komo Air Field, which is used by the PNG LNG project, Reuters’ Jonathan Barrett and Tom Westbrook write.

They also relate the story of one local landowner who was promised a much higher royalty once PNG LNG began operating than she actually received. This landowner and others blame both the local government and the project operator for failing to fulfill their compensation promises. For now, it seems that this disgruntlement is more of a passive attitude, but Tape’s words could be an early warning for something worse to come.

There is a precedent. Last year, a devastating 7.5-magnitude earthquake shook the country, suspending operations at PNG LNG. The earthquake came amid growing tensions among local landowners already unhappy with Exxon’s project and with the government, sparking protests among the locals. In one part of the country, the Southern Highlands, the protests were violent enough to prompt the government to declare a state of emergency for the province.

In the Hela province, where a lot of PNG LNG production and transport facilities are located, protesters set some construction equipment on fire and landowners blockaded a wellhead in the production part of the PNG LNG project, threatening to shut it all down. That spurred the authorities into action and a little later representatives of the landowners said they were getting close to a deal with the government. Apparently, they haven’t gotten close enough to end the bad blood to date.

The PNG LNG project cost US$19 billion and had a nameplate annual capacity of 6.9 million tons of liquefied natural gas. Yet in 2017, the project yielded as much as 8.3 million tons of LNG, according to the Reuters investigation. Since 2014, when production began, Exxon has raked in some US$18.8 billion in revenues, also according to Reuters since the company does not release figures for PNG LNG.

However, the Papuan government’s expectations for its own revenues were revised substantially down from the initial 2012 estimate of US$22 billion over the productive lifetime of the project, until 2040. Last year, these were calculated at just half the initial amount, on the back of tax deductions for the operator and its partners, and lower gas prices.

An investigation by the World Bank found that the companies behind the project had developed “a complex web of exemptions and allowances that effectively mean that little revenue is received by government and landowners.” This doesn’t really bode well for the future of PNG LNG unless Exxon and its partners somehow renegotiate the terms of their agreement to avoid a buildup of tensions with unpleasant consequences all around.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Idaho: Massive strip mine on national forest to forever alter famed Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness

Wine And Water Watch - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 12:45

If you know anyone in this area, they need to be alerted. Taxpayers have already cleaned up last mess……with corporate polluters and resource raiders given a free pass by the current administration, your quality of life is about to change. Action page below.

Canada-based Midas Gold is proposing a massive strip mine on national forest land at the doorstep of the famed Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness and within the headwaters of the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. The 2.4 million-acre River of No Return Wilderness is one of the wildest areas in the lower 48, and the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River is popular for recreation and critical for endangered species. The South Fork of the Salmon flows through the Wilderness downstream of this proposed mine.

The project area is a reclaimed Superfund site—taxpayers spent $13 million to clean up mercury and arsenic there in the late 1990s. Now Midas Gold wants to re-open these former mine pits, putting not only the Wilderness at risk, but also this important river and endangered species such as bull trout and salmon. The proposal includes 2,000 acres of mine pits, facilities, stockpiles, roads, and other infrastructure within a nearly 30,000-acre project area.

Midas Gold is also proposing to process all gold and silver on site, which only creates more likelihood of toxic pollution.

Midas Gold is trying to entice local communities near the mine site to sign a “Community Agreement”—a legal document binding them to the company, in exchange for profit sharing and funding for local projects. It’s imperative that Valley County—where the mine will be—rejects this agreement. Eight communities have signed on already, so it’s important that Valley County has support to not cave to pressure.

This mine proposal is an issue of national significance. Federal public lands belong to all of us, not to a foreign-owned mining company. We will keep you posted on opportunities for public comment.

But, for now, if you live in Valley County, ID, please take action and urge your commissioners to reject Midas Gold’s “Community Agreement”.

 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Amid shift in wine consumer demand, California Wine Country cautioned to prepare for ample grape supply

Wine And Water Watch - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 12:26

Grape gluts, tourism declines, changing demographics…..sales for biodynamic or organic wines sales up 68%.  

Amid shift in wine consumer demand, California Wine Country cautioned to prepare for ample grape supply

The North Coast wine business on Thursday received another wake-up call about gathering storm clouds that could dampen consumer demand for premium wines and the grapes from which they’re made.

A day after the release of an influential forecast for the fine-wine business warned of more challenging times ahead because of changing demographics of wine consumers, a gathering of wine grape growers and related professionals in Santa Rosa heard experts lay out how this and other shifts in consumer behavior is rippling through the supply chain.

While the ranks of millennials ultimately are set to rival that of baby boomers, the youngest millennials aren’t reaching for wine as enthusiastically as the pace of boomer retirement. That’s what Lulie Halsted, CEO of London-based market-research firm Wine Intelligence said at the 28th Sonoma County Winegrowers Dollars & Sense Seminar and trade show.

“We’re proportionally losing some wine drinkers,” Halsted told them.

Last year, 21 percent of U.S. wine drinkers who imbibe regularly were over 65 years old, compared with 16 percent in 2015, she pointed out. But the ranks of regular wine consumers at the front end — ages 21-24 — are decreasing, down to 6.5 million in mid-2018 from 7.5 million three years earlier.

FULL STORY

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Chemicals on our food: When “safe” may not really be safe

Wine And Water Watch - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 12:08
The EPA is so confident that traces of pesticides in food are safe that the agency has granted multiple chemical company requests for increases in the allowed tolerances, effectively providing a legal basis for higher levels of pesticide residues to be allowed in American food. Chemicals on our food: When “safe” may not really be safe

Nov 27, 2018

Scientific scrutiny of pesticide residue in food grows; regulatory protections questioned

Weed killers in wheat crackers and cereals, insecticides in apple juice and a mix of multiple pesticides in spinach, string beans and other veggies – all are part of the daily diets of many Americans. For decades, federal officials have declared tiny traces of these contaminants to be safe. But a new wave of scientific scrutiny is challenging those assertions.

Though many consumers might not be aware of it, every year, government scientists document how hundreds of chemicals used by farmers on their fields and crops leave residues in widely consumed foods. More than 75 percent of fruits and more than 50 percent of vegetables sampled carried pesticides residues in the latest sampling reported by the Food and Drug Administration. Even residues of the tightly restricted bug-killing chemical DDT are found in food, along with a range of other pesticides known by scientists to be linked to a range of illnesses and disease. The pesticide endosulfan, banned worldwide because of evidence that it can cause neurological and reproductive problems, was also found in food samples, the FDA report said.

U.S. regulators and the companies that sell the chemicals to farmers insist that the pesticide residues pose no threat to human health. Most residue levels found in food fall within legal “tolerance” levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), regulators say.

“Americans depend on the FDA to ensure the safety of their families and the foods they eat,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a press release accompanying the agency’s Oct. 1 release of its residue report. “Like other recent reports, the results show that overall levels of pesticide chemical residues are below the Environmental Protection Agency’s tolerances, and therefore don’t pose a risk to consumers.”

The EPA is so confident that traces of pesticides in food are safe that the agency has granted multiple chemical company requests for increases in the allowed tolerances, effectively providing a legal basis for higher levels of pesticide residues to be allowed in American food.

But recent scientific studies have prompted many scientists to warn that years of promises of safety may be wrong. While no one is expected to drop dead from eating a bowl of cereal containing pesticide residues, repeated low level exposures to trace amounts of pesticides in the diet could be contributing to a range of health problems, particularly for children, scientists say.

“There are probably many other health effects; we just haven’t studied them” A team of Harvard scientists published a commentary in October stating that more research about potential links between disease and consumption of pesticide residues is “urgently needed” as more than 90 percent of the U.S. population has pesticide residues in their urine and blood. The primary route of exposure to these pesticides is through the food people eat, the Harvard research team said.

Several additional Harvard-affiliated scientists published a study earlier this year of women who were trying to get pregnant. The findings suggested that dietary pesticide exposure within a “typical” range was associated both with problems women had getting pregnant and delivering live babies, the scientists said.

“Clearly the current tolerance levels protect us from acute toxicity. The problem is that it is not clear to what extent long-term low-level exposure to pesticide residues through food may or may not be health hazards,” said Dr. Jorge Chavarro, associate professor of the Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and one of the study authors.

Related: Industry studies show evidence of bias and misleading conclusions on widely used insecticideExposure to pesticide residues through diet is associated [with] some reproductive outcomes including semen quality and greater risk of pregnancy loss among women undergoing infertility treatments. There are probably many other health effects; we just haven’t studied them sufficiently to make an adequate risk assessment,” Chavarro said.

Toxicologist Linda Birnbaum, who directs the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), has also raised concerns about pesticide dangers through exposures once assumed to be safe. Last year she called for “an overall reduction in the use of agricultural pesticides” due to multiple concerns for human health, stating that “existing US regulations have not kept pace with scientific advances showing that widely used chemicals cause serious health problems at levels previously assumed to be safe.”

In an interview Birnbaum said that pesticide residues in food and water are among the types of exposures that need greater regulatory scrutiny.

“Do I think that levels that are currently set are safe? Probably not,” said Birnbaum. “We have people of different susceptibility, whether because of their own genetics, or their age, whatever may make them more susceptible to these things,” she said.

“While we look at chemicals one at a time, there is a lot of evidence for things acting in a synergistic fashion. A lot of our standard testing protocols, many that were developed 40 to 50 years ago, are not asking the questions we should be asking,” she added.

Legal doesn’t mean safe

Other recent scientific papers also point to troubling findings. One by a group of international scientists published in May found glyphosate herbicide at doses currently considered “safe” are capable of causing health problems before the onset of puberty. More research is needed to understand potential risks to children, the study authors said.

And in a paper published Oct. 22 in JAMA Internal Medicine, French researchers said that when looking at pesticide residue links to cancer in a study of the diets of more than 68,000 people, they found indications that consumption of organic foods, which are less likely to carry synthetic pesticide residues than foods made with conventionally grown crops, was associated with a reduced risk of cancer.

A 2009 paper published by a Harvard researcher and two FDA scientists found 19 out of 100 food samples that children commonly consumed contained at least one insecticide known to be a neurotoxin. The foods the researchers looked at were fresh vegetables, fruits and juices. Since then, evidence has grown about the harmful human health impacts of insecticides, in particular.

“A number of current legal standards for pesticides in food and water do not fully protect public health, and do not reflect the latest science,” said Olga Naidenko, senior science advisor to the non-profit Environmental Working Group, which has issued several reports looking at potential dangers of pesticides in food and water. “Legal does not necessarily reflect “safe,” she said.

Unacceptable levels

Moms Clean Air Force/flickr

One example of how regulatory assurances of safety have been found lacking when it comes to pesticide residues is the case of an insecticide known as chlorpyrifos. Marketed by Dow Chemical, which became the DowDuPont company in 2017, chlorpyrifos is applied to more than 30 percent of apples, asparagus, walnuts, onions, grapes, broccoli, cherries and cauliflower grown in the U.S. and is commonly found on foods consumed by children. The EPA has said for years that exposures below the legal tolerances it set were nothing to worry about.

Yet scientific research in recent years has demonstrated an association between chlorpyrifos exposure and cognitive deficits in children. The evidence of harm to young developing brains is so strong that the EPA in 2015 said that it “cannot find that any current tolerances are safe.”

The EPA said that because of unacceptable levels of the insecticide in food and drinking water it planned to ban the pesticide from agricultural use. But pressure from Dow and chemical industry lobbyists have kept the chemical in wide use on American farms. The FDA’s recent report found it the 11th most prevalent pesticides in U.S. foods out of hundreds included in the testing.

A federal court in August said that the Trump Administration was endangering public health by keeping chlorpyrifos in use for agricultural food production. The court cited “scientific evidence that its residue on food causes neurodevelopmental damage to children” and ordered the EPA to revoke all tolerances and ban the chemical from the market. The EPA has yet to act on that order, and is seeking a rehearing before the full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

When asked how to explain its changing positions on chlorpyrifos, an agency spokesman said that the EPA “plans to continue to review the science addressing neurodevelopmental effects” of the chemical.

The fact that it is still in wide use frustrates and angers physicians who specialize in child health and leaves them wondering what other pesticide exposures in food might be doing to people.

“The bottom line is that the biggest public health concerns for chlorpyrifos are from its presence in foods,” said Dr. Bradley Peterson director of the Institute for the Developing Mind at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. “Even small exposures can potentially have harmful effects.”

The EPA decision to continue to allow chlorpyrifos into American diets is “emblematic of a broader dismissal of scientific evidence” that challenges human health as well as scientific integrity, according to Dr. Leonardo Trasande, who directs the Division of Environmental Pediatrics within the Department of Pediatrics at New York University’s Langone Health.

Epidemiologist Philip Landrigan, director of Boston College’s Global Public Health initiative, and a former scientist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, is advocating for a ban on all organophosphates, a class of insecticides that includes chlorpyrifos, because of the danger they pose to children.

“Children are exquisitely vulnerable to these chemicals,” said Landrigan. “This is about protecting kids.”

Increased tolerances at industry request

Warming Up Again/flickr

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act authorizes the EPA to regulate the use of pesticides on foods according to specific statutory standards and grants the EPA a limited authority to establish tolerances for pesticides meeting statutory qualifications.

Tolerances vary from food to food and pesticide to pesticide, so an apple might legally carry more of a certain type of insecticide residue than a plum, for instance. The tolerances also vary from country to country, so what the U.S. sets as a legal tolerance for residues of a pesticide on a particular food can – and often is – much different than limits set in other countries. As part of the setting of those tolerances, regulators examine data showing how much residue persists after a pesticide is used as intended on a crop, and they undertake the dietary risk assessments to confirm that the levels of pesticide residues don’t pose human health concerns.

The agency says that it accounts for the fact that the diets of infants and children may be quite different from those of adults and that they consume more food for their size than adults. The EPA also says it combines information about routes of pesticide exposure – food, drinking water residential uses – with information about the toxicity of each pesticide to determine the potential risks posed by the pesticide residues. The agency says if the risks are “unacceptable,” it will not approve the tolerances.

The EPA also says that when it makes tolerance decisions, it “seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices.”

Monsanto, which became of unit of Bayer AG earlier this year, has successfully asked the EPA to expand the levels of glyphosate residues allowed in several foods, including in wheat and oats.

In 1993, for example, the EPA had a tolerance for glyphosate in oats at 0.1 parts per million (ppm) but in 1996 Monsanto asked EPA to raise the tolerance to 20 ppm and the EPA did as asked. In 2008, at Monsanto’s suggestion, the EPA again looked to raise the tolerance for glyphosate in oats, this time to 30 ppm.

At that time, it also said it would raise the tolerance for glyphosate in barley from 20 ppm to 30 ppm, raise the tolerance in field corn from 1 to 5 ppm and raise the tolerance of glyphosate residue in wheat from 5 ppm to 30 ppm, a 500 percent increase. The 30 ppm for wheat is matched by more than 60 other countries, but is well above the tolerances allowed in more than 50 countries, according to an international tolerance database established with EPA funding and maintained now by a private government affairs consulting group.

“The Agency has determined that the increased tolerances are safe, i.e, there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue,” the EPA stated in the May 21, 2008 Federal Register.

“All these statements from EPA – trust us it’s safe. But the truth is we have no idea if it actually is safe,” said Dr. Bruce Lanphear, a clinician scientist at the Child & Family Research Institute, BC Children’s Hospital, and a professor in the faculty of health sciences at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. Lanphear said that while regulators assume toxic effects increase with dose, scientific evidence shows that some chemicals are most toxic at the lowest levels of exposure. Protecting public health will require rethinking basic assumptions about how agencies regulate chemicals, he argued in a paper published last year.

In recent years both Monsanto and Dow have received new tolerance levels for the pesticides dicamba and 2,4-D on food as well.

Raising tolerances allows farmers to use pesticides in various ways that may leave more residues, but that doesn’t threaten human health, according to Monsanto. In a blog posted last year, Monsanto scientist Dan Goldstein asserted the safety of pesticide residues in food generally and of glyphosate in particular. Even when they exceed the regulatory legal limits, pesticide residues are so minuscule they pose no danger, according to Goldstein, who posted the blog before he retired from Monsanto this year.

About half of foods sampled contained traces of pesticides

Amid the scientific concerns, the most recent FDA data on pesticide residues in food found that roughly half of the foods the agency sampled contained traces of insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and other toxic chemicals used by farmers in growing hundreds of different foods.

More than 90 percent of apple juices sampled were found to contain pesticides. The FDA also reported that more than 60 percent of cantaloupe carried residues. Overall, 79 percent of American fruits and 52 percent of vegetables contained residues of various pesticides – many known by scientists to be linked to a range of illnesses and disease. Pesticides were also found in soy, corn, oat and wheat products, and finished foods like cereals, crackers and macaroni.

The FDA analysis “almost exclusively” is focused on products that are not labeled as organic, according to FDA spokesman Peter Cassell.

The FDA downplays the percentage of foods containing pesticide residues and focuses on the percentage of samples for which there is no violation of the tolerance levels. In its most recent report, the FDA said that more than “99% of domestic and 90% of import human foods were compliant with federal standards.”

Related: Another round of tests finds weedkiller widespread in popular cereals and snack bars

The report marked the agency’s launch of testing for the weed killer glyphosate in foods. The Government Accountability Office said in 2014 that both the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture should start regularly testing foods for glyphosate. The FDA did only limited tests looking for glyphosate residues, however, sampling corn and soy and milk and eggs for the weed killer, the agency said. No residues of glyphosate were found in milk or eggs, but residues were found in 63.1 percent of the corn samples and 67 percent of the soybean samples, according to FDA data.

The agency did not disclose findings by one of its chemists of glyphosate in oatmeal and honey products, even though the FDA chemist made his findings known to supervisors and other scientists outside the agency.

Cassell said the honey and oatmeal findings were not part of the agency’s assignment.

Overall, the new FDA report covered sampling done from Oct. 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2016, and included analysis of 7,413 samples of food examined as part of the FDA’s “pesticide monitoring program.” Most of the samples were of food to be eaten by people, but 467 samples were of animal food. The agency said that pesticide residues were found in 47.1 percent of the samples of food for people produced domestically and 49.3 percent of food imported from other countries destined for consumer meals. Animal food products were similar, with pesticide residues found in 57 percent of the domestic samples and 45.3 percent of imported foods for animals.

Many imported food samples showed residues of pesticides high enough to break the legal limits, the FDA said. Nearly 20 percent of imported grain and grain product samples showed illegally high levels of pesticides, for example.

Carey Gillam is a journalist and author of Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science.. She’s also a researcher for US Right to Know, a nonprofit food industry research group.

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Categories: G2. Local Greens

EPA backs down from plan that could have allowed youth farmworkers to handle pesticides

Wine And Water Watch - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 11:42
See our earlier article on the Farm Bureau lobbying for kids to spray pesticides: House Farm Bill Increases Pesticide Risks to Children House Farm Bill Increases Pesticide Risks to Children, Farmworkers The House farm bill includes several proposals that would roll back key pesticide protections, putting children, farmworkers, communities and even endangered species at risk. EPA backs down from plan that could have allowed youth farmworkers to handle pesticides By Jan 10, 2019 The Environmental Protection Agency has abandoned plans to roll back a set of protections for farmworkers, including a proposal to ease Obama-era regulations requiring anyone working with dangerous pesticides to be at least 18 years old.

Passed in 2015, the rules became a target of the EPA a year after President Trump’s election. The agency announced in late 2017 that it was reconsidering the minimum age requirements, opening the door to the possibility that it might lower the age limit or do away with it entirely.

The agency cited as justification an executive order signed by the president calling for “reducing regulation and controlling regulatory costs.”

But the EPA said recently that the effort to scale back those environmental and health regulations would not go forward, disappointing industry groups and pleasantly surprising environmental and farmworker advocacy groups.

“These are common-sense protections,” said Erik Nicholson, national vice president of United Farm Workers. “There’s no good reason to say someone under 18 should be handling toxic pesticides.”

In an undated letter sent last week to Sen. Thomas R. Carper of Delaware, the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said he was withdrawing proposals to change the rules.

Wheeler’s letter did not offer an explanation for the reversal. It arrived just as the committee was preparing to vote on the nominations of three EPA officials, prompting speculation that the agency had agreed to leave the regulations in place in exchange for senators’ support.

Wheeler is slated to appear before the committee next week for his own confirmation to lead the EPA on a permanent basis.

In a written statement, Carper said he had fought for the changes.

“Over the past few months, I have raised serious concerns regarding many of the administration’s harmful environmental policies, and, as a result, EPA and [the president’s Council on Environmental Quality] have made specific commitments to me with respect to some of the most egregious ones,” he said.

Introduced during Scott Pruitt’s tumultuous tenure as head of the EPA, the proposed changes also took aim at rules that give farmworkers the right to find out from employers what pesticides they had been exposed to. They can do this on their own or through a third party, such as a lawyer.

Another regulation sets limitations on where pesticides can be used, preventing workers’ direct contact with toxic chemicals.

The rules did not sit well with industry groups, such as the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Assn. of State Departments of Agriculture, which argued that they were unfair to farmers and exposed them to lawsuits from environmental organizations.

Paul Schlegel, the federation’s managing director of public policy, said the group had hoped the EPA would repeal some of these rules. “We would have liked to have seen them go forward with that,” he said.

The federation did not take a position on whether anyone under the age of 18 should be able to work with pesticides, he said. However, it would prefer that the question of age limits be left to states to decide.

Though some states have stronger protections for farmworkers than the EPA requires, Nicholson, of the farmworkers’ union, said the regulations put in place under the Obama administration are important because they set the national standard.

“We have a saying that the laws on the books are not the laws in the fields,” Nicholson said. “However we need to have laws on the books so we can have aspirational goals to hold growers accountable. Otherwise, it’s crazy out there.”

 

 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

France takes Roundup weed-killer off market after court ruling

Wine And Water Watch - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 11:23
So why not here? France takes Roundup weed-killer off market after court ruling AFP/File / Philippe HUGUEN Bayer’s Roundup weed-killer contains glyphosate, which the French government plans to outlaw by 2021 French authorities on Tuesday banned the sale of a form of controversial weed-killer Roundup following a court ruling that regulators failed to take safety concerns into account when clearing the widely used herbicide.

Roundup, owned by Germany’s Bayer after its purchase of US agro-giant Monsanto last year, contains glyphosate which environmentalists and other critics have long believed causes cancer.

The French food and environmental safety agency ANSES said in a statement that sales of Roundup Pro 360 were banned as of Tuesday following a court ruling earlier in the day.

“As the ruling took effect immediately, market approval for Roundup Pro 360 has been cancelled,” ANSES said in a statement to AFP.

“The sale, distribution and use of Roundup Pro 360 are forbidden as of today.”

An administrative tribunal in Lyon, southeast France, ruled that ANSES should have given more weight to potential safety risks when authorising the use of Roundup Pro 360 in March 2017.

ANSES said it was “examining (the ruling) closely”.

Environmental activists hailed the ruling, noting a 2015 study by a World Health Organization (WHO) agency which concluded that glyphosate was “probably carcinogenic”.

“It’s a major ruling because it should eventually cover all versions of Roundup, as the court determined that all products with glyphosate are probably carcinogens,” said Corinne Lepage, a lawyer for the CRIIGEN genetics research institute.

The European Union renewed its authorisation of glyphosate for five years in November 2017, but President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to outlaw its use in France by 2021.

In August, a California court ordered Bayer to pay $78 million to a groundskeeper with terminal cancer who claimed he had not been adequately informed of the alleged health risks.

The company is appealing the ruling, saying scientific studies have proven glyphosate’s safety.

Glyphosate is used in weed-killers made by several companies, and is currently the most used herbicide around the world.

15 Jan 2019
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Making a difference: CalCAN’s Climate and Agriculture Summit

Wine And Water Watch - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 11:15

CalCAN’s Climate and Agriculture Summit

Jan. 16, 2019 | News from 
 

Haven’t yet registered for CalCAN’s
Climate and Agriculture Summit?

Good news!
You have five more days to take advantage of the Earlybird discount.

Register by January 21st and save $30 on the March 5th conference ticket!

The Summit, hosted at UC Davis, brings together California’s leading farmers, researchers, advocates and educators to network and share information about the latest science, policy and practice of climate-friendly agriculture.

This is CalCAN’s sixth conference, and it usually sells out. The March 4 th farm tours are already sold out, but feel free to email  summit@calclimateag.org to join the waitlist.

Here is a sample of some of the topics that will be covered (see the full program here):

  • What it Takes on the Ground to Get Carbon Into the Ground
  • Managing Agroecosystems for Climate Resilience
  • Technical Assistance as a Driver of Climate Smart Agriculture
  • Getting the Most Out of California’s Climate Smart Agriculture Incentives Program
At the end of the day, we will have a series of dynamic, engaging lightning talks on topics including:
  • An uncertain future of first-generation ranchers
  • Can seaweed reduce methane emissions from cattle?
  • State-of-the-art climate smart farmworker housing
Stay after the conference for a celebration of CalCAN’s 10th anniversary. Join us for live music, a snack buffet and beverages for a festive evening honoring the collective impact that the network has been able to make with partners like you! Register now
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Sonoma Water’s new – Onerain website

Wine And Water Watch - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 11:11

From OAEC Brock Dolman:

David Berman recently alerted me to this new Sonoma Water website which shows:  Sonoma County Real-time Rainfall, River-Stream, and Reservoir Data. Have a peek at the long list of rainfall locations, although it looks like deep West County is not represented – maybe because it was developed as they say below following the North Bay fires of 2017? Anyway – fun to look at the various real-time water metrics. Mostly Water, Brock https://sonoma.onerain.com/home.php

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Water of the US: Update #4 and shutdown

Wine And Water Watch - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 11:05

Background: Allows for pesticide use and groundwater pollution is seasonal or low flow streams that support wildlife and flora.

“It is important that even dry streams and riverbeds be considered as “waters of the United States” because, as our recent drought has reminded us, seasonality can be within a year or within multiyear cycles,” wrote R. Brett Matzke, environmental director for the Cortina Rancheria Kletsel Dehe Band of Wintun Indians in Williams, California. “We must have the ability to protect drinking water and water that supports aquatic life whenever water returns to those areas.”

“An overarching goal of the Clean Water Act is the restoration and maintenance of chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters,” wrote Tracy Mehan, director of government affairs for the American Water Works Association, a water utility trade organization. “To limit the definition to a strict Scalia interpretation will likely make the achievement of this goal and the implementation of this policy difficult to nearly impossible.”

Re: WOTUS, No.4 and Shutdown toolkit

Sierra Club Actions

EPA announced its Waters of the United States replacement or “Dirty Water Rule”. The administration’s talking points indicate that the proposal would restrict which wetlands and waterways are protected under the Clean Water Act, such as excluding ephemeral streams and wetlands that are not “physically and meaningfully” connected to other jurisdictional waterways.

Here is link to an Add-Up petition opposing the change. Please circulate this petition if you can.

https://act.sierraclub.org/actions/National?actionId=AR0135428

The following is provided by Jennifer Collins with Earth Justice.

·  Dirty Water Rule. On December 11, 2018, the Trump administration announced the “Dirty Water Rule” or its revised definition of “Waters of the US” that substantially limits the number of waterways receiving protection from the Clean Water Act. The rule is NOT yet posted in the federal register, so the 60 day comment period has not yet begun. A number of groups requested an extension of the comment period, although have not yet heard back. On December 28th, EPA and Army Corps announced that they would do one public hearing in Kansas City, KS on January 23rd and do an online webcast on January 10. Due to the partial government shutdown, the Kansas City hearing has been postponed and on its website, EPA states that if the government is still shut down on the 10th, the webcast will have to be postponed, as well.
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Anti-fracking activist sues Lafayette Mayor Christine Berg over First Amendment violations

East Boulder County United - Sat, 01/19/2019 - 14:30
Cliff Willmeng, Lafayette resident and founder of anti-fracking group East Boulder County United, filed a lawsuit against the city's Mayor Christine Berg, for violation of First Amendment rights by blocking and removing critical comments of his on her official Facebook page.Click here for the full news story.
Categories: G2. Local Greens

January 23rd Cannabis Advisory Group meeting, public can attend

Wine And Water Watch - Sat, 01/19/2019 - 12:51
What this corporate heavy group want to place in the General Plan…”If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu”. Please consider attending this meeting. Cannabis Advisory Group Meeting January 23rd:

(sent to CAG members)

Please see the attached materials for the January 23rd Cannabis Advisory Group meeting. These materials will also be posted on the CAG website later this week. I am looking forward to continuing our discussion regarding the goals of the Cannabis Program, and creating a framework to guide the continued evolution of the program and provide clear direction to the Cannabis Ad Hoc and staff. The focus this month will be on Economic Vitality and as discussed we will tackle Neighborhood Compatibility in February.

We will be using a slightly different format this month which will include breaking into three smaller groups to develop goals and objectives and then quickly reconvening to have a larger group discussion. Our facilitator Gary Hochman will continue to guide the process and will provide additional information on the meeting format next week.

Attachments:

  • Meeting Agenda
  • Draft Meeting Notes
  • Visioning Outline (overview of the process and structure provided at the last meeting)
  • Draft Framework Working Document (Essentially notes from the December 12th brainstorming visioning kickoff meeting. The CAG will work each month to revise and each category.)
  • Economic Impact of the Cannabis Industry- by Sustaining Technologies, and Economic Forensics and Analytics, Inc.
  • Overview of Proposed Cannabis Program Visioning StructureA General Plan is a broad planning guideline to a city’s or county’s future development goals and provides policy statements to achieve those development goals. Each city and county adopts and updates their General Plan to guide the growth and land development of their community, for both the current period and the long term.  To help guide us through this visioning the future of the Sonoma County Cannabis Program staff and the Co-Chairs are proposing using a similar hierarchy structure used by the general plan.Element Purpose– Statement of what is covered in each Element, essentially the scope.

    Draft Example-The Economic Vitality Element focuses on the economic vitality of the Cannabis Industry and its impacts on the economy on Sonoma County.

    Goal: A general statement of a desired end toward which an effort will be directed.

    Draft Example- Foster a healthy diverse and economically viable cannabis industry that contributes to the local economy.

    Objectives: A specific detailed statement of a desired future condition toward which the County is committed and progress is measurable.

    Draft ExampleEncourage the creation of jobs within in the cannabis industry which pay at least 25% higher than minimum wage.

    CAG Recommendations and Actions: Specific statement that guides decision making in order to achieve a goal or objective.

    ExampleEstablish database which tracks the number of jobs and employee wages for permitted cannabis businesses.

     

     

     

     

    Community Compatibility

      Economic Vitality Environmental Impact Land Use Public Safety Develop ways to increase the community compatibility through awareness, education and regulations.

      The Economic Vitality Element focuses on the economic vitality of the Cannabis Industry and its impacts on the economy on Sonoma County.

      Address the environmental impacts of the cannabis industry and preservation of natural and scenic resources. Guide growth and development associated with the Cannabis Industry and provide a regulatory pathway for the cannabis industry consistent with state regulations. Protect public health and safety of Sonoma County residents through regulations and enforcement.     Goal:

          Goal:

          Goal:

          Goal:

          Goal:

              Objectives:

              Objectives:

              Objectives:

              Objectives:

              Objectives:

                  Policies:             Policies:             Policies:             Policies:             Policies:

     

     

    DRAFT NOTES
    Sonoma County Cannabis Program Framework
    December 12, 2018 Meeting

    The notes below are based on the December 12th brainstorming visioning kickoff meeting. They are only a draft and the CAG will work each month to revise and each category.
    Program Categories & Goals

    Community Compatibility Economic Vitality Environmental Stewardship Land Use Public Safety GOAL #1 Develop comprehensive long-term vision of Cannabis in Sonoma County Support local and cottage businesses Protect and enhance Sonoma County’s natural resources Utilize existing technology and best practices from non-cannabis agricultural operations and other industries Ensure health & safety of Sonoma County residents, workforce and visitors GOAL #2 Dispel public misconceptions about & build support for commercial cannabis Increase cannabis-related tax revenue Minimize the cannabis industry’s global footprint Offset outdoor cultivation odor impacts through increased allowance of controlled greenhouses GOAL #3 Balance needs and priorities of all stakeholders Provide for equitable and streamlined permitting process Allow for flexibility of permit requirements w/ evidence of current and future neighborhood support (ex. Good Neighbor Policy or memorandum of understanding)

     

    DRAFT CATEGORY GOALS & ACTION ITEMS:

     

    Economic Vitality: Goals & Action Items

    GOALS Support local and cottage businesses Increase cannabis-related tax revenue Provide for equitable and streamlined permitting process OBJECTIVES Showcase successful local operations to dispel concerns & encourage leading by example Showcase successful local operations to dispel concerns & lead by example Develop standard criteria/expectations for application processing and supporting materials required Ensure equitable opportunities exist for all operators throughout commercial cannabis supply chain Ensure equitable opportunities exist for all operators throughout commercial cannabis supply chain Provide more information on process, submittals, costs and timeline at the front-end of the application process Utilize local data on permitted operations to better direct future efforts & policy decisions Utilize local data on permitted operations to direct future efforts Provide sufficient staffing for timely permit processing Incentivize local food sheds Support and encourage cannabis events and tourism Encourage proactive neighborhood engagement prior to application submittal Remove barriers to and incentivize smaller-scale and specialty cultivation Embrace and encourage cannabis businesses the same as any other Ensure presence of adequately qualified staff member(s) for review/analysis of technical studies required by applicants Develop plan to integrate commercial cannabis w/ existing property uses Develop minimum/maximum thresholds for impacts and mitigations Process and review cannabis permits w/ same criteria and level of scrutiny as comparable non-cannabis permits

     

 

 

 

 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Scientists Call for ‘Global Agricultural Revolution’ and ‘Planetary Health Diet’ to Save Lives—and Earth

Wine And Water Watch - Sat, 01/19/2019 - 12:42
Remember meatless Mondays? ““The food we eat and how we produce it determines the health of people and the planet, and we are currently getting this seriously wrong,” declared Tim Lang, a co-author of the EAT-Lancet Commission and professor at City, University of London. “We need a significant overhaul, changing the global food system on a scale not seen before in ways appropriate to each country’s circumstances.” Scientists Call for ‘Global Agricultural Revolution’ and ‘Planetary Health Diet’ to Save Lives—and Earth

“The food we eat and how we produce it determines the health of people and the planet, and we are currently getting this seriously wrong.”

by Jessica Corbett, staff writer

In a new report about human health and the environmental, experts call for people across the globe to follow a “flexitarian” or “planetary health” diet. (Photo: The EAT-Lancet Commission)

While scientists continue to call for immediately phasing out fossil fuels across the global to avert climate catastrophe, a team of international experts on Thursday unveiled a proposal to address another major driver of the climate crisis: the world’s unhealthy and unsustainable food system.

“To be healthy, diets must have an appropriate calorie intake and consist of a variety of plant-based foods, low amounts of animal-based foods, unsaturated rather than saturated fats, and few refined grains, highly processed foods, and added sugars.”
—Dr. Walter Willett, Harvard University

“The food we eat and how we produce it determines the health of people and the planet, and we are currently getting this seriously wrong,” declared Tim Lang, a co-author of the EAT-Lancet Commission and professor at City, University of London. “We need a significant overhaul, changing the global food system on a scale not seen before in ways appropriate to each country’s circumstances.”

The commission brought together 37 experts in agriculture, environmental sustainability, human health, and political science from 16 countries. Over three years, they developed the “planetary health diet,” which aims to address the global food system’s devastating environmental impact as well as mass malnutrition.

Noting that more than 800 million people worldwide “have insufficient food, while many more consume an unhealthy diet that contributes to premature death and disease,” co-lead commissioner Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard University said the “world’s diets must change dramatically” to reverse the damage that’s been done.

“To be healthy,” he explained, “diets must have an appropriate calorie intake and consist of a variety of plant-based foods, low amounts of animal-based foods, unsaturated rather than saturated fats, and few refined grains, highly processed foods, and added sugars.” “This is the first attempt to set universal scientific targets for the food system that apply to all people and the planet,” according to the final report, Food in the Anthropocene: Healthy Diets From Sustainable Food Systems (pdf).

The “Great Food Transformation” envisioned by the commission acknowledges that the world population is on track to reach an estimated 10 billion by 2050. The researchers considered current food production and consumption trends in terms of not only planet-warming emissions but also cropland and freshwater use, nitrogen and phosphorus cycling, and species extinction.

“Humanity now poses a threat to the stability of the planet,” co-lead commissioner Johan Rockström of the Stockholm Resilience Center told the Guardian. “[This requires] nothing less than a new global agricultural revolution.”

The report, published in The Lancet, lays out five key strategies for its proposed overhaul of global food norms:
  1. Seek international and national commitment to shift toward healthy diets that feature more plant-based foods—including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains—and less animal products.
  2. Reorient agricultural priorities from producing high quantities of food to producing healthy food that nurtures human health and supports environmental sustainability.
  3. Sustainably intensify food production to increase high-quality output with a series of reforms that include becoming a net carbon sink from 2040 forward to align with the goals of the Paris climate agreement.
  4. Strong and coordinated governance of land and oceans, including by implementing a “Half Earth” strategy for biodiversity conservation.
  5. At least halve food losses and waste, in line with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), on both the production side and the consumption side.

Alongside its report, the commission put out a brief (pdf) identifying top takeaways and specific actions that individuals can take to help transform the global food system. Suggestions include buying more sustainably produced food, embracing plants as a source of protein, and slashing both meat consumption and food waste.

The unveiling of the planetary health diet follows a series of recent studies that have shown it is environmentally necessary for humans—particularly in the United States and Europe—to dramatically reduce red meat consumption. The commission estimates that shifting toward such a diet could save at least 11 million adult lives annually.

The commission’s report comes as the New England Journal of Medicine published a “grim analysis” on Thursday which warns that the World Health Organization’s conclusion from just five years ago that rising global temperatures over the next few decades will kill 250,000 people per year is a “conservative estimate.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License full story

 

 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Organic and Biodynamic Wine List

Wine And Water Watch - Sat, 01/19/2019 - 12:17
We urge everyone to support the wineries listed below. With high childhood cancer rates and glyphosate found in most wines, please support the wine makers who support healthy communities. “Sustainable” means not poisoning and degrading the environment. Our county is down to 1% organic and biodynamic acreage certified by INDEPENDENT third party certifiers.    PARTIAL LIST: ORGANIC/BIODYNAMIC WINES TO SUPPORT

100% Organic

Canihan Wines

Emtu Estate Wines

Hamel Family Wines

Horse and Plow

Kamen Estate Winery

Martorana Family Winery

Medlock Ames

Porter-Bass

Preston Farm & Winery

Skipstone WInery

The Gardener

Russian River Vineyards

PARTLY ORGANIC/BIODYNAMIC 

Alexander Valley Vineyards

Amapola Creek Vineyards

Bartholomew Park

Benziger Family Winery

De Loach Vineyards

Hawley Family Winery

Imagery Estate

Korbin Kameron

Lasseter Family Winery

Laurel Glen

Petroni Vineyards

Porter Creek Vineyards (estate wines only biodynamic)

Quivera Vineyards

Radio Coteau

Ridge Vineyards

Stone Edge Farm & Winery

Turley Wine Cellars

Truett Hurst

Wild Hog (also dry farmed) 

Winery Sixteen 600

Single Vineyard Designate

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Threats to democratic participation define first week of 2019 General Assembly

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth - Sat, 01/19/2019 - 09:32

Looking forward to making some positive impact in the 2019 General Assembly, KFTC members instead found efforts to limit public participation in the fundamental institutions and practices of our democracy.

Many members of KFTC and other groups were in the capitol and the adjacent capitol annex (where legislators have their offices and most committee meetings are held) for the first day of the session on January 8. The Kentucky Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and the Kentucky Council of Churches held events in the capitol rotunda that many participated in.

Others came to welcome new and returning legislators, especially several House representatives who had received active support from KFTC members during their campaigns. Among those was Jim Glenn, who won by one vote. Speculation was that House Republican leaders might refuse to seat Glenn since they are working to overturn his election.

To the surprise of many, several public areas of the capitol and annex were off limits to the public, including the tunnel that connects the capitol and the annex. Hundreds of people use the tunnel daily.

Guards at the annex side of the tunnel refused to let the public go through the tunnel – most of the time; the restriction was inconsistently enforced. Legislators, legislative staff, registered lobbyists and the media may still use the tunnel.

The alternative to using the tunnel is to leave the building, walk around to the other side of the capitol and re-enter, requiring an additional security check.

What if one has mobility issues? It is up to the discretion of the guard on duty whether to let a person through, a guard told some KFTC members.

What if there is inclement weather? "Bring an umbrella," another guard responded.

Other disturbing events during the first week of the General Assembly
  • the House held at least one unnoticed committee meeting that was inaccessible to the public;
  • House Republicans created an "election contest board" to determine the outcome of Jim Glenn's election, which has been certified by the Secretary of State; House leaders seized ballots from the Daviess County Clerk;
  • stakeholders were not allowed to testify in a Senate committee hearing on a bill that will impact their lives;
  • the governor held an invitation-only media briefing that many reporters were prevented from attending.

"[This] something that shouldn't be happening in a democracy."

— Scott Thile

Umbrellas are one of the items that the public may not bring into the buildings.

These unannounced "emergency" regulations were approved by the Bevin administration on January 4.

 Virginia Johnson and Jeff Hampton, northern Kentucky KFTC members, were allowed to use the tunnel.

"Jeff and I went for the Poor People's Campaign and the Council of Churches in the capitol. We came into the annex and had checked in there and were ready to go through the tunnel; state police stopped us and said they had to check us again, even though we had just done that. They let us through."

After the events in the capitol, Jeff and Virginia walked back through the tunnel without being stopped and were waiting for others near the end of the tunnel on the annex side.

"A plainclothes person comes out and says, 'Why are you standing here.? You're not allowed here. You're congregating. This is a group.'

I said. 'Well, there's only two of us. We're not blocking anything."

"He said, 'You have to leave here,' and he actually made us walk through the tunnel again, over to the capitol, opened the door and said, 'Don't try to come through this way again.'"

Members also were told that the third floor of the capitol, where the House and Senate chambers are, also was off limits.

  • the third floor is where the galleries are for the public to watch the House or Senate proceedings
  • the third floor is where the designated overflow room was for family and friends to watch (on closed-circuit tv) their loved ones get sworn in as a legislator.

After being escorted back to the capitol, Virginia and Jeff used the elevator to go the third floor of the capitol. "We went up to the third floor and another plainclothes person came up and started telling us, 'You can't be up here. No one is allowed on the third floor. You need to leave right now.'

"We started talking to him … and I actually felt almost threatend by him, he was that vehement about us leaving there. Finally he walked us over to the elevator, pressed the button, saw us get on and said, 'Don't dare try to come up here again.'"

The public also was blocked from using the stairs to get to the third floor.

Eventually, though, some people got there using the elevator. And guards on the stairs relented when they realized people were being told to go to third floor overflow room (and that room was hot and overcrowded while a bigger and better room on the second floor went unused).

"It was a really horrible experience, it really was. I was upset by it … for everybody that comes," added Virginia. "It's very important that we push on this. This is a threat to our democracy. It's just to restrain access to the capitol. That's the people's place. That's should be a place where we can all go and not be hassled."

"It is a way to intimidate people. Say you're a first-time person. You have an experience like that you're not going to go back!"

"Absolutely, Virginia. It is intimidation," Joanie Prentice noted after Virginia shared her story on a KFTC webinar. "We must persist, protest, write, call in order to maintain our right to be present in the legislative process."

There will be a public hearing about the emergency regulations on February 22 from 10 a.m.-noon in room 386 of the Annex. Speakers must notify Judy Piazza at least five workdays before the hearing. Written comments also may be submitted to Piazza, Executive Director, Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, Capitol Annex Building Room 392, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601; 502-564-4240, and Judith.Piazza@ky.gov.

Tags: General Assembly
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Extinction Rebellion Comes to the Bay, Jan 26

Sunflower Alliance - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 19:14

Join Extinction Rebellion San Francisco Bay Area, Idle No More SF Bay and others committed to ensuring a safe, healthy, survivable for life on Mother Earth’s belly.  This is the first community organizing meeting for Extinction Rebellion San Francisco Bay Area.  Let’s nonviolently and with love for all we hold dear save the world … Read more

Categories: G2. Local Greens

MPs: ‘Stop misleading people on environmental pollution’

Papua New Guinea Mine Watch - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 15:20

Frieda river mine camp

Sepik MPs denying history and the lessons learned from pollution at the ‘World Class’ Ok Tedi, Panguna, Porgera and Tolukuma mines…

The National aka The Loggers Times | January 18, 2019

Three Sepik MPs are appealing to East and West Sepik leaders to stop misleading the local people on environmental pollution caused by the Frieda River project.

Yangoru-Saussia MP and National Planning Minister Richard Maru, Telefomin MP Solan Mirisim and Ambunti-Drekikir MP Johnson Wapunai supported development of the project.

They said developer, PanAust, had revised its design to include a 320km pipeline to transport slurry to Vanimo for export.

Maru said he did not support the project at first because the proposal was for copper slurry to go down the Sepik River by barge to sea.

“I did not want to compromise the Sepik River in any way because of the experiences we’ve learnt from the Ok Tedi mine,” he said.

“I am extremely happy that the new developer has changed the development plan for the Frieda mine.

“They will now build a 320km pipeline to take the slurry from Frieda all the way to Vanimo.

“In line with that development plan, our Government has now funded the feasibility study and design of the new Vanimo wharf at a cost of over K30 million.

“The work is going on now.

“We expect that the feasibility study and the design will be completed by around March, latest April.

“Our Government has been proactive in making sure we have a wharf which shall cater for the requirements of the gold mine, Bewani oil palm project and vast economic activities that we want to create in the special economic zone in Vanimo.

“This is for us to trade into Asia using Vanimo as the major export port.

“I would like to appeal to East Sepik and West Sepik leaders to stop misleading the people of West and East Sepik and create unnecessary fear among them.”

Maru urged leaders and the public to get behind local MPs Mirisim and Wapunai and support development of the project.

“We are thankful that the developer has already submitted mine development plan and the application for special mining licence (SML) to the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA),” he said.

“We, as the leaders of East and West Sepik, will get behind this project, work with the NEC (National Executive Council) and the prime minister and not only deliver the Wafi-Golpu mine but the Frieda River mine also.”

The three MPs responded to recent awareness carried out by tertiary students on the environmental effects of the mine.

They said the environment would not be compromised in any way and the benefit streams were far better than what the Government and people have enjoyed in other mining projects.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be US$739 million (K2,443.50).

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Maru Supports Morobe’s Stand On No ‘Fly In Fly Out’

Papua New Guinea Mine Watch - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 15:17

Ummm… “The best resource project that I have seen in my lifetime is the Bougainville copper mining project”.

Post Courier | January 18, 2019

National Planning Richard Maru has come out publicly to support the stance taken by the Morobe provincial government to oppose ‘fly in fly out’ arrangement for workers of the Wafi-Golpu project.

This is the first time a very senior member of Government has come out on the issue that has been a critical mainstay of discussions and forums by landowners and leaders alike in the Morobe province.

Minister Maru said if there was one thing that his government was taking away from mineral development, it was learning from previous Governments mistakes to not getting the best deal for the country.

“In this new deals that we want to put together for this country, under the new mining agreement for Wafi Golpu and Freida and even the second LNG project we are going to make sure that Papua New Guinea benefits more than any other resource projects in the past.

“I want place on record, this morning (yesterday) that I support the position taken by the Governor of Morobe and the people of Morobe that there will be no fly in fly out in the Wafi Golpu project.

“As planning minister we are already planning for a township at Nadzap and long term employees for Wafi-Golpu as far as I am concerned must live in Morobe and the income they generate must be used in Papua New Guinea, spent in Papua New Guinea, so we get back GST and the money must re-circulate within our economy,” Minister Maru said yesterday.

He said the situation where all resources are being depleted, all the monies end up in other countries all contribute to current issues being such as foreign currency shortages.

“As planning minister I do not support that, I want to see maximum benefit, families living here better, schools being built with the support of the resource companies, better towns being built.

“I want to say this and I make no apology to anyone. The best resource project that I have seen in my lifetime is the Bougainville copper mining project.

“They not only built a copper mine, they built a town, the best hospital, a supermarket, they provided international schools and all the families who were there and the benefits trickled around Bougainville.”

He said the model of BCL is need in the country.

“This is what will help to keep up the maximum revenue flows within this country and make sure that our country and this people will benefit of the wealth of our resources.”

Categories: G2. Local Greens

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