News from the Associated Press - August 12, 2014

Associated Press
August 12, 2014

Poll: NY voters call Albany corruption serious

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A poll shows most New York voters think corruption is a serious problem in Albany, though most are unfamiliar with the anti-corruption commission the governor shuttered in April.

The Siena College poll also shows 81 percent don't know who U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is.

An outspoken critic of Albany corruption, Bharara has taken the files of the Moreland commission and subpoenaed papers of commissioners themselves following a newspaper report the administration interfered in the commission's selection of targets.

The poll shows 47 percent say corruption in state government is a very serious problem and 39 percent say it's somewhat serious.

Meanwhile, 67 percent say they are unfamiliar with the Moreland commission's work.

The poll last week of 863 registered likely voters has a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.


Drilling firm challenges township waste ordinance

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A gas and oil drilling company is suing a western Pennsylvania township, claiming that an ordinance passed to ban the disposal of drilling byproducts like fracking fluids and briny water is illegal and trumped by state and federal law.

Officials in Grant Township, Indiana County, have yet to see the lawsuit filed late Friday by the Pennsylvania General Energy Company, of Warren.

But township Supervisor Fred Carlson says its own attorney has advised the ordinance may be illegal. The township supervisors are meeting Tuesday to discuss either rescinding the ordinance, or fighting to defend it in court.

The ordinance and resulting lawsuit were spawned by PGE's plans to convert an old underground natural gas well to an injection well, where the company could dispose of briny water and other fluids from drilling.


NY regulators to discuss propane storage plan

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - State regulators say they'll hold an "issues conference" on a proposed propane storage facility in a depleted Finger Lakes salt cavern to determine if an official hearing before a judge is needed.

The Department of Environmental Conservation says Monday that the conference will be scheduled because of extensive public interest in the proposal by Houston-based Crestwood Midstream to store propane beside Seneca Lake.

Finger Lakes winemakers traveled to Albany last month asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reject the proposal, saying it would bring heavy industry, truck traffic and the risk of catastrophic accidents to the region.

Crestwood said in a statement that the permitting review over five years has been thorough and DEC has confirmed it has all the information required for a decision later this year.


NY truck inspections take 167 off the highway

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - State Police say special truck inspections along New York's Southern Tier Expressway over 72 hours last week found more than 1,300 violations and put 167 vehicles out of service for more serious vehicle and driver safety violations.

According to troopers, the 795 inspections conducted along Interstate 86 and state Route 17 turned up vehicle violations including unsecured loads, improperly transporting hazardous loads, inoperable turn signals and brake lights and brake and steering violations.

The 38 drivers placed out-of-service were found with violations including improper or no commercial driver's licenses and hours-of-service violations including falsified log books.