News from the Associated Press - August 20, 2014

Associated Press
August 20, 2014

Pa. fines gas driller for losing control of well

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — State environmental regulators have fined a gas drilling company for allowing natural gas to escape a well in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said Tuesday it fined Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. more than $76,000 for losing control of a well at its Huston pad in Brooklyn Township, Susquehanna County.

Regulators say the well released natural gas for about 27 hours before it was brought under control on Jan. 6.

DEP says a Cabot subcontractor who was replacing equipment at the wellhead didn't follow procedures for working on equipment in cold weather, leading to a damaged valve that released the gas.

The DEP says the gas dissipated and there was no significant environmental impact.

 

Group challenges New York redistricting plan

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A government watchdog group is challenging the wording of a ballot question on redistricting, saying the referendum on this fall's ballot is deceptive.

Common Cause-New York announced the lawsuit Tuesday. The organization is one of several that have criticized the ballot question, which will ask voters to authorize a new commission to handle redistricting beginning in 2022. That's the next time the state's political districts will be redrawn to account for population changes.

The referendum says the commission will be independent, even though top lawmakers would pick eight of its 10 members, and the Legislature would have the power to reject any commission proposal it didn't like.

Common Cause Executive Director Susan Lerner, a plaintiff in the suit, says the proposition is misleading and should be rejected.

 

Lawmakers: Remington laying off 105 in New York

ILION, N.Y. (AP) — Two New York state lawmakers say more than 100 workers at the Remington Arms manufacturing plant in the Mohawk Valley are being laid off as the company shifts two of its assembly lines to Alabama.

Sen. James Seward of Oneonta and Assemblyman Marc Butler of Herkimer County tell local media that 105 people are losing their jobs at Remington's plant in the village of Ilion, 55 miles east of Syracuse.

In May, Madison, North Carolina-based Remington announced that it would move the Bushmaster rifle and R1 pistol production lines from Ilion to its new plant in Huntsville, Alabama starting this summer. Parent company Remington Outdoor announced in February it would expand the Alabama operation.

The Ilion plant employs about 1,300 workers.

A spokesman for Remington Outdoor says the layoffs are a result of the consolidation and a softening market.

 

Craft beer research will be brewing at Hartwick

ONEONTA, N.Y. (AP) - Hartwick College is getting government help to develop a lab designed to support the local craft brewing industry.

Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced $124,000 in funding for research and development at the Oneonta college to help the local craft brewing and food industries. The total project will cost $349,000 and is expected to create up to 32 new jobs.

This new program will be used to create a testing laboratory that will be used to research and develop ways to improve craft food and beverages.

The funding comes from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

There are nearly 100 breweries in New York state.