Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Bud Light beer dumped all over the road after 18-wheeler truck collided with car at intersection in Melville, Long Island, NY

Beer was dumped on a road Wednesday morning in Melville.

Eyewitness News
Updated 2 hrs 56 mins ago
MELVILLE, Long Island (WABC) -- Police were investigating Wednesday morning after a load of beer was dumped on a road following a wreck.

Around midnight, a truck carrying Bud Light beer bottles crashed with a car at the intersection of the South Service Road and Walt Whitman Road.

The 18-wheel truck and car overturned.

The two drivers were taken to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow with minor injuries.

Beer spilled across the road. The South Service Road was closed from Walt Whitman to Route 110.

The investigation is continuing.


(The Daily Journal / Justin Odendhal)

Updated 21 mins ago
VINELAND, N.J. (WPVI) -- Officials are investigating a hazmat incident at Vineland High School South that sent seven people to the hospital.

That include five students and two teachers who were taken to the hospital for observation.

The incident was reported around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the school in Cumberland County, New Jersey.

Officials say a chemical odor was coming from a second floor science lab, forcing an evacuation of about 1,000 students.

There was no immediate word on the cause of that chemical odor.

1,000 gallons of sodium hydroxide spilled at the DRP mine in the Blue Creek area of Kanawha County, WV after someone caused 2 bullet holes in the tank

UPDATE 3/20/17 @ 4:05 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says there is believed to be no impact on drinking water after a leaking water treatment tank was reported Monday.

An initial investigation has determined the leak was caused by two bullet holes in the tank.

The exact time of the incident is under investigation, but it is believed to have happened sometime since the evening hours of March 16.

The tank was holding a solution containing 20% sodium hydroxide, or lye.

It was set up to treat acid mine draining in the area of Belcher Hollow.

The WVDEP will issue two notices of violation: one for inadequate secondary containment and one for exceeding effluent limits for pH.

Initial in stream testing indicated pH remained in compliance

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and for the latest information. 

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Department of Environmental Protection and Kanawha County Emergency Management are responding to a chemical spill at a mine.

Dispatchers tell WSAZ 1,000 gallons of sodium hydroxide spilled at the DRP mine in the Blue Creek area of Kanawha County.

The spill was reported to DEP around 11 a.m. Monday morning.

The spill happened 31 miles away from the closest water intake.

It's unknown at this time whether or not the chemical made it into the water stream.

All water intakes have been told about the spill.

Dispatchers say West Virginia American Water is monitoring the situation.

Sodium hydroxide is also known as lye. 


SANDERSON, WV (WCHS/WVAH) — Environmental regulators said they plan to issue two notices of violation after a chemical leak in Eastern Kanawha County that was caused by two small caliber bullet holes in a tank.

The tank, located in Belcher Hollow near Sanderson, was holding a solution containing 20 percent sodium hydroxide, according to a news release from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

No fish kill has been observed in the leak reported Monday morning ,and the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health has said there is believed to be no effect on drinking water, the DEP said. The nearest public water intake is more than 30 miles downstream, on the Elk River in Charleston.

The exact time of the incident is under investigation, but is believed to have occurred sometime since the evening of Thursday, March 16.

The tank was holding a solution containing 20 percent sodium hydroxide. The tank was set up to treat acid mine drainage in the area. The sodium hydroxide normally entered treatment ponds at a controlled rate, but because of the vandalism the sodium hydroxide entered the treatment ponds uncontrolled causing excessive pH.

The storage tank was registered to ERP Environmental Fund Inc. WVDEP Division of Mining and Reclamation (DMR) inspectors found that the tank is currently registered to a ERP subsidiary.

The DEP said it will issue two notices of violation: one for inadequate secondary containment and one for exceeding effluent limits for pH. Initial in stream testing indicated pH remained in compliance.

The DEP said the state Department of Health and Human Resources, Kanawha County Emergency Services, and West Virginia American Water were all made aware of the situation.

Metro 911 said state environmental crews and county emergency management personnel are responding to a chemical spill in Blue Creek.

An emergency dispatcher said 1,000 gallons of sodium hydroxide (lye) spilled about 11 a.m. Monday at the DRP mine site.

The Department of Environmental Protection and Kanawha County Emergency Management are en route.

Metro 911 said there is no risk right now, and officials do not know if the chemical made it into the stream. The accident happened about 31 miles from the water intake.

Blue Creek is located northeast of Elkview.

Worker with Wright Brothers Construction Co. died after he fell from a bridge near Emerald Rock Road on U.S. Highway 64 in NC

ASHEBORO, North Carolina —

A contractor for Wright Brothers Construction was killed in Asheboro Monday.

Officials from Wright Brothers Construction says the man killed has been identified as Anthony Ramos. Ramos was from Burnsville, Simpson says.

It happened around 11:30 a.m. near Emerald Rock Road on U.S. Highway 64, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

"He was disassembling a screed, a part that is used with concrete," said Peggy Beach, communications officer for NCDOT. "The outer section of the screed fell of its rail and the worker fell when that happened."

State representatives from Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed the fatal accident.

"It's a tragic accident and we are investigating the accident to find out what happened," said Mitchell Simpson, vice-president of Wright Brothers Construction. "I would just ask that you all keep the family and our employees in thoughts and prayers as we go through this difficult situation."

Wright Brothers Construction has had talks with OSHA before. In 2010, a 55-year-old man was thrown from the cab of a dump truck and died from his injuries. In 2014, a safety complaint was filed in 2014 at a project on another bridge in Alabama.

ASHEBORO, N.C. — A construction worker was killed after he fell from a bridge in Asheboro Monday afternoon.

The worker, identified as Anthony Ramos, was taken to a local hospital where he later died from his injuries.

The bridge is located at the U.S. 64 bypass project near Emerald Rock Road in Asheboro.

Ramos was employed by Wright Brothers Contracting in Tennessee.

Mitchell Simpson, vice president of Wright Brothers Construction, was able to confirm the death and that Ramos was a North Carolina resident.

Additional details are unknown.

THE IMPACT OF DEMOCRATIC URBAN CENTERS: The Rusty Patch Bumblebee is now on the endangered species list for the first time in the continental U.S.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 08:18PM

A threatened species of bumblebees is now on the endangered species list for the first time in the continental U.S.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the Rusty Patch Bumblebee as officially endangered Tuesday.

Rusty Patch Bumblebees used to live across 28 states, but are now down to just 13.  This is the result of the growth of the urban centers where mostly immigrants and refugees live.  Most of these people are in Democratic-controlled states.  We are certain that Democrat "activists" will now attack and impose regulations on the rural areas where these bees are still thriving.

Bumble bees: rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis)

The rusty patched bumble bee is a species of bumble bee native to eastern North America. Its’ workers and males have a small rust-colored patch on the middle of their second abdominal segment. This bee was once commonly distributed throughout the east and upper Midwest of the United States, but has declined from an estimated 87% of its historic range in recent years. The rusty-patched bumble bee was once an excellent pollinator of wildflowers, cranberries, and other important crops, including plum, apple, alfalfa and onion seed.

Responding to a petition filed by the Xerces Society in 2013 to list the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) finalized the ruling and gave the rusty patched bumble bee endangered status under the ESA in January of 2017


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes ESA protection for the rusty patched bumble bee

By Rich Hatfield - Senior Conservation Biologist, Endangered Species Program
Published on September 21, 2016
Tags: bee, bumble bee, endangered species, policy, rusty patched bumble bee

In 2013 the Xerces Society petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) as an endangered species. Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it is proposing to list the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. This is a huge victory for bumble bee conservation.

The rusty patched bumble bee was once widespread, has precipitously declined from 9/10ths of its range, and has at least two threats for which existing regulatory mechanisms are inadequate to protect them, the widespread use of toxic insecticides whose toxicity to native bees were not adequately considered in the pesticide approval process and the distribution of commercial bumble bees within the range of the rusty patched bumble bee that are not required to be free of pathogens. Listing the rusty patched bumble bee under the ESA will require that its needs be considered when federal actions—like the registration of new pesticides—are taken. In addition, protecting this bee from threats of disease, pesticide, and habitat loss, may also help many of the other 3,600 species of native bees that exist on the American landscape.

This bumble bee has been the subject of much conservation attention over the last decade, and deservedly so. It has undergone a precipitous decline since the mid-1990s disappearing from nearly 90% of its historic range. Once common from Minnesota to Maine, and south through the Appalachians, this species has become increasingly rare, apparently persisting in only a few strongholds in the Upper Midwest, though a sighting of a single individual in Virginia in 2014 has given us all reason to remain hopeful that this species persists below the radar.

The Xerces Society has been actively working on the conservation of the rusty patched bumble bee since 2007. Our efforts began with a status review of this and two other imperiled bumble bee species, the yellow banded bumble bee (Bombus terricola) and the western bumble bee (Bombus occidentalis). That status review documents the significant declines that these species had experienced and outlined a list of potential threats including pathogens from commercial bumble bees, inadequacy of existing regulations to protect bumble bees, habitat fragmentation, and pesticide use as leading factors.

At that time we also launched our first bumble bee citizen science project. We developed wanted posters and pocket ID cards to educate the public, and asked people to send us observations of these rare species. The response was astounding. We received hundreds of emails with suspected observations of the rusty patched bumble bee. Significantly, these citizen scientists documented dozens of locations of this bumble bee in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, and single observations in Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. These citizen science records have been essential for understanding this animal’s current distribution, and has empowered the Xerces Society to initiate on-the-ground conservation measures, including the delivery of bumble bee specific habitat management guidelines to landowners and land managers in areas surrounding these important observations.

Verified rusty patched bumble bee records from Xerces Society citizen scientists 2008-2012.

The success of this initial effort led us to form a partnership that resulted in the launch of Bumble Bee Watch in 2013. Bumble Bee Watch now has over 10,000 users, who have contributed more than 15,000 bumble bee observations throughout North America, including some important records of the rusty patched bumble bee. Unfortunately, the additional information we have gathered through Bumble Bee Watch confirms that the rusty patched bumble bee is currently largely limited to the upper Midwest in a small fragment of its former range.

Despite this nearly decade-long string of significant conservation efforts and accomplishments, the threats to the rusty patched bumble bee have not changed. Research supports the notion that pathogens harbored and distributed by commercial bumble bees have likely played a significant role in the declines observed in the rusty patched bumble bee. Nevertheless, the commercial bumble bee industry continues to grow and remains largely unregulated by the federal government. The only species widely available commercially, the common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens), is being distributed throughout North America (including Mexico), well beyond its native range and with no requirement for independent disease testing. These commercial bumble bees, often arriving with high pathogen loads, are used in greenhouses and for open field pollination, routinely interacting and sharing pathologies with wild bumble bees, including, perhaps, the last remaining populations of the rusty patched bumble bee. There is also emerging evidence that the common eastern bumble bee is becoming established in the wild in southern British Columbia and Washington State.

In addition, pesticide use continues to increase throughout the range of the rusty patched bumble bee, including use of the highly toxic insecticides known as neonicotinoids. A number of scientific articles clearly document the lethal and sublethal effects that these chemicals are having on bees and other pollinators, and their use has intensified extensively within the rusty patched bumble bee’s range during the same time period that declines have been observed. Moreover, the massive increase in the past two decades in the use of the herbicide glyphosate on genetically modified corn and soybean fields has been effective at eliminating milkweed from the agricultural landscape. It is likely that other wildflowers have also been eliminated from farm edges – and it is reasonable to assume that a major loss of floral resources from the Upper Midwest could have had an effect on the rusty patched bumble bee. While no direct link has been made from the use of these pesticides to the declines observed in the rusty patched bumble bee there is little doubt that stressors like pesticides at the very least put increased pressures on an already imperiled bumble bee, especially when one considers the scope at which these chemicals are being adopted and used.

Use of the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid by U.S county in 1995 [left – Data: Thelin and Stone (2013)] and 2012 [right – Data: Baker and Stone (2015)]. Counties colored darker red have a higher incidence of imidacloprid use. Click the map for a larger view

The lack of evidence of any significant recovery, coupled with the evidence of increasing risks to wild bumble bees led the Xerces Society to file a petition to list the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2013. In 2014, we partnered with the NRDC to encourage the USFWS to take action on our petition. The ESA is a powerful piece of legislation which provides important protections for imperiled animals. With ESA protection, remaining populations of this species will likely be protected from site specific threats and the bee’s habitat will likely benefit from critical habitat designations, as well as from species recovery plans. Government agencies will also need to address issues such as the registration and use of new pesticides that may be harmful to this species and the movement of commercial bumble bees which may transfer disease to wild bumble bees; issues that have not been thoroughly addressed by regulatory agencies to date due to a lack of political will.

Today’s news is excellent, but there are many other warranted species proposed for listing that do not receive this level of protection. For me this finding brings up a deeper issue surrounding my work as a conservation biologist. Is there value in one species over another, and how do we determine those priorities? This is a difficult question, and one for which I do not have an answer. In my ideal world we wouldn’t have these decisions to make, and the conservation of all species would receive equal treatment as the past, current, and future value of any individual species is immeasurable. But I recognize that resources are scarce in an increasingly fragmented world in which many species face extinction. I applaud the USFWS in making a decision that will make a difference for this species—and likely so many others by proxy. It is supported by clear and convincing evidence, and with coordinated efforts by government, industry, and the general public, the opportunity still exists for significant recovery for the rusty patched bumble bee.

In addition to this listing decision, I must remain hopeful that the tides of change will continue to favor the preservation of native bumble bees and pollinators. As we continue to recognize the crucial link that pollinators and other invertebrates have to our own survival, eyes are opening, and attitudes are changing. Much of what gives me hope is the response to our conservation efforts over the last several years. Recently we helped to produce a film about the rusty patched bumble bee which has been viewed thousands of times, and spurred over 128,000 people to sign a petition to encourage the USFWS to take action to protect this species. That kind of engagement gives me hope. In this case, that kind of engagement may have made a difference.

The more I interact with the public, the more I realize that so many people care about the plight of the rusty patched bumble bee and want to help, but for many the barrier is not knowing what to do. Our work at the Xerces Society is changing that. We’ve provided evidence-based guidance on how to protect, create and enhance habitat in a way that makes a difference. The federal protections that this listing will bring will help, but the creation of habitat will be essential to this species survival and hopeful recovery. By our choices and actions, we can continue to create positive change for all species

The methods are simple, and most anyone can help. The rusty patched bumble bee, and all native bees need three things, all of which you can help to provide in your backyard, in your communities, and beyond:
Flowers upon which to forage from early spring through fall;
a safe place to build their nest and overwinter; and
a pesticide free environment, also protected from the pressures of introduced diseases from commercial bees.

In addition to the above, when you’re in your backyards, and in parks and natural areas, keep an eye out for these beautiful creatures. Submit your sightings to Bumble Bee Watch, and help us track the populations of this and other bumble bees. It is becoming increasingly clear that bumble bees can no longer survive alone in the face of the challenges they face. They need our help.

This is a very happy day for conservation. When I read the announcement this morning I was unexpectedly, yet instantly brought to tears of joy. Recognizing that this species was going to receive the protection that it deserves validates for me that our work has tremendous value. Not only in working to recognize which species are imperiled, but also advocating for their protection, and helping to create the practical solutions that will ultimately lead to their recovery. While there are too many people to thank individually, a huge thank you goes out to everyone that has helped make this happen!

NC Building Code Council to look into code changes to minimize fire risks like the one that destroyed the Metropolitan Apartments in Raleigh

The cause of the fire is still under investigation

By Jonah Kaplan
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 06:19PM
RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The men and women who manage North Carolina's Building Code will soon get the chance to make any changes provoked by the fire in downtown Raleigh.

"If you're asking could something be done during construction to minimize something like this happening, that's what I would look at," contractor David Smith, a member of the 17-person NC Building Code Council. Smith told ABC11 council members are eager to learn more about the cause of the fire that torched the Metropolitan Apartments still under construction. "I promise you the Building Code council will address it and try to come up with a solution to keep it from happening again."

The members of the council are appointed to six year terms by the governor. They represent different trades like plumbing and electric, plus general contractors and members of the public. The code, based on international standards, is updated and reprinted every six years, with the newest version expected in 2018.

Couple watches as downtown Raleigh fire engulfs building (ABC11 Photographer/Adolfo Ibarra)

North Carolina's building codes are governed by international standards, mandating that all wood-framed apartment complexes have tested and approved sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers at specified locations, access to exits, and-repellent doors that resists flames by at least two hours.

The doors, however, cannot be installed until the walls are finished - which is why Metropolitan did not have those protections in place.

For more information on building and fire codes, visit:

To propose any changes to the building code, visit: