Gov. Wolf Announces Billion-Dollar Plan to Fix Toxic Schools, Address Lead Across Pennsylvania

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Press Release,  Public Health Governor Tom Wolf today presented a series of proposed 2020-21 budget items totaling more than $1.1 billion to support reducing the risks to Pennsylvanians of lead and asbestos, and remediating existing toxins in schools, day care centers, homes, and public water systems.“Decades ago, well-intentioned Pennsylvanians constructed our homes, schools, waterways and other structures out of asbestos and lead because they were thought to be harmless, even superior materials,” Gov. Wolf said. “Now we know the serious harm both can cause. To build a better Pennsylvania, we first need to fix our foundation, which is why the five lead and asbestos removal initiatives I’m outlining today are so important.”Gov. Wolf’s proposed budget investments to address asbestos and lead include:Expanding the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program to SchoolsGovernor Wolf is proposing that up to $1 billion in grants from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) be used for lead and asbestos remediation in schools, a problem plaguing many of the state’s aging school buildings and causing health concerns for students and their parents, teachers, and staff.RACP is a commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects.RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues, or other measures of economic activity.Leveraging CHIP Health Services InitiativeThe Department of Human Services is working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a Health Services Initiative (HSI) to improve the health of children and families in Pennsylvania by increasing funding of lead remediation activities in places where children have been exposed to high levels of lead.Remediation projects could include paint, water, and other sources of contamination. We are currently contemplating enhancing funding opportunities for current HUD grant recipients statewide, but also building infrastructure in 1-2 new areas to increase the regions in Pennsylvania ready and able to assist in lead remediation efforts moving forward. Funding will also be made available for training and certification to increase the number of individuals who are EPA-certified to complete lead remediation in areas where there are shortages of individuals to do this work.The plan is to have the program operational next state fiscal year. With a $4 million state investment, $10 million in federal dollars could be leveraged annually for an annual total of $14 million to support efforts around lead remediation.Transferring PENNVEST Grant FundsLegislation recently passed in Congress allows a state to transfer amounts from its clean water state revolving fund to its drinking water state revolving fund in order to address a threat to public health as a result of heightened exposure to lead in drinking water. Specifically, a state may transfer no more than 5 percent of the cumulative amount of the federal grant dollars awarded for its clean water state revolving fund to its drinking water state revolving fund. It also requires that states coordinate with EPA to get their buy-in for the transfer.By taking advantage of this new flexibility, PENNVEST may be able to free up to $90 million for Pennsylvania to address lead in drinking water by providing grants for lead service line replacement statewide. The amount transferred will not have a negative impact on future projects that could have been funded with that money and will be determined based on the amount of available dollars at the time the program begins.PENNVEST has proposed to spend the next year working with communities to identify shovel-ready projects that can then be funded in 2021. Potential grant recipients will need to do testing, feasibility studies, and other consulting work next year to prep for projects.Convening Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction Program Grant RecipientsThe Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction Program helps communities address housing-related health and safety hazards, in addition to lead-based paint hazards through the Lead Hazard control and Healthy Homes grants. The state, as well as several local communities, received notice of $22.5 million in funding awards in late September 2019. All recipients will target funds towards homes for low and very-low income families with children and will work with medical and social service providers.At the most recent lead roundtable hosted by the commonwealth, the request was made for the state to convene all Pennsylvania recipients to ensure collaboration in implementation – a project the Department of Health is working to implement in the coming weeks under the direction of Gov. Wolf.Implementing Lead Testing in School and Child Care Program Drinking Water GrantAuthorized under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead Testing in School and Child Care Program Drinking Water Grant creates a program to assist with voluntary testing for lead in drinking water at schools and child care programs. The grant opportunity was announced in 2018 and applications were due this year however, award notices have not yet been issued.Pennsylvania submitted a grant application, which included the support of PENNVEST and the departments of education, environmental protection, health, and human services. If awarded, approximately $1.7 million in funds will be used to develop and implement a lead testing program in schools and child care facilities throughout the state. This testing will include the prioritization of facilities serving younger children (ages 6 and under), underserved and low-income communities, and facilities that are older and more likely to contain lead plumbing.Funding will support the testing of 3,000 schools and child care facilities.Gov. Wolf was joined by Sen. Vincent Hughes and Rep. Jason Dawkins, who provided remarks, as well as numerus other legislators and advocates in support of these budget proposals.“Far too much of Pennsylvania is toxic and unsafe as a result of lead and asbestos,” Sen. Hughes said. “Our homes, childcare centers, and schools suffer from serious disrepair and long-term neglect. Thank you, Gov. Wolf, for making a significant financial commitment to clean up these vital, necessary and fundamental places in our community. We intend to win on your proposal and to use that victory to propel us to a long-term even more robust investment.”“I’m inspired by the plan and bold leadership that the Governor has displayed today with this announcement,” Sen. Jay Costa said. “Children across the state have been exposed to dangerous chemicals and crumbling facilities for years, and we know that it impacts their physical and mental health for their entire lives. Governor Wolf’s programs outlined today will save future generations of children from these problems.”“The unhealthy dangers of lead contamination are proven without any doubt, and lawmakers should enthusiastically support the governor’s initiative,” said Rep. Frank Dermody. “It will make a critical difference in many thousands of lives.”“Our children deserve to learn and our teachers deserve to teach in schools that don’t make them sick,” Rep. Jason Dawkins said. “This is something that we can all agree on. But for far too long, our children, teachers and anyone else who has entered school buildings in Philadelphia have literally taken their own lives in their hands. Why? Because often lead and asbestos were lurking inside. My delegation colleagues and I are overjoyed at the news that Gov. Wolf will be making investments in lead and asbestos remediation projects in our schools. Finally, we can take the steps to make our school buildings safe places to learn and to teach.”Gov. Wolf first introduced his Lead-Free PA initiative in August 2019 to call attention to the need for a law requiring universal blood level testing of children according to federal guidelines, and to convene regional task forces to address specific local needs.A Lead-Free PA task force convened in December to gather the input of communities and their partners toward compiling a complete list of needs so that funding, when allocated, goes directly to programs and initiatives that produce swift and measurable results toward protecting Pennsylvanians.“Together, these programs have the potential to assist thousands of Pennsylvanians with living healthier lives free of lead and asbestos danger,” Gov. Wolf said. “We have the opportunity to correct the past, and to build a brighter future. Pennsylvania should be a place free of lead and asbestos.” January 29, 2020center_img Gov. Wolf Announces Billion-Dollar Plan to Fix Toxic Schools, Address Lead Across Pennsylvanialast_img read more

Moyes hits out at ‘rank’ defending

first_imgDavid Moyes accused Manchester United of “rank and rotten” defending as the Scot endured a hellish return to Goodison Park. The result and the performances of both sides showed just how much United have regressed under Moyes and how far Everton have come under his successor Roberto Martinez, who has now collected a record 20 league wins since moving to Goodison Park. United tested Tim Howard on just two occasions while Everton out-muscled and outclassed their opponents in midfield. Wayne Rooney had a disappointing afternoon in front of goal while Lukaku caused Jonny Evans and Jones problems throughout. Moyes, surprisingly, thought his team did not play too badly. “We played very well in the first half,” said Moyes, who spent 11 years at Everton before moving to Old Trafford. “We had passed the ball really well, kept the ball but we didn’t have the final pass, the killer through ball that was needed in the final third. “I didn’t think we deserved to go in 2-0 down at half-time, that’s for sure. “We had good play, good control of the game, and we had the bulk of the ball.” Martinez, who became the first Everton boss to do the double over United in 44 years, hailed his team’s performance as “electrifying”. “This was an important win for our fans,” said the Spaniard. “We knew that since the 1969-70 season we had never done the double over United and I think that is when we won the league. “That tells you this group of players is ready to develop. “That performance was full of energy, it was dynamic on the counter attack. I thought we looked electrifying.” Despite the midweek defeat to Crystal Palace, Everton are just one point short of fourth-placed Arsenal with three matches left. Martinez is refusing to get carried away with talk of his team pipping the Gunners to fourth, though. “We have another nine points to fight for,” said Martinez. “We play Manchester City, Southampton, and Hull a week before the cup final. You couldn’t pick a worse three games.” For Moyes the season is over. He now has the unwanted tag of being the man who has failed to take United into the Champions League for the first time in 19 years. As ever, there was an attempt from the Scot to cast a positive light on his team’s woeful season. “I think everybody knows that we are on track to make changes and do some different things,” he said. “We are rebuilding. “I understand it has not been good, I recognise it has not been good, and it needs to be better.” On the pitch it was a grim day for the United boss as his team suffered their 11th defeat of the season. Phil Jones blocked Romelu Lukaku’s shot with his outstretched arm and Leighton Baines converted the resulting spot-kick before Alex Buttner played Kevin Mirallas onside and the Belgian beat David de Gea from a tight angle. Moyes tried to put a positive spin on what was a dreadful defeat, but he did not hold back when giving his assessment of his team’s defending for both goals. “I thought the two goals we conceded today were rank, rotten,” the United boss said. “The (first) goal was a big kick up the pitch, it was nodded down and picked up, and for us to concede a goal like that was terrible. “The second was a better move but we should have defended it much better that we did. “We gave away two terrible goals but prior to that we passed the ball brilliantly well, kept the ball, had great control of the game. “What we couldn’t do is make enough chances, but we had a great control and we got done by two stupid decisions.” Everton strolled to an easy 2-0 win that ended United’s hopes of Champions League qualification with four matches remaining. Moyes was barracked by the home support throughout and one Everton fan even turned up in a Grim Reaper’s costume to poke fun at the United boss from just behind the dugout. Press Associationlast_img read more

Day two summary – 2009 X-Blades NTL

first_imgThere was plenty of action at day two of the 2009 X-Blades National Touch League, with Opens and 20’s starting their campaigns, while teams in the other divisions fought for finals positions.In the Men’s Opens Division, the three frontrunners, Mets, Sharks and Rebels, got their campaigns off to a great start. Defending champions the Mets were too good for the Cobras, winning 6-3. The Rebels were too good for the Hornets, as were the Suns over North Queensland, with both teams winning by 8 touchdowns. In other results In round 2, 13 wasn’t an unlucky number with the three favourites all scoring 13 tries, each easily defeating their opponents. Other winners in round 2 were Rebels over Cyclones, Rustlers defeated the Eagles and Cobras beat the Suns.In round three, Mets continued their good form, beating Cyclones by 11 touchdowns. Barbarians were too strong for the ACT, winning 11-7. Scorpions defeated Rustlers by four, the Sharks beat the Eagles by seven, the Rebels overcame Suns 9-4, and Cobras defeated Hornets by eight touchdowns. The end of day one sees the three Sydney sides, Mets, Rebels and Scorpions all equal first on the ladder.The Women’s Open Division started in round one with Mets, looking in ominous form, defeating Hornets 13-0. Rustlers had a strong win over Rebels, 7-0. The Suns beat the Eagles by nine touchdowns. Other winners in the first round included Cyclones, Cobras and Sharks.In round two, South Queensland had a big win, defeating Scorpions 11-1., while the Rustlers and the Mets overcame their opponents by nine touchdowns each. Cobras, Suns and Barbarians also had big victories. Round three started with the Mets still undefeated, with a five-touchdown win over Rebels. The Rustlers were too good for Cobras, while the Sharks beat the Suns 5-1. Cyclones were victorious over the Crusaders 7-6. The Hornets and the ACT played out a five-all draw, while the Barabarians easily overcame the Eagles 11-2. By the end of round three, the Mets, Sharks and Rustlers were all undefeated on 12 points each.In the Mixed Opens, Rebels started strongly, beating Cobras 8-0. Cyclones won in a close one, defeating Barbarians 7-6. Sharks were too strong for Eagles, winning by eight touchdowns. The Suns defeated the Sun Coast 8-4, while the Hornets overcame Crusaders by seven. In round two, Sharks defeated the Cyclones 9-4, Cobras did it easy against the Crusaders winning by 6 touchdowns, Suns and Sun Coast both beat their opponents 7-5, while the Mets and the Rebels drew 8 all.In round three, Eagles defeated Sun Coast 6-4, while the Suns defeated the Cyclones 7-5, and the Mets drew again, this time against the Hornets. The Suns undefeated run sees them on top of the ladder after day one.The Men’s and Women’s Opens also started on day two. In the Men’s 20’s, Mets defeated the Scorpions 5-2, Suns just beat the Rebels 2-1, Cyclones started off well defeating Cobras 6-4, while the Sun Coast defeated Sharks 6-0.Round two of the Men’s 20’s saw Mets continue their winning ways, defeating Sun Coast by one touchdown, Sharks posted their first win against the Suns, 7-4, Cyclones thumped the Rebels 10-2 and Scorpions defeated Cobras 9-6.In round three, the Cobras broke their duck, beating Suns 6-2, Cyclones kept on winning, defeating Sun Coast, as did the Mets, beating the Sharks. The Scorpions also beat the Rebels. At the end of the three rounds, Cyclones and Mets are undefeated on top of the ladder.In the Women’s 20’s division, round one saw the Cobras defeated the Sharks 3-1, Rebels posted double figures, winning 10-4, while the Suns kept the Hornets scoreless, winning 4-0. In round two, the Mets posted their first win, narrowly defeating the Hornets 5-4, Cobra beat Sunshine Coast 5-3 and Suns were too good for the Rebels, winning 7-5.In round three, Cobras beat the Mets 3-2, Hornets were kept scoreless again, this time by the Sharks, with the Sharks winning 3-0 and Suns defeated Sunshine Coast 6-2. Day two also signaled the start of the finals at the 2009 NTL. After six rounds of play in the Women’s 27’s, Cyclones sit on top of the ladder on 22 points, with local hopes the Eagles close behind on 20. Semi finals will be played on Day 3 before the Grand Final at 3pm.In the Men’s 30’s, day 3 brings the Semi finals featuring ACT against Canterbury and the Scorpions taking on local rivals Mets, with the Grand Final to be played at 5pm.In the Women’s 35’s, the semi’s will be played between South West Queensland against the Scorpions, while the Sharks will battle the Cobras, with their final to commence at 11am.In the Men’s 40’s, the first semi final will see Sharks versus Sharks, with the NZ team taking on SQBD. In the other semi, the Scorpions will take on the Cyclones. The final will start at 1pm.After the round games, Sharks sit on top of the ladder in the Men’s 45’s, four points clear of Suns. Semi finals will take place on Day three, before the Grand Final at 2pm that afternoon.Cobras are situated on top of the ladder in the Men’s 50’s on 12 points, two points ahead of Suns. Semi finals will see the Suns versus the Scorpions and Cobras against the Mets in their attempts to make the Grand Final, which will be played at 12pm.After six rounds in the Seniors Mixed, Wellington top the ladder on 20 points, followed by the Scorpions in 16. Just below these two teams are the Cobras and Rebels, both on 12 points. Semi finals will be played, before the Grand Final at 4pm.last_img read more