Connecting state and local government leaders
Also is our State and Local Daily Digest: L.A. area beaches closed due to raw sewage; North Dakota plots cyber strategy; and Pa. judge uses new tactic for opioid abuse.
PIPELINE SPILL | Enbridge Inc. agreed to pay $177 million in a settlement agreement over 2010 oil spills, like one in Marshall, polluting the Kalamazoo River. The money will go toward preventing future spills by improving operations like leak detection and emergency response along about 2,000 miles of Great Lakes-area pipeline. Funds also cover civil penalties for violating the Clean Water Act. Still, at least one protester was displeased with Enbridge’s cleanup efforts. [Bloomberg; MLive.com]
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS
POLICE | A police captain was shot and killed chasing drive-by shooting suspects. Robert Melton, 46, had been with the department 17 years. One suspect was arrested, two detained and a fourth is being searched for. The city’s second police death in as many months, Mayor Mark Holland asked the public not to jump to conclusions about why Melton was shot. [CNN]
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
SEWAGE SPILL | Beaches in Los Angeles and Orange counties are closed after an aging damaged sewage line sent untreated waste into the Los Angeles River and on into the ocean. Although the sewage overflow was stopped Tuesday afternoon, public health authorities in the city of Long Beach and in Orange County shuttered their beaches until tests show that the water is safe for swimming. [Los Angeles Times]
BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA
CYBER INSURANCE | The state is looking at cyber insurance as a possible way to help protect itself in the event of a data breach or other cyberattack. A 16-member interim task force is preparing recommendations for North Dakota’s state government to develop procedures to respond to data breaches or other cyberassaults. But cyber insurance isn’t cheap, so it’s unclear whether the state will pursue that route. And whatever the recommendations are, they still face tough budgetary conditions ahead. [Bismarck Tribune]
BOWLING GREEN, OHIO
SOLAR ENERGY | The largest solar installation project in Ohio had a tax abatement approved by Wood County, which it will pay $40,000 annually—coupled with $140,000 to other authorities—rather than $13.68 million in taxes over the next 30 years. The 20-megawatt solar field and power station won’t create any permanent jobs, but power rates will be lower because of the abatement. “We can’t say we totally agree with everything,” said one county commissioner. “But there’s never a perfect package.” [Toledo Blade]
OPIOIDS | Frustrated by deaths from opiate overdoses in the Keystone State, one Allegheny County judge is trying out something new. He’s making convicted drug dealers pay for overdose-reversing naloxone kits that will go to communities where they have sold drugs. The Judge, Anthony Mariani, has added this specific fine to two cases this week. Mariani charged $50 for each brick of heroin sold in these cases. The judge believes that “Ordering the defendant to provide funds for naloxone to the relevant agency will help to rehabilitate him and change his thinking." [Philly.com via Associated Press]
NEXT STORY: ISIS ‘Hit List’ for State and City Governments?