Governor Wolf: Hemp is Growing Opportunities for PA Farmers

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Economy,  Press Release Tyrone, PA – During a visit to a hemp growing site in Blair County today, Governor Tom Wolf and Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding highlighted the opportunities available to hemp growers and processors across the commonwealth.“Pennsylvania has a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on a new and in-demand market for hemp,” said Gov. Wolf. “This is a versatile product with many uses, and it’s a product that consumers want.”This year, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture issued more than 300 permits on nearly 600 acres at more than 800 different growing locations.“Hemp is a new, old crop that has the potential to make a big impact on Pennsylvania’s agricultural – and economic – landscape,” said Sec. Redding. “It’s a crop with both a rich history and a bright future here in the commonwealth.”This summer, Gov. Wolf signed the PA Farm Bill, a piece of which will create a state-level Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to invest in and encourage farming of high-priority crops like hemp. Eligible projects must enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops by improving distribution, efficiency, or research to boost consumption of goods.Hemp was grown in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States until after World War II but became regulated along with marijuana and its cultivation was prohibited. Hemp and marijuana are different varieties of the same species of plant. Unlike marijuana, hemp is grown mainly for fiber and seed and must maintain a much lower concentration of the psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, below the 0.3 percent legal threshold.Pennsylvania recently made hemp subject to the Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Committee, created under Act 46 of 2017. With the committee’s approval, hemp was designated a controlled plant, which requires all growers to register and obtain permits through the department.For more information on Pennsylvania’s commercial hemp program, visit the department’s website.Later today, Gov. Wolf will make his second stop this year on the Pennsylvania Ice Cream Trail with a visit to Ritchey’s Dairy, Martinsburg. The dairy farm, which has been operated by four generations of the Ritchey family, has expanded over time from local milk deliveries to ice cream, iced tea and butter. Ritchey’s Dairy has plans to further expand its storage, processing and packaging capabilities using a $767,550 loan approved earlier this year by the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority.“Ritchey’s Dairy is a great example of a family willing to try new business initiatives to carry on a legacy of family farming,” said Gov. Wolf. “I’m proud to be supporting farming families like the Ritcheys through programs like the Ice Cream Trail and our agriculture investment loans.”The Pennsylvania “Pursue Your Scoops” Ice Cream Trail was developed last year as a joint effort between the Pennsylvania Tourism Office and the Department of Agriculture to boost Pennsylvania’s dairy industry by capitalizing on agritourism. Visitors can pick up a passport at any of the trail’s 31 stops and have it stamped at a mix of participating on-farm creameries and ice cream shops that support Pennsylvania milk processors and local dairy farmers. Visitors with at least five stamps by Sept. 2, 2019, receive a “Pursue Your Scoops” t-shirt, while a fully stamped passport earns a “Pursue Your Scoops” ice cream bowl.“We are pleased to be a part of the Western PA Ice Cream trail this year,” said Andrew Ritchey, owner. “This program has benefitted our business as well as the other businesses on the trail. We’ve had customers come from all around to visit our ice cream shop this year.” August 09, 2019center_img Governor Wolf: Hemp is Growing Opportunities for PA Farmerslast_img read more

Eurotunnel launches freight shuttle safety upgrade

first_imgINTRO: Richard Hope explains why enclosure of open-sided wagons has been ruled outRESTORATION of freight shuttle services by mid-June was announced by Eurotunnel on April 3, subject to the Channel Tunnel Safety Authority approving a package of additional safety measures. No lorries have been carried since the major fire of November 18 1996, which has necessitated two-way working in the middle section while repairs to the south running tunnel are completed (RG 1.97 p21).The damaged lining has been repaired, and electrical and mechanical systems are being installed, putting Eurotunnel on course to restore normal working from May 16. At present, passenger shuttle and Eurostar trains are limited to two an hour in each direction. Despite this constraint, most of the demand for road and rail passengers, and for rail freight, is being met.A summary of Eurotunnel’s internal inquiry report stresses the absence of serious injury to 31 passengers and 3 crew aboard the freight shuttle, on which a lorry of cornflakes caught fire. However, Co-Chairman Patrick Ponsolle said there had been ’avoidable delays’ in getting them into the service tunnel; as a result of changes recommended in the report ’evacuation should be completed within 5min’ of a train stopping. The Safety Authority is expected to produce its own report later this month, and a French judicial inquiry into the cause of the fire is proceeding; sabotage has not been ruled out.The train stopped at 21.58 with the club car opposite the door of a cross-passage into the service tunnel, but the passengers could not escape for 25min because the loco and club car were enveloped in dense smoke. This entered the club car through small openings, and when the Chef de Train opened an external door briefly.The reasons for the delay were failure by the Railway Control Centre at Cheriton to interpret complex smoke management rules correctly, and the inability of the train crew to identify precisely which cross-passage door the club car was opposite so that the RCC could open it. When it was finally opened at 22.21, a ’bubble’ of fresh air cleared smoke from around the door exactly as intended.On receiving a confirmed fire alarm, Piston Relief Ducts connecting the two running tunnels were closed by the RCC. The massive longitudinal doors which isolate the two running tunnels at the crossover caverns were also commanded to close, but one door in the French cavern stopped short leaving a gap of up to 20 mm. The door failed because PRDs in the area which should have been left open were closed, and trains in the north running tunnel were instructed to drive out at 100 km/h instead of slowing to 30 km/h near the crossover. The door drive mechanism is not strong enough to overcome forces exerted by a difference in pressure in the two running tunnels. The ’closure not confirmed’ door indication in the RCC was a key factor in delaying the full use of the Supplementary Ventilation System to blow smoke away from the club car until 22.30.The obvious conflict between equalising pressure across the doors and closing PRDs quickly to isolate the two running tunnels has been largely resolved by a decision to keep the doors closed when the crossovers are not being used.Once evacuation was complete, and the French team of back-up firemen had arrived, they remained in the service tunnel and took no action to fight the fire for more than an hour. By now the SVS was fully operational, as formally required, blowing fresh air towards the rear of the train to enable firemen to attack the blaze from the front.It was during this time that most of the damage to the train and the tunnel lining seems to have occurred, with the fire being supplied by the SVS with oxygen for combustion. Not until the belated arrival of the British ’second line of response’ fire fighting team, 2h after the train stopped, was any attempt made to suppress the fire. No water was drawn from the fire main until just after midnight, and the fire was reported as largely extinguished at 05.00.Enclosure rejectedThe major decision facing Eurotunnel has been whether to enclose the lorry carrier wagons, or stick with the semi-open design finally approved by the Safety Authority in 1993 after a six year struggle to demonstrate that they were not unsafe. This serious fire demonstrated dramatically that, in Ponsolle’s words, ’the Channel Tunnel is one of the safest transport systems in the world.’ As Co-Chairman Robert Malpas pointed out, this is due to the ’unique pressurised service tunnel costing £1bn’ which ’functioned perfectly’.Eurotunnel has therefore reached the firm conclusion that no structural change to the wagons is necessary, given the extra measures proposed which will cost £20m to implement and add £1m to £2m per year to operating costs.However, the policy of stopping a freight shuttle instead of driving out does increase the risk of damage to the tunnel and consequential loss of revenue – the total insurance bill is expected to exceed £200m. The decision of the firemen to let the train burn for over an hour has deeply alarmed Eurotunnel and its insurers. The main benefit of enclosure would be reinstatement of the ’drive-out’ policy, but detailed technical analysis has confirmed earlier conclusions that it is not viable.Enclosure of the existing wagons would be ineffective without drastic restrictions on the weight and height of lorries. While it might be technically feasible to build new six-axle enclosed wagons with on-board fire suppression capable of carrying 44 tonne lorries, extra internal height would be required for roller shutter end doors. Even more vertical clearance would be necessary to avoid damage from over-height trailers that hit the existing wagon portals occasionally.In all, the floor must be lowered by as much as 300mm. Reducing the wheel diameter by this amount has serious implications for maximum speed, axleload and maintenance. Buying 300 such wagons could cost £400m, but losing freight shuttle revenue for three years while they are developed makes the price tag for enclosure nearer £1bn, far in excess of any conceivable safety benefit.Instead, Eurotunnel proposes to install six fire suppression stations within each running tunnel where a burning freight shuttle will stop, if possible, for immediate evacuation. The idea is that water sprays controlled by the RCC will cool the fire and stop it developing long enough for fire fighters to arrive. o’The Channel Tunnel is one of the safest transport systems in the world’Patrick PonsolleTABLE: Table I. Changes made or proposed by Eurotunnel because of the shuttle fireTABLE: Fire detection and suppression:last_img read more

Other Sports Athletics Federation of India refers to Hima’s ‘not so fluent’ English, attracts severe backlash

first_imgNew Delhi: The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Friday got it all wrong when it referred to Hima Das’ “not so fluent english” after her historic run at the world under-20 championships, attracting the anger of fans which forced the governing body to issue an apology in chaste Hindi.The daughter of a farmer from a village in Assam’s Nagaon district, Hima scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a gold at the IAFF World U-20 Athletics Championships, finishing first in the women’s 400 metre final race in Tampere, Finland.”#HimaDas speking to media after her SF win at #iaaftampere2018 @iaaforg Not so fluent in English but she gave her best there too. So proud of u #HimaDas Keep rocking & yeah,try ur best in final!” the AFI wrote on its twitter handle.Fans expressed their displeasure agaisnt the AFI for using what could be interpreted as insensitive. Miffed, fans ridiculed the tweet and said Das was in Finland to showcase her talent in athletics and not her expertise in english language.”She has landed in Tampere for displaying her talent in track and not in English. Shame on you for what you said,” read one tweet.”She has not been featured by the IAAF for her English speaking skills,we have lot of good English speakers in India but very few who can run like her,” said another.The severe backlash was followed by a clarification by the AFI.”We apologise to the country if our tweet hurt sentiments. We merely wanted to show that Hima is fearless whether on the track or outside. Despite being from a small village, she spoke freely with the foreign media. We apologise again to those who were offended,” translated a tweet which was posted in Hindi by the AFI.The 18-year-old Das finished the race in just 51.46s to win the gold.She now joins star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who won a gold in Poland in the last edition in 2016 in a world record effort.Das is the first Indian track athlete to have won a medal in the history of this competition.The previous medal winners at the World Junior Championships were Seema Punia (bronze in discus in 2002) and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon (bronze in discus in 2014). For all the Latest Sports News News, Other Sports News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more