Green Industry News

EPA, New York State, Montgomery County, Work Together to Remove Asbestos at Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp Superfund Site, Canajoharie, NY

NEW YORK, NY –  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Montgomery County have entered into a voluntary agreement today to address asbestos contamination at the former Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp. plant in the Village of Canajohari New York.   EPA began its assessment of the site in 2015. EPA’s assessment found extensive asbestos contamination, including in numerous outdoor debris piles left behind after prior demolition efforts. EPA took several actions to stabilize the site, including using a special spray to keep the asbestos intact and avoid exposure to the community. The agreement between EPA and Montgomery County was reached after Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp. and B & B Recycling, LLC refused to comply with an EPA Superfund order that required asbestos removal work that the county has now agreed to undertake.   Under the agreement, Montgomery County will remove over 2500 tons of material consisting of the debris piles, a roll-off container, and certain partial exterior walls, as well as certify that no residual asbestos remains in these areas after removal. The county will use grant funding to address the asbestos contamination that EPA determined needed to be properly removed and disposed. “I commend County Executive Matthew Ossenfort and the Montgomery County Legislators for their leadership and commitment to protecting the community and public health. This agreement is a great example of what can be accomplished when federal, state and local governments work together,” said Pete Lopez, EPA Regional Administrator. “Even though the county is not legally responsible for cleaning up

Is Facebook Attempting to Become the New Yellow Pages?

(Long Island, NY) As if Facebook wasn’t already ubiquitous enough already – as of June 2017, the service boasts of two billion monthly active users – CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that the social media giant’s Messenger app will be receiving an upgrade that will allow users to fill the gap that they used to rely on the good, old-fashioned Yellowpages for.   Known as the “Discover” tab, the app will zero in on a booming trend in the way that consumers interact with businesses, allegedly making it easier for them to engage with new and favorite brands via so-called “chatbots,” which are computer programs which conduct conversations and are designed to convincingly simulate how a human would behave as a conversational partner.   Chatbots are typically used in dialog systems for various practical purposes, including customer service or information acquisition. Some chatbots use sophisticated natural language processing systems, but many simpler systems scan for keywords within the user’s input, then pull a reply with the most matching keywords, or the most similar wording pattern, from a database. As for Facebook, there are currently more than 20 million businesses on the platform actively responding to the social media site’s user messages utilizing approximately 100,000 chatbots; this number is already expected to grow quickly in the future.   In addition, if a user is looking to connect directly with an actual friend or acquaintance and not merely an automated response program, Facebook said that in the future consumers will no longer

Whitepages Offers App that Helps to Block “Spoofed” Scam Callers

(Long Island, NY) Caller ID telling you that the IRS or local government is calling you one fine afternoon? You might want to think twice before picking up that call.   Caller ID lets consumers avoid unwanted phone calls by displaying caller names and phone numbers, but the caller ID feature is sometimes manipulated by an act known as “spoofing,” a recent trend in the phone scam world where people masquerade as representatives of banks, creditors, insurance companies, or even the government; the caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. For example, a spoofer could literally have an unaware victim actually think they’re calling from the Internal Revenue Service because that’s exactly what it will actually say on their caller ID screen.   With their foot already in the door, digitally speaking, the spoofer will have an easier time of fooling the unsuspecting individual and possibly gaining access to their money or even worse. Spoofing is often used as part of an attempt to trick someone into giving away valuable personal information so it can be used in fraudulent activity or sold illegally. U.S. law and FCC rules prohibit most types of spoofing, but obviously that doesn’t always help when you find yourself on the wrong end of a phone from a scam artist out to separate you from your money.   “They have the technology through their software now, where the number actually shows up as the people who they say they

The Future of the Yellow Pages Lies Solely in the Digital Realm As England Axes Print Directories

For years – since the advent of the smartphone – users of the Yellow Pages who needed to find the phone number of a local business have been turning in greater and greater droves from print directories to digital sources via wireless internet. There are a number of factors as to why this has happened, and continues to happen, but the most common is the simple fact that it’s convenient to do so. The ease and speed in which one can procure the information that they’re looking for from a small device in the palm of their hand as opposed to tracking down and cracking open a big, heavy book and pouring through its endless pages is certainly the more enticing option of the two. Yet, despite its dwindling readership, advertising customers, and distribution in the face of its digital brethren, the print Yellow Pages have continued to hold on for dear life…until now, according to experts, and the beginning of the end has started in England of all places.   At the beginning of September of this year, Yell, the company behind the Yellow Pages in England – who started publishing the book in 1966 – has officially announced that the Isle of Britain will be going digital-only for its Yellow Page needs, as print editions will be discontinued permanently in January of 2019. The final edition will be distributed in Brighton, which is ironically enough the very same city where the first-ever edition of Yell’s Yellow Pages hit

New Emergency Alert Systems Using White Pages For Community Contact Information

Long Island, NY- In the event of a local disaster – be it natural or man-made – residents of any given area affected need one thing above all else: information. Where to go, what to do, and anything else associated with whatever malady that has befallen their region. And with the technology available today, coupled with the rampant availability of smartphones, more and more local governments and municipalities are using that avenue to convey information to their residents in the event of a disaster. And how are they getting the phone numbers that they need to get alerts out in a time of crisis? Through the White Pages, of course, but a little bit of pre-emptive action on the part of the citizenry itself is needed to make any such alert system truly effective in a time of need.   The White Pages contain residential listings, primarily for landline telephones; most cell phone numbers are not included unless their owners opt-in. And here is where the bump in the road comes in most areas when it comes to the effectiveness of any emergency alert system that utilizes cell phone alls/messaging; if they don’t have your cell number, they can’t use that avenue to relay information to you in the event of a hurricane, flood, or other disaster. Take Florida for example- only 1.1 million out of 2.1 million households in Palm, Broward and Miami-Dade counties have landline telephones, which is a decrease of 150,000 from two years prior. AT&T reported

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