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Where Things Stand

National Prescription Drug Monitoring Panel Recommends Interstate Compact
Lexington, KY–A national advisory panel comprised of state legislators, federal agency representatives and other key stakeholders has developed recommendations for an interstate compact that would allow prescription drug monitoring programs from different states to share limited data.

The panel was convened by The Council of State Governments and has met twice to discuss interstate prescription drug monitoring.

Among the recommendations was development of a central hub that would filter information exchanged between states in a manner that respected the usage restrictions specified by the state sending data. This information hub would involve the formation of an interstate commission to administer the compact.

During their meetings, panel members expressed their concerns about the trend in the misuse of some prescription drugs, with particular emphasis on Schedule II–V pharmaceutical products. Forty states have enacted drug monitoring programs.
Interstate compacts function, legally, as a contract between the states. There are more than 200 interstate compacts and most states belong to more than 20 different interstate compacts.

For more information visit www.csg.org/programs/policyprograms/NCIC.

West Virginia Responsible Government Launches Web Site to Provide Valuable Project Information
Charleston, WV–Gov. Joe Manchin recently announced the launch of a new web site for the West Virginia Responsible Government program, an initiative coordinated through the Pew Center on the States. The web site is available at www.responsible.wv.gov

The goal of this initiative is to strengthen state operations by adopting best practices to make government run even more efficiently and transparently. Gov. Manchin developed a vision of West Virginia in 2012, called “West Virginia Responsible Government,” by identifying quality of life, economic, and government improvements in a statewide, strategic plan that requires all state agencies and employees to begin working toward creating more fiscally accountable operations. The governor’s vision is posted on this web site.

Other features of this site include a project overview, impact and results, a news center, frequently asked questions, and resources. Continued enhancements to this site are forthcoming.

The West Virginia Responsible Government initiative is part of a partnership with the Pew Center on the States that began in early 2009. West Virginia is one of three states, including Georgia and Ohio, chosen for Pew’s Management Lab, focusing on specific challenges to improve statewide results to be shared with other states to spur government improvements nationwide. Pew has been examining all 50 states’ management of money, people, information, and infrastructure for more than ten years.

Landfills Turn Trash into Power and Greenhouse Gas Reductions
Projects Recognized for Innovative Use of Landfill Gas
Washington, DC–The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing eight landfill methane capture projects for their innovation in generating renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The winners include one of the largest landfill gas (LFG) to liquefied natural gas facilities in the world, located in Livermore, CA.

Methane, a primary component of LFG, is a GHG with more than 20 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Using LFG provides a significant energy resource, prevents GHG emissions, and reduces odors and other hazards associated with emissions. This year’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) winning projects will avoid the emissions of 546,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, the equivalent of annual GHG emissions from nearly 100,000 passenger vehicles.

Awards were given in three categories: Projects of the Year were given to the University of New Hampshire EcoLineTM Project, Rochester, NH; Jefferson City, Missouri Renewable Energy Project, Jefferson City, MO; The Altamont Landfill Resource and Recovery Facility, Livermore, CA; Ox Mountain LFG Energy Project, Half Moon Bay, CA; Sioux Falls Landfill & Poet LFG Pipeline, Sioux Falls, SD ?and the Winder Renewable Methane Project, Winder, GA. The State Partner of the Year was given to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the Community Partner of the Year was awarded to the Kent County Department of Public Works, Byron Center, MI.

EPA’s LMOP has assisted with more than 450 LFG energy projects over the past 15 years. The United States currently has about 509 operational LFG energy projects. The LFG electricity generation projects have a capacity of 1,563 megawatts (MW) and provide the energy equivalent of powering more than 920,000 homes annually.
The direct-use projects provide an additional 304 million standard cubic feet of LFG per day and provide the energy equivalent of heating more than 715,000 homes annually. Direct-use LFG energy projects do not produce electricity, but instead use LFG as an alternative to replace another fuel such as natural gas or coal.

More information on the awards: http://www.epa.gov/lmop/partners/award/index.html ?More information on the LMOP program: http://www.epa.gov/lmop

2010 Not Off to a Great Start for Many Single Mothers
Unemployment among women who maintain families without the support of a spouse is at 13 percent as of December 2009, the highest rate in more than 25 years, according to figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That figure has grown by 0.8 percentage points since the Institute for Women’s policy Research released a fact sheet Unemployment Among Single Mother Families (September 2009) and 2.7 percentage points since January 2009. Their unemployment has nearly doubled since the start of the recession in December 2007.

Women are currently 49.9 percent of nonfarm employees on payrolls. As more families, both dual earner couples and single mother families, are increasingly relying on the earnings of women, greater attention needs to be made to pay equity. Women working full-time earned only 81 percent as much as men who worked full-time in the third quarter of 2009. These seasonally unadjusted data show increases in married men’s unemployment and decreases in married women’s unemployment; the seasonally adjusted data show a decrease in married men’s unemployment from November to December 2009 and little change for married women. (Seasonally adjusted unemployment data are not available for women who maintain families.)

For more information visit The Institute for Women’s Policy Research at www.iwpr.org.

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