EPA National Survey to Catalog ODS Alternatives

first_imgThe National Ozone Unit of the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has ended a one day stakeholders’ workshop on the Initiation of a Nationwide Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) Alternatives Survey hosted at a resort in Monrovia.EPA Deputy Executive Director (DED), Urias Goll, at the opening session, said Liberia through the agency, has significantly contributed to the global success of the Vienna Convention on the protection of the Ozone Layer.The Vienna Convention up to date is considered as the most successful environmental agreement in the world.Notwithstanding this success, Goll told over 25 participants, “collective actions were still needed to find a lasting solution to global environmental problems ahead of us.” “It is in this regard that we have come to initiate another phase of the Ozone project, which is to conduct a survey of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) alternatives at the national level,” Goll emphasized.The basic concept of the ODS Alternatives Survey is to assist developing countries like Liberia to better understand their consumption trends for non-ODS alternatives and their distribution by sector and subsector. It is also meant to create inventories on ODS Alternatives which will provide Liberia with an overview of its national market where ODS Alternatives have been and will be phased in, while taking into consideration existing technologies. Finally, the survey will estimate the amount of each ODS alternative currently used in the country, identify alternatives that could be potentially used in the future as replacement and forecast the amount of each of the ODS alternatives currently used and potentially to be used in thecountry.Goll called on the participants to accord the data collectors their cooperation and give them the needed information in the next few months to come if Liberia is to succeed in conducting the national survey.Earlier, according to an EPA release, the National Focal Person of the Ozone Unit at the EPA, Sete F. Marshall, said the success of the project over the years can be attributed to cooperation, participation and involvement of all relevant stakeholders concerned with the project.Mr. Marshall noted that the pending survey is an opportunity for Liberia to move forward in cataloging the necessary information regarding ODS and ODS Alternatives for the good of its citizenry. The survey will end in September of this year, and its results will be validated by stakeholders before submission.Participants were drawn from the private sector and relevant line ministries and agencies, to include the refrigeration union of Liberia, importers, Liberia Chambers of Commerce, Monrovia Vocational Training Center, Liberia Revenue Authority, Liberia Agricultural Company, LIPFOCO among others.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Insurance rule leaves cancer patient in the lurch

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “What this insurance carrier did was appalling,” Bates said Friday. Just before a scheduled surgery in 2004 to remove a tumor, the Gardena hairstylist said she was pulled out of the exam room and told that the procedure had been canceled because of a problem with her insurance. A representative with Health Net Inc. told her over the phone she would have to pay three months’ worth of premiums in advance to restore her policy, she said. The surgery went ahead, but she was canceled again in the midst of chemotherapy treatments, she said. She is now suing the company for $6 million. Documents made public in an arbitration hearing this week over her lawsuit gave an unprecedented look at the procedures of Health Net Inc., which saved more than $35 million in payments for medical expenses from 2000 to 2006 by canceling policies, court documents show. At Friday’s hearing, Barbara Fowler, an underwriter for the Woodland Hills-based insurance carrier, answered questions about her alleged role in canceling policies, including the one held by Bates. Court documents show Fowler earned $1,654 to $6,310 a year in bonuses from 2000 to 2006 for meeting goals set by the company to save money. Bates’ attorney, William Shernoff, described the health carrier’s actions as “cruel and reprehensible.” An associate at his Claremont law firm, Shernoff, Bidart & Darras, sent the court documents – including Bates’ health care application, Fowler’s bonus payments and other internal records – to the Daily Breeze after former Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Sam Cianchetti granted a motion Thursday that opened the proceedings to the public. In a letter to Bates just before her scheduled surgery in January 2004, Fowler wrote that Health Net was canceling her policy because information on her application was “factually incorrect” and “that certain important health information may have been omitted.” The company alleges she lied about her weight and a preexisting heart condition associated with her use of a diet drug. Bates disputes that, saying she answered the questions on the application as best she could. Most major health insurers review – and sometimes cancel – the policies of clients who submit large medical claims. However, it is against state law for an insurer to link the pay of claims reviewers to their decisions. Health Net spokesman Brad Kieffer could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon. A spokesman for state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, meanwhile, told reporters that his office is watching the case closely and will look into the actions of Health Net and other insurance carriers. Bates’ trial is expected to continue next week, her lawyers said Friday. They are also representing another Health Net customer with a similar claim, said Michael Bidart, a partner in the law firm. Bates said she received chemotherapy treatments about four months after her insurance was canceled, thanks to a charity organization that picked up the $200,000 bill. She still needs follow-up medical care, including the removal of a port in her body that was used to inject the chemotherapy. A self-employed hairdresser who lives in Lakewood, Bates said she was left without health coverage. “I can’t afford it,” she said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.” melissa.evans@dailybreeze.com The Associated Press contributed to this report. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! When the solicitor called Patsy Bates at her Gardena hair salon about four years ago, the offer was enticing: She could save $50 a month in health insurance by switching from her current carrier to Health Net Inc. She answered a few questions and later filled out a form when a company representative came by her shop on Rosecrans Avenue to process the paperwork. A few months later, Bates was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the decision to change insurers sent her life into a tailspin and left her vulnerable for hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. Bates, 51, is now at the center of a lawsuit alleging Health Net Inc., one of California’s largest health insurers, gave its employees financial bonuses for canceling policies that saved the company millions of dollars in medical costs. last_img read more