Woman says agency refused to retest tainted water
EVANS CITY, Pa. (AP) -- A western Pennsylvania woman says state environmental officials refused to do follow-up tests after their lab reported her drinking water contained chemicals that could be from nearby gas drilling.
At least 10 households in the rural Woodlands community, about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh, have complained that recent drilling affected their water in different ways.
The Department of Environmental Protection first suggested that Janet McIntyre's well water contained low levels of only one chemical, toluene. But a review of the DEP tests by the Associated Press found four other volatile organic compounds in her water that can be associated with gas drilling.
DEP spokesman Kevin Sunday said on Friday that the low chemical concentrations were not a health risk and suggested that the contamination may have come from the agency's laboratory itself or from abandoned vehicles on or near the property.
Ford opens 3rd China plant
SHANGHAI -- Ford opened its third passenger-car factory in China Friday, increasing the automaker's manufacturing capacity in the country by a third to more than 600,000 vehicles annually.
The $490 million assembly plant, set up by the Dearborn, Mich.-based company's venture with Changan Automobile Group Co., spans across 1 million square meters in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing and will produce the new-generation Focus sedans, Ford said in a statement Friday.
Expansion in the world's largest vehicle market is part of Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally's push to increase annual global sales by 50 percent to 8 million vehicles by 2015 and have one third of its deliveries in Asia by 2020. Ford plans to bring 15 new models to China by 2015.
Consumer confidence rises
WASHINGTON -- Consumer confidence was up in February for the sixth straight month, according to a leading barometer, as a record number of people said they were aware of recent gains in the jobs market.
The optimism led to the highest number of consumers since 2004 saying they expected the unemployment rate to drop, according to data released Friday by the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers.
But despite the more upbeat perspective, Americans reported their personal finances were still in rough shape.
For the 41st straight month, more households said their income had declined than increased from the previous month.
CEO's bonus hiked 55%
NEW YORK (AP) -- Johnson & Johnson says it is bumping up the bonus of retiring CEO Bill Weldon by 55 percent in 2012.
The New Brunswick, N.J., company says Weldon will get a bonus of $3.1 million, up from $2 million in 2011. Weldon's bonus and total compensation were cut in 2011 as Johnson & Johnson suffered through a string of product recalls.
The health care products maker announced Tuesday that Weldon will retire as CEO on April 26. Alex Gorsky will become the company's new CEO, and Weldon will remain company chairman. Gorsky is a vice chairman and the head of Johnson & Johnson's medical devices and diagnostics business.
Safety conference slated
The Western New York Safety Conference will take place March 14 and 15 at the Seneca Niagara Events Center in Niagara Falls.
The conference agenda will be dual tracked, addressing topics in general industry as well as the construction trades. The keynote speaker will be Billy Bretherton from the A&E reality TV series, "Billy the Exterminator."
The 76th annual conference aims to protect workers' health and safety. For more information, visit www.wnysc.com.