Department of Environmental Conservation

Cornell University

According to Cornell University researchers, the black bear population is growing in parts of New York state. Scientists are continuing to track the black bear numbers, and hope to get some help from the public going forward.

Black bears are encountering humans in upstate New York now more than ever, according to Cornell doctoral student Catherine Sun. She says research published earlier this year shows bear population expanding from traditional ranges in the Southern Tier.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo called it the largest public acquisition of land in central New York in more than 45 years. The state now owns 6,000 acres of land along and around the Salmon River, which is a major economic and tourism asset for Oswego County.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

As the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continue asking for input into a series of restoration projects for Onondaga Lake, one group of central New Yorkers feels left out. Some southside Syracuse residents want officials to take into account a problem that’s plagued them for years -- a muddy, inaccessible Onondaga Creek.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The state and federal governments want to make up for decades lost enjoying Onondaga Lake because of massive pollution. They have a plan that includes 20 restoration projects along the shore of a lake once called the most polluted in America.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Environmental advocates say that New York state officials could do a better job of cleaning up pollution sites caused by the fossil fuels industry that they say in some cases, have dragged on for decades. Cuomo’s environmental aides defend their record.

An Ithaca-based environmental research group analyzed data on dozens of alleged toxic spills for just one company -- Exxon Mobil.

PNI / Flickr

Pipeline companies are not having a lot of success in New York so far in 2016; opponents say they are dirty and continue New York’s over reliance on fossil fuels. Two projects have already been canceled. But a pipeline company representative says the projects are not as harmful as opponents say, and essential for the state’s current electric needs.

Until recently, expanding and building pipelines was not terribly controversial, as most people agreed that there was a common need to transport oil and gas for fuel and electricity.

dougtone / Flickr

Opponents of a pipeline expansion that would flow through vast portions of New York state want the Cuomo administration to deny a key permit, an act that could halt the upgrade.

The New Market Dominion pipeline is one of a dizzying array of fuel pipelines that flow through New York, in many cases taking natural gas from hydrofracking sites in other states to markets in New York and other places.

CREDO.fracking / Flickr

A group of state lawmakers is teaming up with environmental groups to ask Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration to ban the use of wastewater from hydrofracking and other oil and gas extraction from being spread on public roadways.

David Chanatry/NY Reporting Project / File Photo

Crestwood Midstream Partners is volunteering to change its plans to store propane in salt caverns along Seneca Lake, but protesters of the plan are not impressed.

On Monday, Crestwood sent a letter to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), saying it would concede to some concerns. For example, it said it would store fewer barrels of propane. It also offered to ship the gas via pipeline instead of by noisy trucks and trains.

Entergy

The FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant is still offline as its employees and New York state continue their inspection of why the plant unexpectedly shut down last week.

David Stone / Flickr

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is updating the public on its deer management programs. Deer programs used by towns and villages are seeing results but still need to track the lasting effects.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Toxic chemicals have been found in the yards of homes along Ley Creek in the town of Salina, just north of Syracuse. Cleanups have been ongoing in other areas of the creek, but it was not discovered in residents' backyards until testing was done earlier this year.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working towards outlawing boaters from dumping their sewage into the St. Lawrence River. The agency says the river could be designated a “no discharge zone.”

It’s been against the law since the 1970s to dump untreated sewage in U.S. waterways like the St. Lawrence River. But John Martin, with the EPA, says the new proposal would also apply to treated sewage.

“A lot of times boaters for whatever reason will dump untreated sewage into the water. Of course that’s not very easy to enforce if you own a very small vessel,” Marin said.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Anger was palpable at Oswego's Common Council meeting Monday evening over an increase in sewer and water rates. 

Many in the crowd voiced their displeasure with the Council for its December vote that increased flat water rates by $212 a year and metered rates by $152 a year. Some residents feel the cost of living in the city is becoming too high.

williamaveryhudson / Flickr

Tuesday marks the deadline for legal challenges to New York’s ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing.

Osprey make a big comeback in New York

Sep 30, 2015
Ellie George, Paradox Lake, NY

If you’re been anywhere near a lake or a river this summer, you may have seen a big white bird diving into the water to catch fish. Ospreys have made a big comeback. But for many years, the bird was threatened. On Wellesley Island, for example,  Ospreys  are everywhere.

Pipeline fight puts focus on one particular agency

Sep 28, 2015
Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

The Constitution Pipeline almost passed through Cindy Beach’s backyard. But the route changed. Now, the pipeline will be about two football fields away from Beach’s house in the village of Franklin in Delaware County. 

To get the change, she asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, if it was possible to bypass her small property. But one neighbor wasn’t so lucky. Beach says the pipeline company is taking part of his property by eminent domain.

A rare chance for birding on Perch River

Aug 29, 2015
Liz Truskowski

Eight thousand acres of pristine wetlands just north of Watertown in Jefferson County are open to visitors until Sunday. For most of the year, the Perch River Wildlife Management Area is off-limits to the public. The area is a breeding and nesting ground for threatened and endangered birds like bald eagles and black terns.

CREDO.fracking / Flickr

New York Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced this week that he is leaving that position, just two days after he issued the final environmental impact statement banning hydrofracking in the state.  The final report on fracking is a signal for others to move on as well. Anti-fracking groups say they are using New York’s stance to help convince other states -- and even countries -- to also ban the gas drilling process.

Ithaca restricts access to Ithaca Falls amid lead concerns

Jun 24, 2015
Samuel Whitehead / WSKG News

 

Ithaca Falls is a popular spot. People come to see the falls, wade in, and fish. It’s there that Fall Creek takes its final plunge before flowing into Cayuga Lake.

But a recent discovery has cut off access to this beloved space. Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found something concerning: lead.

Nels Bohn, director of the city of Ithaca’s Urban Renewal Agency, said that early testing is preliminary. He also said that some composite samples “have measurements above 400 parts per million of lead” within 25 feet of the gorge wall.

Matt Richmond / WSKG News

Regulators in New York are moving ahead with a plan to prohibit hydrofracking within its borders. In the latest step, the state released its final environmental review last week. And New York’s unique stance on fracking could have wide-ranging effects.

New York state releases final fracking report

May 13, 2015

New York state regulators have released the long-awaited final version of its environmental impact review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing. And it’s expected to lead to an official state ban on fracking.

Ithaca gun factory site in decontamination mode

Apr 9, 2015
SAMUEL WHITEHEAD / WSKG

From 1885 to 1986, the Ithaca Gun Company produced shotguns in a hillside factory northeast of downtown Ithaca. The factory’s smokestack still overlooks the city and Ithaca Falls. 

In the years since, the site has been the focus of extensive environmental remediation. Now, stakeholders are approaching the beginning of the end of the cleanup.

Matt Richmond / WSKG News

New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation has been working with IBM to clean up a chemical spill in the Southern Tier town of Endicott for years now. At a public meeting recently, officials from the DEC gave an update on one of the contaminated areas identified for cleanup.

According to New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation, the cleanup of the so-called toxic plume in Endicott is proving successful.

Kate O'Connell / WXXI

Crude oil from the Midwest is moving by pipeline and rail across the U.S., including parts of the North Country.  Some companies are interested in shipping oil to East Coast refineries by way of the St. Lawrence River.

At a conference organized last weekend by the Thousand Islands-based group, Save the River, environmentalists and state officials voiced concern over the potential of a catastrophic oil spill.

Julia Botero / WRVO

There is a deer in the village of Pulaski, N.Y., that will not run away if you come close. Residents have named the deer Bella. She naps on front porches, eats from people's hands and stands still while children pet her. Bella even has a Facebook page. WRVO's Julia Botero tried to friend Bella, but the deer had too many friends on the site, over 5,000. So, on a warm day last week Julia drove to Pulaski hoping to meet Bella face to snout. 

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David Chanatry/New York State Reporting Project

A thiamine deficiency might be to blame for a recent die-off of steelhead trout in the Salmon River.

The Department of Environmental Conservation says it began receiving reports about steelhead trout swimming erratically and dying in the Salmon River and other rivers off Lake Ontario last month. Three fish were sent to Cornell's Aquatic Animal Health Lab, where research scientist Rod Getchell examined the fish for diseases.

Jenna Flanagan/Innovation Trail

Winery owners have been stepping up their pressure on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reject a proposal to store natural gas liquids in the salt caverns along scenic Seneca Lake.

A small but passionate group of career vineyard farmers and winery owners had one united message to deliver to Albany recently.

“We demand that Gov. Cuomo do the right thing and deny all these permits for gas storage on the west side of Seneca Lake,” says Doug Hazlet, a Seneca Lake vineyard owner.

Dispute over Seneca Lake gas storage proposal rages on

Jul 25, 2014
David Chanatry / NYRP

The debate over proposals to store natural gas, propane and butane in salt caverns under Seneca Lake has become increasingly vocal, especially after a federal agency approved part of the project last May.  Last week opponents organized the biggest rally yet in the Finger Lakes village of Watkins Glen.

As the members of the Schuyler County Legislature left their meeting last week, the emotion, passion and anger of opponents of the gas storage projects -- and fracking in general -- burst into full display.

“Shame! Shame! Shame! Shame!” the protestors chanted.

Giant Hogweed poses threat to both plants and people

Jul 4, 2014
Gino Geruntino / WRVO

New York has a big problem with an invasive species you may have never heard of. Giant hogweed is a poisonous plant that can overtake entire fields with its giant leaves and can cause painful blisters on a person's skin. But the state Department of Environmental Conservation says it's stepping up its digging and spraying program to help control the plant and even eradicate it in some spots.

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