Department of Environmental Conservation

A number of protestors were arrested for blockading the entrance to a natural gas storage facility in the Finger Lakes region early Monday.

Sidsel Overgaard/WRVO

Opponents of a proposed underground gas storage facility near Seneca Lake are ramping up for a legal fight as a decision on the project nears.

DEC may miss deadline for fracking regulations

Feb 4, 2013
Matt Ryan/WMHT

New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens suggested Monday that the state may miss a February 27 deadline to complete its proposed fracking regulations. And that could stall a decision on gas drilling for months.

Marie Cusick/Innovation Trail

In Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2013-2014 budget, the Department of Environmental Conservation is looking at a budget cut of 5.5 percent. What will this mean for the department if hydrofracking comes to New York?

Matt Richmond / WSKG

Public commenting on the state’s revised hydrofracking regulations closed on Friday. Final regulations are due to be released at the end of February. The Democratic-controlled state assembly held a public hearing on Thursday that included some heated exchanges.

A group called Elected Officials to Protect New York is pressing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to extend a 30-day public comment period that ends Friday. The comment period is for revised hydrofracking regulations released by the Department of Environmental Conservation in November.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

A document from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration assessing the health impacts of hydrofracking, written less than a year ago, says the gas drilling process is likely safe if proper precautions are taken by the governor’s environmental agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). 

Reintroducing Atlantic salmon to the Salmon River

Jan 1, 2013
David Chanatry/New York State Reporting Project

In recent years both the federal and New York state governments have been studying how best to re-introduce – salmon -- to New York’s Salmon River.  That might come as a surprise to anyone who’s ever fished the river, known for its salmon of eye-popping size. 

Matt Richmond / WSKG

Helen Slottje is an Ithaca-based lawyer who helped develop town bans against drilling. She spoke to a friendly crowd on Monday night at the Unitarian Church of Ithaca.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

For those on the pro-fracking side, the newest regulations are both a good sign and a troubling one. On the one hand, they're a light at the end of the tunnel, proof that permits for hydrofracking aren’t far off. But, on the other hand, fracking supporters say that the Department of Environmental Conservation has only answered the concerns of the anti-fracking lobby.

The Cuomo Administration could be headed toward approval of hydrofracking in New York by the end of February, when a 90-day extension on a rule making process ends.

Credit NASA Earth Observatory

The Department of Environmental Conservation recently released regulations on water withdrawals that would cover the natural gas industry in New York.

The Cuomo Administration says it will not be ruling on whether to allow hydrofracking in New York until an on-going health review is finished.  The delays have resulted in the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation having to open another public comment period, which begins December 12.

A legal expert says that the Cuomo administration’s move to delay for another 90 days the decision on whether to allow hydrofracking in New York makes sense. Meanwhile, some health care professionals say a review underway on the health effects of fracking is a sham.

The state’s environmental agency confirms it will miss a key deadline and delay approval of hydrofracking in New York once again. Anti-fracking forces see an opportunity in the new delay, while those waiting to benefit economically from the gas drilling process are feeling frustrated.

Joanna Richards / WRVO

At a packed public meeting November 7 in Watertown, state environmental and health officials began a dialogue with members of the public concerned about pollution on the city's north side, with the New York Air Brake plant at the center of concern. Now, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) officials talk about what they'll do with the new information from the meeting, and what might come next.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says a health study of hydrofracking will make it impossible to meet a looming deadline for regulations on the drilling process, which would pushing a much-delayed decision on the contentious issue into 2013.

Hydrofracking could once again be delayed in New York, unless the state Health Commissioner is able to complete requirements to contract with outside health experts and conduct a health review by November 29.

The New York Air Brake industrial site in Watertown has been the subject of resurgent concerns among residents of the city's north side neighborhood. Some have come forward about illnesses they say are linked to pollution at the site. The state departments of Health and Environmental Conservation are holding a community meeting Wednesday, November 7 in Watertown to hear those concerns.

A group of public health experts are questioning whether Governor Andrew Cuomo’s health officials can do a credible job reviewing a health study on hydrofracking, saying independent reviewers would be a better choice.

The Cuomo administration has announced two developments that could delay the start of hydrofracking in New York, and is leaving supporters and opponents with many unanswered questions.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s environmental commissioner is rejecting calls by environmentalists for an independent health impact study on hydrofracking. But  Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens, says the state’s health commissioner has agreed to conduct a review.

Joanna Richards / WRVO

A toxic waste site in Watertown is drawing renewed attention from residents and city leaders. New York Air Brake's chemical dump on the north side of town was cleaned up in the 1990s. State environmental officials say it's been monitored since then and they're convinced it's safe for neighbors and wildlife. But people who live nearby believe they have health problems traceable to the site. And they fear it still poses a health risk.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Whenever Governor Andrew Cuomo goes out in public these days, he seems to have a shadow. Hydrofracking foes want to keep the pressure on the governor as a decision about the controversial drilling method nears.

Groups for and against hydrofracking are gearing up for an announcement by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s environmental officials  on whether the natural gas drilling process will be permitted in New York on a limited basis. But, the organizations, who are running ads, may have to wait a little longer.

Onondaga Lake cleanup underway

Aug 21, 2012
borisvolodnikov / Flickr

After 100 years of environmental assault, Onondaga Lake in Syracuse became known as the most polluted lake in America. But now the final stage of a cleanup is underway. 

College students help fight invasive species

Aug 1, 2012
Louisiana Sea Grant College Program Louisiana State University

All summer long, the Department of Environmental Conservation is stationing college students at boat launches around New York with the mission to stop the spread of invasive species.

In a New York Times article published Wednesday, a plan for the first stage of hydrofracking in New York state was laid out by members of the Cuomo administration. But in a radio interview Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo himself was reluctant to actually call it a plan.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The Onondaga Nation is not happy with the breadth of the Honeywell Corporation's plan to dredge and cap polluted sediment at the bottom of Onondaga Lake.

This $451 million plan will dredge an estimated two million cubic yards of toxic material from 185 acres out of the 3,000-acre lake bottom, and cap 14-percent of the lake bottom, to keep toxic chemicals underground.

A new report from a statewide environmental group says New York's brownfield remediation program is broken. Advocates say too few sites are being redeveloped -- at too high a cost.

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