Environment

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A chemical company working out of Solvay has come up with a way to reduce the amount of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions its manufacturing process produces. Chemtrade and the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) worked together on the project.

Saffron Blaze / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from April 15, 1988, John Weeks discusses the virtues of roadside nature watching.  Weeks talks about the sights of spring that can easily be found from your vehicle. 

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.

In this archived broadcast from April 18, 1987, John Weeks continues to discuss his trip on the East Coast.  Weeks discusses his visit Bombay Hook, touching on the wildlife he spotted and giving a brief history of the refuge.

Jim Brickett / Flickr

In this archived broadcast from April 10, 1987, John Weeks details his trip down the East Coast for the National Science Teachers Association in Washington, D.C. He speaks about various natural landmarks that he came across including the Barrier Dunes, nesting ospreys, and Chesapeake Bay.

In this archived broadcast from April 8, 1988, John Weeks discusses the mating rituals of salamanders.  Weeks speaks about the appearance and behavior of salamanders, and delves deep into the mating cycles of salamanders.

ceedub13 / Flickr, Creative Commons

A non-profit says The St. Lawrence River is one of the 10 most endangered rivers in the country. American Rivers say the fish and wildlife of the St. Lawrence will remain in jeopardy until the U.S. and Canada approves a plan for controlling its water levels.

Migration through Montezuma

Apr 9, 2016
Andy Saunders

If you drive on the New York State Thruway between Syracuse and Rochester you'll go right through the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, a huge wetland that every spring is filled with large flocks of migrating waterfowl and other birds. David Chanatry of the New York Reporting Project at Utica College recently visited the refuge and spoke with Chris Lajewski, the director of the Audubon Center.

David Chanatry/NY Reporting Project / File Photo

For the past 17 months, demonstrators periodically have been blocking the entrance to a planned natural gas storage facility on Seneca Lake.  Monday, in the biggest protest yet, police arrested 57 people including writer and climate activist Bill McKibben.

Julia Botero / WRVO news

The town of Orleans, between Clayton and Alexandria Bay, may be on its way to clean drinking water. Members of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s staff along with the State Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation met with Orleans officials Tuesday in Albany.

New York Invasive Species Information

Onondaga County’s ash tree management plan could be losing some momentum. The plan to take down or treat trees infected by the emerald ash borer could face cuts in its anticipated funding.

The Onondaga County Legislature Ways and Means Committee have balked at the $1 million bond that would pay for this year’s fight against the emerald ash borer infestation. They say $750,000 is a better figure in light of the county’s stagnant sales tax numbers. 

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Something is wrong in Orleans, a small town in the Thousand Islands. Tap water there is contaminated with high levels of salt. The water is not only unfit to drink, it eats bathroom fixtures and destroys washing machines. The problem has gone on for at least a decade. Homeowners suspect road salt from a nearby salt barn is to blame, and they want help from the state.

U.S. Department of Agricuture / Flickr, Creative Commons

Lewis County is now looking to solar to help save on energy costs. County officials expect the new solar project to generate enough power to supply half the energy needed to run the municipal hospital and county offices.

Lewis County plans to fill a nine- acre parcel of land behind the Public Safety Building in Lowville with enough solar panels to produce two-megawatts of energy. Chairman Mike Tabolt, head of the Lewis County Board of Legislators, is negotiating with Greenskies Renewable Energy to develop the solar array.

lindenbaum / Flickr

Maple sugar operators, scientists and forest managers have known for years that the sugar maple is very sensitive to acid rain. So when the federal acid rain levels dropped levels dramatically after federal regulation, it could only mean good news for one iconic tree that found living with acid rain difficult -- right? A recent study published by the SUNY School of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) in Syracuse shows that hypothesis doesn’t hold water.

SUNY ESF

SUNY ESF has its fingerprints on the discovery of a new giant tortoise on the Galapagos Islands; a SUNY scientist is part of the research team that made the discovery.

James Gibbs, a SUNY ESF conservation biologist, has handled over 8,000 giant tortoises over the 20 years he’s been trekking back and forth between Syracuse and the Galapagos Islands. So he can easily see the difference between the new Eastern Santa Cruz Tortoise, and the others that live on the island of Santa Cruz in the center of the Galapagos Archipelago.

Julia Botero / WRVO news

Trees in the North Country are clinging to the last of their leaves. In Alexandria Bay, you can take a walk to admire what remains of fall foliage at Otter Creek Preserve. The trail is now open to the public for the first time. It snakes through more than a hundred acres of woods, wetlands, shrub and grasses.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Residents on both sides of the issue spoke out at another public hearing on managing deer and ticks in central New York on Tuesday night. Funding will soon be available for neighborhoods to address the problem.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency has agreed to purchase a site along Onondaga Lake that has been contaminated by industrial pollution for years. County officials are hoping the site can be cleaned and used for development.

The Canadian-based company, American Iron and Metal, which owns Roth Steel, a former scrap yard along Onondaga Lake, came to a settlement so the county could purchase the property. American Iron and Metal wanted to reopen the "pick and pull" junk yard but the county said they had the option to use eminent domain to take over the property.  

Adam W. / Flickr

 

Canada’s federal government has ordered the city of Montreal to halt its plan to dump about 2 billion gallons of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River. Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq said the effect on the river would be “likely significant."

The city of Montreal was all ready to begin releasing the untreated waste water into the St. Lawrence on Sunday, despite widespread protests, including a petition from city residents with 90,000 signatures, and pleas to rethink the plan from New York Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro).

Adam W. / Flickr

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is speaking out against Montreal’s plan to dump 2 billion gallons of sewage into the St. Lawrence River next weekend.  Schumer is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to sit down with the Canadian government.

jetsandzeppelins / Flickr

New federal rules aim to protect farm workers from the risks associated with exposure to pesticides, and advocates in New York are applauding the changes.

Now, children under 18 will not be allowed to handle pesticides. Adult farm workers will have to be trained each year on how to protect themselves from the chemicals used around them. They used to be trained every 5 years.

It’s been 23 years since the Environmental Protection Agency updated its standards.

A Syracuse company has won $100,000 in federal funding to help it reduce electronic waste.  

Sitting in a garage on Shonnard Street in Syracuse is the prototype for something called a “depopulator,” which could revolutionize the way old electronics are recycled. It’s the brainchild of engineers at the Advanced Recovery and Recycling Company. President Byron Tietjen says it essentially shakes the circuit boards while they’re being heated to about 370 degrees Fahrenheit, and the electronic parts from the printed circuit board just fall off.

Doug Kerr / Flickr, Creative Commons

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre spoke to the Canadian media Monday explaining that over the weekend, he and city officials had re-examined their plan to release wastewater in the river. He told reporters that despite strong opposition, the plan has to continue.

“Is there a way to take some option in between? Can we use some temporary ways instead of sending that to the River? The answer is no,” Coderre said.

EPA Regional Director Judith Enck is calling central New York to take action when it comes to climate change.

Enck admits that taking on climate change is a big issue. But she says individuals shouldn't shy away from it.

“Sometimes climate change can be an overwhelming issue. You get paralyzed, you don’t know what’s the first thing you can do to address. But I actionably think there are no shortage of steps to take to reduce carbon pollution,” said Enck, in a recent interview with WRVO News.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

According to the latest federal figures, there are more than 1,200 endangered species in the United States. Scientists across the country are trying to figure out ways to keep many of these species from dropping off the face of the Earth. 

Walking down the steep trail towards the bottom of Chittenango Falls in central New York, Cody Gilbertson carries a big white styrofoam cooler. But there aren’t any picnic treats for humans inside. Gilbertson’s cooler is filled with several plastic containers, stuffed with leaves that endangered Chittenango Ovate Amber Snails are munching on.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency wants your old thermometers or thermostats. It’s an attempt to get mercury out of the waste stream.

If you look at an old thermometer or thermostat hanging around the house and see a ball of silver mercury in it, don’t throw it in the trash. Exposure to even small amounts of mercury can cause health damage to humans and wildlife.

Kathleen Carroll of Covanta, which runs Onondaga County’s trash burner, says they do have pollution controls that minimize the danger of the items containing mercury in the waste stream.

Adam W. / Flickr

Canadian media outlets report that the city of Montreal is suspending its plan to dump over two billion gallons of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River. This comes after city officials received a stream of phone calls when the city’s plans to dump the wastewater became public.

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.

New York Invasive Species Information

bout half of the National Forest Service’s budget has been spent on fighting wildfires in the West and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said it is taking funding away from other critical programs.

Ithaca's Falls Creek Gorge to get lead cleanup

Sep 14, 2015
Samuel Whitehead / WSKG News File Photo

The Falls Creek Gorge in Ithaca will get attention from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency due to lead at the base of the gorge. The agency announced the cleanup last week.

Overlooking the gorge is the former site of the Ithaca Gun Factory. The company made guns there for about 100 years, ending in 1986. The EPA cleaned up parts of that site in the early 2000s.

Pages