Environment

7:43am

Thu May 15, 2014
Environment

Public gets first chance to weigh in on 'Trash to Ash' plan

Onondaga County's Waste-to-Energy Facility in Jamesville.
Office of Onondaga County Comptroller

The so-called Trash to Ash plan is now officially before the public. The initial public comment period has started, regarding a regional solid waste partnership between Onondaga and Cortland County, but there is already opposition to the plan.
             

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7:25am

Mon May 12, 2014
Environment

New living lab experiment at SU studies climate change impact on trees

The new living lab at Syracuse University.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Last week's federal report on climate change puts the spotlight on how increasing global temperatures will affect the world. One Syracuse University professor is trying to localize that by creating a climate garden on campus that will show the effects of climbing temperatures on trees in central New York.

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7:37am

Fri May 9, 2014
Environment

Onondaga County's compost program is growing in more ways than one

Waste is being transformed into compost at the OCRRA facility in Amboy.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Onondaga County’s program that turns food waste into the compost and mulch we use in our gardens is expanding.

OCRRA, the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency, has installed new structures that make the process at the Amboy Compost Facility work like a well-oiled machine.

It all starts with the food we throw away at restaurants, schools and grocery stores; the fruit rinds, the crusts of bread and corn husks. Those scraps are dumped into a new covered mixing area at the facility on Airport Road in Amboy.

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7:26am

Wed April 23, 2014
Environment

Madison County leads state e-waste recycling movement

DPW workers work during a Madison County e-waste collection event in Hamilton on Earth Day.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

There’s more urgency now than ever for New York state residents to dispose of certain electronic equipment. That’s why e-waste was emphasized in one central New York community on Earth Day this year.
 

Starting in 2015, you won’t be able to dump old TVs or computer monitors in any New York state landfill. Madison County has a head start, with a ban in place for several years now, and has been shipping these TVs to a Rochester-area recycler. But Madison County Landfill Director James Zecca says they’ll still feel an impact.

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6:45am

Mon April 21, 2014
Environment

Documents show fracking health study is ongoing, group claims

Bosc d'Anjou Flickr

Documents obtained by a group opposed to hydrofracking show the Cuomo administration is conducting a thorough health study on the controversial natural gas drilling process. The Finger Lakes based organization is now wondering why the review has been conducted almost entirely in secret.

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6:54am

Fri April 11, 2014
Environment

Shah’s resignation no surprise, say both sides of fracking debate

WBFO

There’s a "Help Wanted" sign at the state Department of Health after Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah announced his resignation effective at end of June.

The commissioner is unlikely to see out the release of a long-awaited health review on the impact of hydrofracking that he was commissioned to produce by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in November 2012.

According to Cuomo, salary issues were the reason for his departure, in reported comments made during a meeting with the editorial staff of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Thursday.

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5:50am

Mon April 7, 2014
Environment

Anti-fracking activist fights injunction in court

Vera Scroggins outside of the "No Trespassing" area
Matt Martin WSKG

A judge in Pennsylvania has loosened restrictions on anti-fracking activist Vera Scroggins. The original restrictions -- requested by Cabot Oil and Gas -- prevented Scroggins from visiting any land leased or owned by Cabot. The ruling last week says Scroggins has to stay away from Cabot drilling sites, producing wells and a dozen properties owned by the company.

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6:07am

Fri April 4, 2014
Environment

Emerald Ash Borer poses bigger threat to central New York trees that expected

The Emerald Ash Borer poses a major threat to ash trees in Onondaga County.
USDAgov Flickr

Homeowners in parts of Onondaga County with ash trees on their property, need to take action sooner than expected to deal with the Emerald Ash Borer. 

Jesse Lyons of the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Onondaga County says there’s evidence that the invasive insect has spread to almost  the eastern border of Onondaga County.

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7:16am

Fri March 28, 2014
Environment

New photo exhibit shows how far Onondaga Lake cleanup as come

"Look into my Eyes" is one of the photos on display this weekend in Geddes.
Greg Craybas

Local photographers are showing off pictures of wildlife and birds returning to Onondaga Lake, during an exhibit open to the public this weekend at Honeywell’s Onondaga Lake Visitors Center in Geddes. The images are meant to show the public that the lake is being restored.

Like the canary in the coal mine, birds are often a harbinger of the health of an ecosystem, says Audubon of New York Executive Director Erin Crotty.

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8:34am

Sat March 22, 2014
Environment

How much do bass fishing tournaments hurt the fish?

Bassmaster Elite angler Randy Howell reels in a small mouth during a tournament practice session near Ogdensburg last summer.
David Sommerstein/NCPR

Last summer, the country's top professional anglers were catching hundreds of pounds of Bass in the St. Lawrence River for the Bassmasters Elite tournament. Elite series officials deemed it a big success. A study found it generated $1-3 million for the region.

But are tournaments like Bassmasters Elite bad for the fish?

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2:35pm

Tue March 18, 2014
Fishing

Fish stocking program boosting Lake Ontario's viability

Fishers on the Salmon River, a tributary to Lake Ontario.
David Chanatry/New York State Reporting Project

Lake Ontario is boasting some of the best sport fishing among the Great Lakes, thanks to a successful stocking program by New York state's environmental management agency.

The Department of Environmental Conservation pumps ample supplies of trout and salmon into Lake Ontario and its tributaries every year. It attracts anglers from all over -- more than 2.5 million each season.

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4:43pm

Sun March 9, 2014
Environment

Mark Monmonier on The Campbell Conversations

Syracuse University Geography Professor Mark Monmonier (left) speaks with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

You'd think that Global Warming would make for less snow, but in this episode of the Campbell Conversations we learn why it might produce more snow, at least in Central New York.  Host Grant Reeher talks with Mark Monmonier about his latest book, Lake Effect:  Tales of Large Lakes, Arctic Winds, and Recurrent Snows.  Find out what fascinated this Geography professor so much about our local snowfalls that he wrote an entire

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8:32am

Sat March 8, 2014
Environment

Who is making sure school buildings are health environments?

A new book is shining a spotlight on the environmental issues within our nation’s schools.

"Toxic Schoolhouse," is an anthology that raises a number of issues including the absence of oversight of schools by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Madeleine Scammell, co-editor of the compilation, says the EPA has no regulatory authority in the local school, so watchdog responsibilities too often fall to teachers and parents.

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7:08am

Fri March 7, 2014
Environment

Water sale ban appealed

Painted Post, Corning aquifer
GDACC

Environmental groups won a court injunction last year against the village of Painted Post, preventing them from continuing water shipments for fracking operations in Pennsylvania.

The case was brought before the State Supreme Appellate Division Court in Rochester recently, with officials from the town in Steuben County vying for a different outcome.

The village of Painted Post has a five-year contract with Shell Oil subsidiary SWEPI LP. The deal calls for up to a million gallons of water a day to be shipped by rail to supply gas fracking operations in Pennsylvania.

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8:05am

Mon February 24, 2014
Environment

University at Buffalo to tackle global environmental issues

University at Buffalo geology professor Jason Briner conducting climate change research in Canada.
Jason Briner

A new institute designed to tackle complex environmental issues across the globe has been launched in upstate New York. This month, the University at Buffalo announced the launch of the RENEW (Research and Education in Energy, Environment, and Water) program.

Alexander Cartwright, vice president of research and economic development at the university, says an emphasis has been placed on assembling an interdisciplinary and unbiased team to tackle controversial issues.

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8:03am

Wed February 19, 2014
Environment

More fracking pro and con as the battle rages on

Capital District Against Fracking

The future of hydraulic fracturing in New York has been in limbo since the Department of Environmental Conservation began a review of the practice in 2008. Now, six public hearings are being held across New York to receive public comment on the draft State Energy Plan, with one of them in Albany.  Environmental groups were at the Capitol Tuesday calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to put renewable energy ahead of fossil fuels in his effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

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4:53pm

Mon February 17, 2014
Environment

New York landowners file lawsuit against Cuomo over fracking delay

A fracking rally in Albany at the Capitol.
eranderson428 Flickr

Two weeks ago, the landowners coalition sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo demanding the release of the environmental impact study on hydrofracking, known as the SGEIS . The deadline was Thursday, February 13 and Scott Kurkoski, a lawyer for the coalition, filed the promised lawsuit the following day.

“Is he in favor of this or not? Because the rest of the nation is moving forward in a way that is providing energy independence," Kurkoski said. "Is New York a threat to that process?”

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2:59pm

Fri February 7, 2014
Environment

Upstate communities tackle pollution in the Genesee River

Algae on Ontario Beach outside of Rochester on Lake Ontario
Center for Environmental Initiatives

Community members from across western New York came together in Rochester Thursday to address the issue of pollution in the Genesee River, and create an action plan for the immediate future.

The summit, run by the Center for Environmental Initiatives, was spurred by a new study which suggests human activity along the Genesee River Basin is having a direct impact on the water quality in Lake Ontario.

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3:00pm

Tue February 4, 2014
Environment

Syracuse environmental groups protest Keystone XL pipeline

Protestors gather in front of the Syracuse Federal Building
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Syracuse environmental groups gathered this week to oppose the building of the Keystone XL pipeline following the release of a report on its potential effects.

Keystone XL is a pipeline that would transport crude oil extracted from tar sands in Alberta, Canada to refineries in the U.S.

Environmental groups have opposed the 1,179 mile pipeline since it was proposed to the White House five years ago. The report, which downplayed the pipeline's environmental effects,  has led environmentalists to ramp up protests, including in Syracuse.

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7:57am

Mon February 3, 2014
Environment

New York landowners threaten lawsuit against the state over fracking review

The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York has given the state until Feb. 13 to release its environmental impact study on hydrofracking.

The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York is demanding the release of the state’s environmental impact study on hydraulic fracturing, and are threatening to take legal action if the state doesn’t release the report.

The letter stated the Department of Environmental Conservation has until Feb. 13 to release the report, known as the SGEIS. The state has had a de facto moratorium on hydrofacking for almost six years now.

Dan Fitzsimmons is president of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York and says landowners have been waiting too long for the report.

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4:45pm

Sun February 2, 2014
Environment

Jeff Speck on The Campbell Conversations

Jeff Speck
via Twitter

What would a city planner and architect who focuses on the importance of something called "walkability" make of the I-81 question and Destiny USA?  On this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Jeff Speck, a city planner and architectural designer, and the author of Walkable 

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7:20am

Thu January 30, 2014
Environment

Cuomo's environmental commissioner says fracking delay will continue

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens testifies at a legislative budget hearing.
Karen Dewitt WXXI

One day after President Barack Obama touted hydrofracking of natural gas as a bridge fuel, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s environmental commissioner says it’s extremely unlikely that permits for drilling wells will be issued in the next year.

Cuomo’s Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens testified at a legislative budget hearing. The state has had a de facto moratorium on hydrofracking for nearly six years.

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10:30am

Sun January 12, 2014
Environment

Frog Wranglers

Green Frog captured to observe for possible parasites, virus and other disease.
Credit Michael Ameigh, WRVO

On a hot, humid evening in July, 2013, a group of volunteers descended on an autumnal pool on the grounds of SUNY Oswego's Rice Creek Biological Field Station to collect frog specimens with SUNY Oswego Biological Sciences professor Jennifer Olori.  Pestered by swarms of mosquitoes and serenaded by songbirds including an elusive Wood Thrush, the group captured bullfrogs, green frogs and peepers for observation including taking weight and size measurements, determining gender, and collecting skin swabs and toe clippings (harmless to the frog as toes quickly regenerate) for laboratory analysis

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7:31am

Thu January 9, 2014
Environment

Hydrofracking protesters make appearance at State of the State address

Protesters of hydrofracking display signs at Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address Wednesday.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

The anti-hydrofracking movement was out in force during Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address Wednesday. Central New Yorkers who oppose controversial gas drilling method believe their continued protests are making a difference.

For those who oppose fracking, like Coleen Kattau from Cortland County, these pilgrimages to Albany are effective.

"The decision hasn’t been made about hydrofracking, because of people’s protests,” Kattau said.

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8:12am

Fri December 27, 2013
Environment

Chemical exposure at Goodyear’s Niagara Falls plant will impact workers for years to come

Former Goodyear workers Diane and Harry Weist at home in western New York
Tom Dooley/WXXI

“You know the guys used to joke to me, they’d be like, man Goodyear’s been good to you Harry. They gave you a wife, because that’s where I met Diane, you have a father-in-law that you worked for, and the other thing you got at Goodyear was bladder cancer so you know, you got everything."

We’re well into the holiday season, when I sit down with Harry and Diane Weist in their renovated farmhouse in western New York. Our conversation’s interrupted a few times by their little chihuahua, who likes to get in on the act.

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8:25am

Mon December 9, 2013
Environment

Researchers investigate link between water pollution and NY property values

Property values may be connected to the presence of the Common Loon.
Shawn McCready Flickr

Researchers from Clarkson University are gearing up to study the impacts of water pollution on property values across 26 counties in upstate New York.

Funded by a two year NYSERDA grant, researchers will study water quality data and correlate that with property sales over the past decade. And there’s already evidence of a relationship between the two.

In a recent study, economics professor Martin Heintzelman - who’ll be working on the new study – found that high water acidity lowered property prices in the Adirondacks by up to 24 percent.

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5:30pm

Thu November 28, 2013
Environment

Rethink on water resources required to combat climate change

Catastrophic storms like Irene, Lee and Superstorm Sandy ravaged much of the Hudson River watershed with flooding and erosion. Environmental advocates and policy makers say that’s evidence that climate change is having a major impact on the quantity and quality of the region’s water supplies.

Stakeholders joined the Hudson River Watershed Alliance and Mohonk Consultations for a conference in New Paltz earlier this week. They called for communities to seize the moment while admitting that changing existing attitudes towards water management can take a long time.

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7:38am

Fri November 22, 2013
Environment

Research group praises wind energy's production, health impact

John S. Quarterman Flickr

Wind power is saving New York state more than 800 million gallons of water annually, according to the analysis authored by Environment New York’s Research and Policy Center. It also argues wind energy is helping reduce asthma-causing pollutants like sulfur dioxide found in acid rain and soot. Field Director Eric Whalen says the renewable resource will reduce rates of asthma and heart disease that go hand-in-hand with fossil fuels.

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4:04pm

Thu November 21, 2013
Environment

New regulations proposed to reduce impact of invasive species

Hydrilla, an invasive aquatic plant, often gets stuck in boat motors
Louisiana Sea Grant College Program Louisiana State University Flickr

For years, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and other agencies have been trying to reduce the impact of invasive species like the Emerald Ash Borer and Asian carp. Last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Invasive Species Prevention Act, requiring the DEC and state Department of Agriculture and Markets to come up with a plan to reduce the impact non-native plants and animals have on the state.

The agencies are now proposing regulations that prohibit knowingly selling, traveling with or introducing certain species into the state.

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4:52pm

Tue November 5, 2013
Environment

Asian carp could pose real threat to Great Lakes ecosystem

Dave White, of New York Sea Grant, displays an accurately sized replica of an Asian carp.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

The threat of Asian Carp entering the Great Lakes has been talked about for years. While the potential of the invasive species on the lakes has not been fully determined, environmentalists are concerned the fish could hurt the lakes' ecosystem.

Dave White, with New York Sea Grant, says big head and silver carp have been detected very close to the Great Lakes, so the risk of a flood introducing them into the lakes is always present.

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