Environment

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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8:15am

Tue November 5, 2013
Environment

Proposed policy may allow fracking wastewater to be moved on waterways

Bosc d'Anjou Flickr

The U.S. Coast Guard has released a proposed policy that would allow fracking wastewater to be transported on waterways around the country. The public has 30 days to weigh in on the issue, and one New York state group is strongly opposed to the plan.

Fracking wastewater contains a mix of chemicals as well as some radioactive materials, and currently isn’t approved for transport on the nation’s rivers and lakes.

Kate Hudson from Riverkeeper, a New York state clean water advocate group, says even though the policy is in its early stages, it raises some serious concerns.

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4:01pm

Mon October 28, 2013
Environment

LEED program trying to change the course of building design

An aerial shot of Destiny USA.
Destiny USA (US Embassy Canada, Flickr)

More and more buildings are making the push to become LEED certified, a voluntary system that rates the environmental sustainability of projects. But what is LEED and how is it used to determine how green a building is?

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7:53am

Mon October 28, 2013
Environment

Environmental groups work to increase lake sturgeon population in upstate waters

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Midwest Region Flickr

The waters of Oneida Lake have long been a destination for fishermen in upstate New York. Fishermen come to try their hand at catching walleye, bass, and perch. But a much larger fish could someday be the ultimate prize in this body of water, and others throughout upstate New York.

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8:57pm

Wed October 23, 2013
Environment

Public helps shape state study on health patterns near Air Brake site

Current and former residents of Watertown's north side neighborhood, near the New York Air Brake plant, listen to a presentation about a health study the state Health Department will carry out.
Justin Sorenson, Watertown Daily Times

Earlier this week, a researcher from the state Health Department met with Watertown residents from the neighborhood near the New York Air Brake plant. The Health Department has agreed to study the area’s disease patterns because residents suspect that pollution from the plant has made people sick.

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8:23am

Tue October 22, 2013
Environment

EPA praises Onondaga County for green infrastructure work

Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe, left, talks with Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A top official at the Environmental Protection Agency was in Syracuse on Monday to highlight the county's work in green infrastructure.

Hitting on Onondaga County's Save the Rain program, EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe outlined the agency's updated national green infrastructure strategy.

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9:36am

Thu October 17, 2013
Environment

Scientists work to bring back American chestnut tree

Andy Newhouse, a researcher for SUNY ESF, at work. He is one of the researchers helping rebuild the American chestnut population.
David Chanatry/NYRP-UC

The American chestnut tree was once known as the king of the eastern forest. It tree grew more than 100 feet tall and six feet across, and accounted for a quarter of the timber in the woods. Its straight-grained wood was remarkably resistant to rot, and its nuts were a reliable source of food.

The chestnut was wiped out by blight in the early 20th century, but now scientists in Syracuse think they’re close to bringing it back.

Bill Coffin, 84, has spent a lifetime in love with the woods.

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4:50pm

Fri October 4, 2013
Environment

Should a ship be deliberately sunk in Lake Ontario?

Lake Ontario.
Vlad Litvinov Flickr

The possibility of deliberately sinking a ship in Lake Ontario will be discussed at a seminar Saturday at SUNY Oswego. Dave White, of New York Sea Grant, which is hosting the conference, says sinking a vessel along the shoreline would create a tourism spot for recreational divers and also provide a habitat for fish.

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8:12am

Thu October 3, 2013
Environment

Onondaga Lake Park prepares for Emerald Ash Borer

The emerald ash borer poses a major threat to ash trees at Onondaga Lake Park.
USDAgov Flickr

Now that the Emerald Ash Borer has been confirmed in Onondaga County, local governments are trying to find the best strategy to deal with the invasive pests that will ultimately kill all the ash trees in the area. One of the county's biggest challenges lies in one of the busiest public green spaces in central New York, at Onondaga Lake Park.

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6:41am

Thu September 12, 2013
Environment

USDA dropping oral rabies vaccines in northern, western NY

Neil McIntosh/Flickr

The United States Department of Agriculture continues to take steps toward lessening the number of rabies cases in New York state. Earlier this summer, edible plastic blister packs of a new vaccine, which has a marshmallow flavor and is a little larger than the size of a quarter, were dropped by airplane and by hand throughout northern New York and parts of four other states.

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5:53am

Thu September 12, 2013
Environment

Environmentalists call for cleaner power plants to reduce CO2 emissions

Calling it the elephant in the room, researchers behind the report claim power plants are the largest source of global warming pollution. By their estimation they account for 41 percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide pollution.

Eric Whalen, of Environment New York, says CO2 is what’s driving global warming.

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