environment

Matt Driscoll was mayor of Syracuse from 2001 to 2009. Since then, he's been the President of a state public authority, and most recently a member of Governor Cuomo's cabinet. In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, he discusses the environmental issues he became known for as mayor, economic development, and the current Syracuse mayor's disagreement with the governor over public pensions.

The New York State Assembly has approved, by a 95 to 40 vote, a two-year moratorium on hydrofracking in New York. While it’s unlikely to be passed in the Senate, the action reflects state lawmakers' growing worries about potential health impacts from the natural gas drilling process. 

Women learn art of wood splitting at hands-on workshop

Mar 6, 2013
Joanna Richards

Our reporter, Joanna Richards, is a city girl. But since she moved to the north country four years ago, she's been boning up on the traditions and culture of rural life. She had a chance recently for a bit of North Country skill building, in a workshop on wood splitting especially for women. Joanna tells the story of her lesson.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces a tough choice as he continues to ponder the decision on whether to allow hydro fracking in New York, and it seems there’s no easy way to win for the governor.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is one of the sponsors of a bill to ban fracking in New York state at least until May of next year.

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.

Marie Cusick/Innovation Trail

On Tuesday, New York state officials announced another delay of their final decision on hydrofracking. The Department of Environmental Conservation will wait for a report on the health protections in its environmental review of fracking. Then the environmental review can be completed. The delay could be less than a month or it could be much longer. But one thing is clear - the delayed health review is now the key factor in deciding whether or not fracking will go ahead in New York.

A February deadline on New York’s process to allow hydrofracking will be missed, with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Health Commissioner now saying he needs more time to complete an on-going health study.

Watertown scares away nuisance crows

Jan 15, 2013
Joanna Richards

It's an eerie sight – every winter, around dusk each night, a flock of between 20,000 and 30,000 crows gathers in the trees around the Black River in Watertown. They can be a neat sight against the white winter landscape, but the city wants them gone. That's because they squawk and poop and generally annoy a lot of city residents. The city has hired a wildlife management company to disperse the birds.

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). 

DVIDSHUB / Flickr

A report published Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) finds that sea level increases over the next century will have significant impacts on coastal communities.

runJMrun / via Flickr

When environmentalist Bill McKibben visited Syracuse in October as part of the University Lectures series, he urged students to get their schools to make more sustainable investments. His words encouraged Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry students to start the Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign.

Mercury levels among fish caught in the Atlantic Ocean are dropping, but it's not the same case for fish from the Pacific Ocean.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Even though dredging and capping operations to clean up contamination in Onondaga Lake is in its early stages, a scientist consulting on the project says mercury levels are dropping better than expected.

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.

Joanna Richards/WRVO

BP held a presentation last night in Cape Vincent on the Article X process for siting power projects under New York state law. It was another contentious encounter between local anti-wind power activists and BP representatives over the proposed Cape Vincent Wind Farm.

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.

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.

A central New York planning agency is moving into the public comment period as it works to create its contribution to a state-wide sustainability plan.

An upstate school is adding a structure that generates its own energy, heating and cooling using renewable energy sources for its teaching spaces. The Harley School in Rochester broke ground on the $3 million project Monday.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

There's a new view of Onondaga Lake.  Honeywell has  opened a new Onondaga Lake Visitors Center, right next to the company's massive project that's dredging and capping two million cubic yards of contaminated lake soil. Honeywell hopes it can change perceptions of a lake, that for decades has been so dirty, people didn't want to go near it.

Gas drilling companies in New York state says they’re “exhausted” by a more than four-year long review process on whether to allow hydrofracking in New York, that they say they now fear will drag on into 2013.

One day after saying they could not speculate on when a key health review on hydrofracking in New York would commence, the state health department has now announced three university experts have been chosen and will review the data.

Conference looks for ways to grow "clean economy"

Nov 15, 2012

Hundreds of people from around the country are in Albany this week to talk about ways to grow and improve the nation's so-called "clean economy."

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.

Buffalo cemetery promotes green burials

Nov 10, 2012

It's nearly impossible not to leave a carbon footprint on the planet... Even in death. But Buffalo's largest cemetery is trying to make dying more environmentally friendly.

Cape Vincent wind power meeting message to BP: "Go Home!"

Oct 24, 2012
Joanna Richards / WRVO

Town officials and community members from the Jefferson County towns of Cape Vincent and Lyme gave energy company BP a clear signal at a meeting last night in Cape Vincent: a wind farm isn't welcome there.

Martin Abegglen / Flickr

With a wind project proposed by BP, the town of Cape Vincent recently passed strict new regulations for commercial wind turbines. Then BP began seeking state review under the Article X law. That process could bypass local laws, if they're deemed “unreasonable.” Now the company has called a meeting with town officials, scheduled for Tuesday night. 

New York state’s environmental commissioner for the first time commented in-depth about a new health review that has once again delayed a decision on whether to allow hydrofracking in the state. But Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens says there are still some unanswered questions.

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