environment

9:26am

Tue October 23, 2012
Regional Coverage

BP to meet with towns of Cape Vincent & Lyme about wind power project

Strict new regulations for commercial wind turbines aim to send a clear message to BP.
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. 

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9:07am

Mon October 22, 2012
Politics and Government

Environmental commissioner offers fracking decision update

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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11:30am

Tue October 16, 2012
Politics and Government

Pro-frackers rally at the state Capitol

Pro-frackers, including state Senator Tom Libous, rally at the state Capitol
Karen DeWitt WRVO

The New York state Capitol has been the scene of numerous noisy demonstrations on hydrofracking. But on Monday, it was supporters of gas drilling, not opponents, who were protesting.

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9:29am

Fri October 12, 2012
Politics

GOP Senate candidate urges action on fracking

The Republican candidate challenging Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Wendy Long, is urging swift action on hydrofracking in New York.

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11:36am

Mon October 8, 2012

3:40pm

Thu October 4, 2012
Politics

Senate candidate says fracking delay is unnecessary

U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long is accusing her opponent of not supporting natural gas drilling, which she says would create jobs in New York. Long, a Republican, held a press conference Wednesday in Syracuse to blame Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of delaying its approval.

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9:26am

Thu October 4, 2012
Politics and Government

Environmental group flunks state lawmakers

An environmental group, out with its annual voters’ guide, is grading state lawmakers harshly this year.

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4:07pm

Wed October 3, 2012
Environment

Cuomo says health review of hydrofracking is "no step back"

New York state recently decided to conduct a health review of the controversial natural gas extraction method, hydrofracking. This will likely cause a November deadline to be missed and the public comment period to be re-opened. However, during a visit to Syracuse on Tuesday Governor Cuomo denied that he is stalling the process, saying a delay in the state’s decision on allowing hydrofracking is not a “step back.”

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9:24am

Tue October 2, 2012
Politics and Government

More questions on new Cuomo administration fracking delay

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.

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1:52pm

Mon October 1, 2012
Environment

Project SWIFT will create water quality database in Southern Tier

Workers on a drill pad in Pennsylvania.
Marie Cusick Innovation Trail/WMHT

Two Syracuse University geology professors - along with a graduate assistant or two - are hurrying to collect water samples from drinking wells in the Southern Tier before - and if - the natural gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing is approved in New York.

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9:03am

Tue September 25, 2012
Politics and Government

Cuomo says health study could speed up fracking decision

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he supports his administration’s internal health review on hydrofracking in New York, and he says it could even hasten the gas drilling process in the state, should fracking ultimately be approved.

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9:27am

Mon September 24, 2012
Politics and Government

Health impact study on fracking raises questions

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s environmental commissioner announcement that he is rejecting calls for an independent health analysis of hydrofracking has left more questions than answers. Commissioner Joe Martens says he will conduct an internal health review instead.

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10:03am

Wed August 22, 2012
Health

No aerial spraying in Onondaga County to fight West Nile

With the spread of West Nile Virus across the country, some communities have chosen to spray pesticides to kill the mosquitoes that carry the deadly virus.  Despite the death of an elderly man in Syracuse from West Nile this week, Onondaga County officials have decided against that option.  

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9:14am

Tue August 21, 2012
Environment

Onondaga Lake cleanup underway

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. 

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8:32am

Tue August 21, 2012
Environment

Gas industry takes issue with new study on fracking wastewater

Matt Richmond WSKG

The natural gas industry has responded quickly to a report we did last week on a new study looking at the potential harm from fracking wastewater treatment and removal.

The Innovation Trail spoke with John Krohn, Communications Director for Energy in Depth, an education and outreach arm of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

Krohn wrote a lengthy critique of Stony Brook University's report that can be read here.

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3:46pm

Wed July 18, 2012
Regional Coverage

Syracuse gets money to revitalize old industrial zones

New York Secretary of State Cesar Perales discusses Syracuse's brownfields as Mayor Stephanie Miner looks on.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse will use money from a state program to take another step in the long process of redeveloping former industrial sites.

Syracuse is getting a $500,000 Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) grant for work on 113 acres just south of downtown and a 478 acre strip through the east side of the city. 

The grant is for the development of a revitalization strategy, the second of three phases of the BOA program, according to Owen Kerney, the city's deputy director for planning and sustainability.

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11:20pm

Sun July 1, 2012
Regional Coverage

Why does Jefferson County receive a "failing grade" for air pollution?

Earlier this year, the American Lung Association unveiled an unpleasant surprise for Jefferson County residents. In a report on air quality across the country, the association gave the rural north country county a grade of "F" for ozone pollution, commonly known as smog. 

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7:00am

Sat June 30, 2012
Regional Coverage

Army worms invade Jefferson County farms

Michael Hunter, of Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Ron Robbins, owner of Robbins Family Grain and partner in Old McDonald's Farm, inspect army worms they found in a wheat field on Robbins' property.

A pest has invaded farm fields throughout Jefferson County. Army worms – actually caterpillars that transform into moths – migrate up from the south every year to Northern New York. But this year a major outbreak of the worms is causing a widespread threat to crops, and big financial losses to some farmers. 

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9:46pm

Wed June 27, 2012
Regional Coverage

Horse vaccination clinics against deadly EEE virus to be held

Gravitywave via Flickr

Last year the mosquito-borne virus Eastern Equine Encephalitis killed at least a dozen horses and a four-year-old Oswego County girl. This week, state Senator Patty Ritchie is hosting two clinics in the North Country where horse owners can have their animals vaccinated for free.

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4:42pm

Thu June 14, 2012
Regional Coverage

Cuomo on possible hydrofracking plan

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.

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10:49am

Thu June 14, 2012
Environment

Lake Ontario lawmakers ask Cuomo to halt IJC water levels plan

State lawmakers representing communities along the south shore of Lake Ontario are lining up against a plan to regulate water levels in the lake, and in the St. Lawrence River system.

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10:34am

Wed June 6, 2012
Regional Coverage

DEC surveys waterbird populations on Little Galloo Island

DEC staff work counting gull nests on Little Galloo Island in Lake Ontario.
Joanna Richards WRVO

Every 10 years or so, the Department of Environmental Conservation goes out to Little Galloo Island, 20 miles off the coast of Cape Vincent in Lake Ontario, to survey waterbird populations there. The island, with a few dead trees, some grass and a rocky shoreline, is a haven for colonial waterbirds, with nests of Caspian terns, herring gulls and tens of thousands of ring-billed gulls – the standard seagull seen throughout the north country.

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2:31pm

Thu May 31, 2012
Environment

Lofty goals for Syracuse's first sustainability plan

Syracuse wants to live up to its nickname.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The city of Syracuse wants to get half its power from renewable energy sources by 2020.

That's just one of the targets laid out in a draft version of Syracuse's first sustainability plan [PDF].

It still has a ways to go, however: about 24 percent of New York's power currently comes from renewable sources - with hydropower accounting for the vast majority of that number, according to the New York Independent System Operator [PDF].

Syracuse is also hoping to reduce its energy consumption, advance education about environmental stewardship and increase urban agriculture and tree cover.

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10:15am

Tue May 29, 2012
Regional Coverage

ESF brings the shore of Lake Ontario to a new level

N.Y. State Environmental Facilities Corporation with EFC President Matt Driscoll on top of Illick Hall looking at test gardens.
Ellen Abbott

SUNY ESF is showing off plants that will create a green roof on the new Gateway Center, which will open later this year.

This new green roof will almost be like visiting the shore of Lake Ontario.

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10:53am

Thu May 3, 2012
Regional Coverage

Anti-fracking claims the upper PR hand

Karen Dewitt

Anti-fracking groups presented Governor Andrew Cuomo with 200,000 signatures asking for a ban on the gas drilling process in New York,  and a state senator predicts  the opposition will  have an effect on the governor.

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10:01am

Mon April 23, 2012
Environment

Study finds limiting sprawl could reduce carbon emissions

A study finds reducing urban sprawl and improving public transit could reduce a community's carbon emissions.
millicent_bystander via Flickr

Scaling back urban sprawl could reduce carbon emissions released by communities throughout the Northeast, according to research done in part by New York scientists and engineers.

The study is by Hubbard Brooks Research Foundation and focused on nine counties, including Tompkins County in New York.

It found that a reduction in sprawl limits emissions from the first step of development onward by preventing the release of the carbon in vegetation when land is first cleared.

"So if you can work on redeveloping previously developed land, and think about land development smartly to try and minimize disturbance, that’s greatly going to reduce the carbon footprint," says Syracuse University professor Charles Driscoll, who co-wrote the study.

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7:14am

Tue February 14, 2012
Environment

Environmentalists make case that nature is a good investment

Environmental advocates were in Albany Monday making the case that investing in the state's natural resources is good economic sense.

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8:00am

Tue January 3, 2012
Politics and Government

The future of hydrofracking in New York in 2012

One of the biggest and most controversial issues facing New York in the New Year is hydrofracking.  Governor Andrew Cuomo’s environmental department is conducting a review process and is likely to begin issuing permits sometime in 2012.

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7:04am

Thu October 13, 2011
Environment

Emerald Ash Borer spotted in New York, could destroy the state's ash trees

A particular kind of  Yellow leaf you see amidst the fall foliage in New York State might not be part of the fall splash of color much longer.  Many  of the yellow leaves are ash trees, and an invasive insect is slowly munching across New York State. 

It's called the Emerald Ash Borer, and it's wiping out all ashes everywhere an infestation occurs.

Don Leopold is a tree expert at the SUNY School of Environmental Science and Forestry and says Ash trees, which are native to New York, are prized for more than there color.

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7:34am

Wed October 12, 2011
Environment

Dan Grossman on The Campbell Conversations

Dan Grossman is a freelance environmental journalist who has frequently appeared on public radio and the BBC, and has written for the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Scientific American. He’s won a host of prestigious awards and been funded by many highly respected organizations—among them the Peabody award, the National Science Foundation, and the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

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