Wed December 18, 2013
Politics and Government

Congress saves fire hydrants from scrap yard over lead rules

New fire hydrants stockpiled at the Onondaga County Water Authority.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Public water departments have been saved from being required to scrap thousands of brand new fire hydrants.

Congress has passed legislation that will exempt hydrants from stricter federal rules about lead in plumbing. The Senate passed the bill last night and the House version had already been approved.

Under the Environmental Protection Agency's new lead in drinking water rules that were set to go into effect in January, hydrants as they’re made now would be deemed unusable because they contain too high of an amount of lead.

Read more


Mon December 9, 2013

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.

Read more


Thu December 5, 2013

Fire hydrants could have to be scrapped under new EPA rule

Sen. Charles Schumer (D - N.Y.) wants the EPA to exempt fire hydrants from lead requirements for drinking water products.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Water authorities are in danger of having to scrap thousands of brand new fire hydrants if a new federal environmental requirement is allowed to go through as written.

The Onondaga County Water Authority keeps a stockpile of 200 fire hydrants on hand to replace broken or damaged ones. They cost $1,200 each.

The EPA is lowering the amount of lead that can be in things that touch drinking water, like sink faucets, but it could also render local water authority's stockpile of hydrants useless.

Read more


Thu September 12, 2013

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.

Read more


Sun March 3, 2013
The Upstate Economy

EPA provides advice on sustainable growth to WNY communites

The intersection of Broadway and Fillmore Avenue in Buffalo
Ashley Hassett / WBFO

The Environmental Protection Agency announced this month it will be providing technical assistance to three western New York communities. They were chosen out of 121 applicants and are three of 43 communities to be assisted across the country. The EPA will provide the aid by delivering workshops on developing sustainable growth strategies.

Read more