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Schumer pushes for grape research funds

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-New York, is urging the Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service to provide a robust investment in new equipment for the Grape Genetics Research Unit in Geneva. Schumer said in a press statement that upgrades to the unit’s technology are necessary to ensure researchers have the state-of-the-art tools needed to respond to the... more

Long-standing landfill air pollution dispute heads to federal appeals court

Should state and federal regulators consider the Ontario County Landfill to be one or two separate entities for purposes of air-pollution permits? That question was raised eight years ago — and it’s still winding its way through the court system. The latest development is a hearing before the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City. Arguments are... more

DEC cites Ontario County Landfill for permit violations

As reported first in the Finger Lakes Times last week, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has cited Casella Waste Systems for two violations of its permit at the Ontario County Landfill. Casella has operated the landfill through a contract with Ontario County since 2003. In a March 26 letter to landfill General Manager Rob Fadden, DEC environmental engineer Gary... more

More details revealed in Nature Conservancy’s $1.5 million Owasco Lake project

The Nature Conservancy plans to acquire or restore over $1.2 million worth of land in the Owasco Lake watershed to protect water quality, part of an approximately $1.5 million project that relies heavily on state funding. The conservancy was awarded over $1.1 million in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council announcement in December, one of the largest grants in... more

With the death of fracking, can renewables fill New York’s energy gap?

It began with an irresistible promise backed by millions in cash. After paying Southern Tier farmers $110 million for mineral rights to their land, prospectors from XTO Energy drove large stakes into fallow fields and woodlots to mark where they expected to harvest billions of dollars in natural gas. Extending under this 50,000-acre leasehold in Broome and Delaware counties was... more

DEC says cold water is cause of fish kill in Barge Canal

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is blaming the unseasonably cold weather for a fish kill in the portion of the Barge Canal that runs through this Wayne County village. DEC biologists have documented a large number of gizzard shad dying in Newark and in Irondequoit Bay. The gizzard shad is a medium-sized member of the herring family. DEC officials... more

Lake Ontario shoreline homeowners left with big mess after die-off

Thousands of dead fish are washing up on the shores of Irondequoit Bay, particularly on the Webster side. It’s not unusual this time of year, but some residents say it’s the worst they’ve seen in decades of living on the water. “We’re looking forward to the warm weather, but I don’t know what we’re going to do with all this... more

Prescribed burn coming to Finger Lakes National Forest

Finger Lakes National Forest (FLNF) officials announced today that they, in partnership with local fire departments and land management agencies are planning to use prescribed fire to treat approximately 200 to 600 acres of the more than 16,000-acre national forest. The Forest Service says that it will use prescribed fire as a management tool to reduce heavy accumulations of grass... more

DEC’s Great Lakes Program wants to hear from people in Sterling, Wolcott Creek watersheds

The state Department of Environmental Conservation's Great Lakes Program is looking for ways to manage the ecosystem in Sterling and Wolcott Creek sub watersheds located in Wayne, Cayuga and a small portion of western Oswego counties. People who live and work in the watershed, or any other stakeholders, are encouraged to fill out a survey, which the DEC will use... more

Power of the sun: Community solar is a resource that Tompkins County has largely embraced

Here in Tompkins County, located in NYSEG’s load zone C, community solar has found a home. And another home. And another. Community solar projects, and solar for private production as well, has been popping up across the county for several years now. Most recently, BlueRock Energy opened a community solar project in Enfield, in partnership with local company Renovus Solar... more

Condos coming to Lake Tunnel Solar Village

Ground hasn’t been broken for the Lake Tunnel Solar Village project near downtown, but it’s already taking on a new look. The solar-powered housing development, which is planned by Geneva-based SmallGrid, will now feature four, four-story condominiums with 24 units and two different space offerings of 800 to 1,200 square feet on single levels. The buildings will have elevators. FL... more

State lawmakers propose legislation to halt Romulus incinerator

The goal is to stop a waste-to-energy incinerator project from moving forward. Senator Pam Helming, Senator Tom O’Mara, Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano have introduced legislation that would block the Circular enerG facility proposed at the former Seneca Army Depot in the Romulus. Circular EnerG has begun the permitting process to build a waste-to-energy facility that... more

Canandaigua crowd hears lowdown on Lyme

More than 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease occur each year, but only a fraction of those get reported to health officials. “Most cases of Lyme are out of sight,” said Dr. Elizabeth Maloney, a Minnesota family physician who addressed more than 200 people Thursday at The Inn on the Lake in Canandaigua. The Finger Lakes region is prime for... more

Committee to get Ontario County solid waste plan implementation update

The master plan for the future of the Ontario County Landfill should be made public by June. The county Board of Supervisors’ Planning and Environmental Quality Committee will get an update on implementation of the 2015 Solid Waste Management Plan at its meeting Monday afternoon. Carla Jordan of the county Planning Department will lead the presentation. The Routes 5&20 landfill... more

Algae-fighting buoys may be too costly for Owasco Lake

A $1.2 million proposal to scatter about 30 ultrasonic buoys at the northern end of Owasco Lake to combat harmful algae may be too costly to implement, at least for now, local officials said Thursday. LG Sonic, a company out of the Netherlands, presented its buoy system to members of the Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council last month. Cyanobacteria, the... more

Saving Seneca Lake: Sounding the alarm on water quality

Dr. John Halfman, Hobart & William Smith Colleges Professor of Geolimnology & Hydrogeochemistry has been studying Seneca Lake since the early 1990s, and in 2012, he sounded an alarm about the degrading condition of the lake. “What I see with the scientific evidence I have is Seneca Lake is slowly getting worse and worse over time. If we don’t do... more

EPA taking action to address lead contamination at Ithaca Falls

The City of Ithaca announced the United States Environmental Protection Agency is taking action to address elevated levels of lead contamination detected in soil in the Ithaca Falls Gorge Trail area below the former Ithaca Gun factory site. Sampling performed by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation contractors in February 2018 identified areas of lead-impacted soils near a public... more
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