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Seneca Lake-area water systems promise new data on PFAS, while state keeps tight lid on information

Seneca Lake-area water systems promise new data on PFAS, while state keeps tight lid on information
Blindsided a month ago by intense public alarm over reports that their public drinking water showed traces of PFAS-class chemicals, officials in Watkins Glen and Montour Falls and Waterloo confirmed last week that they are in the process of checking it out. No new tests results are in yet, but they’re said to be in the pipeline.  In early September,... more

Decade old questions loom as Schuyler County Judge race moves forward

Decade old questions loom as Schuyler County Judge race moves into the fall
Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman, who is running in November for Schuyler County Judge, declined last week to answer questions or provide requested documents about his role in a Seneca County scandal more than a decade ago. Getman declined to confirm or deny reports that his resignation as Seneca County Attorney in 2007 was prompted by a grand jury letter... more

MANTIUS: HABs color Finger Lakes green with dozens of blooms after Labor Day

MANTIUS: HABs color Finger Lakes green with dozens of blooms after Labor Day
Labor Day is prime time for hurricanes in the Atlantic and, in recent years, harmful algal blooms across New York State’s lake country Once pristine Skaneateles Lake, the drinking water source for Syracuse, had been spared from HABs all summer — until the first week in September when nine suspected blooms were spotted, including a cluster of four in the... more

Officials claim fears of water contamination likely overblown in Schuyler County

Officials claim fears of water contamination likely overblown in Schuyler County
Pressed to respond to public alarm over a report that traces of the toxic PFAS class of chemicals had turned up in samples of local tap water, Schuyler County officials said this week they would conduct their own new tests in coordination with the state Department of Health. “We are being proactive. We are looking into it,” Watkins Glen Mayor... more

Tap water in Watkins Glen, Montour Falls, and Seneca County test positive for dangerous chemicals

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Public drinking water in Watkins Glen, Montour Falls and Seneca County contains elevated levels of the cancer-linked PFAS class of chemicals found in dozens of stain-repellent household products like Teflon and Scotchguard, recent tests show. The results from a University of Michigan chemical lab fall within recently proposed enforceable New York State limits for two of the group’s most notorious... more

Mega-dairies shun state permitting requirements related to manure management plan disclosures

Mega-dairies shun state permitting requirements related to manure management plan disclosures
Not a single large dairy in New York State has applied for a newly rewritten state permit that includes court-ordered reforms, including public disclosure of farm manure management plans. An Albany judge ordered the rewrite last year after environmental groups sued the state for failing to follow federal Clean Water Act rules when regulating dairies that discharge pollutants. In a recent... more

Inside the new limits on carcinogenic pollutants published in New York State Register; costs will soar for public water systems

Inside the new limits on
Proposed new state rules that set maximum contamination levels for three carcinogenic pollutants commonly found in public drinking water — PFOA, PFOS and 1,4 dioxane — were published in the New York State Register. Thousands of public water systems will soon have to screen their water sources for the three substances used to make a wide variety of non-stick household products,... more

Cayuga Lake hit with 33 toxic algae blooms; none reported yet on Seneca, Canandaigua, or Owasco

Cayuga Lake hit with 33 toxic algae blooms; none reported yet on Seneca, Canandaigua, or Owasco
In the opening days of the toxic algae season that is expected to intensify and stretch into early October, Cayuga Lake has taken a wide early lead in dangerous blooms spotted in the Finger Lakes. While Seneca, Canandaigua and Skaneateles lakes, among others, have been spared — so far — Cayuga has already confirmed 33 reports of harmful algal blooms... more

Proposed galvanizing mill in Romulus touted as environmentally benign, but many questions loom

Proposed galvanizing mill in Romulus touted as environmentally benign, but many questions loom
While plans to build a $365 million garbage incinerator on a site at the former Seneca Army Depot were derailed by a state law enacted in May, a local businessman has been quietly preparing to build a 48,600-square-foot steel galvanizing mill less than one mile away. That developer, Earl Martin, asserts that his facility would have a comparatively modest environmental... more

Expert says busy year coming for toxic algae blooms in FLX

Expert says busy year coming for toxic algae blooms in FLX
The first suspicious algal blooms of the season have been reported on Conesus, Honeoye, Otisco and Keuka lakes, although none has been confirmed with high toxins — yet.  But conditions are ripe for severe outbreaks later this summer, according to a leading regional expert on harmful algal blooms, or HABs. “I think this is going to be a very busy... more

New York’s fracking waste loophole faces major test

New York’s fracking waste loophole faces major test
The oil and gas industry is days — perhaps hours — away from once again blocking a state bill that would cancel its special exemption from regulation of dangerous wastes. Similar bills have died every year since 2009 when the fracking boom swept the region, opening the door for Souther Tier landfills to import fracking waste from Pennsylvania’s gas drilling... more

Landfill expansion app calls for limits on screening for radionuclides and radon

Landfill expansion app calls for limits on screening for radionuclides and radon
Hakes C&D Landfill Inc. plans to quit screening for two key markers of radioactivity in its leachate, according to documents filed this month in connection with its proposed expansion. Health and radiological experts have decried the decision and called for more — not less — radiological testing of liquids that have percolated through the landfill about five miles northwest of Corning. State-required... more

Gov. Cuomo signs Finger Lakes Community Preservation Act into law

Bill banning incinerators in the Finger Lakes delivered to Cuomo
Supporters of the Finger Lakes Community Preservation Act say the bill, which was signed into law on Friday showed Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to the region, environment, and tourism industry. It was a campaign promise, which came after the Governor was pressed on his support of legislation that did not pass both state legislative chambers in 2018. This year, the... more

Is Cuomo waffling on opposition to Romulus trash incinerator?

Is Cuomo waffling on oppositon to trash incinerator?
Two months after both chambers of the state Legislature unanimously passed a bill to ban new waste incinerators in the Finger Lakes, Gov. Andrew Cuomo still hasn’t signed the measure into law. The unexplained delay is fueling anxiety among opponents of a proposed $365 million trash burner in Romulus, midway between lakes Seneca and Cayuga. They’re concerned that resolving the... more

State officials refuse to share test results from 135 PFAS-tainted sources despite public health risk

State officials refuses to share test results from 135 PFAS-tainted sources despite public health risk
At least 135 public water systems across the state are contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals known as PFAS at levels above recommended thresholds for mandatory cleanup, according to state water sampling data. And more than four times that many — 645 facilities, the state Department of Health estimates — will need to spend an average of $1.325 million each on upgrades... more

SUNDAY CONVERSATION: Peter Mantius discusses groundwater testing, Hakes Landfill, Greenidge, and Cayuga Regional Digester

SUNDAY CONVERSATION: Peter Mantius discusses groundwater testing, Hakes Landfill, Greenidge, and Cayuga Regional Digester
Throughout the winter, Peter Mantius spent his days reporting on some of the most-important environmental issues facing the Finger Lakes region. Doing so with more than 20 years of experience – Mantius broke the story about the DEC’s investigation into the Cayuga Regional Digester, and had an exclusive with the former facility manager who quit in January after he says... more

Hakes Landfill, Town of Campbell, DEC sued over evidence of radiation

Hakes Landfill, Town of Campbell, DEC sued over evidence of radiation
The Sierra Club and others filed suit this week against Hakes C&D Landfill Inc. and Town of Campbell in a bid to block the privately-owned Steuben County landfill’s proposed expansion. Petitioners argue that both the town and the state Department of Environmental Conservation failed to take “hard look” at evidence of radium and radon in the landfill, as required under the State... more

State officials ordered groundwater tests for toxic PFAS at 140 sites; locations and results held from public

State officials ordered groundwater tests for toxic PFEAS at 140 sites; locations and results held from public
State-ordered groundwater tests for a class of cancer-causing chemicals known as PFAS have been conducted at 140 sites across the state, but the tests results — and even the locations of the testing — are being held under wraps. PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are commonly found in foams used to fight petroleum fires and in a wide range of... more
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