Harmful algal bloom on Owasco Lake prompts weekly sampling

After the first confirmed harmful algal bloom of the season was detected on Owasco Lake last week, the Cayuga County Health Department has started weekly testing to monitor drinking water. The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) listed a harmful algal bloom (HAB) with confirmed toxins on the Owasco Lake tributary of Sucker Brook last Friday as part of its... more

Lourdes Camp in Skaneateles closing due to blue green algae in water

Lourdes Resident & Day Camp in Skaneateles has been closed due to blue green algae. The camp announced Monday that camp leaders, along with the Onondaga County Health Department, made the decision to close the camp “effective immediately.” Camp Director Mike Preston said the move was made “because the camp draws water from Skaneateles Lake, the water source for camp... more

So far no harmful algal blooms in Seneca Lake

So far, so good regarding harmful algal blooms in Seneca Lake this summer. The Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association announced Thursday that no confirmed algal blooms — or HABs — were identified during the second week of its shoreline monitoring program Aug. 4 to 6. SLPWA volunteer monitors patrolled 55 miles of shoreline, covering 74 of 75 zones, and found... more

Committee considers transfer station at Ontario landfill

Commercial trash haulers may have the option of bringing their garbage to the Ontario County Landfill or to a proposed transfer station at the landfill. The Planning & Environmental Quality Committee of the Board of Supervisors will consider a resolution at its Monday meeting to begin the process of establishing a transfer station in the old Materials Recycling Facility at... more

New funding for algae blooms testing in Tompkins County

Harmful algae blooms are popping up again this summer in places like in Skaneateles Lake. On Cayuga Lake, it's typically not a problem, but over the last two summers, it's becoming a concern. "This is a safety issue, and whenever something is a safety issue, of course, it goes to a higher priority,” Tompkins County legislator Anna Kelles said. Many... more

Algae toxins found at low levels in Skaneateles Lake intake pipes

For the first time this year, algae toxins have been found in the city of Syracuse's water intake pipes in Skaneateles Lake. The levels are very low — at the threshold of detection — and none of the toxins are reaching drinking water, said officials from the state Department of Health. Samples taken Monday and Tuesday show 0.3 parts per... more

Health department: Algal bloom closes beaches in Skaneateles

The Clift Park and Skaneateles Country Club beaches have been closed to swimming due to the visual presence of an algal bloom, the Onondaga County Health Department said Tuesday. In a press release, the health department said the closures in the town of Skaneateles were taken as a “precaution,” and water sampling would be conducted to confirm there are no... more

Testing will determine if Skaneateles Lake algae is toxic

The algae bloom that turned up on a portion of Skaneateles Lake over the weekend is considered “harmful” according to testing done by the State Department of Environmental Conservation – however whether the algae produced any toxin is not yet known. The Skaneateles Lake Association posted the results from the DEC testing on its Facebook page. The DEC says samples... more

New Owasco Lake rules and regulations draft nears completion

The development of the first new rules and regulations for the Owasco Lake Watershed in decades is moving forward, as a draft of the rules will soon be finalized before going through the approval process. A working group of the Owasco Lake Watershed Rules and Regulations Revision Project will be meeting Monday to finalize a draft of the first update... more

DEC: Discoloration on Owasco Lake not harmful algal blooms

An unidentified green discoloration on much of Owasco Lake seen earlier this week is not a harmful algal bloom, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said Wednesday. The DEC's Finger Lakes Watershed Hub first collected samples from the discoloration after it was reported Monday July 30. Testing performed on the samples did not find any evidence of the cyanobacteria that... more

Aerators, ultrasound technology may help disrupt harmful algal blooms in Owasco Lake

The Owasco Watershed Lake Association (OWLA) this week is beginning a months long experimental study to determine if several types of technology could help mitigate harmful algal blooms that have plagued the lake in recent years. On Monday, OWLA officially began a study into whether aeration and ultrasound technologies can successfully deter or disrupt harmful algal blooms (HABs), outbreaks of... more

Cayuga County Water Quality Management unveils new website as central hub for water issues

The Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency recently unveiled a redesigned website as part of a greater push to provide a central location for residents seeking information on water quality issues. The website, www.cayugacountywater.org, contains an array of informational resources relating to the county’s main waterbodies, namely Cayuga, Owasco and Skaneateles lakes, Lake Ontario, Duck Lake, Lake Como, Little Sodus... more

Mentz manure lagoon work halted by DEC

The manure lagoon construction that caught Mentz residents by surprise last week has currently ceased progress due to a notice of violation issued by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation. The DEC had stated on July 24 that Hourigan Dairy Farm, which owns the land off of Maiden Lane Road in Mentz that the manure lagoon is being installed on,... more

HABs strike Cayuga Lake earlier than last year, but no ‘high toxins’ yet

Harmful algal blooms, or HABs, on Cayuga Lake have come earlier and more often than last summer, when confirmed outbreaks prompted an off-season ramp-up of shoreline monitoring and sample testing for the 2018 season. While none of the 21 algal bloom reports this month has been confirmed to contain high levels of toxins, three beaches were temporarily closed as a precaution —... more

Tariffs hit home in Finger Lakes

Farmers are battling financial losses. Home builders and home buyers — all are feeling the effect of tariffs. Millions of dollars are planned for school capital projects, but costs may be rising. This summer, with prime time for big projects at schools across the Rochester and Finger Lakes area taking place, a price jump in aluminum and steel is forcing... more

DEC holds off decision on Seneca Meadows mining permit renewal

Normally, the state Department of Environmental Conservation would have issued a decision by now on Seneca Meadows’ application for a five-year renewal of its mined land reclamation permit. However, the Seneca Falls landfill has agreed to waive the normal deadline for a DEC response. The decision has now been put off until Jan. 4, 2019. Seneca Meadows asked for an... more

INSIDE THE FLX: Environmental issues take center stage in the Finger Lakes (podcast)

When the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced that they would be slashing a proposal by a Houston-based energy company, many in the region called it a ‘win’. That proposal would have resulted in liquid petroleum to have been stored underneath Seneca Lake in abandoned salt caverns. A recently-published letter admitted that there were issues with those caverns,... more

Gas plant clean-up project to restart in Penn Yan

Environmental clean-up activity at the former NYSEG manufactured gas plant on Water Street is expected to begin again in August, according to Penn Yan Mayor Leigh MacKerchar and a NYSEG spokesperson. The conclusion of that clean-up project will eventually clear the way for the village to construct a pedestrian bridge replacing the former railroad trestle which was removed so contaminated... more
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