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Closer look at Cuomo’s complicated relationship with oil, gas industry

Closer look at Cuomo’s complicated relationship with oil, gas industry
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to make the state’s fracking ban permanent by enshrining it in law earned due praise last week from a bandwagon of environmentalists. Sandra Steingraber, co-founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking, called it “exactly the right thing to do.” Actor/activist Mark Ruffalo (right)  touted the governor’s “real environmental and climate change leadership.” more

MANTIUS: Taking a closer look at Cuomo’s plan for the Erie Canal

MANTIUS: Taking a closer look at Cuomo’s
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new plan to spend $300 million upgrading the Erie Canal is designed to boost tourism, help farmers and restore wetlands, but it ducks addressing the canal’s costly role as a “superhighway for invasive species.” The governor’s proposal bypasses a consultant’s confidential recommendation in October to sever the canal in Rochester and Rome to block the migration of nasty aquatic... more

Seneca Falls moves to dismiss Seneca Meadows lawsuit

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The Town of Seneca Falls and a neighbor of Seneca Meadows Inc. landfill have filed separate motions to dismiss an SMI lawsuit that seeks to overturn a town law requiring it to close by 2025. Both filings argue that the landfill’s November 2017 lawsuit is disqualified by the statute of limitations, which they say ran out April 30, 2017, four months after... more

MANTIUS: Permit allows Hakes Landfill to expand despite high radioactivity, health threat

The Cuomo Administration has quietly granted a Steuben County landfill permission to expand from 57.9 acres to 78.9 acres despite scientific evidence that the dump’s leachate is laced with prohibited radioactive elements. The decision gives the Hakes C&D Landfill, located six miles northwest of Corning, the green light to continue accepting drill cuttings from Pennsylvania gas wells and burning off methane... more

MANTIUS: Cuomo calls for immediate end on aerial spraying of pesticide used for apple trees

MANTIUS: Cuomo pushes New York to lead in pesticide restriction
Prodded by legislation that he vetoed this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered state regulators to phase out by July 2021 a toxic pesticide widely used to protect apple orchards.  He called for an immediate halt on aerial spraying of the chemical chlorpyrifos. By December 2020, all other uses will be banned, except spraying apple tree trunks. That exception is now set... more

Taking a closer look at lawmakers position on environmental issues in Finger Lakes

Taking a closer look at lawmakers position on environmental issues in Finger Lakes
Finger Lakes Lawmakers Resist NYS Legislature’s Tilt To Green Activism – By Peter Mantius While the New York State Legislature took a sharp turn this year toward environmental activism, lawmakers who represent the Finger Lakes clung to their role as rear-guard warriors standing firm against sweeping green legislation. The 2018 election, which flipped the state Senate to Democratic control, paved the... more

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
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