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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

Panel ‘misapplied law’, glossed over ongoing environmental harm caused by Greenidge, appeal claims

Panel ‘misapplied law’, glossed over ongoing environmental harm caused by Greenidge, appeal claims
Three environmental groups are asking an appellate court in Rochester to reconsider a five-judge panel’s unanimous ruling in February that dismissed as “moot” their challenge to an operating permit granted to the Greenidge Generation power plant in Dresden. The groups assert that the panel “misapplied the law” when it tossed out their claims on procedural grounds without weighing the merits of their... more

DEC halts Cayuga Regional Digster’s waste shipments from NYC; Bronx transport station has past issues

DEC halts Cayuga Regional Digster’s waste shipments from NYC; Bronx transport station has past issues
The state suspended on Wednesday waste shipments from a Bronx transfer station to the Cayuga Regional Digester after a surprise inspection of the Auburn facility March 11 turned up evidence of a host of permit violations. Also banned are any shipments of source-separated organics from New York City’s Department of Sanitation. The alleged violations are spelled out in a Mar. 27,... more

Mantius, Durso appear on WXXI’s Connections to discuss regional waste issues exposed by digester report

Mantius, Durso to appear on WXXI’s Connections to discuss regional waste issues
Last week, FingerLakes1.com brought you reporting from Peter Mantius, Investigative Environmental Reporter & Founder of The Water Front Blog, which highlighted the untimely exit of a digester manager in Cayuga County. The former manager of the Cayuga Regional Digester, which was designed to generate electric power from reprocessed farm manure and food wastes, said he quit in January because he... more

Manager of Cayuga Regional Digester says he quit after being ‘strong-armed’ to accept illicit waste

Manager of Cayuga biofuel facility says he quit after being ‘strong-armed’ to accept illicit waste
The former manager of the Cayuga Regional Digester, which was designed to generate electric power from reprocessed farm manure and food wastes, said he quit in January because he felt he was being “strong-armed” to process truckloads of illicit types of waste. “I ran a methane digester, and they were turning it into a waste operation,” said John Roser, who had... more

Radioactivity issues heat up again as Hakes Landfill seeks more space to import drilling waste

Radioactivity issues heat up again as Hakes Landfill seeks more space to import drilling waste
Three environmental groups representing hundreds of Steuben County residents are seeking to block proposals to rezone and expand the privately-owned Hakes Landfill five miles northwest of Corning, pending further radiological testing. The Town of Campbell board could vote as soon as March 11 on an application to rezone 390 acres that include the landfill. Meanwhile, Casella Waste Systems, owner and operator of... more

The biggest environmental stories from the Finger Lakes in 2018

Reviewing the 19 biggest environmental headlines for the Finger Lakes in 2018
Looking back on 2018, Gov. Andrew Cuomo deserves a “C-” grade for protecting the environment in the Finger Lakes during his eighth year in office.   His administration certainly got some things right. It set aside $65 million to address harmful algal blooms, or HABS, and much more for upgrades to local water treatment plants.  And after nearly a decade of... more

Town of Seneca Falls appears in court over proposed Ludovico Sculpture Trail sewer line

Town of Seneca Falls appears in court over proposed Ludovico Sculpture Trail sewer line
Members of the Seneca Falls Town Board never needed to actually read the resolutions they adopted this past Spring for a sewer line project requiring the use of eminent domain, the town’s special counsel told a panel of appellate justices Thursday. Instead, the board properly relied on its engineering and legal experts for guidance in picking the Frank J. Ludovico... more
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