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Kocher rules that Greenidge permits were issued properly by DEC

Kocher rules that Greenidge permits were issued properly by DEC
Permits granted to Greenidge Generation LLC for the withdrawal and discharge of water by its power plant in Dresden were properly issued by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, a Yates County Supreme Court judge has concluded. In a ruling issued Nov. 8, Judge William Kocher dismissed in its entirety a civil suit filed by the Sierra Club and others that challenged... more

Cuomo administration rushed Greenidge’s restart — but was it legal?

Cuomo administration rushed Greenidge’s restart — but was it legal?
A pair of court rulings expected by yearend are likely to determine whether the Cuomo Administration broke the law when it fast-tracked permits to restart the Greenidge Generation power station. The decades-old plant began producing electricity again in March 2017 after a six-year pause and a conversion that allows it to burn natural gas rather than coal. Two years earlier,... more

Greenidge gets green light, as well as controversial 5-year extension

Greenidge gets green light, as well as controversial 5-year extension
Since its restart in the Spring of 2017, the Greenidge Generation power station has been skirting federal law governing its use of cooling waters drawn from Seneca Lake. The Clean Water Act requires electric power plants to recycle or filter the tens of millions of gallons of water used daily to cool their condensers. Greenidge does neither, and the Cuomo... more

New York must improve procedures for measuring, disclosing data on algal toxins

New York must improve procedures for measuring, disclosing data on algal toxins
The City of Auburn is asking the state Department of Health to address New York’s rapidly spreading toxic algae crisis by adopting stricter standards for sampling, measuring and publicly disclosing levels of toxins in public drinking water. “There are no comprehensive drinking water standards in the state of New York, and there needs to be,” said James Giannettino, an Auburn... more

Large dairy farms herded through permitting loophole as toxic algae blooms threaten local waters

Large dairy farms herded through permitting loophole as toxic algae blooms threaten local waters
New court-ordered rules designed to control manure runoff from dairy farms into streams and lakes won’t apply to the vast majority of the state’s large industrial farms because roughly 230 of them recently began exploiting a permitting loophole, records show. The towns of Auburn and Owasco have been the first to spotlight the statewide rules-dodging tactic because farming waste has... more

Toxins from algae bloom on Canandaigua Lake force drinking ban in Rushville

Toxins from algae bloom on Canandaigua Lake force drinking ban in Rushville
Toxins generated by blue-green algal blooms in Lake Canandaigua have infected the public drinking water in the Village of Rushville, which draws its raw water from the lake about four miles to its west, test samples show. The state Department of Health yesterday urged all customers who rely on the village’s water system and those in the nearby Middlesex Water... more

Seneca Falls Town Board orders rigorous defense of Local Law 3, standing by 2025 closure of SMI

Seneca Falls Town Board orders rigorous defense of Local Law 3, standing by 2025 closure of SMI
A three-member majority of the Seneca Falls Town Board instructed town attorneys today to immediately begin a rigorous legal defense of Local Law 3, which requires Seneca Meadows Inc. landfill to close by December 2025. The action comes less than a week after the state’s largest waste dump floated a plan to extend its lifetime by 12 years — until... more

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? Neighbor of Seneca Meadows wants to jump-start stalled lawsuit on 2025 landfill closure

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? Neighbor of Seneca Meadows wants to jump-start stalled lawsuit on 2025 landfill closure
A frustrated neighbor of the Seneca Meadows Inc. landfill has asked a judge for permission to intervene in a long-delayed civil case challenging a local law that requires the state’s largest trash dump to close by 2025. Dixie D. Lemmon argues that attorneys representing Seneca Meadows, the plaintiffs in the case, and attorneys for the Town of Seneca Falls and... more

MANTIUS: Landfill makes offer SF ‘cannot refuse’ in new draft of host agreement

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The state’s largest landfill is floating a proposal to push back its mandatory closure date from 2025 to 2037 in exchange for sweetened annual “host” payments to the Town of Seneca Falls. A proposed resolution outlining the plan may be presented to the town board for a vote Tuesday night Oct. 2. But the measure may be pulled from the... more

Sidestepping majority of Town Board, SF attorneys quietly back postponement of hearings

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Attorneys for the Town of Seneca Falls have been mysteriously passive in defending the town and its board against a 10-month-old legal challenge to a local law that requires New York State’s largest landfill to close permanently in 2025. Acting without formal authorization from the board, the lawyers have deferred to each of Seneca Meadows Inc.’s four requests for postponements... more

INSIDE THE FLX: Mantius talks incinerator, future of ‘Manure Lagoon’ in Mentz

INSIDE THE FLX: Mantius talks incinerator, future of ‘Manure Lagoon’ in Mentz
On Episode #135 of Inside the FLX – Environmental Reporter Peter Mantius, who founded ‘The Water Front’ blog, was in-studio dishing on the latest environmental news in the Finger Lakes. Mantius’ blog is featured on FingerLakes1.com by visiting FingerLakes1.com/Water-Front, or by clicking the ‘Water Front’ category tab on the right side of our homepage. . Stories discussed during the program:... more

EPA, DEC shy from ordering cease fire as Salmon Creek gets showered with lead

EPA, DEC shy from ordering cease fire as Salmon Creek gets showered with lead
In defiance of a 2016 federal consent order that calls for penalties of $500 a day for violations, members of the Lansing Rod and Gun Club have continued to fire lead bullets above and into Salmon Creek, a major tributary to Cayuga Lake. Hobby shooters have been doing so since the 1950s, pouring tons of lead shot into the creek... more

Manure lagoon wins green light ahead of DEC’s new rules on CAFOs

Manure lagoon wins green light ahead of DEC’s new rules on CAFOs
Construction resumed Thursday on a controversial 10-million-gallon manure lagoon that state officials had recently ruled to be in violation of state regulations. Neighbors of the rural site 30 miles west of Syracuse say they fear the project will foul the air, threaten their groundwater and ruin the value of their homes. They’ve flocked to public meetings, posted anti-lagoon yard signs... more

ADVISORY EXTENDED: Watkins Glen must endure at least nine days without safe tap water

A boil-water advisory that was due to expire Tuesday has been extended until at least Friday, Aug. 24, for the Village of Watkins Glen, the Town of Dix and the Town of Reading. The warning not to use untreated tap water was imposed Aug. 16 after torrential rains — up to nine inches in 12 hours — caused major flooding,... more

Torrential rains will continue to threaten Schuyler even after $30M plant opens

Torrential rainstorms will continue threaten water quality in and around this village even after Schuyler County’s new $30 million wastewater treatment plant begins operating late next year, local officials predicted. “A storm event like we had (Tuesday) will still cause a problem,” said Rick Weakland, project manager for the plant set to be built on an 8.6-acre site about a... 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

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

MANTIUS: Keuka Outlet fouls drinking water, fuels toxic algae

Along the waterfront near Dresden, residents don’t dare drink their tap water, which is drawn directly from one of the most polluted sections of Seneca Lake. Their water is being fouled by the Keuka Outlet, an eight-mile watercourse that flows east from Keuka Lake past Penn Yan to Dresden, where it empties into Seneca. The outlet carries tainted runoff from... more
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