Environment

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A state senator from Buffalo is demanding answers on hazardous materials found in Western New York.  Senator Mark Grisanti says the Buffalo News article, titled "Toxic legacy’s time bomb," has put the area's history of toxic waste back on the front burner.

A statewide campaign is underway to urge Governor Cuomo to create jobs and grow the economy with renewable energy.

WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond

In the wake of the criminal conviction of Tonawanda Coke and its top environmental official, New York State's top environmentalist was in town Thursday to tour of the area around the plant and around the Peace Bridge in Buffalo.

WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

A recent study outlines a scenario that would see New York State’s energy infrastructure based on all-renewable sources by year 2030.

Photo from UB's Website

The University at Buffalo has another new building with the environmental rating of LEED Gold, latest in UB's push for environmental sustainability.  

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

After scoring a major court victory against Tonawanda Coke late last week, The Clean Air Coalition of Western New York has now launched a call for fair elections. 

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The environmental control officer at Tonawanda Coke faces up to 20-years in jail and the company up to $200 million in fines after a federal court jury returned quick verdicts Thursday in a 19-count indictment.

Ashley Hassett / WBFO file photo

It’s an event aimed towards decreasing the carbon foot print across the globe. Members of the community are expected to gather at One HSBC Center for the Earth Hour movement.

Ashley Hassett / WBFO

Late last year, the Cuomo administration laid out its agenda to address New York’s future energy requirements. All this week, reporters from the Innovation Trail are putting different parts of that complex energy puzzle under the microscope.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The State Heath Department has issued a long-awaited study on cancer rates in Tonawanda and areas of Erie County. 

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

One of the world's most notorious toxic dump sites is making headlines once again following a sewer incident. Today, The Buffalo News continues its two-part series on the site. 

WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

A group of residents is demanding new soil testing in a neighborhood that is surrounded by industrial sites off River Road in Tonawanda, including Tonawanda Coke.

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More than 600 ''Elected Officials to Protect New York" are calling on Governor Cuomo to extend the moratorium on fracking.  

UB closes controversial shale institute

Nov 19, 2012

The University at Buffalo has announced that it is shutting down its Shale Resources and Society Institute, effective immediately.  UB President Satish Tripathi announced the decision Monday afternoon, following an internal assessment. 

DEC falls behind on Peace Bridge air monitoring

Nov 16, 2012
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The state DEC has conducted only two enforcement sweeps at the "no idling zones" at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo.  

WBFO News file photo

The City of Buffalo's recycling rate is well below the national average, according to Investigative Post.  Reporter Dan Telvock, who conducted the research, tells WBFO's Eileen Buckley City Hall has failed to educate the public and enforce recycling laws.

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A very light earthquake was felt by some residents living in Niagara County during the midnight hour Friday.

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office says it received several calls during from people reporting a loud boom or feeling a shake. 

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that a 2.5 magnitude earthquake was recorded in Lake Ontario at 12:25 a.m., about four miles northeast of Olcott.  

WBFO News file photo

New state air monitoring shows air coming from the Niagara River and Lake Erie is pretty clean, until it goes across the Peace Bridge and its plaza.

The Department of Environmental Conservation is doing elaborate air monitoring at the bridge, checking the air before it gets there and then after it leaves the bridge.
Most of the information is posted continually on the department web site.

Pulmonary and asthma researcher Doctor Jamson Lwebuga-Mukasa says this shows how much pollution is coming from the bridge and being breathed by those living downwind.

File photo

Opponents of the Tonawanda Coke plant were outside of Department of Environmental Conservation offices in downtown Buffalo Tuesday pushing the department to act on pollution permits for the facility.

The plant is the subject of ongoing enforcement actions and a federal criminal case against the former environmental manager. The DEC says the existing permit will continue until that is concluded.

The Environmental Protection Agency says a fire in a glass and plastic recycling operation in Attica is out, after weeks of effort.

An estimated 49,000 cubic yards of glass and plastic had accumulated at the Hillcrest Industries recycling plant and started burning, emitting a foul stench across the village. State and federal officials moved in to move the burning material around and extinguish it.

Public Affairs Officer Elias Rodriguez says the next step is to make sure the fire doesn't re-start.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Some West Side residents living near the Peace Bridge are accusing a number of lawmakers and the Governor of working with the Peace Bridge Authority to expand the plaza for a new Duty Free shop. 

Several spoke out Tuesday at a Buffalo Common Council Community Development committee meeting.  They said the leaders are ignoring major air quality issues.  

Elizabeth Martina, who lives directly across from the Peace Bridge, spoke on behalf of long-time resident Kathy Mecca who was unable to attend. 

If you have a closet cluttered with all of that electronic gear you no longer use, you have a chance to legally dispose of them Saturday.

An e-waste recycling event runs from  9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Saint Amelia's School on Eggert Road in the Town of Tonawanda.

The number of these events has proliferated since Albany passed a law barring garbage collection firms from picking up most electronic gadgetry. Before that, the devices were routinely put out at the curb and hauled away to the landfill.

File Photo / WBFO/AM 970 News

Residents in Attica should soon experience relief from a putrid odor that has fouled the air.

EPA officials have identified a number of organic materials, including elevated levels of benzene, near Hillcrest Industries as the source of the odor.

WBFO News photo by Brian Meyer

With leaves already on the ground from trees stressed by this season's drought, is there anything that can be done to help them for next year?

In City Hall, Andrew Rabb is the deputy commissioner of public works in charge of parks. He's also in charge of trees across the city, whether in the parks or trees between the curb and the sidewalk.

Rabb says even now, as the summer heat fades away, those trees may need help.

Photo from Hillcrest Website

The EPA is now expected to take the lead in clean up of a massive mound of garbage created by a business in Attica that has residents up in arms.
 
Western New York Congressman Kathy Hochul issued a news release Thursday announcing that she had a call with the  Regional EPA Administrator and the "EPA will now assume the lead role in the troubling situation at an Attica business, which has left the community exposed to intolerable odors and emissions."

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A state lawmaker says Tops Markets' plan to build a gas station at its store at Grant and Amherst Street is a bad idea. 

Assemblyman Sean Ryan says a gas station could pose a serious threat to the nearby Scajaquada Creek, which runs into Lake Erie.  Ryan is demanding a full review and environmental impact study.

WBFO News file photo

The fight over expansion of the Peace Bridge is turning into a battle over asthma problems on the West Side.

There are an array of state agencies saying if there is a problem it isn't related to the bridge and its traffic. But a retired pulmonologist with years of research and treatment says it is.

How bad the air is around the bridge and on the West Side generally isn't clear. That may be made clearer in air monitoring which has started near the span, although the first complete report isn't due for six-months.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A new 'no idling' policy at the Peace Bridge plaza has been announced in an effort to improve air quality. 

The Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority board of directors announced authorization of the zones for both the U.S. and Canada plaza areas and the Duty Free parking lots.

PBA chairman Sam Hoyt says it will affect motorists who are required to stop for a secondary inspection or paperwork at the customs plaza.

WBFO File Photo

Governor Andrew Cuomo says there is no timetable for making a final decision that would allow hydro-fracturing in New York. 

Cuomo has been keeping activists from both sides of the fracking issue in suspense.  Environmentalists are seeking a ban on the controversial procedure.  Drillers want to go ahead with fracking -- a process that uses large amounts of water, sand and chemicals to extract natural gas from shale. 

The Governor addressed the issue with reporters Wednesday during a break in a policy conference he was attending in New York City.

The Clean Air Coalition of Western New York has been selected by the United Nations to lead a seminar in Geneva on how to use an environmental data base. 

WBFO & AM-970's Eileen Buckley talked to the local director of the Clean Air Coalition Erin about her trip to Genva on August 26th, 2012.

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