Exposés, reports
and analysis.

Outrages & Insights

Muckraking blog
by Jim Heaney


Environmental blog
by Dan Telvock

Tom Toles

Editorial cartoons
and commentary


EPA’s new Great Lakes plan helps Buffalo River

By 2019, enough toxic pollutants should be removed from the Buffalo River to thrust its rebound toward a level of health that would allow people to once again safely eat the fish and possibly even enjoy a swim. That’s one of the chief goals of the Environmental Protection Agency’s second phase of its Great Lakes restoration initiative. But […]


Scajaquada Jack revisited

About that five feet of sewer sludge in sections of Scajaquada Creek. Yeah, I know, it’s gross, but I did find someone who has walked in it, but the details didn’t get into the main story about the badly polluted creek. Enter Frank Poincelot, a former Buffalo animal control officer. I tracked him down and here […]


Toxic algae blooms not in eastern Lake Erie

The toxic algae blooms in western Lake Erie that led to a shut down of the public water supply in Toledo, Ohio for a weekend have not reached the Buffalo area. That’s according to the Erie County Health Department, which this week tested a dozen spots, including four samples at two public water intakes. The health […]


Cuomo flushes sewer money for bridge loan


Tonawanda Coke faces $161,100 in fines

Tonawanda Coke faces $161,100 in fines for “disturbing” violations investigators said they discovered after a Jan. 31 explosion at the plant that rattled homes and businesses up to a mile away. In total, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the plant and Kirchner LLC, which supplies temporary workers, with 17 serious violations, […]


Air quality in Buffalo is improving

Less than 10 years ago the Buffalo region’s nitrogen dioxide levels were on par with larger cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York and Denver. But the region’s smog has diminished quite a bit since then, including steep drops in nitrogen dioxide. The gas is one of numerous air pollutants that can agitate asthma, a […]


High bacteria levels close Bennett Beach

The start of the swimming season at Bennett Beach is getting off with a bang—a bacterial bang, that is. The beach, which is 22 miles southwest of downtown Buffalo, opened for swimming Saturday. But health department officials closed it Monday for high levels of E. coli bacteria. The announcement of the closing didn’t reach all levels […]


Recycling data ‘a mess’

Comparing recycling rates community to community isn’t an easy task. In fact, data and reporting inconsistencies make it nearly impossible to make accurate comparisons. While localities can be faulted for the inconsistent way they track their recycling programs, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has been willing to accept it. As a result, it’s hard […]