Categories for GreenPost

Sep 30

2016

A new low point for Buffalo’s Hoyt Lake

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Most people familiar with water quality problems in Buffalo were not surprised Thursday night when city officials issued a warning that a “harmful blue-green algae bloom” surfaced in Hoyt Lake at Delaware Park. Instead, they were surprised that it took this long for one of these blooms to appear in Buffalo. “Unfortunately, it was only a matter of time until we started to see harmful algal blooms in Western New York’s waters,” said Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper Executive Director Jill Jedlicka. After all, Hoyt Lake and its neighbor Scajaquada Creek for decades have been cesspools of disease and fecal bacteria that[...]

Posted 6 years ago

Sep 20

2016

DEC: Peace Bridge air quality meets standards

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The state Department of Environmental Conservation said Tuesday that its latest air monitoring program near the Peace Bridge shows the air people breathe in adjacent neighborhoods beset by high asthma rates is comparable to other similarly sized cities and high-traffic urban areas. In fact, state environmental regulators said during the community meeting at the Porter Street Library in Buffalo that some of the air toxins they measured near the Peace Bridge were similar to what one might find near Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks. Nonetheless, the DEC called on the federal Environmental Protection Agency to adopt stronger emission standards for[...]

Posted 6 years ago

Sep 15

2016

State’s strategy riles Peace Bridge neighbors

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The state Department of Environmental Conservation’s long-awaited air quality study at the Peace Bridge is finished, but the agency is refusing to release the report until after a community meeting next week. A chain of emails obtained by Investigative Post reveals a growing frustration among West Side residents over what they consider the DEC’s lack of transparency and the short notice given to the public about the upcoming meeting. Some residents complained that the DEC provided them less than a week’s notice of next Tuesday’s meeting. Nadejda Petrova, who lives off Prospect Avenue, had emailed DEC officials asking that the study[...]

Posted 6 years ago

Jul 20

2016

500 gallons of waste oil pollute Cayuga Creek

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Add another blemish to the long history of environmental degradation of Cayuga Creek. An estimated 500 gallons of presumed waste oil contaminated the creek between Sunday and Monday mid-afternoon, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation. That’s equivalent to dumping a dozen normal-sized barrels of waste oil into the creek. “Cayuga Creek is an already impaired system, and this waste oil spill is one more assault to a creek that has been struggling to recover for decades,” said Jill Jedlicka, executive director of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, whose nonprofit had reported the spill to the DEC on Monday. The DEC said in a statement[...]

Posted 6 years ago

Apr 27

2016

Buffalo snubs county on lead poisoning

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Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz’s lead prevention proposal is stuck in the County Legislature’s Finance and Management Committee after city officials twice declined invitations to appear to answer questions. The absence of city officials at these committee meetings is a continuation of a pattern on the part of City Hall officials, which Poloncarz administration officials fear is playing into the hands of suburban Republican legislators who appear reluctant to support the county executive’s initiative. Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo said during an April 7 committee meeting that he had invited Louis Petrucci, the city’s assistant director of permit and inspection services,[...]

Posted 7 years ago

Apr 20

2016

Quick Hit: Who’ll get the lead out?

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One word sums up the exchange between Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick and Health Commissioner Gale Burstein about lead poisoning prevention funding: awkward. Hardwick cited Investigative Post’s lead poisoning reporting during an April 7 Finance and Management Committee meeting when he asked if Burstein or anyone else with the county had inquired with city officials about what additional role, if any, the city might be willing to commit to. The Erie County Health Department has primary responsibility for inspecting homes for lead hazards and employs 12 health sanitarians who inspect about 2,500 housing units a year. Burstein has said they[...]

Posted 7 years ago

Mar 28

2016

Cut to U.S. clean water funds could hurt WNY

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The House and Senate budget proposal includes a large cut in clean water funding that could threaten dozens of sewer repair projects in Western New York. Senator Charles Schumer visited Buffalo on Monday to urge Congress to reject the budget proposal to cut 30 percent, or $414 million, from the national Clean Water State Revolving Fund. States tap into this fund to offset the costs of sewer infrastructure improvements. Projects to stem overflows into the Buffalo River, Scajaquada Creek and other local waterways could be at risk, he said. “We can’t afford such a cut to the Clean Water Act, which[...]

Posted 7 years ago

Mar 24

2016

Quick Hit: Buffalo Water has no answers on lead

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The Buffalo Water Board’s one-page info sheet about its lead testing program fails to provide much substance, especially for a city that still has a serious lead poisoning problem involving its housing stock. The water board’s online info sheet is in response to the catastrophe with Flint, Michigan’s water supply. What the water board has yet to release is the number of service lines – the stretch of pipe of that connects houses with water mains running under streets – that contain lead. The topic has not surfaced in any of board meeting minutes for at least three years. I[...]

Posted 7 years ago