Exposés, reports
and analysis.

Outrages & Insights

Muckraking blog
by Jim Heaney


Environmental blog
by Dan Telvock

Tom Toles

Editorial cartoons
and commentary


Q&A: Explaining cryptocurrency & blockchain

Dr. Bina Ramamurthy is director of the Blockchain ThinkLab at the University at Buffalo. She’s also a crypto miner herself. That puts her at the forefront of the industry, which poses a challenge to traditional currency and has raised environmental concerns because of its demand for energy. Blockchain and cryptocurrency are mysteries to many people, […]


Study links Tonawanda Coke to toxins

Soil contamination near Tonawanda Coke most likely comes from the now-shuttered plant, a just-released study has found. A previous phase of the study of soil samples taken from the town and city of Tonawanda, Grand Island and Buffalo found elevated levels of toxins. The second phase of the study, released Thursday at a virtual meeting, […]


‘Completely stupid’ burning of toxins

A Niagara Falls waste incineration plant burned almost 13 tons of firefighting foam over a three-year period, potentially releasing into the air and water insidious toxins linked in studies to infertility, birth defects, developmental disorders, compromised immune systems and cancer.  When questioned by state officials, Covanta Niagara at first denied it. Eventually, the company admitted […]


Enck: Test for “forever chemicals”

A former top EPA official is calling for the monitoring of members of Buffalo’s Burmese community because of their consumption of fish contaminated with so-called “forever chemicals.” Judith Enck is responding to an Investigative Post story published in September. The story, ‘More Danger Lurking in the Water,” covered a state and federal study of fishermen who […]


Ortt’s failing environmental report card

Few in the state Legislature protect the environment as poorly as Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt, according to one leading ecological advocacy group. Environmental Advocates Action gave Ortt its 2021 “Oil Slick Award” for his voting record. The group, a lobbying and advocacy outfit, annually “honors” officials whose positions they deem most harmful.   According to […]


Envisioning a thriving WNY

Editor’s note: A version of this column appeared in Buffalo Spree. My wife recently told me of an acquaintance who was moving to California. My response: Who would want to move to California? The land of forest fires, droughts and water shortages? The same could be said of much of the West and Southwest. It’s […]


No changes in West Valley demo plan

Activist concerns notwithstanding, federal officials are sticking with their plan to demolish a highly radioactive building at the West Valley Demonstration Project.  Despite the calls from residents, activists and experts, “no major amendments” have been made to the plan, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Energy, Joseph Pillitere.  Officials maintain sufficient safety […]


Popular waterways contaminated by bacteria 

E. coli is a nasty waterborne bacteria that can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Authorities close beaches when levels exceed safety limits. But they’re doing next to nothing about unsafe readings in other local waterways. There’s a particular problem with the Black Rock Canal, popular with fishermen, the occasional swimmer and, most notably, the West Side […]