Tag: Environment

Aug 2

2021

Popular waterways contaminated by bacteria 

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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 Rowing Club and high school and college crew teams. E. coli readings consistently exceed safe limits — by up to 14 times — established by the federal government. “There are people coming in contact with water with E. coli from human feces every single day,”[...]

Posted 1 year ago

May 18

2021

West Valley contamination concerns

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Contractors are in the homestretch of clearing the West Valley Demonstration Project of buildings.  Fifty-one of 55 structures have been taken down, and the most contaminated of them all — the Main Plant Processing Building — is scheduled for demolition this fall. How hot are its five stories of reinforced concrete? A trio of activists said it “could be one of the most radioactive buildings in the country.” The demolition might be welcome news, but the manner in which contractors plan to bring the building down is causing concern, even alarm, in some quarters. Plans call for an open-air demolition[...]

Posted 1 year ago

May 14

2021

Battaglia Demolition still a problem

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A state Supreme Court judge is preparing to decide the penalty for Peter J. Battaglia Jr., three years after his illegal concrete crushing business in South Buffalo was shut down.  Judge Deborah Chimes has ruled Battaglia could be held personally liable for the damages requested in a lawsuit filed by the New York State Attorney General. Diane Lemanski, a nearby resident and a leader in the grassroots decade-long campaign against Battaglia Demolition, will be among those testifying before the court on Tuesday. On Friday, she and other residents who live near the abandoned business made their case at a press[...]

Posted 1 year ago

Mar 4

2021

Gambini discusses West Valley on WBFO

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Phil Gambini reported earlier this week about $20.3 million in settlements paid by the federal government to 59 former employees at the West Valley Demonstration Project. The workers had documented cases of cancer or other serious illnesses related to their work at the facility. Other claims are pending and many former employees apparently are unaware of the compensation program. Phil discussed his story Wednesday with Jay Moran on WBFO.  

Posted 2 years ago

Mar 1

2021

Cancer plagues West Valley nuke workers

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David Pyles says he lives on painkillers and moves with the help of a cane and walker. He worked for five years at the West Valley Demonstration Project, a failed experiment to process spent nuclear fuel. “What we were doing was insane. We were dealing with so much radiation,” he told Investigative Post from his home in New Hampshire.  “I’ve got absolutely no joints left in my knees — my knees are gone, my ankles are gone and my hips are gone,” he said.  “I wonder if it’s from working in that bathtub full of radiation.” Pyles was one of[...]

Posted 2 years ago

Nov 6

2019

Toxins at Niagara Falls airbase

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The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station has landed on an ignoble list. The facility ranks seventh on a list of the 100 U.S. military sites most contaminated with PFAS, or per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances. That’s according to a report issued in early October by the Environmental Working Group, based on data procured from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Defense. PFAS is a family of chemicals linked in animal studies to infertility, birth defects, developmental disorders and cancer. PFAS compounds have been used commercially in a wide variety of products since the 1950s. They include the[...]

Posted 3 years ago

Oct 23

2019

Heaney talks data centers on ‘Pressroom

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Susan Arbetter and Jim Heaney discuss two Investigative Post stories that published this week regarding a proposal to build state-subsidized data centers in western and central New York. The interview aired on The Capitol Pressroom.  

Posted 3 years ago

Oct 23

2019

Questionable data center assumptions

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An alliance of environmental, community organizations and local governments support a plan to build massive data centers in two upstate towns, including Somerset in Niagara County.  Project backers contend the data centers would help the environment, provide jobs to displaced workers and replenish the tax coffers of local governments.  “It really is a win-win-win for the community, the environment and for workers,” Lisa Dix, senior New York campaign manager for Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, told Investigative Post. There is reason to question those assumptions, however. The project calls for new steel structures to be built on the near-defunct coal[...]

Posted 3 years ago