Tag: pollution

May 10

2022

Q&A: Explaining cryptocurrency & blockchain

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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, so to understand the interview, let’s define what we’re talking about. Blockchain, introduced in 2011, involves computers and servers programmed to solve complicated mathematical problems on an ongoing, virtual ledger. This work is managed by so-called “crypto miners,” who earn cryptocurrency – most commonly Bitcoin[...]

Posted 5 months ago

Jan 16

2019

Report: Tainted soil near Tonawanda Coke

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A university research team released a report Wednesday that found — to no one’s surprise — that some of the soil around the Tonawanda Coke plant is contaminated with a host of toxic chemicals. The affected areas include two areas near the plant in the town and city of Tonawanda. Contamination was also found across the Niagara River in a section of Grand Island, as well as two public schools. The study by scientists from the University at Buffalo and SUNY Fredonia found elevated levels of toxins in the soil including lead, mercury, arsenic, cyanide and PCBs. The judicial order that[...]

Posted 4 years ago

Feb 28

2018

Landfill expansion faces community opposition

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 CWM Chemical Services, the only commercial hazardous waste landfill in the northeast, wants to expand its operations in the Niagara County Town of Porter.  The new landfill would be large enough to fill 1,200 Olympic sized pools with toxic materials contaminated with PCBs, lead and asbestos and other hazardous waste. If a state panel approves the application, as many as 220 trucks a day would rumble past homes and the Lewiston-Porter Schools for up to three more decades. The application process is moving forward despite public dissent and CWM’s history of spills and environmental violations, an Investigative Post analysis of state and[...]

Posted 5 years ago

Feb 10

2016

Landfill with Love Canal legacy still poses danger

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Varsha Kraus and her family fled their neighborhood in Love Canal in 1981 only to learn two years ago that its toxic waste had been dug up and buried in a landfill behind their subdivision in North Tonawanda. After insisting for 25 years that the closed landfill posed no significant health threat, state officials changed their minds in December and declared it a Superfund site. But warning signs were evident all along: rusted chemical drums, battery casings stacked waist high and children getting burns from splashes of orange pond water. The Love Canal waste – enough to fill 80 dump[...]

Posted 7 years ago

Jul 16

2015

Water woes at Gallagher Beach

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  Gallagher Beach has a serious bacteria problem. The bacteria counts at the unofficial beach on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor – which local, state and federal officials want to open for public swimming – exceeded safe levels more than two-thirds of the time in tests conducted last summer. The test results are included in a 181-page study Investigative Post recently obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request. The state has not officially released the report to the public. “The results are that this is not a safe place to swim,” said John Finster, a retired public health engineer who used[...]

Posted 7 years ago

May 8

2015

Progress to report on Scajaquada Creek

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There is limited, but noteworthy progress to report some 10 month after Investigative Post and WGRZ reported on the sorry state of Scajaquada Creek. The Town of Cheektowaga is poised to sell more than $12 million in bonds to finance the first phase of work to line sewer pipes to seal cracks and update infrastructure in the Winston-Vegola neighborhoods which have the most sewer overflow problems in the town. Another $41 million in planned work will be spread out over a decade. The Buffalo Sewer Authority, meanwhile, continues to study the feasibility of treating more of Cheektowaga’s sewage to reduce overflows into the[...]

Posted 7 years ago

Jul 24

2014

Disgust and outrage along Scajaquada Creek

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Two state senators are demanding the Department of Environmental Conservation take aggressive action to address sewer overflows that have contaminated Scajaquada Creek. Senators Mark Grisanti and Tim Kennedy, whose districts include the creek, called for action Monday after witnessing a repulsive scene that included trash filled creek water, three dead ducks, and a fourth paralyzed and gasping for air in a pool of garbage and sewage. Grisanti and Kennedy, sickened by what they saw in the creek near Delaware Park’s Hoyt Lake, said they will make it a priority to clean up Scajaquada Creek and advocate for more money to[...]

Posted 8 years ago

Jul 24

2014

State complicit in defiling of Scajaquada Creek

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Way back in 1993 the state Department of Environmental Conversation told the City of Buffalo to dredge Scajaquada Creek to remove decaying human excrement and other sludge that was up to five feet deep in some places. The city refused — and the DEC did nothing. In 2008 the DEC used an enforcement order to force the Town of Cheektowaga to submit a plan to reduce sewer overflows into the creek. The DEC rejected that plan in 2010—and has done nothing since then to force the issue. In the interim, Cheektowaga has dumped more than one billion gallons of raw[...]

Posted 8 years ago