Tag: water quality

Nov 13

2021

Envisioning a thriving WNY

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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 not uninhabitable – yet – but give it another generation and you’re likely to see an out-migration. That represents an opportunity for cities around the Great Lakes, including Buffalo and Western New York.  We’ll never run out of water. Massive forest fires? Nah. Ditto for[...]

Posted 10 months ago

Feb 2

2018

Scajaquada among state’s unhealthiest creeks

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 The state Department of Environmental Conservation’s National Heritage Program released new data that shows Scajaquada Creek is part of a series of connecting streams and rivers that ranks 11th unhealthiest in the state. The designation might help bring additional funding for clean up. Both Cheektowaga and the Buffalo Sewer Authority will spend in total more than $140 million to upgrade sewer systems that pollute the creek. The sewer systems in these two localities spew a half-billion gallons of sewage into Scajaquada Creek each year. For Cheektowaga, it will take about a decade to complete the sewer repairs and a few[...]

Posted 5 years ago

Oct 5

2017

The DEC’s puzzling fixation on Falls overflows

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The Niagara Falls Water Board is once again in the crosshairs of the state Department of Environmental Conversation for sewer overflows – a problem that plagues communities across the state. The Water Board reported three separate sewer overflows to the DEC on Wednesday. A total of 23.8 million gallons of untreated sewage mixed with dirty stormwater gushed into the Lower Niagara Gorge following a rainstorm. “These continued violations are wholly unacceptable,” the DEC said in a press release. Water Board officials said the rain overtaxed its sewer system, spewing raw sewage and stormwater into the river. Problem is, this happens[...]

Posted 5 years ago

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 29

2016

Podcast: County legislator Burke on water quality

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In this week’s episode of Investigative Postcast, Dan Telvock talks water quality with Erie County Legislator Pat Burke.   Burke says the region has a history of bad environmental decisions. “Before we can even fix the obvious problems that exist now, we just have to stop doing dumb things,” said Burke, who introduced legislation that recently banned in Erie County the sale of products containing microbeads. “A lot of people would debate how influential the legislature can be in general, and I think me and some others have proven that it can be, and it can make a difference,” he said.[...]

Posted 6 years ago

Aug 4

2016

Untested waters at two Erie County beach bars

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Authorities steered swimmers away from a Southtowns beach more than 30 days last summer because of unhealthy levels of bacteria in the water. But adjacent beaches owned by two popular waterfront bars remained open to patrons because the businesses lack permits that require testing of the water and closure when fecal matter and other bacteria are detected at dangerous levels. One of the bars, Turtle Joe’s Sand Bar, appears to be in violation of the state beach code. Whether Mickey Rats Beach Club is in violation is open to interpretation. Owner Richie Alberts obtained what he maintains is a waiver[...]

Posted 6 years ago

Apr 5

2016

Dan Telvock talks sewer overflows on WBFO

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On WBFO’s Press Pass, Investigative Post’s Dan Telvock discusses his reporting on the region’s sewer overflows and how they impact Scajaquada Creek and other waterways.

Posted 6 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 6 years ago