Drug Take Back Act Becomes Law, Will Reduce Water Contamination

The new law establishes a unified statewide drug take-back program that will reduce water pollution and medication misuse. Photo by e-Magine Art/Creative Commons

Yesterday Governor Cuomo signed into law the “Drug Take Back Act,” regulation that establishes a statewide program to provide safe, free, and easy disposal of unused medications. Chain pharmacies will be required to provide drug disposal options, while other authorized collectors (e.g. independent pharmacies, local law enforcement) could also participate.

Providing convenient drug disposal will help to reduce the practice of flushing unwanted medications down drains and toilets, and eliminate one source of waterway contamination.

Previous surveys of pharmaceuticals in the Hudson River Estuary, conducted by Riverkeeper, Cornell University, and the EPA, found more than 50 different compounds, with greater numbers found at or near municipal wastewater treatment plant outfalls.

Wastewater treatment and septic systems are not designed to remove these contaminants, resulting in pharmaceutical pollution in waters across the state.

Source: Riverkeeper

Tracking New York City’s Coyote Population (Yes, There is a Coyote Population!)

The Gotham Coyote Project hopes to learn more about how coyotes navigate the city. Photo Credit: Gotham Coyote Project

You may not see them, but they’re there. More than 30 coyotes now call New York City home, and a new pilot project aims to find out just how these secretive creatures navigate a bustling metropolis relatively unseen. Continue reading “Tracking New York City’s Coyote Population (Yes, There is a Coyote Population!)”

Household Cleaners Must Reveal Their Chemical Ingredients

New disclosure rules passed by New York State apply to soaps, detergents and other cleansers used for households, dishes, utensils and fabrics.

New rules passed in New York State will require manufacturers to reveal the chemical ingredients in household cleaning products. Companies must also disclose internal research conducted on whether ingredients have any potential impacts on human health and the environment.

Under the Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure program, this information must be posted on Internet web sites, initially in July 2019, with further details added by July 2020 and January 2023. There are exceptions for information considered a trade secret.

Source: Times Union

Hudson Communities Join Forces to Protect River, Drinking Water

Forming a council was among the top recommendations of a report commissioned by Riverkeeper and written by the Center for Watershed Protection. Photo by John Menard/Creative Commons

Seven communities representing 100,000 people who rely on the Hudson River as a source of drinking water have signed an agreement creating the Hudson River Drinking Water Intermunicipal Council.

Also known as the “Hudson 7,” the group will focus on the long-term protection of the Hudson River. The towns of Esopus, Lloyd, Hyde Park, the city and town of Poughkeepsie and the village and town of Rhinebeck signed a formal agreement last week.

This collaborative effort is expected to make the region more competitive for grants and other support associated with the state’s $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act.

Source: Mid-Hudson Valley Patch

Gowanus Rezoning Framework Released

The framework aims to foster a thriving, inclusive and more resilient Gowanus where existing and future residents and workers are able to participate in civic, cultural and economic activities. Photo by Dan DeLuca/Creative Commons

After 100+ hours of meetings and neighborhood events, the Department of City Planning has now released a framework for rezoning the Gowanus Canal neighborhood. While it is subject to change, the plan attempts to lay out the priorities of residents, the city administration, and elected officials representing Gowanus.

Some important parts of the framework include:

  • Buildings and infrastructure that will be prepared for rising sea levels and floods.
  • More open and green space along the Gowanus Canal.
  • Promoting walking and biking in the neighborhood; and promoting safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.
  • Preserving the existing NYCHA buildings in the neighborhood, and requiring that new residential development have an affordable housing component.

Source: Curbed


Floating Weed Harvester Gobbles Up Invasives in Prospect Park

Prospect Park Alliance has purchased a new $140,000 aquatic weed harvester to control invasive species. Photo via Prospect Park Alliance

A new “aquatic weed harvester” is being used to control unwanted invasive species in Prospect Park Lake. The machine will “gobble up” loads of aquatic primrose and duckweed, which grows across the surface of the lake in large mats, crowding out native flora. Continue reading “Floating Weed Harvester Gobbles Up Invasives in Prospect Park”

Your Challenge, Should You Choose to Accept It: I BIRD NY

2018 has been named the Year of the Bird by the National Audubon Society, National Geographic, BirdLife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Photo via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the launch of two birding challenges for 2018. Continue reading “Your Challenge, Should You Choose to Accept It: I BIRD NY”