Two Pieces of Good News for the Climate

Photo via New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Facebook page.

With two separate blows, New York State has moved to block energy derived from burning fossil fuels.

After a 5-year battle fought by local environmental groups and eventually the State, plans have fallen through to upgrade a facility at the Port of Albany so it could process heavy crude oil from the Canadian tar sands. Massachusetts-based Global Companies has finally walked away from its legal fight to install boilers at the port, which would have been necessary to prepare the crude for rail transport.

Opponents of the upgrade maintained that the facility would threaten the Hudson River, and contribute to global climate change. Continue reading “Two Pieces of Good News for the Climate”

City Council Sucks on Straw Ban

At least 80 restaurants, hotels and other venues have signed on to the “Give a Sip” campaign by the city’s Wildlife Conservation Society, pledging to give up plastic straws. Photo via Creative Commons.

As reported a few weeks ago, the backlash against single-use plastic straws is gaining momentum, with New York City being the latest municipality to consider an outright ban.

A bill being introduced in the City Council today would outlaw plastic straws at bars, restaurants, and other service establishments — from small food carts to large stadiums and other businesses; plastic coffee stirrers would be also be forbidden.

Source: Daily News

Proposed Gas Storage in Seneca Lake Faces Additional Setback

An aerial view of the Inergy – now Crestwood – salt facility located on Seneca Lake’s west shore, just north of Watkins Glen. Photo via

An attempt to store liquefied propane gas in Seneca County salt mines has encountered further setbacks as the sponsors acknowledged the cavern may have leaks. An attorney for the company involved asked the DEC to delay a final decision on the storage unit application until well pressure tests determine its suitability as a gas storage unit. Continue reading “Proposed Gas Storage in Seneca Lake Faces Additional Setback”

New City Council Bill Would Mandate Lead Testing in Parks

A new City Council bill instructs the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to test lead levels in city-owned and operated parks, including water fountains and playground soil. Photo by Bri Schneiter

A new package of 23 bills introduced in City Council aims to protect children from lead poisoning in a variety of ways, from deeper investigation after high blood levels are identified to increased testing at city facilities. The package has been described as “the largest overhaul of city laws on childhood lead exposure in 14 years.” Continue reading “New City Council Bill Would Mandate Lead Testing in Parks”

Popular Stretch of Rockaway Beach Shut Down Indefinitely

Erosion at this portion of Rockaway Beach has been an ongoing concern for residents. Photo via Rockaway Times

Beach season kicks off this weekend, but for many residents and fans of Rockaway Beach, this summer will be a bummer.

On Monday, the Parks Department announced that an 11-block stretch of Rockaway Beach, between Beach 91st Street and Beach 102nd Street, will be closed indefinitely due to erosion. Continue reading “Popular Stretch of Rockaway Beach Shut Down Indefinitely”

Your Luxury Condo is an Embarrassing Energy Hog

The 1,400-foot-tall luxury spire at 432 Park Ave. uses steam for heat and hot water, one of the least efficient sources. Photo via

Many of the New York City’s most luxurious residential buildings are also conspicuous consumers of energy. While sustainability features are ubiquitous in commercial office space, they are largely absent from the city’s luxury condo market, with developers failing to invest in even the most basic green systems. Continue reading “Your Luxury Condo is an Embarrassing Energy Hog”

Cuomo, Environmentalists Oppose Waste-to-Energy Incinerator in Finger Lakes

Three Seneca White Deer roam the grounds at the Seneca Army Depot, where a 48-acre waste incinerator is planned. Photo by BrianAdler/Creative Commons

Governor Cuomo announced Tuesday his opposition to a proposed 48-acre trash incinerator in the Finger Lakes region. The facility would burn 2,600 tons of solid municipal waste brought in by truck and or rail each day, and produce what proponents call “clean electricity.” Continue reading “Cuomo, Environmentalists Oppose Waste-to-Energy Incinerator in Finger Lakes”

6.5 Billion Gallons of Sewage and Storm Water Released into NY Waterways Last Year

A combined sewage overflow in Newtown Creek. Photo by Alex Dolan.

A new report from the state comptroller estimates that 6.5 billion gallons of combined sewage and storm water were released into the environment last year in New York state. That sewage reached more than 200 water bodies, including rivers, streams and lakes that are used for recreation and in some cases, drinking water.

About half of the state’s sewage overflow comes from New York City.

In many communities in New York, storm water runs into the same system as sewage. During heavyt rains or snow melt, the treatment plants are overwhelmed and forced to discharge raw sewage into creeks and lakes.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that correcting the problem would cost $5 billion statewide.



UPDATE: Source of Hudson Diesel Spill Remains Mystery

Rockland County Sheriff’s Office responded on Sunday, placing oil-absorbing booms in the water to contain the spill. Photo via’s Twitter account.

Note: This story has been updated. Residents of Dutchtown, a small neighborhood in Rockland County, awoke Sunday morning to the stench of diesel fuel blowing in off the nearby Hudson River. Residents saw the rainbow sheen of a fuel spill extending some 40 feet out onto the water. Continue reading “UPDATE: Source of Hudson Diesel Spill Remains Mystery”

New York Wind Farm Faces Delay Due to NJ Request

New Jersey claims its stakeholders have not yet been meaningfully involved in the wind development process. Photo by Ionna22/Creative Commons

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is asking the federal government to extend the public comment period on proposed new lease sales for offshore wind in the New York Bight, a step that could delay the process for up to six months.

Murphy requested more time because the areas under consideration for wind-energy development include New Jersey’s main fishing grounds.

Source: New Jersey Spotlight