Dead Pigeons, Rats, Cockroaches Found in NYC Drinking Water Towers

The drinking water supply for offices of the New York City Department of Sanitation doesn’t even have a roof – just a tattered tarp. Photo by Frank G. Runyeon via City & State

New York City drinking water flows from some of the nation’s cleanest, most pristine reservoirs, but if your building or workplace relies on a water tower to store it, you may be consuming water that’s been contaminated by some very unsavory elements. Continue reading “Dead Pigeons, Rats, Cockroaches Found in NYC Drinking Water Towers”

Silt from the Buffalo River Used to Create New Habitat

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is using clean dredging material from the Buffalo River to create a shallow wetland habitat where a deep pond exists on the northern end of Unity Island. Photo via Buffalo News.

For years, sediment dredged from the bottom of the Buffalo River was considered so toxic it had to be hauled to a special disposal facility.

Now, after a $75 million cleanup, the sand, silt and gravel from the river is healthy enough to be used to build a new habitat for fish, shorebirds, turtles and other aquatic wildlife on Buffalo’s Unity Island.

Source: The Buffalo News

Warm Weather has Arrived, and Toxic Algae Blooms are Here for it

Certain environmental conditions, such as elevated levels of nutrients from human activities, warmer temperatures, still water, and plentiful sunlight can promote the growth of cyanobacteria. Photo via Christian Fischer/Creative Commons

It’s not even June, but the state Department of Environmental Conservation has already confirmed blue-green algae blooms in eight water bodies across New York. These blooms can produce toxins harmful to both people and animals, and any contact with affected water bodies should be avoided.

Most of the blooms are on Long Island and in New York City, typical for this early in the season. More blooms are expected across the state as temperatures rise. Continue reading “Warm Weather has Arrived, and Toxic Algae Blooms are Here for it”

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”