Updated Daily  2/24/2018 RochesterEnvironment.com

Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change. *Note: Henceforth 'environment' means "our life support system."


Rochester, NY was one of the hosts of the World Canal Conference on September 19, 2010.

If it deals with the environment, Rochester, New York, and the Internet, it's here.

Adapting to and mitigating Climate Change in a way that sustains all life while striving to do so equitably is the defining issue of our time.  How we comport ourselves during this historic trial by fire will reveal our true nature.

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Since 1998, RochesterEnvironment.com has been an ongoing experiment to completely inform one community [Rochester, NY] of all its environmental Newslinks, Events, Daily Updates, Resources, Environmental Education, regional Climate Change, and Environmental Issues. Green Apps, and more...    * Please read this carefully, it's not the usual Yada Yada

(Above scripts from Dynamic Drive)  [Website best viewed on your tablet device.]

RochesterEnvironment.com – This is site a free media resource to encourage public dialogue on local environmental issues, a local newspaper devoted to a single community’s environment, an archive of Environmental News to capture a proper sense of time in which environmental issues transpire, and an attempt to frame environmental issues free of corporate, governmental, and any ideology.  Sustainability, connecting the dots of our environmental information, rules.  Understanding that all of our local Environmental Issues now must be interpreted in the context of Climate Change, which will be continually moving the bar on the state of our environment, is critical for our survival.

 

Often I post new items to inform about Climate Change Been getting down because there’s so much climate denial and global warming misinformation out there? Cheer up, learn the denial tricks and symptoms. Check out Skeptical Science, Getting Skeptical about global warming skepticism. Think about taking this free course—Making sense of climate science denial—it’s awesome informative and well designed. Help free the world of climate denial so humanity can act on a scale and time frame that will matter. Time passes.

 We Don't Get It!

The great conundrum of our times is that in a time of rapidly occurring Climate Change and a rapid disintegration of the environment that we need to thrive and survive, mainstream media still marginalizes environmental concerns. [Check often for this continually updated list on the possible consequences of Climate Change in our region--supported by facts.] If there isn’t a quick and substantial change in how environmental concerns are reported, edited, and chosen in mainstream media, the public will continue to believe that environmental concerns are merely special interest matters, issues they can avoid if they choose.  How can we inform the public and monitor our environment without abridging our Freedoms--in enough time to save ourselves?   Bookmark This Site

Watch this short video about addressing Climate Change from friend and dedicated advocate for strong action on Climate Change. Paul’s message, the importance of showing up and demonstrating that you care about our people and our planet, will get you moving. Imagine if we all felt and ACTED towards our life support system as Paul. RT. Please make Paul’s message go viral. #StandUpForScience  #climatechangeshealth  ClimateFacts #MarchForScience #ScienceMatters #ClimateChange

Likely Changes     Real Changes      Frank's Essays     Climate Studies

Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water. Don't sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet.-- Carl Sagan

 

Page Contents: Rochester-area NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Green Business | Top 10 things you can do for our environment | Green Events | Green Actions | This month's Winner of the Environmental Site Award

 

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Rochester area NewsLinks.

NewsLinks: Get the most important environmental news of the day and monitor your environment daily.  Also: Get Newslinks since 1998… Unlike other news, environmental news often takes time to reach our attention. Follow potential problems and catch them before they're catastrophes.

CheckerDaily CO2 Mauna Loa Observatory  |  Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations: Last Week, January 21 - 27, 2018 408.30 ppm | 1 Year Ago, January 21 - 27, 2017, 406.84 ppm |10 Years Ago, January 21 - 27, 2009, 386.22 ppm  (from CO2-Earth)

 

This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter February 18, 2018 Each week get all the environmental news, events, actions and comment free.  Click Subscribe

 

Today's Rochester-Area Environmental News:

My hope is that you will read these stories and connect them to the world we now live in, one that is warming because of Climate Change.  Then pass these stories to those you are connected to and have them spread the word.  Mainstream media is either unwilling or incapable of reporting responsibly and adequately on a world that is warming, which is why many still don’t understand the vast changes we must make to adapt and mitigate Climate Change. 

Posted Today - Saturday, February 24, 2018

  • Rain and heat extremes set to grow Millions of people in Asia and Europe can expect fiercer heat extremes, even if the world makes promised emissions cuts. LONDON, 23 February, 2018 – The big heat is on the way: over 50% of Europe, and across more than a quarter of east Asia, the probability of record-breaking heat extremes will increase fivefold. Over more than 35% of North America, Europe and East Asia, the chance of record-breaking rainfall will increase by more than threefold. And this will happen even if the world’s nations honour the commitments they have already made to contain global warming by switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. That would result in an average rise in global temperatures of between 2°C and 3°C by 2100. If the 195 nations that signed a climate accord in Paris in 2015actually honour their collective vow to contain planetary average warming to about 1.5°C above historic averages, there will still be record-breaking temperatures and more intense extremes of wet and dry – but over a smaller proportion of the globe, according to a new study. (February 23, 2018) Climate News Network [more on Climate Change and Environmental Health in our area]

  • What Are the Birds Telling Us About Climate Change? Reading the signs from our friends up in the sky A conversation alfresco with a passionate birder is likely to be interrupted by the birds nearby. Jane Tillman, a master naturalist and one such birder, will often break mid-sentence, mid-phrase, even mid-word, at the sight or sound of a bird. When this happens, she may abruptly lean back, hand shoved into her back pocket to brace herself, as she points her hat brim to the sky and scans for what she has just heard or sighted. I met Tillman early one cold morning in mid-December for the Austin Christmas Bird Count. She was our group leader and that much was evident upon arriving at our meeting point – the H-E-B parking lot on East William Cannon. It was 7am, and we were there to count the grackles. You know the grackles; they dot telephone wires around town and their large flocks sometimes perform arabesques across the sky. You might mistake them for crows, but they are not. Counting the grackles is kind of a joke to the birders, but not completely. Just before sunrise, the inky birds are relatively still around the parking lot. Our group estimated how many per wire, performed some quick multiplication, added in others in the sky and just beyond the lot, always aware of our group's boundaries, to account for about 3,500 grackles. This total went into our official tally. (February 23, 2018) The Austin Chronicle [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

  • 'Tiny trash' a big problem for Canada's shorelines Over 330,000 pieces of tiny plastic and foam were collected along shorelines last year Small pieces of plastic and foam topped a list of types of litter found along Canada's shorelines last year, beating out the previous year's winner — cigarette butts. That's because this is the first year The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a conservation effort between the non-profit group Ocean Wise and the World Wildlife Fund of Canada, have counted the pieces of what the groups call "tiny trash." (February 23, 2018) CBC News [more on Reycling, Great Lakes, Water Quality in our area]

  • Big Data Suggests Big Potential for Urban Farming A global analysis finds that urban agriculture could yield up to 10 percent of many food crops, plus a host of positive side benefits. Gotham Greens’ boxed lettuces have been popping up on the shelves of high-end grocers in New York and the Upper Midwest since 2009, and with names like “Windy City Crunch,” “Queens Crisp,” and “Blooming Brooklyn Iceberg,” it’s clear the company is selling a story as much as it is selling salad. Grown in hydroponic greenhouses on the rooftops of buildings in New York and Chicago, the greens are shipped to nearby stores and restaurants within hours of being harvested. That means a fresher product, less spoilage, and lower transportation emissions than a similar rural operation might have—plus, for the customer, the warm feeling of participating in a local food web. (February 15, 2018) City Lab [more on Food in our area]

  • Making America Toxic Again Scott Pruitt’s job is to protect the environment. Unfortunately, God has other plans for him. About a month after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, Scott Pruitt arrived at the Environmental Protection Agency for his first full day of work. The new administrator had weathered a contentious confirmation battle, with bitter debate over his long-standing ties to the industries he was now responsible for regulating—not to mention the 14 lawsuits he had filed against the agency as Oklahoma’s attorney general. But as he stepped into the EPA’s stately Rachel Carson Green Room, Pruitt wore the satisfied grin of a man in charge. He took the stage with Catherine McCabe, the acting head of the agency. In the front rows sat some members of the EPA’s “beachhead team,” a group of mostly men whom Trump had installed to begin the process of dismantling the department of the Obama years. Among them were some familiar faces, such as David Schnare, a former career EPA official and prominent climate-science skeptic. A conspicuous number of security staffers circulated among the crowd. (March/April 2018) Mother Jones [more on Environmental Health in our area]


News Highlight

Climate Change stresses the stressors that stress wildlife                  

by Frank J. Regan


“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "

Climate Change can quickly undo many of the long, hard-won adaptations wildlife have accomplished to survive in a specific climate. Presently, our very quickly warming climate is changing too fast for some species to adapt: “…warmer temperatures equals spoiled food equals Gray Jay nests failing en masse.” (from article below)

Spoiler Alert: Can Gray Jays Survive Warmer Weather? "They’re the warm-blooded creature that goes to great lengths to survive boreal cold blasts of minus 40 degrees, yet their future in Algonquin Park is threatened because the weather is getting mellow. It’s that last irony—the climate change connection—that Norris, an ecology professor at Ontario’s University of Guelph, is studying. He’s the third generation of principal investigators on a research project that stretches back over a half-century in Algonquin Park. For the past 40 years, the project has documented a stark downward trend: a 50 percent decline in the study’s Gray Jay population since 1977.. " (January 8, 2018) The Cornel Lab of Ornithology (More on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

We need wildlife to keep our ecosystems healthy, but most wildlife cannot adapt quickly enough to Climate Change. We need to include wildlife into our Climate Change action plans.

To Survive, These Animals Must Lose Their Camouflage "How can the snowshoe hare and Arctic fox thrive in a climate-changed world, where there’s less snow to blend in with? On December 4, 1920, a 14-year-old boy saw something extraordinary while walking in the central Wisconsin woods. Snowshoe hares, all of them with vibrant white fur, “were hopping about on fallen leaves that had no snow covering,” he wrote. “The month was unusually mild, with practically no snow until the middle of the period.” It was like a vision: The animals almost glowed against the sullen, early-winter soil. The sight so stuck with him that he described it in a scientific paper 13 years later. By that time, Wallace Byron Grange had demonstrated an intelligence, a precociousness, and a flair for prose style that matched his middle name. At 22, he had been appointed Wisconsin’s first-ever game commissioner; now, at 27, he was a publishing zoologist as well. He was particularly fascinated by snowshoe hares—and their mysterious annual change of costume." (February 15, 2018) The Atlantic [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

Many wildlife in our New York region are going to find adapting to Climate Change a serious challenge. Some, like amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, will need to move to cooler places but will find our myriad transportation infrastructures hindering them. (In fact, they already are, think roadkill.) Fish in our region, which have adapted to frigid waters, are going to need to swim to warmer parts of our streams and rivers without being impeded by our built obstructions. Think dams. Even birds, who you’d think would just fly where they need to go, have adapted to migrating to precise places where their meals synced with their arrival. [See “Migratory birds bumped off schedule as climate change shifts spring” (May 15, 201, Science News)] Adapted behavior in wildlife don’t turn on a dime; they take many generations to change.

Whether you like wildlife, like to hunt or fish them or just watch them, we need our wildlife. Their existence was instrumental in designing our environment. Herbivores ate the plants, carnivores ate the herbivores, and they all dispersed seeds, which helped determined which plants and wildlife thrived. And even though we have radically changed our environment, including developing land for cities and agriculture, drying up wetlands, killing off predators, and polluting our waters, we still need the creatures that make our environment work.

So, along with ourselves, we are going to have to help our wildlife adapt to Climate Change. How do we do that? Is there a comprehensive (for that is what it will take) state program for that? Kinda.

The New York State Environmental Conservation agency understands the perils of Climate Change. Check out New York Tackles Climate Change. But it’s not clear that this awareness extends to wildlife management. For example, when you check the DEC’s Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), you won’t find a whole lot of information on wildlife and Climate Change. Mostly, you see a vast compilation of information, regulations, and data on how to keep our hunters and anglers supplied with game.

But wait. When you check out the Wildlife Health section of the DEC website and scroll down a bit you’ll find this: WILDLIFE HEALTH PROGRAM STRATEGIC PLAN 2011 – 2015 “Wildlife are integral to a healthy, diverse ecosystem and the health of wildlife is closely intertwined with that of human and domestic animals. While disease and death are part of the normal life cycle that maintains a balanced ecosystem, factors such as the introduction of an invasive species or new and emerging disease, climate change, habitat destruction and human development can alter the equilibrium so that the health and long term well‐being of a species is threatened. The goal of the Wildlife Health Program is to    identify and monitor both infectious and non‐infectious diseases in wildlife populations, put that information to use in making sound management decisions, and to be prepared to intervene where necessary to ensure that New York has sustainable, robust and diverse wildlife populations for the future." (NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION)

Ah hah, ‘climate change’! Though buried as one of the things that could potentially upset a ‘balanced ecosystem’, addressing Climate Change is clearly an aspect of wildlife management that the DEC understands. Wildlife that keeps our ecosystems viable or ‘balanced’ describes the environmental hegemony that makes Earth’s environment tick.    more...

(Above scripts from Dynamic Drive

Green Business.

Green Business - We are working on finding Green Jobs for our area.  As always, we will post anything we can dip up on finding employment for people who want to sustain themselves and the planet at the same time.

Here's the Latest on Green Business News for the Rochester, NY area:

  • Big greenhouse project at Eastman Business Park nears groundbreaking, a year later than promised Construction should begin this spring on a large hydroponic greenhouse at Eastman Business Park where organic leafy greens will be grown year-round. Clearwater Organic Farms' ground-breaking is tentatively set for April, nearly a year later than originally promised. Company officials and others say extra time was needed to finalize financing and other aspects of the deal. "It’s still coming. It's very close. We’re very excited about it," said Alex Wasilov, the company's chairman. If all goes as planned, the operation could be up and running by the fall. It will be the largest hydroponic greenhouse growing leafy greens in the country. Clearwater expects to hire about 30 people initially, Wasilov said. Envisioned expansions should push employment over 100, he said. (February 1, 2018) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Green Business in our area]

  • Rochester Regional Health announces green energy initiative Rochester Regional Health says it intends to source 100 percent of the electricity it uses from renewable energy sources and carbon free production by the year 2025. President and CEO Eric Bieber says that's a big deal, and the organization will have to things differently as they go forward.  But he maintains it's the right thing to do, and it equates to taking scores of cars off the road and burning many tons less coal. (October 20, 2017) WXXI News [more on Green Business and Energy in our area]

  • Organic farming operation to bring 50 jobs to Brockport Organic farming is bringing 50 jobs to the Brockport area. That according to Governor Cuomo who says that Duncan Family Farms, a leading organic grower based in Arizona, has expanded into Monroe County. Duncan is partnering with Newstead Ranch on an $11.8 million dollar project. The company will be growing baby leaf items including spinach and romaine for customers throughout the region and along the East Coast. They eventually expect to expand into other specialty vegetable crops. (September 6, 2017) WXXI News [more on Food and Green Business in our area]

  • Company to open nation's largest hydroponic greenhouse in Rochester A company is set to open what Governor Cuomo's office says will be the biggest commercial hydroponic facility in the nation in Rochester. The governor says Clearwater Organic Farms  will build a 15 acre, 650,000 square-foot facility at Eastman Business Park, creating 137 new jobs. About half of those positions will be reserved for veterans and the unemployed, the state says. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year. "The new Clearwater Organic Farms facility will drive innovation, create jobs for New Yorkers who need them most, and bolster economic growth throughout the region," Governor Cuomo said in a release. "Our economic strategy continues to generate new activity, attract high-growth industries to the region and build momentum to move the Finger Lakes forward." (May 10, 2017) WHEC Rochester [more on Plants and Food and Green Business in our area]

Event Highlight:

5th Annual Genesee River Basin Summit   

Date: Saturday, March 24th, 2018 Time: 8:30am-4:30pm

Place: Port of Rochester   Address: 1000 North River St., Rochester, NY 14612.   

Stewardship Through Environmental Education   Genesee RiverWatch and its Aquatic Education Network are hosting the 5th Annual Genesee River Basin Summit on Saturday, March 24th, 8:30-4:30pm at the Port of Rochester, 1000 North River St., Rochester, NY.

This year's topic is "Stewardship through Environmental Education".   This event will be of most interest to K-12 Educators, Aquatic & Environmental Educators and Community Groups.  Please join us!     

 Summit Agenda   Get familiar with the Genesee River ·     Through presentations learn about the geology, history and pollution prevention of the Genesee River, and how to engage students.*   Educator Expo ·     Visit exhibits to learn about resources and meet regional aquatic educators as part of the Summit's Educator Expo.   Teacher Action Planning ·     Discuss how you can leverage the Network and what you’ve learned at the summit to provide inquiry-based education on the Genesee River Basin.  

*This meeting can be used towards Professional Development Credit   Genesee River Basin Summit Details   Topic: Stewardship Through Environmental Education   Date: Saturday, March 24th, 2018 Time: 8:30am-4:30pm Place: Port of Rochester   Address: 1000 North River St., Rochester, NY 14612.   This event is open to the public and is free. Please register here.  

Top Ten Things You Can Do for Rochester’s Environment .

This list assumes you are ready to take responsibility (as a member of the only species capable of doing so) for your presence at this critical time in our planet’s history.  And, it isn’t about just your personal fulfillment thing—our environment isn’t politics, religion, a fad, or a cause; it’s science all the way down. Pollute the planet, stuff happens.  Finally, in order for the effects of this list to be effective a lot (I mean billions) of humans need to do them too.  In the deepest practical sense, everything you do (where you live, what you eat, what you buy, what you throw away) matters to our environment. Ready folks, here we go:

  • Be engaged with the issues surrounding our local environment by monitoring the media, books, reports, and the Internet using the laws of Nature as your guide to monitor how our lifestyle is affecting our environment.
  • When you consume anything--food, water, cars, gadgets, whatever—do so as though you were demonstrating how to consume for the rest of the world—considering the lifecycle of the products you buy, how they are made, how they are used, and how you get rid of them.
  • When you have someplace to go, consider all your options in order of their affect on our environment: walking, biking, car-pooling, mass transit, and lastly a personal vehicle. 
  • Conserve energy until we find a non-polluting, renewable energy source.
  • Vote. If you’re doing good for our environment and your representative in government doesn’t get it, you’re just making yourself feel good without much effect.
  • Recycle, reuse and encourage your local government to create a place where recycling just about everything is the norm.
  • Think twice before using toxic chemicals that make your yard look like a golf course and your house like a hospital.
  • Consider other species (plants and animals) and their role in sustaining our environment.  Our environment, our life support system, IS plants and animals and soil. When they don’t function neither will we.
  • Adopt green business practices: your business will save our environment and be able to compete with the rest of the world.
  • Communicate your concerns about the state of our environment to everyone. Sustainability isn’t going to work unless everyone gets on board quickly.    Encourage all your news sources to have an environmental section daily and help move environmental investigations and news to mainstream media.

 350.org

350.org is an international campaign that's building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis—the solutions that science and justice demand. Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.  

 

Green Events.

RochesterEnvironment.com Environmental Calendar is the longest running and most comprehensive environmental calendar for our area. Got an environment event? Contact me and I'll get it listed.

Here are some events coming up soon & lots more...      

February 2018

  • WEDNESDAY, FEB. 28 6:30PM Brighton Memorial Library 2300 Emwood Ave, Brighton, NY
    • FILM SHOWING: BEFORE THE FLOOD Join Color Brighton Green for a film showing of Before the Flood. Produced by Martin Scorcese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, this film takes viewers on a journey across the globe to investigate the impact of man-made global warming. DiCaprio meets with leaders such as Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Pope Francis, and Lindsey Allen to explore ways to reverse and combat climate change. Film length: 1 hour, 36 minutes. For more info, Kourtney at info@colorbrightongreen.org

March 2018

  • Sunday, March 4, 2018, 6 PM  Where:  Buckland Park Lodge, Brighton, NY 
    • Brighton Neighbors United Pot Luck Dinner and Presentation on Community Choice Aggregation Brighton residents, come and share a meal with your neighbors and learn more about Community Choice Aggregation. RIT Assistant Professor Eric Hittinger will speak to “What is a CCA Anyway?”. Eric is a very entertaining speaker and you'll learn about a CCA—it's coming to Brighton!  When: Sunday, March 4, 2018, 6 PM  Where:  Buckland Park Lodge    More Info: In order to plan, your reservation and payment must be received by February 21. Print and complete this registration form and follow the instructions for mailing the form and the fee ($5/person).
  • Sunday, March 4, 2018, at 1:30 PM |1010 East Ave., Rochester, NY
    • All are invited to watch and discuss the provocative film "Merchants of Doubt" at 1:30 Sunday, March 4, at 1010 East Ave. (the red brick building immediately west of Asbury United Methodist Church. This satirically comedic, eye-opening film exposes the tactics used by powerful industries to deliberately mislead the public about such issues as toxic chemicals, pharmaceuticals and climate change.  Every American should see this film!  The event is free, and no RSVP is necessary.  Popcorn will be provided.  The event is sponsored by Pachamama Alliance’s Seeds of Hope. 
  • Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 12:12pm-12:52pm @ Central Library, Kate Gleason Auditorium, 115 South Ave. Rochester, NY
    • Check out this talk by one of our local environmental reporters on the critical issue of flooding on Lake Ontario shorelines. Flooding has occurred often on the lake’s shores, but things may be changing. “One thing is different this time around: This year’s flooding is the first since the concept of coastal resilience has come to the fore. The concept holds that floods and other natural disasters are unavoidable, and may well be more frequent and destructive in the future, so it is wise to rebuild accordingly. Coastal resilience is driven by science that shows climate change is bringing more severe weather and extreme rainfalls.” (LAKE ONTARIO FLOODING: WHAT ABOUT NEXT TIME? (January 5, 2018  Rochester Democrat and Chronicle) Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 12:12pm-12:52pm @ Central Library, Kate Gleason Auditorium, 115 South Ave. Rochester, NY | Topic: Paying for Flood Damage On the Lake Presenter: Gannett reporter Steve Orr.  Last year, hurricane damage to residences and businesses was regularly addressed by US Federal Aid. But lawmakers are still seeking federal funds for those along the shores of Lake Ontario, after months of flooding caused damage in 2017. Those without flood insurance were not covered by FEMA. Learn more about this critical issue facing many in our community.
  • March 8th from 5-6:30pm at Hilton Garden Inn Downtown | Space is limitted. Register at GreaterRochesterChamber.com 
    • Chamber of Commerce Sustainability Roundtable RPCC is proud to announce our first big event with the business community! We are sponsoring a sustainability-focused roundtable discussion hosted by the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce on March 8th from 5-6:30pm at Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, where executives from four local companies will share what they’ve learned about the benefits and challenges of adopting environmentally sustainable business practices. Why are we sponsoring this event? Because in order to truly “inspire and facilitate a large-scale climate mobilization in the Greater Rochester Region…that will achieve carbon neutrality by 2027,” we must work with large institutions and help their leaders understand that climate-friendly choices are good for the planet AND their bottom line. However, working with the Chamber of Commerce isn’t cheap. Sponsoring this event will cost $1000, which is big bucks for a small nonprofit like RPCC! Can you help? Contributions of any size will be greatly appreciated! Please use the donate button below to chip in an amount that is comfortable for you. Make a tax-deductible donation.
  • March 9, 7:30-9 PM, The Clover Center for the Arts and Spirituality, 1101 Clover St. Rochester 14610
    • Life in the Devonian, March 9, 7:30-9 PM, The Clover Center for the Arts and Spirituality, 1101 Clover St. Rochester 14610 Sponsored by Burroughs Audubon Nature Club    In the middle of an upstate winter, it's hard to imagine that 380 million years ago, western NY was located in the tropics! Paleontologist Dan Krisher will present a program that recreates the environment at that time and the wide variety of life forms that populated it. Fossils remains of Devonian creatures will be displayed. Some take-aways will be available for fossil collectors.
  • Saturday, March 24th, 8:30-4:30pm at the Port of Rochester, 1000 North River St., Rochester, NY.
    • Stewardship Through Environmental Education   Genesee RiverWatch and its Aquatic Education Network are hosting the 5th Annual Genesee River Basin Summit on Saturday, March 24th, 8:30-4:30pm at the Port of Rochester, 1000 North River St., Rochester, NY. This year's topic is "Stewardship through Environmental Education".   This event will be of most interest to K-12 Educators, Aquatic & Environmental Educators and Community Groups.  Please join us!      Summit Agenda   Get familiar with the Genesee River ·     Through presentations learn about the geology, history and pollution prevention of the Genesee River, and how to engage students.*   Educator Expo ·     Visit exhibits to learn about resources and meet regional aquatic educators as part of the Summit's Educator Expo.   Teacher Action Planning ·     Discuss how you can leverage the Network and what you’ve learned at the summit to provide inquiry-based education on the Genesee River Basin.   *This meeting can be used towards Professional Development Credit   Genesee River Basin Summit Details   Topic: Stewardship Through Environmental Education   Date: Saturday, March 24th, 2018 Time: 8:30am-4:30pm Place: Port of Rochester   Address: 1000 North River St., Rochester, NY 14612.   This event is open to the public and is free. Please register here.  
  • Monday, March 26 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. R. Thomas Flynn Campus Center, SUNY Monroe Community College, the Forum 1000 East Henrietta Road Rochester, New York 14623  Free parking in campus lots N and M
    • Governor Cuomo Announces Regional Harmful Algal Bloom Summits Four Summits in Mid-Hudson, Central NY, Western NY and North Country to Allow Residents to Hear from Local, State and National Harmful Algal Blooms Experts Governor Announces Creation of Expert Panel and Local Steering Committees to Develop Action Plans Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the dates and locations of four summits supporting the state's comprehensive effort to protect vulnerable lakes and waterbodies in Upstate New York from harmful algal blooms. The four regional summits are part of the $65 million four-point initiativeunveiled in the Governor's 2018 State of the State to aggressively combat harmful algal blooms in Upstate New York. The increasing frequency and duration of harmful algal blooms threaten drinking water quality and the recreational use of lakes essential to upstate tourism. The first of the summits will be held on Tuesday, February 27, in New Paltz, New York. "Protecting water quality is a top priority and New York is committed to addressing growing threats like harmful algal blooms," Governor Cuomo said. "These summits are bringing experts from across the country and New York leaders together with local authorities to develop new and innovative strategies to safeguard our water for future generations." As part of his 2018 State of the State announcements, the Governor directed the state's Water Quality Rapid Response Team, co-chaired by Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker in partnership with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, to convene four regional Harmful Algal Blooms summits. The summits will bring together national and state experts, including scientists from Kansas, Ohio, Tennessee and Vermont, as well as SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Cornell University, the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee, and local stakeholders. (February 14, 2018) GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO [more on Water Quality in our area]
  • Wednesday, March 28 6:30 pm | Brighton Memorial Library, 2300 Elmwood Ave., Brighton, NY  
    • Film showing: Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock Join Color Brighton Green for a showing of Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock. A collaboration between Indigenous filmmakers, journalists, Josh Fox, and others, this film documents the efforts of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota and people across the world to protect the Missouri River from the Dakota Access Pipeline.     Brighton Memorial Library, 2300 Elmwood Ave. For more info contact Kourtney at info@colorbrightongreen.org

April 2018

  • April 14, 2018 | March for Science | locations, Click here.
    • On April 14, 2018 SCIENCE MARCHES ON In 2017, more than one million people around the world gathered together in the largest event for science advocacy in history.  In 2018, we unite again to hold our elected and appointed officials responsible for enacting equitable evidence-based policies that serve all communities and science for the common good. It’s time we held our political leaders accountable for supporting good science policy. It’s time we join together and demand that our leaders use science to inform their work and cast their votes for science. Learn More About Vote for Science ❯❯ From Washington D.C. to Abuja, Nigeria, science supporters across the globe are mobilizing.  Events range from science expos and festivals to rallies and large-scale marches but they are united with shared goals.  March for Science events energize science advocates from multiple spheres to create tangible change and call for greater accountability of public officials to enact evidence-based policy that serves all communities.    ​ More than 70 satellite events around the world have already registered to participate in the 2nd annual event.  Don't see one in your area for 2018?  Plan a new march by registering here! Don't forget to check out the 2017 satellite list to find organizers from last year. ​ Prefer to check by zip code? Click here. 
  • April 20, 2018, 7:15am-2:00pm "The Links" E. Syracuse, New York
    • Fourteenth Annual  Symposium on Energy in the 21st Century April 20, 2018, 7:15am-2:00pm "The Links" E. Syracuse, New York RESILIENCY WITH CLEANER, MORE AFFORDABLE RENEWABLE ENERGY   SPEAKERS    BASIL SEGGOS, DEC Commissioner Resiliency of the Grid    JOE MARTENS, Offshore Wind Alliance  Offshore wind in NYS - Progress & Potential    ALICIA BARTON, President/CEO NYSERDA Accelerating NY's transition to a cleaner more resilient    energy    ROSS GOULD, Workforce Development Institute Electrification of the Energy Sector: Are the jobs resilient as well? RUDY WYNTER, Pres/CEO FERC,  Energy Solutions  Safety & reliability of the NE Grid with integration of renewable energy sources.    DAVID FELDMAN, Senior Financial Analyst, NREL Financial, policy and market developments in the solar industry. KIT KENNEDY, Dir.Energy & Transportation NRDC   Moderator    RHEA JEZER, President Energy21 LTD Symposium Director UPDATES FROM FORMER SPEAKERS    DAVID MOONEY, Strategic Energy Analysis NREL Eastern Interconnect: 70% Variable Renewables interconnecting East & West & North America    JOSE ZAYAS, Vice Pres, Cube Hydro Partners Hydropower's Potential in the 21st Century    ERFAN IBRAHIM, Cybersecurity, NREL Integrated Framework for Energy Systems Cybersecurity   $70 early registration, ($85 after March 1)  $50 students ($60 after March 20) Includes breakfast and lunch   Optional Tours Following Symposium - buses provided Click here to see all tours Click here to REGISTER
  • Earth Day - April 22, 2018

 

Genessee RiverWatch Initiative Working to restore the waters of the Genesee, improve access, increase use and encourage economic development that benefits from and contributes to the water quality of our region.

 

 

ACTION highlight

Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities':

Pound for pound, getting community leaders to pledge to the state’s ‘Climate Smart Communities’ program is one of the most effective things people can do to address Climate Change. Take action! It’s all spelled out for you here:

Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities':



New York State's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program supports municipalities as they identify, plan and carry out projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and prepare for the challenges climate change will bring. This program provides resources that enable localities to act on climate, without mandating which programs or policies they should adopt.  

Green Action.

ACTION: Often, I receive requests to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local environmental issues needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world.  

  • ACTION: Due date: February 26th
    • Communicating environmental issues is key to our understanding of our life support system. One way we do that communicating in Rochester now is with the Fast Forward Film Festival. Got film? Submit by Feb. 26th. ACTION: Fast Forward Film Festival Submission Deadline The Fast Forward Film Festival encourages films from Rochester, NY residents that tap into the local experience and compel audiences to engage with the community and raise environmental awareness. Embracing the short film format, Fast Forward challenges filmmakers to utilize the power of visual storytelling to convey the urgency of our environmental problems. Shorts are a liberating form that allow for greater experimentation and give voice to both aspiring and veteran filmmakers. By focusing creativity into films under five minutes in length, Fast Forward films become an important communication tool to inspire change, connect people and build an environmentally concerned community.  The deadline for submissions this year is Monday, February 26, 2018. Direct questions via an email to the FFFF.
  • ACTION: Due date: Mid March  
    • Rochester needs your input on TRANSIT SUPPORTIVE CORRIDORS STUDY.  Please take this survey:TransitCorridorsRoc.metroquest.com(it will go on until mid-March) As part of its Comprehensive Plan, Rochester 2034, the City is studying which major streets have the best potential for “transit supportive development.” Also, the City is conducting public outreach to get input the morning of Sat Feb 10 from 9am-noon at the public market (see flyer).Learn more about ROCHESTER MOBILITY ENHANCEMENT
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
    • Are we helpless in the face of the Trump administration’s attacks on our environmental protections? No, says the NRDC. Find out more: "FIGHTING THE TRUMP AGENDA, A step-b-by-step guide to Trump's attacks on the environment and how you can help NRDC stop him | President Trump faces many hurdles in his quest to dismantle our system of environmental protections. Here, we document those steps, alongside NRDC’s actions to thwart Trump policies that attack our air, water, and wild spaces. We will also continuously update the page with steps you can take—because the biggest obstacle to the Trump agenda is you. "Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
    • If you've been reading all the reports coming in about plastics in our oceans, you must be looking for a way to stop this kind of pollution. Take Action: Save our Oceans - End plastic pollution now! "By 2050, our oceans will have more plastic trash than fish.  It’s shameful. Half of the plastic made we use just once and throw out, choking our seas and all the animals in it.  But in days, our governments can stem this tide when they meet at a historic summit to outline their clean ocean commitments. Public pressure just got #2 polluter Indonesia to commit to a 70% reduction in plastic waste! Now we need to go after the other top polluters. If one million of us get behind a global call the Head of the UN Environment Programme will announce our petition from the summit podium and work with us to push countries to ban single-use plastics and let our oceans breathe again. Add your name. " (Avaaz )
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Don’t let all the work we have put into environmental protections since the 1970’s be gutted. Stand up for our absolute right to have a healthy, thriving life support system—our environment. There is no ‘balance’ between industrial rights and humanity’s fundamental right to clean water, air, and land. The silent majority must awake from what is being done to our EPA. Stop the Attacks on Our Environment and Health: Save The EPA! To be delivered to: New York and Connecticut Congressional Delegation The President has proposed to slash the EPA budget, eliminate funding for programs to restore the Great Lakes and Long Island Sound, and cut programs to fight climate change. This would decimate EPA's ability to address a broad range of its responsibilities and put our environment, health, and economy at an unacceptable risk! I urge Congress to provide full funding for the EPA and critical programs that it administers, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Long Island Sound restoration, and efforts to fight climate change. (from Citizens Campaign for the Environment)
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Got bike? Got an old bike not being used? Why not donate that bike to R Community Bikes (RCB) and help others get around—without carbon emissions. Action Transportation (walking and bicycling) is increasing in Rochester and you can help get our city more climate friendly. Find out more about BikeRochester and our city’s draft Climate Action Plan that we are still waiting for passage.
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Great local effort to grow our renewable energy supply. Find out more and how you can get involved: Click here to learn more about RPCC’s Community Choice Aggregation Project! "The Rochester People’s Climate Coalition is pursuing the development of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) as a way to use the market to grow our local renewable supply.  We began exploring this issue in September 2015 and formed a committee on CCA in December.  Our committee members have begun meeting with governmental leaders to inform them of this policy option. " Rochester People's Climate Coalition
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • From our friends over at the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition: Climate Friendly Food Choices |”Food Choices are extremely important for anyone who wants to take climate change action because: Food Choices have a profound effect on greenhouse gas emissions (one study shows as much as 51%). Food Choices are amongst the easiest changes that make a huge difference—the biggest bang for our individual buck.” Find out more about this issue and contact RPCC to see how you can help this issue locally. More on Food in our area.
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
    • Act on giving bicyclists a 3-ft break from vehicles, making biking safer, and reducing greenhouse gases. 3 FT PASSING LAW Thanks to the strong leadership of Board President Jim Reed and Board Member Emeritus Ivan Vamos, who himself was hit by a car, and support from Transportation Alternatives, the New York Bicycling Coalition (NYBC) has launched an all-out campaign this legislative session in Albany to amend the vague and impossible to enforce 2010 Safe Passing law. At the very least, we think there should be a 3 feet passing standard, which is now the law in 26 other states across the country. Email your legislators now by sending an email through this very easy-to-use form.
  • ACTION:  Due Date: Now!
    • New York needs to transition to renewable energy (like Wind Power) now:  "New York has been slow out of the gate when it comes to opportunities like offshore wind. We can change that. Few states have the potential to be a national and global clean energy and climate leader like New York.  And right now, the state Public Service Commission (PSC) is accepting public comments on how to structure a new Large Scale Renewable Energy Program – and Environmental Advocates is urging the PSC to act on three critical fronts: Establish enforcement mechanisms to hold the state and utilities accountable for supplying 50 percent of our energy from clean renewables by 2030. Make the state’s Large Scale Renewables Program statewide (currently Long Island is excluded from the Renewable Portfolio Standard). Add offshore wind power to New York’s energy mix.  You can urge them to prioritize these initiatives, too!     Despite our state being home to some of the most attractive and productive wind farm locations in the nation, this plentiful source of renewable energy remains completely untapped. With Rhode Island constructing the nation’s first offshore wind farm, and Europe utilizing this same renewable energy source on a large scale, New York can step up and become a global clean energy leader.     Governor Cuomo has made a commitment to ensure 50 percent of our energy comes from clean, renewable sources by 2030. That means dramatically reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and building a clean, green energy economy with offshore wind and other sources of renewable energy.    Take Action Today! " (from Environmental Advocates of New York)
  • ACTION: Due Date, NOW!
    • Fracking ain't over in New York until it's over: Take action: Call on the NYS Senate and Assembly to ACT NOW to pass the Hazardous Waste Loophole Bill! Read more: Time to Close New York’s Fracking Waste Loophole Despite the recent historic ban on high-volume fracking, New York still has a fracking waste problem. More than 510,000 tons and 23,000 barrels – and counting – of waste from oil and gas extraction operations in neighboring Pennsylvania have been shipped to New York landfills for disposal. Leachate from those landfills is then sent to nearby wastewater treatment facilities. And New York State continues to allow the use of certain kinds of waste from low-volume oil and gas extraction on our roads for de-icing and dust control. Fracking waste can contain a number of pollutants, such as chemicals, metals, excess salts, and carcinogens like benzene and naturally-occurring radioactive materials. Due to a loophole in state law, oil and gas industry waste is exempt from hazardous waste requirements, meaning that – no matter what it contains – fracking waste is not classified as hazardous. This “hazardous waste loophole” also means that fracking waste can be disposed of at facilities unequipped to handle it, and in ways that can put our health and environment at risk. (June 3, 2015) Riverkeeper [more on Fracking in our area]
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Submit letters to the Democrat and Chronicle Editors about oil trains passing thru Rochester and gas storage in the Seneca Lake salt mines concerns: Editorial submissions
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Pound for pound, getting community leaders to pledge to the state’s ‘Climate Smart Communities’ program is one of the most effective things people can do to address Climate Change. Take action! It’s all spelled out for you here: Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities': New York State's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program supports municipalities as they identify, plan and carry out projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and prepare for the challenges climate change will bring. This program provides resources that enable localities to act on climate, without mandating which programs or policies they should adopt. 
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Interested in the water quality of our rivers and streams and want to get trained to help monitor them?  "Reminder -- Volunteers for Stream and River Monitoring Wanted: DEC is looking for citizen scientist volunteers for stream and river monitoring as part of the Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) project. Volunteers visit stream sites once between July and September to collect macroinvertebrates -- insects and other small organisms -- from the rocks and rubble on the stream bottom.  In 2014, volunteers can participate by joining a local WAVE group led by a trained local coordinator, or by sampling independently. Volunteers working under a trained local coordinator do not need to attend a training session; however, volunteers who want to work independently must attend a training session.  WAVE training sessions rotate around the state on a five-year schedule, targeting those basins that will be sampled by DEC's Stream Biomonitoring Unit the following year.  Three training sessions remain for 2014: June 14 in Esperance, June 21 in Wyoming and June 29 in New Hartford. " (June 13, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Thinking it’s about time to do something on a big scale to combat Climate Change?  Think about joining Citizen’s Climate Lobby.  Here’s what Dr. James Hansen, head of Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA say’s "Most impressive is the work of Citizens Climate Lobby, a relatively new, fastgrowing, nonpartisan, nonprofit group with 60 chapters across the United States and Canada. If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group." The contact information for the local Rochester group: nyrochester@citizensclimatelobby.org We meet monthly, and people can contact us for more info on getting involved!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Can you imagine what our world would look like if everyone used their smartphones to report environmental crimes? Healthier! Become an environmental crime stopper Polluting a stream and getting away with it? Violating the Clean Air Act without detection? Now, anyone with a smartphone can help bust abusers of the environment. New York State Crime Stoppers announced a new phone app that makes it very easy for people to instantly report environmental crimes to the appropriate agency. Cellfare created the app in collaboration with Crime Stoppers, Waterkeeper Alliance, state police and local law enforcement agencies across the state. (November 21, 2012) Investigative Post

 

 

 

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Daily  Updates.

Daily Updates: Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care.  Get Daily Updates since 1998...

  • My COMMENTS are in Bold text:

  • 2/24/2018 - Want to go to a place that’s really hot and humid and gets really heavy rainfall? Stay right where you are and keep doing what you’re doing. Business as usual means our children will be inheriting a very different place from the one we grew up on. Time passes. Rain and heat extremes set to grow Millions of people in Asia and Europe can expect fiercer heat extremes, even if the world makes promised emissions cuts. LONDON, 23 February, 2018 – The big heat is on the way: over 50% of Europe, and across more than a quarter of east Asia, the probability of record-breaking heat extremes will increase fivefold. Over more than 35% of North America, Europe and East Asia, the chance of record-breaking rainfall will increase by more than threefold. And this will happen even if the world’s nations honour the commitments they have already made to contain global warming by switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. That would result in an average rise in global temperatures of between 2°C and 3°C by 2100. If the 195 nations that signed a climate accord in Paris in 2015actually honour their collective vow to contain planetary average warming to about 1.5°C above historic averages, there will still be record-breaking temperatures and more intense extremes of wet and dry – but over a smaller proportion of the globe, according to a new study. (February 23, 2018) Climate News Network [more on Climate Change and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 2/24/2018 - Birds, who have very small brains compared to our own, are saying that even we winged creatures have enough sense to adapt to Climate Change? Be nice if we humans listened to our wildlife friends. Time passes. What Are the Birds Telling Us About Climate Change? Reading the signs from our friends up in the sky A conversation alfresco with a passionate birder is likely to be interrupted by the birds nearby. Jane Tillman, a master naturalist and one such birder, will often break mid-sentence, mid-phrase, even mid-word, at the sight or sound of a bird. When this happens, she may abruptly lean back, hand shoved into her back pocket to brace herself, as she points her hat brim to the sky and scans for what she has just heard or sighted. I met Tillman early one cold morning in mid-December for the Austin Christmas Bird Count. She was our group leader and that much was evident upon arriving at our meeting point – the H-E-B parking lot on East William Cannon. It was 7am, and we were there to count the grackles. You know the grackles; they dot telephone wires around town and their large flocks sometimes perform arabesques across the sky. You might mistake them for crows, but they are not. Counting the grackles is kind of a joke to the birders, but not completely. Just before sunrise, the inky birds are relatively still around the parking lot. Our group estimated how many per wire, performed some quick multiplication, added in others in the sky and just beyond the lot, always aware of our group's boundaries, to account for about 3,500 grackles. This total went into our official tally. (February 23, 2018) The Austin Chronicle [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/24/2018 - As someone who has lead teams cleaning up Lake Ontario shores near Rochester, NY, I know our Canadian friends are not the only ones littering cigarette butts and plastic fragment on our shores. We need to work together to clean up the Great Lakes. 'Tiny trash' a big problem for Canada's shorelines Over 330,000 pieces of tiny plastic and foam were collected along shorelines last year Small pieces of plastic and foam topped a list of types of litter found along Canada's shorelines last year, beating out the previous year's winner — cigarette butts. That's because this is the first year The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a conservation effort between the non-profit group Ocean Wise and the World Wildlife Fund of Canada, have counted the pieces of what the groups call "tiny trash." (February 23, 2018) CBC News [more on Reycling, Great Lakes, Water Quality in our area]

  • 2/24/2018 - By 2050 it is projected that most people will live in urban areas and we’ll have over 9 billion folks to feed. Some, not all, of our food needs can be addressed right in our urban areas. On this year’s Earth Day in Rochester, NY the theme will be “Our Land Roc”, which is about how using our urban land can be sustainability developed in a warmer climate. Urban farms would look nice in open spaces—and there are many benefits to using open space this way. Big Data Suggests Big Potential for Urban Farming A global analysis finds that urban agriculture could yield up to 10 percent of many food crops, plus a host of positive side benefits. Gotham Greens’ boxed lettuces have been popping up on the shelves of high-end grocers in New York and the Upper Midwest since 2009, and with names like “Windy City Crunch,” “Queens Crisp,” and “Blooming Brooklyn Iceberg,” it’s clear the company is selling a story as much as it is selling salad. Grown in hydroponic greenhouses on the rooftops of buildings in New York and Chicago, the greens are shipped to nearby stores and restaurants within hours of being harvested. That means a fresher product, less spoilage, and lower transportation emissions than a similar rural operation might have—plus, for the customer, the warm feeling of participating in a local food web. (February 15, 2018) City Lab [more on Food in our area]

  • 2/24/2018 - At the EPA: What actually happens when you put the fox in charge of the henhouse? “We have a full-on captive agency right now that is obedient not to the public, but to the fossil fuel polluters.” Sad! Making America Toxic Again Scott Pruitt’s job is to protect the environment. Unfortunately, God has other plans for him. About a month after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, Scott Pruitt arrived at the Environmental Protection Agency for his first full day of work. The new administrator had weathered a contentious confirmation battle, with bitter debate over his long-standing ties to the industries he was now responsible for regulating—not to mention the 14 lawsuits he had filed against the agency as Oklahoma’s attorney general. But as he stepped into the EPA’s stately Rachel Carson Green Room, Pruitt wore the satisfied grin of a man in charge. He took the stage with Catherine McCabe, the acting head of the agency. In the front rows sat some members of the EPA’s “beachhead team,” a group of mostly men whom Trump had installed to begin the process of dismantling the department of the Obama years. Among them were some familiar faces, such as David Schnare, a former career EPA official and prominent climate-science skeptic. A conspicuous number of security staffers circulated among the crowd. (March/April 2018) Mother Jones [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 2/23/2018 - Cleaning up a major Brownfield in Rochester, NY is about neighborhoods, environment, justice, the Genesee River, public health, and (believe it or not) Climate Change, where more heavy rainfall can leach toxins into localities. Brownfields, sites of abandoned industrial waste, need to be cleaned up and to the highest levels. Neighborhoods need to feel safe and be healthy. PLEX Residents Demand Voice in Redevelopment of an Old Oil Refinery The Genesee River is getting a lot of attention lately. Part of transforming downtown includes a multi-million dollar project to renovate downtown parks and open spaces along the river. However, just blocks from the proposed redevelopment lies a site residents says officials aren’t handling as well. The site in question? It’s located just off of Exchange street, towards the end of Flint. It’s an old oil refinery that operated in the PLEX (Plymouth-Exchange) area from 1866 to 1935. It was first owned by Vacuum Oil then Exxon but was left abandoned almost a century ago. It’s a battle that’s been brewing for years, residents say, as Exchange St becomes an extended corridor to downtown. Corn Hill has been heavily redeveloped and there is new retail and restaurants along the riverfront. The neighborhood is surrounded by change; on the other side, along Genesee Street, the University of Rochester is heavily investing in student housing. And that’s likely what will go up the old refinery spot to residents’ dismay. They say they want a hardware store or grocery store instead. (February 19, 2018) Open Mic [more on Brownfields in our area]

  • 2/23/2018 - Been missing your Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) when it was the fruit of all our efforts to protect our environment since 1970, but is now being run into the freaking ground and putting us in danger by those set out to protect the polluters? Catch up on what you’ve been missing. Sad! EPA THEN AND NOW play stop mute 00:00 51:52 It was in 1970, under President Nixon, that the Environmental Protection Agency was founded. While the Agency enjoyed tremendous bipartisan support for decades, the last nine years have seen a decline in support from congressional Republicans. Recently, former EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, explained that she is not worried about protections being rolled back—she thinks they will withstand the assault—but rather about the budget cuts. Portions of this program were recorded at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco. (January 2018) Climate One [more on Climate Change and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 2/23/2018 - Check out this talk by one of our local environmental reporters on the critical issue of flooding on Lake Ontario shorelines. Flooding has occurred often on the lake’s shores, but things may be changing. “One thing is different this time around: This year’s flooding is the first since the concept of coastal resilience has come to the fore. The concept holds that floods and other natural disasters are unavoidable, and may well be more frequent and destructive in the future, so it is wise to rebuild accordingly. Coastal resilience is driven by science that shows climate change is bringing more severe weather and extreme rainfalls.” (LAKE ONTARIO FLOODING: WHAT ABOUT NEXT TIME? (January 5, 2018  Rochester Democrat and Chronicle) Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 12:12pm-12:52pm @ Central Library, Kate Gleason Auditorium, 115 South Ave. Rochester, NY | Topic: Paying for Flood Damage On the Lake Presenter: Gannett reporter Steve Orr.  Last year, hurricane damage to residences and businesses was regularly addressed by US Federal Aid. But lawmakers are still seeking federal funds for those along the shores of Lake Ontario, after months of flooding caused damage in 2017. Those without flood insurance were not covered by FEMA. Learn more about this critical issue facing many in our community.

  • 2/23/2018 - The rise of plastics pollution in our environment continues to rise. Added to our traditional forms of waste and environmental abuse, plastics are now harming our waters around the world. We need to recognize this pollution problem and find solutions on a scale and time frame that will matter—just like Climate Change. And do so justly. Plastic particles threaten to swamp the planet Plastic particles are now present in every litre of water in the oceans and could be a threat to life as great as climate change. LONDON, 22 February, 2018 – A ubiquitous tide of plastic particles has now swept throughout the world’s oceans. The human rights activist Bianca Jagger described to a conference here how a substance that was invented only in 1907 and seemed to have almost magical properties, because it was practically indestructible, is now threatening an environmental catastrophe. The danger to marine life highlighted recently by David Attenborough in his Blue Planet TV series was only part of the problem, she said. Because fish ingest the micro-plastics and we eat the fish, then the plastics are in our own bodies too, with as yet unknown health effects. Plastics, derived from fossil fuels (8% of all oil production is used to make plastics), is with climate change a serious threat to the future of the planet, Jagger said. (February 22, 2018) Climate News Network [more on Recycling and Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/22/2018 - If moderate rain and melting snow means more raw sewage in local waterways now, what then of Climate Change that will bring much more heavy rainfall? Our current infrastructure cannot even handle our current climate—which, by the way, has seen an increase in heavy rainfall by 71% since 1958. Communities around the Great Lakes basin need to get their sewage infrastructures ready for more heavy rainfall that’s coming with Climate Change. Moderate rain, melting snow means more raw sewage in local waterways BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Tens of millions of gallons of partially and untreated sewage is now making its way to Lake Erie. As News4 covered in a special report earlier this month, sewage overflows are part of the landscape in municipalities throughout the country — and Western New York is no different. New York state law requires wastewater treatment plants to report to the Department of Environmental Conservation each time there’s an overflow. Western New York is among the highest in the state for such reports. But officials and environmental advocates said that’s not necessarily because this region pollutes more than any other. Rather, it’s because local treatment plants adhere to the state law’s reporting requirement. (February 20, 2018) WIVB [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 2/22/2018 - When thinking about possible Climate Change tipping points (and we should be thinking about them), we should gain more certainty. To do this we need more scientific equipment, more scientists, and more research funding. Dismissing climate science and not funding our collective need to monitor our climate makes it more likely we’ll pass critical thresholds, or tipping points, without even know them. A tipping point is when you steadily put pressure on a trigger and at some point a bullet explodes out of the gun. After that, there’s no getting that bullet back into that gun. Time passes. Are we reaching our climate change tipping points? Imagine cutting down a tree. Initially, you chop and chop … but not much seems to change. Then suddenly, one stroke of the hatchet frees the trunk from its base and the once distant leaves come crashing down. It’s an apt metaphor for one of the most alarming aspects of climate change – the existence of “tipping elements.” These elements are components of the climate that may pass a critical threshold, or “tipping point,” after which a tiny change can completely alter the state of the system. Moving past tipping points may incite catastrophes ranging from widespread drought to overwhelming sea level rise. Which elements’ critical thresholds should we worry about passing thanks to human-induced climate change? (November 8, 2018) World Economic Forum [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 2/22/2018 - Climate Change is still divisive throughout American politics. However, beyond the rhetoric, opinions, and misrepresentations, it is warming. The Arctic is changing rapidly due to our using fossil fuels for energy. And it’s never going to be the same again. Time passes. Arctic temperatures soar 45 degrees above normal, flooded by extremely mild air on all sides While the Eastern United States simmers in some of its warmest February weather ever recorded, the Arctic is also stewing in temperatures more than 45 degrees above normal. This latest huge temperature spike in the Arctic is another striking indicator of its rapidly transforming climate. On Monday and Tuesday, the northernmost weather station in the world, Cape Morris Jesup at the northern tip of Greenland, experienced more than 24 hours of temperatures above freezing according to the Danish Meteorological Institute. “How weird is that?” tweeted Robert Rohde, a physicist at the University of California at Berkeley. “Well it’s Arctic winter. The sun set in October and won’t be seen again until March. Perpetual night, but still above freezing.” This thaw occurred as a pulse of extremely mild air shot through the Greenland Sea. Warm air is spilling into the Arctic from all sides. On the opposite end of North America, abnormally mild air also poured over northern Alaska on Tuesday, where the temperature in Utqiaġvik, previously known as Barrow, soared to a record high of 31 degrees (minus-1 Celsius), 40 degrees (22 Celsius) above normal. (February 21, 2018) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/22/2018 - It was pretty warm in here Rochester, NY and along the east coast Tuesday and Wednesday. Was this February warming out of the ordinary? Why assume? Check in with the experts. East Coast Shatters Temperature Records, Offering Preview to a Warming World Summer-like temps in February, extreme rainfall, a snow drought. This is happening more often—and in line with what scientists warn to expect with climate change. There are records—like Wednesday being the earliest 80-degree day in Washington, D.C., history—and then there are the eye-popping effects of those records, like seeing people wearing T-shirts on the streets of Portland, Maine, in February. However you measure it, Feb. 20-21, 2018, were days for the books—days when the records fell as quickly as the thermometer rose, days that gave a glimpse into the wacky weather that the new era of climate change brings. (February 21, 2018) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/21/2018 - Toronto in Ontario Province, Canada, just north of Rochester, NY on Lake Ontario, talks about how Climate Change fundamentally changes how they plan for the future. What about us? If we don’t understand Climate Change, we’re going to be planning for the past. Time passes. There will be floods — and Ontario’s not ready for them How can we prepare for worst-case-scenario storms when climate change means we can’t accurately predict what the worst-case scenario is? The audience at the Provincial Flood Forecasting and Warning Workshop sat silently as the rug was pulled out from under them.  Municipal and provincial staff — many of them forecasters and emergency managers — were gathered at a Brampton conference centre to hear Gord Miller, Ontario’s former environmental commissioner, talk about climate change. What he had to say challenged many of the established practices and assumptions that had guided their careers. His point was this: climate change has altered the fundamentals of the weather system. All of our old predictions — which were used to build thousands of kilometres of road, drainage pipe, and sewers — are inadequate. The changes to the weather system are so profound that old models and methods can’t accurately predict what’s going to happen; new models predict catastrophes so great that preparing for them could lead to bankruptcy. “I don’t think here in Canada we understand what’s coming,” said Miller during the talk. “We have no predictability any more. One has to look from the perspective that all culverts are undersized. All sewers are undersized.” (February 20, 2018) TVO [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • Comfort Zone: A documentary exploring climate change in upstate New York” | Is climate change a scientific problem? An engineering problem? A psychological problem? All that, and more? COMFORT ZONE takes an in-depth look at what happens when global climate issues come to our backyards. The specific setting is Upstate New York, but the effects, both subtle and profound, illustrate the kinds of effects that can happen anywhere  We encourage you to screen the film with as many people as possible. Please contact us if you need help setting up or promoting a screening, or would like us to attend. Below are some tools and advice to help you have the most successful screening possible. You can also use this flyer to share information about the film with people who might want to collaborate on a screening.

  • 2/21/2018 - While we bemoan the wholesale clumsiness of the Trump administration, we might find hope in their ‘sloppy’ attempts to gut our environmental protections. It took a long time for our communities, activists, and political courage to get many of our environmental protections in place, which provides us with an attempt to have level playing field from which to live sustainably. Hopefully, these protections have been secured so they aren’t so easily destroyed by this anti-science administration. 'Sloppy and careless': courts call out Trump blitzkrieg on environmental rules A cascade of courtroom standoffs are beginning to slow, and even reverse, the EPA rollbacks thanks to the administration’s ‘disregard for the law’ In its first year in office, the Trump administration introduced a solitary new environmental rule aimed at protecting the public from pollution. It was aimed not at sooty power plants or emissions-intensive trucks, but dentists. Every year, dentists fill Americans’ tooth cavities with an amalgam that includes mercury. About 5 tons of mercury, a dangerous toxin that can taint the brain and the nervous system, are washed away from dental offices down drains each year. In Trump’s first day in the White House, the administration told the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw an Obama-era plan that would require dentists to prevent this mercury from getting into waterways. But in June, the rule was unexpectedly enacted. This apparent change of heart followed legal action filed by green groups, part of a cascade of courtroom standoffs that are starting to slow and even reverse the Trump administration’s blitzkrieg of environmental regulations. (February 20, 2018) The Guardian [more on Climate Change and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 2/21/2018 - Not all leaders think Climate Change is a hoax. Not all leaders are indifferent to the plight of others around the world due to this worldwide crisis. Not all leaders are failing to plan for a warmer world. “None of Us are Safe until We Meet the Challenge Posed by Climate Change” – COP President’s Speech for 20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers Fijian Prime Minister and COP23 President Frank Bainimarama’s remarks for the opening of the 20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers. Bula vinaka and a very good evening to you all. This is a proud day for Fiji as we host the first gathering of Commonwealth education ministers to be held in our country. And wherever you come from in the world from the 53 nations that make up the Commonwealth family, I warmly welcome you on behalf of the Fijian people. It is our pleasure to have you in Fiji and I hope you enjoy our world famous hospitality. It also happens to be a sad day, a day of somber reflection for the Fijian people as we commemorate the second anniversary of Tropical Cyclone Winston, which slammed into our nation with terrible force on 20 February 2016. Winston was the biggest storm ever to make landfall in the southern hemisphere, packing record winds at its peak of more than 300 kilometres an hour. 44 of our loved ones were killed in the affected areas; many thousands of Fijians lost their homes; public infrastructure, including many schools, was damaged or destroyed; and when it was over, the overall cost amounted to one third of our GDP. (February 20, 2018) COP 23 Figi UN Climate Conference [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/21/2018 - If you are a leader in charge of a community ravaged by extreme weather with more on the horizon, you don’t have the luxury of not planning for Climate Change. We’ll all be on the frontlines of Climate Change someday, but some are already. Learn from them about preparations (adaption). WEATHERING THE STORM: MAYORS OF HOUSTON, MIAMI AND COLUMBIA 2017 brought a raft of extreme weather disasters costing the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars in damages, including hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. And those are just the ones with names – other areas of the country were hit by floods, fires and drought. How do we fight back? The mayors of three cities on the frontline of climate change – Houston, Miami, and Columbia, South Carolina - discuss what their cities are doing to recover, rebuild and prepare for the next mega storm. (February 7, 2018) Climate One [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/20/2018 - How badly will our Finger Lakes get hit by Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) this year? Are we prepared? Are warmer lake waters due to Climate Change accelerating and amplifying this problem? Finger Lakes state lawmakers urge governor to add three lakes to priority list GENEVA — The unofficial deadline for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to amend his 2018-19 proposed state budget came and went Friday. The list of amendments did not include the addition of Seneca, Canandaigua and Keuka lakes to a “priority list” of 12 state lakes that would share $65 million in state funding to combat Harmful Algae Blooms in the those lake waters. An appeal to add the three lakes was made in recent weeks by state senators Pam Helming, R-54 of Canandaigua, and Tom O’Mara, R-58 of Big Flats, and Assemblymen Brian Kolb, R-131 of Canandaigua, and Phil Palmesano, R-132 of Corning. (February 19, 2018) Finger Lakes Times [more on Water Quality and Finger Lakes in our area]

  • 2/20/2018 - We go into Climate Change with the environment we have. If our post-industrial communities of the Northeast don’t clean up our remaining Brownfields (usually in minority neighborhoods), we shall be less prepared to adapt and more guilty of Environmental Injustice. Heavy rainfall, which has increased by 71% since 1958 in our region, has increased the likelihood that toxins will spill from Brownfields with more flooding. Time passes. Waste dumps a burden for minority neighborhoods Would you want an industrial waste dump near your house? Probably not. But across the country, environmental hazards like waste dumps tend to be located near minority communities. Marion Motley Playfields is a park on Cleveland’s east side. Named for a local pro football star, it has grassy fields, baseball diamonds and hills. But those fields hide a troubling history. Before the park was created, parts of the property were used as a storage yard for a brick and tile plant, and a stream became an industrial sewer. (January 17, 2018) WBFO Buffalo's NPR News Station [more on Brownfields in our area]

  • 2/20/2018 - Update on the Paris Agreement: Are we addressing Climate Change on a scale and time frame that matter? There’s movement, but is there enough? Time passes. ‘It’s not fast enough. It’s not big enough. There’s not enough action.’ Barely two years ago, after weeks of intense bargaining in Paris, leaders from 195 countries announced a global agreement that once had seemed impossible. For the first time, the nations of the world would band together to reduce humanity’s reliance on fossil fuels in an effort to hold off the most devastating effects of climate change. “History will remember this day,” the secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, said amid a backdrop of diplomats cheering and hugging. Two years later, the euphoria of Paris is colliding with the reality of the present. (February 19, 2018) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/19/2018 - Besides unruly scientists and disobedient governmental agencies (like herding cats) not staying on message in Trump administration’s anti-science agenda, there’s REALITY constantly nipping at climate deniers’ little toes. Be nice if we had some help with addressing Climate Change from our present government, but until then we’ll just have to work around this obstruction. Hope we have time. A Spy’s Guide to Climate Change The Trump administration is seeking to withdraw the United States from the international accord reached in Paris in 2015 to fight climate change. It is trying to rescind regulations on the issue. It has even scrubbed mentions of global warming from government websites. Yet its attempt to suppress the facts has not entirely succeeded, with federal agencies continuing to issue warnings, including in a major climate report published last year. The latest climate alarm came this week in a Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Here is what the document, issued by Daniel R. Coats, the director of national intelligence, said about climate change and other environmental problems, with my annotations: (February 15, 2018) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/19/2018 - After many years of public ‘discourse’, New York State officially banned Fracking on June 29, 2015, in part because of the potential threat to our drinking water and now belatedly it appears our concerns were correct. We were lucky. Other states who went ahead and Fracked because of the doubt casts on the science by government and industry, not so much. Industrial Strength: How the U.S. Government Hid Fracking's Risks to Drinking Water A pivotal EPA study provided the rationale for exemptions that helped unleash the fracking boom. The science was suppressed to protect industry interests. This story was co-published with WHYY and West Virginia Public Broadcasting. A version was published in The Dallas Morning News. Audio story by Susan Phillips of WHYY.  Most mornings, when his 7-year-old son Ryan gets up for school at 6:55, Bryan Latkanich is still awake from the night before, looking online for another home in some part of Pennsylvania with good schools and good water. Six years ago, Latkanich signed on to let an energy company tap natural gas beneath his property by pumping water, sand and chemicals into rock formations, a process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Soon after, Latkanich's well water got a metallic taste, he developed stomach problems, and his son one day emerged from a bath covered in bleeding sores. More recently, Ryan became incontinent. Testing by state regulators and a researcher at nearby Duquesne University showed the well water had deteriorated since gas extraction started but no proof of the cause. The state recently began another round of testing. Latkanich is a single parent. He's jobless and blind in his right eye from brain surgery. "I worry about my son getting sick, about my getting sick and what would happen to him if I did," he said. "I'm doing this all alone. And I keep asking myself, 'How do we get out?'" (November 16, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Fracking and Water Quality in our area]

  • 2/17/2018 - We need wildlife to keep our ecosystems healthy, but most wildlife cannot adapt quickly enough to Climate Change. We need to include wildlife into our Climate Change action plans. To Survive, These Animals Must Lose Their Camouflage How can the snowshoe hare and Arctic fox thrive in a climate-changed world, where there’s less snow to blend in with? On December 4, 1920, a 14-year-old boy saw something extraordinary while walking in the central Wisconsin woods. Snowshoe hares, all of them with vibrant white fur, “were hopping about on fallen leaves that had no snow covering,” he wrote. “The month was unusually mild, with practically no snow until the middle of the period.” It was like a vision: The animals almost glowed against the sullen, early-winter soil. The sight so stuck with him that he described it in a scientific paper 13 years later. By that time, Wallace Byron Grange had demonstrated an intelligence, a precociousness, and a flair for prose style that matched his middle name. At 22, he had been appointed Wisconsin’s first-ever game commissioner; now, at 27, he was a publishing zoologist as well. He was particularly fascinated by snowshoe hares—and their mysterious annual change of costume. (February 15, 2018) The Atlantic [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/17/2018 - Our media needs to include the possibility that Climate Change is amplifying and accelerating harmful algae blooms (HABs) in our lakes if we are going to solve this threat to our water sources. Discounting or refusing to include Climate Change in reporting and finding local solutions to the dramatic rise in HABs in our local waters is delusional—and make it less likely we will stop or reduce HABs. Climate change may affect algal blooms: IJC Climate change is expected to influence the rate of phosphorus entering Lake Erie, causing the faster development of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and longer recovery timeframes, said a report released this week by the International Joint Commission. “Years of high precipitation and warmer water temperatures can result in larger discharges of phosphorus from agricultural lands …,” a release from the agency said. Excess phosphorus, the IJC said, comes commercial fertilizer and manure applications in the western basin of Lake Erie, which takes in everything from Point Pelee in Ontario and Huron, Ohio, on the south shore, west to the Detroit River.  That phosphorus can create eutrophic conditions and the nuisance and harmful algal blooms (HABs) in the lake, which can kill off aquatic life and harm humans as well. Eutrophic conditions are when a body of water, such as Lake Erie, is rich in nutrients, like phosphorus, that supports a dense growth of algae and other organisms, the decay of which depletes the shallow waters of oxygen in summer, which in turn can kill off anything in those waters. (February 15, 2018) Welland Tribune [more on Climate Change and Water Quality in our area]

  • 2/17/2018 - However inconvenient, If we are not prepared (and we aren’t now) to address Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will matter, it will matter to our grandchildren who will be wondering why we failed them. 97% of climate scientist and most American believe addressing Climate Change is urgent but … Scientists Just Issued a Grim New Warning on Climate Change: 'We Are Not Prepared' New research shows that countries around the world are falling short of greenhouse gas goals in the Paris climate deal, and the consequences will likely be unprecedented extreme weather. Published in the journal Science Advances this week, the study found that the likelihood of extreme heat, dryness and precipitation will increase across as much of 90% of North America, Europe and East Asia if countries do not accelerate their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “We are not prepared for today’s climate, let alone for another degree of global warming,” says study author Noah Diffenbaugh, a Stanford University professor of earth system science. (February 15, 2018) Time [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/17/2018 - Two points in the ‘Reimagine RTS Update’ that caught my eye was that 11, 744 responded to RTS’s survey and the top 3 priorities for updating our local bus service were “Frequent service; Faster, more direct trips; 30 minutes or less wait time”. Such a large number of responders to the survey highlight the importance locals place on transit and the recognition that getting our transit service up to speed means it’s more likely more folks will use public transit as a transportation option. Reimagine RTS Update “This week marked an important step for Reimagine RTS: the release of the project’s proposed guiding principles and goals. These are important because they are based on the feedback gathered during the first phase of Reimagine RTS and they will be the foundation of the redesigned system. Here’s a recap of what we did and what we learned during phase one: Phase 1: Highlights 11,744 surveys, 19 Community outreach events, 11 employee meetings & events Top 3 Priorities: Frequent service; Faster, more direct trips; 30 minutes or less wait time Based on this, our consultant, Transportation Management & Design, Inc. (TMD), identified five guiding principles and related goals. The guiding principles are the themes of the new system and the goals define what we want to accomplish.”

  • 2/17/2018 - Without downplaying the role of fossil fuel transportation in air pollution and emitting greenhouse gas emissions (this sector is very large), we need to acknowledge that many of the product we use (“personal-care products, paints, indoor cleaners and other chemical-containing agents”) are polluting our air. We tend not to think of the ocean of air above us as a critical natural resource but rather a vast air dump for much of our waste. We should think of this as we use many of the products we use each day. The quality of our air is going to become more critical as we go further into Climate Change. In a surprising study, scientists say everyday chemicals now rival cars as a source of air pollution In a major study released Thursday, a team of government and university scientists say that the nature of air pollution is changing dramatically as cars become cleaner — leaving personal-care products, paints, indoor cleaners and other chemical-containing agents as an increasingly dominant source of key emissions. “Over time, the transportation sector has been getting cleaner when it comes to emissions of air pollutants,” said Brian McDonald, lead author of the study in Science, who works for the University of Colorado at Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “And as those emissions come down, the sources of air pollution are becoming more diverse.” (February 15, 2018) The Washington Post [more on Air Quality in our area]

  • 2/17/2018 - Critical for increasing renewable energy options (wind and solar) for electricity is removing “barriers to batteries and other storage resources in U.S. power markets.” In a particular area at particular times, the wind may not blow, and the sun may not shine but energy storage can fill the gaps. We need to free up our old grid of old regulations for the new grid. U.S. regulator moves to clear market barriers for energy storage technology In a boost for electric storage technology, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Thursday approved a new rule to remove barriers to batteries and other storage resources in U.S. power markets. The FERC order will “enhance competition and promote greater efficiency in the nation’s electric wholesale markets, and will help support the resilience of the bulk power system,” the commission said in a statement. The commission found in November 2016 that existing market rules that governed traditional electric generation resources created barriers to entry for electric storage technologies. Thursday’s decision changes the rules to “properly recognize the physical and operational characteristics of electric storage resources.” (February 15, 2018) Reuters [more on Energy in our area]

  • 2/16/2018 - NYS’s Drug 'Take-Back' Program has a lot of potential to remove pharmaceutical waste from our local waters. There are two drop-off locations in Monroe County. DEC Announces 172 Pharmacies, Hospitals and Long-Term Care Facilities Participating in 2nd Round of State's Pilot Drug 'Take-Back' Program State's Pharmaceutical Take-Back Pilot Program Will Improve Water Quality, Protect Public Health and Reduce Safety Risks 74 Facilities Enrolled in 1st Round of Drug Take-Back Program in 2017 Retail Pharmacies, Hospitals and Long-Term Care Facilities Encouraged to Apply During the Open Enrollment Period New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the second group of participants in the State's $2 million Pilot Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program. Participants include 172 retail pharmacies, hospitals, and long-term care facilities across the state. (February 15, 2018) Department of Environmental Conservation [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 2/16/2018 - Considering the dramatic rise in harmful algae blooms or (HABs) in our local lakes, it would be worth our time to attend one of the state summits on Regional Harmful Algal Bloom Summits. In the Rochester region: Monday, March 26 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. R. Thomas Flynn Campus Center, SUNY Monroe Community College, the Forum, 1000 East Henrietta Road, Rochester, New York 14623, Free parking in campus lots N and M” Governor Cuomo Announces Regional Harmful Algal Bloom Summits Four Summits in Mid-Hudson, Central NY, Western NY and North Country to Allow Residents to Hear from Local, State and National Harmful Algal Blooms Experts Governor Announces Creation of Expert Panel and Local Steering Committees to Develop Action Plans Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the dates and locations of four summits supporting the state's comprehensive effort to protect vulnerable lakes and waterbodies in Upstate New York from harmful algal blooms. The four regional summits are part of the $65 million four-point initiativeunveiled in the Governor's 2018 State of the State to aggressively combat harmful algal blooms in Upstate New York. The increasing frequency and duration of harmful algal blooms threaten drinking water quality and the recreational use of lakes essential to upstate tourism. The first of the summits will be held on Tuesday, February 27, in New Paltz, New York. "Protecting water quality is a top priority and New York is committed to addressing growing threats like harmful algal blooms," Governor Cuomo said. "These summits are bringing experts from across the country and New York leaders together with local authorities to develop new and innovative strategies to safeguard our water for future generations." As part of his 2018 State of the State announcements, the Governor directed the state's Water Quality Rapid Response Team, co-chaired by Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker in partnership with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, to convene four regional Harmful Algal Blooms summits. The summits will bring together national and state experts, including scientists from Kansas, Ohio, Tennessee and Vermont, as well as SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Cornell University, the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee, and local stakeholders. (February 14, 2018) GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 2/16/2018 - Because the transportation sector is responsible for a lot of our greenhouse gas emissions, ideas like providing free transit are coming to the table. While we love our cars, we pay a great cost for this mode of travel. Could Free Transit Lure Germans From Their Cars? Germany is considering free public transit in its cities in order to curb car use, as it hurries to meet the European Union's requirements for air quality. That proposal is put forth in a letter to from the German government to the EU's Environment Commissioner. The free transit plan is part of a range of measures suggested in the letter, including low emission zones, incentives for electric cars, and technically retrofitting existing vehicles, Reuters reports. "We are considering public transport free of charge in order to reduce the number of private cars," the letter says, according to Agence France Presse. "Effectively fighting air pollution without any further unnecessary delays is of the highest priority for Germany." (February 14, 2018) NPR [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 2/16/2018 - If we are going to get a handle on our greenhouse gas emissions, we’re going to need a more robust and objective way of monitoring. Relying on reporting from fossil fuel industries seems fraught with fraud. Far More Methane Leaking at Oil, Gas Sites in Pennsylvania than Reported An EDF comparison of company-reported data and research measurements finds as much as 5 times more methane, a climate-warming greenhouse gas, is leaking. Leaks of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, from oil and gas sites in Pennsylvania could be five times greater than industry reports to state regulators, according to a new analysis by the Environmental Defense Fund. Drawing from peer-reviewed research based on measurements collected downwind of oil and gas sites, along with government data, the EDF analysis estimates that the state's oil and gas wells and infrastructure leak more than 520,000 tons of methane annually, largely due to faulty equipment. "This wasted gas causes the same near-term climate pollution as 11 coal-fired power plants and results in nearly $68 million worth of wasted energy resources," the group said in its report, released Thursday. (February 16, 2018) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change and Energy in our area]

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