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June 07 RENewsletter

RochesterEnvironment.com’s Newsletter

June 2007

"I am convinced that ecology cannot be kept secret. Environmental openness is an inalienable human right. Any attempt to conceal any information about harmful impact on people and the environment is a crime against humanity." --Alexandr Nikitin, Russian environmentalist.

Encourage your friends to subscribe to this newsletter: There is no other comprehensive environmental newsletter like this one for any city in the world. No fees, no corporate influence, just environmental news, events, actions, and essays. The main page for RochesterEnvironment.com's RENewsletter includes links to past newsletters and an overview: RENewsletter and a sign up box: http://rochesterenvironment.com/subscribe.htm

Overall, you cannot come away from even just one month’s encapsulation of just one city’s environmental news and not see how humanity now drives Nature. Like it or not the anthropogenic affect of man on Nature is so profound (and continuing to grow) that as you look for man’s footprint in each story, you will understand how our relationship with our environment is forever changing the direction of evolution. We are warming the planet, determining what species thrive and what species fail, what chemicals interact with everything, what bodies of water rise and which one fall—in short we (as a species) are no longer just bystanders in our environment—we are at the helm.

As always, there are lots going on in the Rochester area pertaining to our environment. You just have to look all over the Internet to find the stories. But, here at RochesterEnvironment.com we bring it all to one place. If you have any comments about any of the issues in this newsletter, surf over to Environmental Thoughts and make your voice heard. http://rochesterenvironmentny.blogspot.com/

Join our Newsletter and get all the Rochester environmental news each week.

 

Go to: News - What's New?- Events of the Month - Actions to take - Site of the Month

 

 

         Highlights of the June 2007 RENewsletter:  

 

* Opening salvo: You may have noticed that there were no news entries for the last week.  I attended a week at Chautauqua Institution <http://www.ciweb.org/>, where the theme was “The Media and News: Applied Ethics.”  It was a very informative series of lectures by pivotal people in the media and ethics concerning our news sources, environmental issues, and the media itself.  A theme that continued throughout the week was that the news media is undergoing a massive change and a big part of that change is the role of the Internet.  How the Internet changes how we get our news and participate as citizens, whether we like it or not, is going to rule—and probably already is.  Speaking of participation, the move on many online news sites to provide discussion areas at the end of particular news stories is a great leap forward in the dialogue between citizen and media.  Even the historic ‘letters to the editor’ cannot compare to this new feature on online media sources for immediate, unfiltered feedback on specific articles—though you cannot usually respond in this way to every article.  Also, I’ll be speaking on WXXI’s “1370 Connection” with Bud Lowell, Friday, July 13, at 1 PM -2 PM,   <http://www.wxxi.org/talk1370/index.html> on an ‘overview of feelings about wind development in the region.’ Though, far from an expert on this subject, I’d like to see more communities consider global warming when considering wind power in their region.

* Hottest issue this month of June 2007:  My votes this month for the hottest environmental issues for this area are the brownfields, energy, and the Hemlock/Canadice/Reservoir issues.  The Democrat and Chronicle just finished up a serious of excellent articles on known and unknown dump sites in our area. They summarize a month of contamination issues in Victor of some other locations. These issues include cancer fears, well contaminations, and the loss of property value. All together these stories highlight what I believe can happen if we don’t adopt a more realistic program for early detection and the thorough cleaning up contaminated sites, instead of the state we are now in, which is ‘don’t mention them until they’re in your face.’ Though, by the time they are in your face disrupting your life, they’re a colossal nuisance, instead of a small one.  There is a story about Rochester receiving a US grant for brownfields and a couple of articles about Senator Schumer’s recent visit and his demand more Federal and state action.  On energy, we find that New York State farmers like the new US Senate energy bill, which just got passed, but differs from the US House bill.  In Albany, our legislature cannot figure out what to do with ‘sitting’ power plants, and in many of our surrounding communities wind power is either favored for lowering energy costs or feared because of complications of this technology.  In Buffalo (actually the old Bethlehem Steel plant site in Lackawanna), they love their giant blades twisting in the wind, because even though the project is not a money-maker yet, the wind turbines are attracting a lot of interest in the area.  Go figure.  Who knew that not only do some communities actually like the look of renewable energy sources on their horizon, visitors do and take another look at a community that is moving into the future instead of languishing in the past.  There are also other articles this month on energy including fuel cells and ethanol and several measures by Monroe County that I mention below.  Finally, the Hemlock/Canadice Lake issue has morphed into a water/wetlands/reservoir issue. The city of Rochester, under a federal mandate, must update its water reservoirs to comply with stricter rules and that affects the city’s decision on how it will deal with its ownership of part of our water supply from Hemlock and Canadice Lakes (which the city owns) and that will affect the pristine watershed area around these lakes.  It’s complicated and important. Your attention is required because it all relates to you and your children’s water and environmental future. 

Other Hot Environmental issues this month:  There many other hot environmental articles this month in our area’s online media and I’ll mention a few.  The Great Lakes, which rule our area’s environment, is under constant threat from many sides. These issues were underscored in a recent conference at Penn State University.  Issues include invasive species, global warming, and VHS, which I have been listing for several months now.  VHS, or Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia, is spreading rapidly and according to auburnpub.com (June 19) “The virus has been confirmed in Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, Lake Erie, the Niagara River and Conesus Lake.” In order to slow the spread of this disease, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has posted new regulations.  Also, on air quality the DEC ups the ante on air quality measurements.  We’ve had a single ozone alert, but the ozone issue is one of those long-term environmental concerns that we should be working on and not waiting it to get to the point that the media splashes it on headlines: “State issues ozone warning” -- (June 26, 07) Messenger Post Newspapers. The Bee Colony Collapse Syndrome is back in the news as we still don’t know the exact cause of this environmental and economic threat.  According to one article, farmers, without conclusive answers from objective studies on this bee disease must guess at the cause—the latest being a possible new pathogen or certain pesticides.  This underlines the flipside of our government not marshalling large studies when issues like VHS and the Bee Colony Collapse Syndrome occur: the public and industry must make their best guess on what to do.  It may not be pretty. Mayors of US cities are taking environmentalism into their own hands.  Our own town of Brighton included, which is taking charge of their energy and public information.  This is a community policy that I can heartily endorse. On lead poisoning, there is a story alleging that Monroe County, and many others, do not properly screened for lead poisoning.  This is especially troubling because Monroe County and Rochester have taken the lead in trying to curb this disturbing problem.  There’s also the issue of limiting the amount of lead in children’s jewelry.

* On the Positive Note: Because environmentalists are continually viewed as doomsayers, I’m going to make a better effort to mention positive stories each month.  The Positive is always there: Without being political, for that is not RochesterEnvironment.com’s purview, I’m impressed by the number of environmental stories coming out of the Monroe County Executive’s office.  Here’s a list of items listed this month in online articles: methane gas use from a landfill, green buildings (though the articles I read did not explain what ‘green buildings are), recycling computer events, and hybrid buses. I’d like to see more promotion of recycling programs and the recycling of more types of plastics–presently we only take two.  The first will take more money and the second more markets—for it doesn’t do any good for our county to take all plastics if there are not markets for them.  I’d also like to see landfills eventually go away completely and recycle those products (some toxic) leaching away in the ground for years and years.  In the meantime, it is a good thing that our county is recovering one of the most effective greenhouse gases (methane) and giving us another energy source.

 * The silent stories [important stories we didn't hear much about]: West Nile Virus (WNV) showed up in a single article in other NYS other counties, probably because we’ve had no incidences this season. Yet, the NYS Health Department met with the press about WNV. Least we get too complaisant, I suggest that viewers review the simple preventative rules I have listed on my West Nile Virus Page: <http://www.rochesterenvironment.com/west_nile_virus.htm>.

* On-Going Concerns:  Birds are in decline, according to an Audubon report.  The reasons are complicated.  One story emphasizes that some birds in New York State specifically have seen sharp drops.  For those who love birds this is very unsettling and for those who don’t, they should. Think of birds as very sensitive (small, high metabolism rate, ever-present) indicators of our environmental health.  If birds are dying off at a high rate, we may be shortly after them. Coyotes & Bears: Sightings of these creatures are increasing, but they are approached different in the press and by the public.  Bears get respect and coyotes do not.  Both are now our top predators making their way back to our area and we have to decide how we address potentially dangerous competitors to our top-dog status.  How we best tackle increased meeting between our species and theirs may be best served by being aware of their presents and knowing what to do. 

* Environmental Actions you can take for our area: Sorry about the short notice, but for this you’ll have to act immediately.  Act on irradiated food labeling: Tell the Food and Drug Administration what you think of Irradiated food labeling. Remember, this item is not about the science and safety of irradiating food, it is about whether or not you should know if you are eating food that is irradiated. You only have until July 3rd. The whole issue is summarized by Living On Earth and links for you to submit your comment. This issue about how your food is labeled is critical. “…proposed labeling changes for irradiated food during a public comment period that ends on July 3.” --from Living on Earth: "The Right to Know: Irradiated Food Labels "(look on the bottom of the page for links on how to comment online.

* Environmental events going on this month:  As summer begins, environmentalists seem to take a rest too and there are not so many events as there are in the winter months.  But, come autumn, environmental groups will ramp up and continue their efforts to inform and engage their neighbors on local environmental matters.  In the meantime, there are some events, and some that run throughout the summer.  Be sure to check out individual environmental groups and check their calendars <http://www.rochesterenvironment.com/local_schedules.htm> because RochesterEnvironment.com’s calendar does not catch everything—though I sure do try.

* Rochester-area Environmental Site of the Month:  Here’s a great new site by a community that has gathered together to observe and protect an area in their own backyard.  This kind of site shows how the Internet shines and empowers people to take charge of their own environment. Environmentalists: Friends of Irondequoit Bay “is a non-profit, member based environmental organization whose mission is to help preserve and protect the delicate ecological integrity of Irondequoit Bay wetlands through preservation, education and advocacy.”

      

NEWS SUMMARY: Many of the news links below may already be out of date because these online news sources do not archive their stories.  To get the full articles, you can contact the news service and ask them for a copy. 

News for June 2007:

  • Expect to spot more bears, say experts — The bear that wandered into Monroe County's suburbs last week apparently has left the area, but environmental officials said such sightings almost certainly will become more common here. The black bear population has exploded in the Rochester region, said Greg Fuerst of the state Department of Environmental Conservation. In 1990, an estimated 150 to 200 bears were in the 11-county region. Today, he said, "we could be dealing with 600 bears." (July 1, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Device dump lures residents - Hundreds turn out for program to recycle their computers, more - Started this year, the appointment-only collection program has been a remarkable success for the county at its recycling center on Lee Road. The free events are a partnership with Metro Waste Paper Inc., which manages the center, and its subcontractor Sunnking Inc. The county signed up 200 people for the first recycling event in April. On Saturday, more than 450 people were expected to drop off old computers for disposal. (July 1, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • MPNnow.com: Schumer urges tougher handling of toxins With air and groundwater pollution spread far and wide, Sen. Charles Schumer calls for stricter standards and vigorous cleanup efforts. CANANDAIGUA — Sen. Charles Schumer likens the handling of toxic wastes "like those plaguing Victor" to using a squirt gun where a cannon is required. During a teleconference Wednesday, he blasted the federal Environmental Protection Agency for not developing stricter standards to deal with industrial toxins. The state Department of Environmental Conservation likewise was scolded for its ineptitude in fielding complaints and inspecting sites for compliance. (June 28, 07) MPNnow.com: Rochester and Western Finger Lakes News, Entertainment, Sports, Opinions, Photos and More
  • Leaders seek action on TCE, cite Victor - Schumer, Spitzer demand response - — U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, using Victor as a prime example, said Wednesday that environmental contamination by the solvent trichloroethene is a growing problem in upstate New York that federal authorities must address more aggressively. Schumer, D-N.Y., said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency "has turned a blind eye to this growing danger." He called on the agency to toughen regulatory standards and update its health risk assessment of trichloroethene, or TCE, which he said is 20 years out of date. (June 28, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Schumer berates EPA for lack of action on TCE contamination - ITHACA — Claiming that the Environmental Protection Agency has been dragging its feet for too long, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, D-NY, called for action on the issue of trichloroethylene contamination in Upstate. The call came in the form of a press blitz Wednesday during which Schumer said if he didn't see action soon he would propose budgetary pressures on the agency. (June 28, 07) The Ithaca Journal
  • Legislator inaction irks panel on energy - Task force bemoans lawmakers' failure on power plant siting law — ALBANY — The Legislature's recent failure to agree on new regulations for siting power plants is a major impediment to New York's progress in promoting renewable energy, a member of a new state task force said Tuesday. "Article 10 is definitely something that the Legislature and the governor need to bring to completion," said Carol Murphy, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, referring to a streamlined approval process for power plants that expired in 2002. (June 27, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • How many more dumps are out there? 'Many times it looks pristine,' says an EPA spokesman, 'but you never know' — Many of the known rural waste sites in the Rochester region were discovered in a frenzy of environmental sleuthing that began in the late 1970s, in reaction to the Love Canal hazardous waste-dumping disaster in Niagara Falls. A few more have come to light since then. But as development moves farther into once-rural areas, a question lingers: Are more sites yet to be uncovered? (July 1, 2007) (July 1, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • MPNnow.com: Cancer study, cleanup plan in works  But Victor residents who met with state officials about groundwater pollution left roiled over the pace of answers and action. (Jun 27, 07) Messenger Post Newspapers
  • ENVIRONMENT: Nationally and locally, bird populations decline - News & Opinion - Rochester City Newspaper But times have changed. Back then, there were several hundred of the pheasants in the Greater Rochester area. In the last 10 years, however, the bird has all but disappeared from the region. There are generally fewer than five in the yearly bird count, says Spahn, who is the former records chair for the Genesee Ornithological Society. Only one was recorded during the 2006 Christmas Count in the Rochester area. (June 26, 07) Rochester City Newspaper
  • The toxic legacy of midnight dumping - An ongoing Democrat and Chronicle investigation has revealed that the Rochester region is replete with old, illicit, toxic dump sites that have not been cleaned up by government agencies. As a result, hazardous chemicals, especially TCE, continue to seep through soil and water, posing a threat to the health of nearby residents.  (July 1, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Ozone Advisory Extended - An ozone warning that was to expire Tuesday night has been extended. Conservation and health officials warn of high levels of fine particulate matter in western New York and other areas. (June 22, 07) R News: As It Happens, Where It Happens
  • Dump worries go on and on - A history of plodding cleanup goes back decades; toxicity lingers as area issue — When workers began clearing the earth for a 2005 Mendon subdivision expansion, the grader's huge blade encountered more than soil. "All of a sudden it was scraping a big wide blue, red and purple smear," said Lt. Michael Van Durme of the state Department of Environmental Conservation. (July 1, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Cobbs Hill reservoir faces demotion - Tighter federal rules on water systems also affect Highland and Rush — Cobbs Hill and Highland reservoirs would be removed from the city's water system but maintained as park features, and Rush reservoir would be covered with a floating tarp, under a proposal to be unveiled tonight. The city is responding to tightened federal regulations on how communities store and treat their drinking water. (June 27, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • MPNnow.com: State issues ozone warning High temperatures contribute to ozone, and today could be the hottest June 26 since 1952. State officials have issued a statewide air quality advisory for Tuesday, warning of high levels of the pollutant ozone. The advisory from the health and conservation departments will be in effect from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. It’s issued when meteorologists predict pollution levels exceeding 100 on the Air Quality Index. Automobile exhaust and out-of-state emissions are the primary causes of ground-level ozone, a major component of smog, and they constitute the most serious air pollution problems in the Northeast, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said. (June 26, 07) Messenger Post Newspapers
  • MPNnow.com: Irondequoit hosting community forum on coyotes The number of local sightings has been increasing, town officials say, and education is needed. The July 11 forum will also include a discussion of coyote behavior and habits, common nuisance situations, guidelines to prevent coyotes from hanging around a property, and guidelines for confronting coyotes. The forum is free and open to the public. It will be recorded for future broadcast on Irondequoit Cable Access Television, cable channels 12 and 15. (June 27, 07) MPNnow.com: Rochester and Western Finger Lakes News, Entertainment, Sports, Opinions, Photos and More
  • State to open cancer cluster study in Victor — Citing an apparently high incidence of brain and other cancers in a part of Victor troubled by contaminated groundwater, the state Department of Health said tonight it planned to conduct a full cancer cluster study in the area. Citizens concerned about groundwater contamination by the toxic solvent trichloroethene, or TCE, asked for the cluster study two months ago after compiling a list of several dozen residents with serious illnesses. - June 26, 2007 Democrat & Chronicle
  • City reservoir plan: Remove two, cover one — To comply with tighter federal rules the city might remove Cobbs Hill and Highland reservoirs from the water system but maintain both as park features, and cover Rush reservoir. City officials have called a public meeting for 7 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall to present the proposal. The idea — which also calls for building cement storage tanks at all three reservoirs — is the preferred alternative to address the new regulations on how communities store and treat their drinking water. (June 26, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Some looking to wind to restrain energy costs — Wind turbines are being considered on a small scale in various towns.- (June 25, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Wind power wafts into area - Towns may permit electricity-producing towers - And, for the most part, town code enforcement and building officials say such requests can be handled by special-use permits or existing ordinances, though the town of Perinton is expected to vote soon on an ordinance to regulate wind turbines. But the prospect of towering wind turbines — some reaching about 400 feet high — for large-scale generation of electricity has focused public attention on whether existing local regulations are sufficient for the big projects. (June 25) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Decades of dumping: A toxic legacy  — Many years ago, the practice known as midnight dumping – the covert and illicit disposal of industrial wastes in farm fields, gravel pits and other out-of-the-way rural locations – was a not-uncommon practice in the Rochester region.- June 28, 2007 Democrat & Chronicle
  • Skeptical residents question costly water reservoir rules — Plans to overhaul the city's water reservoirs drew concerns Wednesday night about potential impacts on historic Cobbs Hill and Highland parks. But it was skepticism that dominated discussion during a public meeting at City Hall, with residents questioning the federal regulations that officials say mandate the changes — and how all this plays into the city's ongoing talks with the Monroe County Water Authority. (June 28, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Brooks Announces Northwest Regional Household Hazardous Waste Collection - Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks announced that the County’s Department of Environmental Services and the Towns of Clarkson, Hamlin, Ogden, Parma, Sweden and the Villages of Hilton, Brockport, Spencerport have partnered to hold an appointment-only Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection at the Village of Hilton Highway Garage, 50 Henry Street, on Saturday, June 23, 2007 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. This is the fourth of six regional HHW collections for 2007. MyMonroe. Opening Up Government. | Monroe County, NY
  • Victor meeting Tuesday on contamination — An informational meeting on the Victor groundwater contamination issue, at which New York state officials will discuss vapor intrusion, cancer concerns and other matters, will be held Tuesday evening at Victor’s educational campus. The meeting, called by the state departments of health and environmental conservation, begins at 6 p.m. in the Victor Education Center off High Street. Officials have said they will discuss the latest results of indoor air and groundwater testing, a citizens’ request for a cancer cluster study and remediation work at the contamination site in western Victor. (June 25, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Farmers Fans of Senate Energy Bill  - WASHINGTON, DC (2007-06-22) New York farmers have reason to rejoice - for the moment. According to New York state's Farm Bureau, which represents more than 30-thousand farmers to Albany and Washington DC, a US Senate bill that passed yesterday could be a boon for its constituency. The energy bill would mandate increased use of ethanol, raising the federal "renewable fuel standard" from 7.5 billion gallons by 2012 to 36 billion gallons by 2022. WXXI NewsRoom
  • MPNnow.com: Brighton going 'green' A new task force will work to educate the community about environmental issues. The town of Brighton has announced the creation of the Green Brighton Task Force following the lead of national, state and county governments in making strides to improve the environment. Green Brighton will act as Brighton’s leading agency for environmental change after the town council unanimously approved an adoption of the Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement in May. (June 21, 07) Messenger Post Newspapers
  • Victor pollution clues come up dry — Nearly two months into a hunt for the source of toxic chemicals that have tainted groundwater in Victor, state investigators have chased down rumors, sought out potential witnesses and picked up tantalizing clues. But they haven't hit pay dirt. An explanation of how industrial solvents came to enter the groundwater decades ago — and who put them there — remains elusive. (June 22, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Lawmakers act to limit lead levels in kids' jewelry — The state Legislature passed legislation Thursday that would limit the amount of lead that could be put into children's jewelry, a long-held concern of health groups. Health advocates have rallied against some manufacturers for selling jewelry containing high levels of lead. The concern is that children often put jewelry in their mouths, leaving them at risk for health problems. (June 22, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • State: Pollution affecting more S. Tier properties - — HILLCREST — Twenty-nine more buildings will require systems to block fumes from a hazardous chemical flowing through the ground, bringing the total number of properties needing the safeguard to more than 100. The decision by state environmental and health officials to install the systems comes after the latest round of testing showed trichloroethylene, or TCE, in or under the buildings or nearby properties. (June 22, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Northwest regional household hazardous waste collection announced - Rochester – The county’s Department of Environmental Services and the towns of Clarkson, Hamlin, Ogden, Parma, Sweden and the villages of Hilton, Brockport, and Spencerport have partnered to hold an appointment-only household hazardous waste collection at the Village of Hilton Highway Garage at 50 Henry Street, on Saturday, June 23 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. (June 22, 07) New York State News on the Net!
  • Traffic concerns won't hold up landfill expansion - SENECA FALLS - Truck traffic on local roads won't hold up permits for Seneca Meadows' expansion, even though it's the major concern raised by residents of four counties. Administrative Law Judge Helene Goldberger with the state Department of Environmental Conservation has ruled that the permit process can continue.Seneca Meadows wants to expand its Salcman Road landfill, off Route 414, so it can be used until 2023; its daily intake of 6,000 tons of garbage would not increase. (June 20, 07) Finger Lakes Times Online
  • Landfill project going to court - Suit names DEC in move to block expansion of Perinton facility — PERINTON — Controversy involving an expansion proposal for the High Acres Landfill and Recycling Center has moved from the community into the courtroom. On Monday, Knauf Shaw LLP, the law firm representing the Preserve Scenic Perinton Alliance, filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court against the state Department of Environmental Conservation. (June 20, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Fish Health Regulations in Response to VHS - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Effective June 6, 2007. On June 6, 2007, fish health regulations were finalized to prevent the spread of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) and other fish diseases into the inland waters of New York. A summary of the revised emergency regulations that the Department has adopted is as follows: NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
  • Fish virus found in Skaneateles Lake - The state Department of Environmental Conservation has discovered Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia in Skaneateles Lake, the DEC announced Tuesday. Though the fish pathogen does not pose a threat to the public's health, it has resulted in thousands of rock bass and smallmouth bass washing up on shore. Skaneateles Lake is the second place that VHS-infected fish have been found in New York outside of the Great Lakes, according to a DEC press release. The virus has been confirmed in Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, Lake Erie, the Niagara River and Conesus Lake. (June 19, 07) The Citizen, Auburn NY
  • Rochester, N.Y. Water Reservoir Study The first public meeting is scheduled for: Wednesday, June 27th at 7:00 PM City Hall, Council Chambers, 3rd Floor 30 Church Street, Parking available behind City Hall off Fitzhugh Street. In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required all U.S. communities to change the way they store and treat their drinking water. The EPA regulation, called LT2, is designed to protect the country's uncovered drinking water reservoirs from contamination by either natural or man-made causes. Mayor Duffy is committed to ensuring that the City continues to provide the same world-class drinking water that is has since 1876. Hemlock and Canadice, two pristine Finger Lakes located about 30 miles south of Rochester, supply our primary source of drinking water. The water from these lakes is treated at the City's filtration plant in Hemlock, N.Y. and then conveyed to three reservoirs: at the town of Rush, at Highland Park and at Cobbs Hill Park. These uncovered reservoirs store over 240 million gallons of treated drinking water. Read flyer Public meeting  --from Welcome to the City of Rochester
  • An inconvenient truth is re-examined The risks of global warming have been well-documented. However, might there also be advantages to climate change? - GHENT — It’s not in Al Gore’s PowerPoint presentation, but there are some upsides to global warming. Northern homes could save on heating fuel. Rust Belt cities like Buffalo might stop losing snowbirds to the South. Canadian farmers could harvest bumper crops. Greenland may become awash in cod and oil riches. Shippers could count on an Arctic shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific. Forests may expand. Mongolia could see a go-go economy. So . . . surf’s up, Buffalo? (June 20, 07) Buffalo News
  • Fuel Cell 2007 Conference in Rochester, New York, Boasts Energy Alternatives - Associated Content One more reason to possibly vote a Democrat in to the White House in 2008 is that party's willingness to promote and make available fuel cell and other alternative energy sources to consumers, as opposed to current administration policy. That's according to fuel cell expert and Senior Research Analyst James Horwitz, the keynote speaker and fuel cell expert, who spoke during the Fuel Cell 2007 Conference at the Hyatt in Rochester New York from June 14 to 15. The People's Media Company - Associated Content
  • Press Advisory - State Health Commissioner Visits Cicero Swamp Wednesday to Raise Awareness About West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis New York State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., will be available to meet with press during his visit to the Cicero Swamp in Onondaga County on Wednesday morning, June 20, to raise awareness about West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Dr. Daines will be at the Cicero Swamp to bring attention to mosquito-borne disease prevention and will participate in collection of mosquitoes from surveillance sites in Cicero Swamp along Island Road in Onondaga County. This site has been monitored for several years, and is an ideal area for scientists to collect and study mosquitoes that can carry WNV and EEE viruses. In 2006, there were 23 cases of WNV, including four deaths reported in New York. Reporters should contact Department's Public Affairs Group at 518-473-1470 to confirm their attendance by 5:00 p.m., Tuesday June 19. -- New York State Department of Health
  • WSTM.com - Demand for ethanol increasing With uncertainty about future costs of gasoline interest in alternative fuels, including the ethanol blend E85, is on the rise and so are the number of stations selling it. (June 19, 07) WSTM.com - WSTM.com Home
  • WSTM.com - Oswego to Trap Coyotes After several recent sightings of coyotes, the mayor of Oswego says the city will begin trapping the animals immediately. Residents of the city's 5th and 7th wards have voiced their concerns about coyotes roaming in the southwestern part of the city. If you have any questions you can call Animal Control at 343-1803 or the mayor's office at 342-8136. (June 19, 07) WSTM.com - WSTM.com Home
  • WSTM.com - Fees rising for Rochester zoo ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - Seneca Park Zoo officials are banking on an expansion of more than $10 million to draw bigger crowds. But experience has shown that while new zoo exhibits do initially attract more people, sustaining an increase in attendance can be difficult. Keeping costs down can be even harder. (June 17, 07) WSTM.com - WSTM.com Home
  • REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL RELEASED - For Old Stutson Street Fire House The City's Dept. of Economic Development is accepting proposals for the re-development of the former Stutson Fire House at 56 Stutson St. in Charlotte. With $40 million in new investment envisioned for the Port of Rochester, unprecedented opportunities exist for waterfront development by the private sector. To be consistent with the Local Waterfront Development Plan (LWRP) the City will consider renovations that maximize the economic, environmental and recreational benefits for the community at large. -- from Welcome to the City of Rochester
  • MPNnow.com: Wetlands trail opens for student use The area took four years to research and redevelop. (June 15, 07)  Messenger Post Newspapers
  • Redevelopment of contaminated industrial sites could :: ENN Redevelopment of contaminated industrial sites could help solve two problems in Western New York by spurring development of jobs in Buffalo and stopping growth from stretching deeper into suburban and rural areas. But without two key reforms, business leaders have basically offered two words for brownfields across New York State: "not interested." (May 25, 07) Environmental News Network
  • bird :: The populations of 20 common American :: ENN - WASHINGTON -- The populations of 20 common American birds -- from the fence-sitting meadowlark to the whippoorwill with its haunting call -- are half what they were 40 years ago, according to an analysis released Thursday. Suburban sprawl, climate change and other invasive species are largely to blame, said the study's author Greg Butcher of the National Audubon Society. (June 15, 07)  Environmental News Network
  • Monroe County plans second home computer recycling - Rochester – Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks Friday announced that the county will hold its second of three recycling computer recycling events this year in partnership with Metro Wastepaper, Inc. and its subcontractor Sunnking, Inc. (June 18, 07) New York State News on the Net!
  • West Nile Virus plan announced - Albany – The Albany County Health Department plans to implement a strategic and targeting approach to larvicide application in 2007 that is directly based on West Nile Virus surveillance findings. (June 18, 07) New York State News on the Net!
  • bee :: Scientists investigating a mysterious ailment :: ENN LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Scientists investigating a mysterious ailment that killed many of the nation's honeybees are concentrating on pesticides and a new pathogen as possible culprits, and some beekeepers are already trying to keep their colonies away from pesticide-exposed fields. After months of study, researchers are finding it difficult to tie the die-off to any single factor, said Maryann Frazier, a senior extension associate in Penn State University's entomology department. (June 15, 07) Environmental News Network
  • Monroe faulted in lead testing - State audit says children after age 6 not properly screened — Children in Monroe County are among more than 100,000 statewide who are not properly screened for lead poisoning, according to an audit released Thursday by the state Health Department's Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. While critical of state efforts to curb lead hazards, the comptroller's report also highlighted shortcomings in Monroe County, which it said was the only one of the five counties reviewed that stops providing services and case management to children when they reach 6 years of age. (June 16, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • MPNnow.com: Monroe County could require new projects to be 'green' An initiative intended to save money and protect the environment will go before the legislature in August. ROCHESTER – Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks announced today an initiative she is rolling out to make future public buildings more energy- and cost-efficient. Under her plan, all construction projects more than 5,000 square-feet for county facilities would use "green" building design practices in accordance with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. The LEED system is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings. (June 14, 07)  Messenger Post Newspapers
  • Brooks Opens Landmark Waste-to-Watts Power Plant at the Mill Seat Landfill - Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks was joined by Waste Management District Manager Jeff Richardson as well as local officials to officially open Monroe County’s first-ever public/private partnership gas-to-electric plant at the Mill Seat Landfill in the Town of Riga. The new power plant will produce 4.8 megawatts of power, and turns waste into watts through the utilization of methane gas generated from the Mill Seat Landfill. “The opening of the Mill Seat power plant is another step forward in my administration’s efforts to reduce our community’s dependence on foreign energy resources, and protect the air we breathe, and the water we drink,” said County Executive Brooks. “By turning waste into watts at Mill Seat, we have again tapped our community’s great spirit of innovation to protect our environment, and promote a more sustainable community.” MyMonroe. Opening Up Government. | Monroe County, NY
  • Brooks Unveils New Green Building Initiative - Continuing her leadership in protecting the environment, growing our economy and employing our community’s spirit of innovation, Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks announced a bold new Green Building initiative to move our community toward a more sustainable future. Under her newest green energy initiative, the County Executive has directed that construction projects for County facilities use green building design practices in accordance with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. With this new County policy, green building design practices will be used to the greatest extent practicable for Monroe County new building construction and building renovation projects of more than 5,000 square feet. MyMonroe. Opening Up Government. | Monroe County, NY
  • Monroe buildings go green - County construction to use environmentally friendly designs — Monroe County will be looking to make its buildings more environmentally friendly and will begin offering tax incentives to companies that also develop green buildings. Thursday's announcement is the latest in a series of environmental initiatives County Executive Maggie Brooks has rolled out in recent months. On Monday, for instance, she opened a renewable energy facility at the Mill Seat landfill in Riga. (June 15, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • National Audubon Society - Birds in Decline Audubon's unprecedented analysis of forty years of citizen-science bird population data from our own Christmas Bird Count plus the Breeding Bird Survey reveals the alarming decline of many of our most common and beloved birds. Since 1967 the average population of the common birds in steepest decline has fallen by 68 percent; some individual species nose-dived as much as 80 percent. All 20 birds on the national Common Birds in Decline list lost at least half their populations in just four decades. (June 15, 07) National Audubon Society
  • Disappearing common birds send environmental wake-up call, Audubon Society says - Ithaca -- Population declines for some of the most recognized and beloved birds in New York echo the findings of a new analysis by the National Audubon Society that shows how local and national threats are combining to take a toll on birds, habitat and the environment across the country. (June 15, 07) New York State News on the Net!
  • Monroe County Executive Pushing "Building Green"  - ROCHESTER, NY This week has already seen the unveiling new energy efficient RTS buses and the starting of a power plant that turns landfill gas to electricity. Now County Executive Maggie Brooks announced a new "green building initiative" to push environmentally sound building developments. (2007-06-14) WXXI NewsRoom
  • Dave Henderson: Fish disease regulations for New York finalized - The restrictions on bait fish, designed to prevent the spread of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia in New York waters, have been in effect since last winter. After considerable public comment, the regulations were altered and reconfigured several times, but the last word — in the form of a final draft — was adopted last Wednesday. (June 14, 07) http://www.theithacajournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/frontpage
  • RGRTA unveils "clean & green" bus — The Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority today unveiled the company’s first hybrid electric bus in the Regional Transit Service fleet. The first of 19 new hybrid buses will hit the road next week, said RGRTA Chief Executive Officer Mark Aesch. (June 13, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • New Farmers’ Market Opening Downtown - 13WHAM.com A new farmers' market is opening in the South Wedge of Rochester. Vendors must produce what they sell from within a 100-miles radius. The market will be open Thursday evenings from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. starting June 14 and running through October. (June 13, 07) http://www.13wham.com/
  • WSTM.com - Federal Government Holds Power Line Meeting in Rochester The Department of Energy listened to concerns over a proposed energy corridor, but not many people affected by a high voltage power line project were able to go to the meeting. The DoE held the public meeting in Rochester today, more than 100 miles away from Oneida County. As part of the energy corridor, New York Regional Interconnect wants to build a power line from Marcy, just north of Utica, through Oneida, Madison, and Chenango Counties, downstate to Orange County. It would deliver electricity to New York City. The Energy Department is also taking public comment via e mail. You can access the comment form at :http://nietc.anl.gov/involve/comments/index.cfm (June 12, 07) WSTM.com - WSTM.com Home
  • ROCHESTER SELECTED TO RECEIVE BROWNFIELD GRANTS FROM U.S. EPA Mayor Robert J. Duffy announced today that the City has been selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to receive two new grants totaling $400,000 for brownfield assessment and cleanup. Brownfields are properties that are more difficult to redevelop or reuse due to actual or perceived environmental contamination. (June 13, 07) Welcome to the City of Rochester
  • EPA Awards Environmental Justice Grant to Community Group in Rochester, NY - - ( Rochester, N.Y. ) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) has awarded the Southwest Area Neighborhood Association ( SWAN ) in Rochester, N.Y. a $100,000 grant to help reduce the exposure of community residents to household hazards such as lead, carbon monoxide and asthma triggers. The EPA grant was given through a Collaborative Problem Solving ( CPS ) Cooperative Agreements program, and presented to SWAN last week at a workshop in Washington D.C.  (Media-Newswire.com)
  • Brooks Opens Landmark Waste-to-Watts Power Plant at the Mill Seat Landfill - Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks was joined by Waste Management District Manager Jeff Richardson as well as local officials to officially open Monroe County’s first-ever public/private partnership gas-to-electric plant at the Mill Seat Landfill in the Town of Riga. The new power plant will produce 4.8 megawatts of power, and turns waste into watts through the utilization of methane gas generated from the Mill Seat Landfill. “The opening of the Mill Seat power plant is another step forward in my administration’s efforts to reduce our community’s dependence on foreign energy resources, and protect the air we breathe, and the water we drink,” said County Executive Brooks. “By turning waste into watts at Mill Seat, we have again tapped our community’s great spirit of innovation to protect our environment, and promote a more sustainable community.” (June 12, 07)  MyMonroe. Opening Up Government. | Monroe County, NY
  • Waste to Watts - RIGA, NY (2007-06-11) Officials flipped the switch Monday to launch Monroe County's first-ever methane gas-to-electric plant at the Mill Seat Landfill. Methane gas produced by decomposing trash inside the landfill is piped into a compression facility where it's processed and then used to power generators. (June 12, 07)  WXXI NewsRoom
  • Victor to provide aid to homes affected by plume — VICTOR — The Victor Town Board Monday night approved two measures that will help homeowners near contaminated groundwater in a pocket of western Victor. One measure will reduce costs for residents to hook up with public water, while the other will cover the cost of ventilation systems until state money is received. (June 12, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Bottle deposit bill may be overlooked — ALBANY — With just a few days remaining in this year's legislative session, advocates are pushing a measure that would expand the state's nickel-deposit recycling program. But members of the retail and beverage industries have been working just as hard to persuade lawmakers to reject the proposal. On Monday, advocates rallied at the Capitol to urge lawmakers to pass the bill before they go home for the summer on June 21. They displayed a 20-foot-tall inflated "bottle" with a message, "New York needs a bigger, better bottle bill." (June 12, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • County hits switch on landfill-powered plant — With the flick of a switch, Monroe County officials on Monday opened a power plant at the Mill Seat landfill in Riga and hailed their project as a way to turn landfill gas into green energy. The $9.7 million project, bankrolled by the New York Power Authority, this week will begin cranking out electricity and sending it out on the state's power grid. The electricity then would be sold to customers across the state. (June 12, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Invasive species threaten Great Lakes: report The Great Lakes are home to more than 300 invasive or non-native species, and many threaten the health of the aquatic ecosystem, a new report says. Many of these plants and animals are destructive and parasitic, according to the report issued Monday by Environment Canada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (June 12, 07) CBC.CA - Canada's News, Money, Sports, Health, Technology & Science, Consumer Life, Arts, and Kids Information Source
  • MPNnow.com: Water concerns swirl in Richmond Some 50 people attended a meeting this week to learn what officials are doing about a polluted town well. (June 10, 07) Messenger Post Newspapers
  • MPNnow.com: The toxic peril that ate my house’s value! New publicity over decades-old groundwater contamination is scaring away home buyers from property not only in the affected neighborhood but across Victor. (June 10, 07) Messenger Post Newspapers
  • Democrat & Chronicle: Derelict dump sparks inquiry -State DEC zeroes in on Ganondagan site, which is near Victor's toxic plume. For decades, rows of half-buried barrels, abandoned construction equipment, rusted-out storage tanks and building debris lay on a steep, wooded hillside in Victor. The 1-acre dump is the sort of place that New York's Department of Environmental Conservation might be expected to target for cleanup. But in this case, the DEC never discovered the dump on its own and the property's owner never felt a need to alert the environmental agency. June 10, 2007 Democrat & Chronicle
  • Revised Emergency Regulations Adopted to Prevent Spread of VHS - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced the adoption of new emergency regulations to prevent the spread of viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) to additional waters in the state. The new emergency regulations, which took effect on March 9, 2007 replace previously enacted emergency regulations and reflect changes incorporated as a result of public comments. The changes affect limits to possession, sale, transfer, taking and release of certain baitfish and other live fish in New York waters. VHS is a fish pathogen and poses no threat to public health. NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
  • Fish Virus Threatens Local Waters - Experts say the fishing could get a lot slower on New York waterways if they can't stop the spread of a deadly fish virus. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation traced fish deaths on Cranberry Pond this spring to Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia, or VHS. The disease was also confirmed in dead fish found on Conesus Lake last fall. (June 6, 07) R News: As It Happens, Where It Happens
  • City water keeps flowing as well cleanup proceeds — About 2,000 Ontario County residents who used wells shut down last month after a banned contaminant was detected will continue to use the city of Rochester's water supply while the cleanup continues. Residents in the town of Richmond had been using the wells and now get water from Hemlock Lake. The wells were shut down on May 8 after water samples collected by the state Health Department detected methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) in Honeoye District No. 2 Well, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. (June 8, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • DEC to use more stringent measurement for air quality standards - Albany -- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis and Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Richard Daines, Friday announced that New York would be incorporating a new, more stringent air quality measurement in forecasting air quality health advisories. The revision incorporates a reduction enacted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in fine particulate matter exposure to protect public health and the environment. (June 09/07) New York State News on the Net!
  • toledoblade.com -- Great Lakes restoration effort receives mixed review CHICAGO - Efforts to restore the Great Lakes got mixed reviews in a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report released here yesterday. The agency said in its biennial Great Lakes Highlights Report that there is less air pollution and a decline in the lakes' overall abundance of toxins. But smog remains a public health issue in several metropolitan areas, the agency said, and medical waste and harsh chemicals from fire retardants and personal health-care products are being detected more often. (June 8, 07) http://toledoblade.com/home
  • DEC Launches Statewide "25 Days for 25 Years" Bottle Drive to Celebrate 25th Anniversary of the Bottle Bill - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation School-Based Campaign Will Focus on the Need to Recycle All Bottles New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis today announced the kick-off of the "25 days for 25 years" school bottle drive to mark the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Bottle Bill. During the campaign, DEC will partner with nearly 20 host schools across the state to celebrate the remarkable success of the Bottle Bill and focus students on the importance of recycling in creating a cleaner environment. --NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
  • Windmill power spins into reality Where steel smokestacks once billowed, giant blades harness electricity, signal a future full of potential - The eight towering windmills that make up the Steel Winds wind farm at the old Bethlehem Steel plant site in Lackawanna are up and running. Nine months after developers broke ground on the unprecedented wind energy project, the giant blades can now be seen spinning in the strong, steady gusts off Lake Erie — and they are not only generating electricity. They’re creating a buzz. (June 7, 07) Buffalo News -- Home
  • www.ny.gov - BROWNFIELDS BILL KEY TO ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION Goal is to Focus Tax Dollars on Brownfields Clean-up  - Governor Eliot Spitzer today proposed legislation that would restructure and improve the state’s brownfields program. If adopted by the State Legislature, it would redirect state tax dollars to provide real incentives for cleanups of brownfields development sites in order to create “shovel ready” land across the state for development purposes. (June 5, 07) www.ny.gov/governor
  • Brownfields bill key to economic revitalization, says governor - Albany -- Governor Eliot Spitzer has proposed legislation that would restructure and improve the state’s brownfields program. If adopted by the State Legislature, it would redirect state tax dollars to provide real incentives for cleanups of brownfields development sites in order to create “shovel ready” land across the state for development purposes. (June 06, 07) New York State News on the Net!
  • MPNnow.com: Digging in Richmond State officials have been working almost daily to determine the extent of pollution that has tainted one of the town's wells. RICHMOND — State officials will give residents an update Wednesday on their investigation of a Richmond town well polluted with a gasoline additive. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Honeoye Central School, 8528 Route 20A. (June 5, 07) Messenger Post Newspapers
  • Rochester City Newspaper - FOOD: You can get home-grown in the South Wedge Reducing the number of miles that food travels from farm to table can help both the environment and the economy. The new South Wedge Farmers Market - opening Thursday, June 14, in the parking lot behind Boulder Coffee - uses that as its guiding principle, and will focus on bringing strictly locally grown food to the city. (June 06, 07) Rochester City Newspaper
  • EPA Awards $1 Million for Environmental Justice Projects | Newsroom | US EPA The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $1 million in grants across the country for improving the environment in low-income communities. In a ceremony held in Washington, D.C., today, EPA awarded $100,000 grants to 10 community-based organizations for projects aimed at addressing environmental and public health issues as childhood asthma, farm worker pesticide protection, fish consumption, indoor air quality, drinking water contamination, and lead poisoning prevention. "From Rochester, New York to Oakland, California, engaged communities across the country are seizing the opportunity to clean up their own backyard," said Granta Nakayama, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. He continued to say, "These grants provide necessary resources for local communities to take an active role in our nation's environmental solutions." (Washington, D.C. - June 5, 2007) http://www.epa.gov/
  • Democrat & Chronicle: Farmland protection hits a wall- Differing state, federal rules squelch farmer interest in  ONTARIO — Almost $5 million in state money and $2 million in matching federal funds have been spent over 10 years on development rights for about 3,400 acres of Wayne County farmland. But since early 2006, state officials have not allowed the use of federal grants as matching funds, seriously threatening the viability of local and statewide farmland protection efforts. In 2005, when federal Farm and Ranchland (June 5, 07) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Rochester, NY to host ‘Fuel Cell 2007’ Conference this June. --from FuelCellWorks.com
  • WNY commuters begin to consider car pooling and mass transit - Working late, stopping for milk, being a kid taxi — life’s daily demands make it hard to share rides, either on mass transit or in a car pool. And Buffalo’s relatively unclogged roads make driving attractive. But now, gasoline prices above $3 a gallon have convinced a growing number of commuters to switch off the ignition — accomplishing something that good environmental intentions couldn’t. (June 05, 07) The Buffalo News
  • State targets invasive insects If you're wondering why you should concern yourself with non-native plants and insects invading your habitat, consider that a Japanese fungus brought into the country on an exotic imported plant ended up killing an estimated 4 billion American chestnut trees in the early 20th century. (June 1, 07) THE JOURNAL NEWS: LOHUD.COM
  • Bald eagles are back in our skies - Returning from the brink of extinction In the 1970s, bird experts were resigned to the harsh reality that America's national symbol would soon be extinct in New York. Two pairs of bald eagles still nested in the state with no young birds hatching. That's because their eggs collapsed during incubation. The eggshells had thinned from dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane, or DDT, one of the first modern pesticides that affected the food chain. (June 4, 07) Democrat & Chronicle
  • MPNnow.com: Four more Victor homes added to cleanup list Of 40 homes tested in the contaminated area, four qualify for air cleanup systems. VICTOR — Four more homes have qualified for cleanup systems following the latest round of air quality testing in the mile-long ground water contamination site. (June 1, 07) Messenger Post Newspapers
  • Scientists see trouble ahead for big lakes - mlive.com STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The Great Lakes have made a dramatic recovery since the 1950s but face new, vexing problems that are fundamentally changing the world's largest source of fresh surface water. That was the message delivered Monday by longtime researchers meeting at Penn State University for the International Association for Great Lakes Research Conference. (May 31, 07) http://www.mlive.com/
  • Home lead test kits may not be precise ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 1 The quick, inexpensive home lead-testing kits used to detect lead-laced dust are prone to high error rates, found a U.S. study. First author Katrina Korfmacher, an expert on lead poisoning at the University of Rochester Medical Center, found that 64 percent of the locations that LeadCheck Swabs indicated were safe actually had hazardous concentrations of lead in dust, according to federal standards. (June 1, 07) The Earth Times Online Newspaper, Serving the Planet
  • uticaOD.com - The Observer-Dispatch - Energy hearing set for June 12 in Rochester ROCHESTER — The U.S. Department of Energy has set a hearing about a proposed federal energy corridor for June 12. The hearing will take place from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Rochester Institute of Technology Inn and Conference Center. The proposed plan could make it easier for New York Regional Interconnect to build a 1,200-megawatt power line from Marcy to Orange County. (June 2, 07) uticaOD.com - The Observer-Dispatch

 

 WHAT'S NEW?  Each day RochesterEnvironment.com scours the Internet for all environmental articles, events, actions and issues pertaining to Rochester, New York.

 Updates in RochesterEnvironment.com for June 2007:

  • 7/01/07 -  Welcome to a new Rochester-area Environmentalists: Friends of Irondequoit Bay is a non-profit, member based environmental organization whose mission is to help preserve and protect the delicate ecological integrity of Irondequoit Bay wetlands through preservation, education and advocacy .
  • 6/21/07 - A new threat to our lakes is underway by Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS)Check out all news links on this issue in the past: VHS News Links Get the official info & guidelines: Fish Health Regulations in Response to VHS - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Effective June 6, 2007. On June 6, 2007, fish health regulations were finalized to prevent the spread of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) and other fish diseases into the inland waters of New York. A summary of the revised emergency regulations that the Department has adopted is as follows: NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
  • 6/19/07 - Kodak Falcons. Find out all you can and see all photos for the famous Kodak Falcons: falconstars "for fans of the Kodak falcons"
  • 6/17/07 - **ESSAYS** - A Rational Approach to Climate Change monitoring -You cannot even attempt to solve Climate Change due to man-made greed house gases if you don’t even know who is emitting green house gases and who is not.
  • 6/17/07 -- National Public Radio (NPR) & National Geographic has a great radio series on the environment. I encourage you to make a commitment to listen often to the collaboration with NPR and National Geographic on: NPR : Climate Connections
  • 6/0/07 -- Our media can do their job. This up and coming environmental story by the Democrat & Chronicle promises to do what our local media should be doing—responsible, professional environmental reporting on potential environmental issues.  Coming Sunday: Industrial debris on public land - A Democrat and Chronicle special investigation — A heap of rusting barrels and other industrial debris litter a wooded slope in Victor. This unsightly dump is within easy view of a public trail on land owned by the government for 25 years, yet officials did nothing to clean it up until recently. (June 7, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • 06/06/07 - **ESSAYS** Local Media Doing their Job on Our Environment? Coming up with a policy or an evaluation on the state of one's environment is impossible without data.  
  • 6/03/07 - How is your beach? Besides the environmental implications of a polluted beach, anyone swimming at a public beach should be aware of possible health problems. Here’s the question: Are our public beaches safe? According to this article, they not be so. EPA lacking updated study on nation's beaches, GAO finds Area beaches part of monitoring program "A federal program intended to maintain the health of the nation's beaches, and the people who use them, has fallen short on several fronts, according to a report released Thursday by the Government Accountability Office." --from The Daily Press - Ashland, WI  Also, check out the EPA’s beach site and find out more. Beach Monitoring & Notification | US EPA  From this site check out the EPA's reports on Monroe County's beaches: Environmental Protection Agency
  • 6/01/07 - The deadly (to many game fish) disease viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus VHSV continues to raise concerns about fish life, the billion-dollar fishing industry, and the bait businesses. The sudden outbreak of this fish disease last year in our area has, over the winter, alerted many communities around the Great Lakes about the need to control this invasive disease and invasive species altogether. Check out all news links on this issue in the past: VHS News Links  One may ask, “If I’m not a fisherman, why should I care about this fish disease?” It’s because VHSV quickly kills (within about six days of contact) 23 species of fish in the Great Lakes that could dramatically alter the ecology of these lakes and seriously disrupt the 4 billion-dollar tourist/fishing industry. Getting this story out to the public could help make sure that sufficient studies are funded to learn about the potentially devastating consequences of this fish disease. For a clear and concise description of this disease check out an interview with James Casey, Associate Professor of Virology, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine on NPR’s “Science Friday” at May 25, 2007, Hour Two: Shark Birth / Fish Virus / Predicting Music Hits

Find all Environmental Calendar items here

Events of the month:  Each Month I will post all up and coming environmental events until they are over.  Be sure to check the list often as events come and go and I only post this newsletter once a month. 

Events for July 2007 and beyond:    

When

What

Where

Tues., 6:15-8 pm, May 29 - The series will continue every Tuesday through Aug. 28. "PREFERRED CARE TUESDAY NATURE NIGHTS" START MAY 29 Mayor Robert J. Duffy announces the start of "Preferred Care Tuesday Nature Nights," an outdoor series focusing on the beauty of Rochester's natural surroundings, with a Tues., 6:15-8 pm, May 29 Guided Bike Ride through the High Falls neighborhood. No pre-registration is required. The series will continue every Tuesday through Aug. 28. Interested bikers are asked to meet at the Pont de Rennes Bridge, behind the Centers at High Falls, off State St. The guided tour will go along the Genesee Riverway Trail and by road into the community, through downtown Rochester, Genesee Valley Park and include a tour of the Susan B. Anthony home. Interested bikers are asked to meet at the Pont de Rennes Bridge, behind the Centers at High Falls, off State St.
Wind Events Many Dates and locations Wind Power Events and Events Around NYS. --from New York Wind Power Education Project. "To: NYS community, civic, and community organizations — There are many opportunities to learn about and discuss wind power in the next several weeks. Please consider attending these events and publicizing them to your membership. Also: The various regional planning councils in New York State have launched a program to help municipalities address wind power development. This effort, coordinated by the Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council, is described at: http://www.gflrpc.org/AboutTheCouncil/Newsletter/fall06.pdf -- About The NY Wind Power Education Project The NY Wind Power Education Project is a collaborative effort of the Pace Law School Energy Project, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, and NYPIRG to increase the public's understanding of wind power issues, including its environmental benefits, in the belief that a better informed public can participate more meaningfully in the environmental review process and other public discussions surrounding proposed wind facilities. Twice per month, the NY Wind Power Education Project will distribute this email bulletin on wind energy issues and events around New York State. If you would like to forward announcements for possible inclusion in the WPEP Bulletins, simply email Anne Reynolds, areynolds@law.pace.edu . (The same address should be used if you wish to be added or removed from the list.)  
Contest runs June 1 through Aug. 20.  Great Lakes Story and Photo Contest - Over $7,500 in Prizes -This summer, people of all ages can submit their stories and photos for the opportunity to win prizes in the Great Lakes Story and Photo Contest. Contest runs June 1 through Aug. 20.  -from Healthy Lakes, Healthy Lives Healthy Lakes, Healthy Lives
   
  The latest Parks, Recreation and Human Services Calendar Update is available on the City of Rochester's web site. Click on the link below (or copy and paste the link into your browser) to view the document. http://www.cityofrochester.gov/prhs/updates/30JUNE06update.pdf  
Every Saturday from now through May 12, plus June 16. Discover spring with a Saturday outing to the “Iroquois Observations” nature programs presented by the Buffalo Audubon Society at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. Every Saturday from now through May 12, plus June 16. All programs are free and open to the public.April 2007 Outdoor Newsletter  --from Hike, Bike, Cross Country Ski, Snowshoe and Birding Trail Guide Books  
every Saturday Current Events with the Land Trust - Land Trust. Nature walks, cruises, birdwatching, luncheons and more go on throughout the year in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region. --from Finger Lakes Land Trust  Get the Summer Talks & Treks 2006 Schedule: (requires .pdf)  
  ASES National Solar Tour The American Solar Energy Society's National Solar Tour opens thousands of homes and buildings throughout the country to provide the public with an opportunity to experience solar power, solar heating, cooling, and hot-water, wind power, daylighting, and green building technologies. Visit a tour and learn energy efficiency strategies and methods, speak with homeowners and experts, and learn how the technology works, what it costs, and why it makes sense. These are “Real Places for Real People” that show real solutions for energy independence, places contributing to a sustainable energy economy. Read more about the tour and ASES. >>> Find a Tour Near You  - 2006 Tour Information 2006 tour information is posted by state. Updates may be provided until the tour date. ASES National Solar Tour Find a Tour Near You  - 2006 Tour Information 2006 tour information is posted by state. Updates may be provided until the tour date. ASES National Solar Tour
   
7 p.m. Wednesday, July 11 MPNnow.com: Irondequoit hosting community forum on coyotes The number of local sightings has been increasing, town officials say, and education is needed. The July 11 forum will also include a discussion of coyote behavior and habits, common nuisance situations, guidelines to prevent coyotes from hanging around a property, and guidelines for confronting coyotes. The forum is free and open to the public. It will be recorded for future broadcast on Irondequoit Cable Access Television, cable channels 12 and 15. (June 27, 07) MPNnow.com: Rochester and Western Finger Lakes News, Entertainment, Sports, Opinions, Photos and More  at Town Hall, 1280 Titus Ave.
June 23rd 10am WEED WALK  (Click on flyer to enlarge) June 23rd 10am - Horizon Hill Conservation Area of the Perinton Crescent Trail. Parking area next to Harris Beach offices at 99 Garnsey Road. 10 am meet at parking lot (see map at www.perinton.org/southwest.cfm <http://www.perinton.org/southwest.cfm> ). Learn to recognize six of the most significant invasive plant species affecting Monroe County on a walk of Horizon Hill. Experts will participate to answer questions. For a pocket guide on invasive plants of Monroe County, visit Cornell Cooperative Extension. Ask for the “Garden Villains” brochure. For any questions about the Weed Walk, contact Christine Sevilla at 585-685-6085. Horizon Hill Conservation Area of the Perinton Crescent Trail. Parking area next to Harris Beach offices at 99 Garnsey Road. 10 am meet at parking lot (see map at www.perinton.org/southwest.cfm
All summer  CUMMING NATURE CENTER: 6472 Gulick Road, Naples, NY 14512 (585)374-6160 www.rmsc.org - The Nature Center is open on weekends only with six miles of gentle hiking trails and a Visitors Center with restrooms, drinks, and snacks. Admission to Cumming Nature Center is free for RMSC members. A donation of $3/person or $10/family is suggested for non-members. COMING THIS SUMMER! Summer Camps at Cumming Nature Center for ages 6–11 - Outdoor Adventures: July 16–20 - Wilderness Survival: July 23–27 See full descriptions and registration information at www.rmsc.org , or call (585)697-1942 for a brochure. Get a "Sneak Peek" of camp activities at the Nature Center on Saturday, April 21 from 11am to 3pm.  
Second Monday of every month at 7 PM From Green Party of Monroe County, New York --  Check out their blog: Green Pages Newspaper    This Monday is the Green Party of Monroe County's Monthly Meeting. Our speaker this month is Elizabeth Henderson of Peaceworks Farms and Genesee Valley Organic Community Supported Agriculture (GVOCSA). Elizabeth will be talking about organic agriculture at the family level. Mothers & Fathers can learn how to help their children as well as themselves go organic. Also in attendance at this month's shindig will be Rachel Treichler, who has just been elected as the Western NY representative to the NYS Green Party Executive Committee. Come and give her feedback on the Greens at a state level. As if that weren't enough, we'll be voting on a platform plank, planning for upcoming events, elections and more. As always the meeting starts at 7pm at 179 Atlantic Avenue. It's handicap accessible and the meeting is free and open to the public so bring your friends! 179 Atlantic Avenue.
 

**Action**  (The Internet makes environmental action easier.) Check out these items and help out http://rochesterenvironment.com/action_rochester.htm   RochesterEnvironment.com has made it easy to act on environmental issue by searching for all online environmental actions pertaining to our area.

Actions you can take for July2007:

  • **ACTION**  Short notice on irradiated food labeling: Tell the Food and Drug Administration what you think of Irradiated food labeling. Remember, this item is not about the science and safety of irradiating food, it is about whether or not you should know if you are eating food that is irradiated. You only have until July 3rd. The whole issue is summarized by Living On Earth and links for you to submit your comment. This issue about how your food is labeled is critical. “…proposed labeling changes for irradiated food during a public comment period that ends on July 3.” --from Living on Earth: The Right to Know: Irradiated Food Labels (look on the bottom of the page for links on how to comment online.
  • **ACTION** Take Action: Take the pledge - Don't transport firewood! You probably already know that to protect the beauty of these special places you should remove your trash and put out your campfire before you head home. But did you know that you also should not transport firewood? --from Union of Concerned Scientists

Rochester-area Website of the Month:  The Rochester area has over 80 environmental groups. Rochester Environmentalists http://rochesterenvironment.com/environmentalists.htm  Each Month, I highlight a Rochester-area website that helps promotes finding environmental information on the web.

  • Rochester-area Environmental Site of the Month:  Here’s a great new site by a community that has gathered together to observe and protect an area in their own backyard.  This kind of site shows how the Internet shines and empowers people to take charge of their own environment. Environmentalists: Friends of Irondequoit Bay “is a non-profit, member based environmental organization whose mission is to help preserve and protect the delicate ecological integrity of Irondequoit Bay wetlands through preservation, education and advocacy.”

 

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