Action - Rochester, NY area Environment 

RochesterEnvironment.com

Take Action for your area's environment.  These actions come for non-profit and governmental (many in the form of public input forums) on issues that will affect our particular environment.

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Page Contents: Actions with Specific Due Dates | On-going actions | Contact your Representatives in Government |

 

Take Action for our Rochester area environmentOften, I receive request to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local developments, and environmental items needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world. 

This page is designed to bring all these requests under one roof so the Internet can facilitate these requests by various groups for aid. Look for the due date for each of the action items.  I try as much as possible (because there are so many environmental online actions) to limit my listings to items that will influence the Rochester, NY area

 

What did you do on the road to COP21 - United Nations Conference on Climate Change? Your grandchildren will ask.

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SEARCH: Use search engine below to find anything posted since 1998.

Top Ten Things You Can Do for Rochester’s Environment

Sure there are lots of top ten lists around.  So why not one on the things you can do for your local environment—that system that keeps us alive and thriving?  But, this list is different from the usual stuff.  It’s not one of those really easy, warm and fuzzy lists of fun activities you can do in your spare time.  It’ll be transformative.

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:     

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. Conserve energy until we find a non-polluting, renewable energy source.
  5. 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.
  6. Recycle, reuse and encourage your local government to create a place where recycling just about everything is the norm.
  7. Think twice before using toxic chemicals that make your yard look like a golf course and your house like a hospital.
  8. Consider other species (plants and animals) and their role in sustaining our environment.  Some are annoying and critical.  Some are cute and a burden.
  9. Adopt green business practices: your business will save our environment and be able to compete with the rest of the world.
  10. Communicate your concerns about the state of our environment to everyone. Sustainability isn’t going to work unless everyone gets on board quickly. 
  11. Encourage all your news sources to have an environmental section daily and help move environmental investigations and news to mainstream media.

R-Cause

Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale-gas Extraction R-CAUSE was created by Rochester citizens who treasure New York State and want its waters, land and air to remain clean and its communities to remain viable. R-CAUSE's goal is to inform as many people in the Rochester area as possible about the risks associated with high-volume, slick-water, horizontal hydraulic fracturing.

Consider completing Rochester, NY’s Climate Change Action Plan survey. This plan will affect how our local government addresses Climate Change. Your input into this process is vital. Critical to addressing Climate Change are our local community governments because they set the rules, enforce the rules, maintain our infrastructures, educate the public on issues vital to our way of life, and prepare the public for clear and present dangers. The City has been working on shoring up its own clean energy and transportation in the first phase of addressing Climate Change and now it’s moving to the second phase. Many local groups have been a part of the process to complete the second phase of the City’s Climate Action Plan where much is being planned to address the local consequences of Climate Change and engage the public on this issue. Climate Change is affecting our lives now and it will increasingly affect our children’s lives. Please take a moment and fill out this survey on the Climate Action Plan to demonstrate to the city that you want this worldwide crisis addressed here in Rochester. This is what democracy looks like. CLIMATE ACTION PLAN "We want to hear from you!  Take our community-wide Climate Action Plan survey. What is a Climate Action Plan? Climate Action Plans (CAP) are comprehensive roadmaps that outline the community-wide efforts that will be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CAPs build upon the information gathered by greenhouse gas inventories and generally focus on those activities that can achieve the relatively greatest emission reductions in the most cost-effective manner.  CAPs typically focus on quantifying existing and projected community-wide greenhouse gas emissions; establishing greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets; identifying and analyzing future greenhouse gas emissions; identifying specific measures that will achieve the emissions targets; and establishing a mechanism to monitor the plan's progress. " City of Rochester, NY

Actions with Specific Due Dates:

[Actions with specific dates are listed first, then actions due now (and without specific dates that I can determine are listed after.]

  • ACTION: December 2, 2016
    • The comment period for public comment on Rochester, NY Climate Action Plan (CAP) draft ends on Friday, December 2, 2016. Comments on the draft plan may be emailed to Anne Spaulding at anne.spaulding@cityofrochester.gov. To the best of my knowledge only two media in Rochester have given press coverage to the CAP, or the draft, or what the draft covers, why our city is producing a CAP, and why it’s important that the public weigh in. What could be more important to city residents than planning properly for the future in such a way where we and our children will survive our warmer future? This statement from Mayor Warren in the D&C really gets to the heart of the matter (and I wish the rest of Rochester’s media would wake up!) "Cities must take a leading role in confronting climate change regardless of federal policy," Warren said. "I have no doubt this is what our citizens expect of us and will allow us to lead by example on this critical issue." (from City aims to fight climate change, November 21, 2016, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle) Also, this from the City’s web site: “As the City continues to develop the CAP, please stay tuned for the release of the final CAP scheduled for early 2017.”
  • ACTION: December 6, 2016
    • Help Riverkeeper Defeat a Proposal for Increased Crude Transport & Storage on the Hudson River | This from Riverkeeper "I'd like to share this powerful 7-minute film produced by acclaimed filmmaker Jon Bowermaster and ask you for help in elevating this campaign to a national audience.   The maritime industry has requested the Coast Guard establish a significant increase in anchorage grounds on the Hudson River to facilitate an expected increase in transport and storage of crude oil on the Hudson River transloaded from oil trains at Albany and possibly other Hudson River facilities.   The Coast Guard has moved forward with considering the proposal with an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The comment period on the ANPRM ends on December 6th and we are advocating to (1) stop the proposal from moving forward to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking but if we can't succeed there, (2) require the Coast Guard to conduct a comprehensive environmental impact statement. You can learn more by watching the video or by visiting here.   Assistance from national, regional and local groups sending an e-blast and sharing on social media would give a major boost to our efforts, as this is another major proposal to facilitate the movement of Bakken and tar sands to refineries and for international export. Below I’ve included a sample comment letter your members could submit. "
  • ACTION: Due Date: Dec 30, 2016
    • You have until December 30, 2016 to make public comment on reclassification on areas in Adirondack Park. Think Climate Change. "2016 - 2017 Amendments to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan involving the Classification and Reclassification of 54,418 acres of State Lands in the Adirondack Park which include the Boreas Ponds Tract, 32 Additional Classification Proposals, 13 Reclassification Proposals, and 56 Classifications involving map corrections. Public comments will be accepted unitl December 30, 2016.  Email comments to: ClassificationComments@apa.ny.gov Mail comments to: Kathleen Regan, Deputy Route 86, Ray Brook, NY 12977" More on State Land Classification: http://www.apa.ny.gov/
  • ACTION: Due Date: Dec 31, 2016
    • Your postcard today is needed to save New York's geothermal industry!   Ask Governor Cuomo to sign the geothermal tax credit bill (Bill A9925) to keep NY's geothermal jobs from disappearing.   After December 31, 2016, the federal tax credit for geothermal heating and cooling installations will expire, and many of NY's geothermal jobs could disappear. Without a tax credit, most homeowners considering geothermal installations would not make the investment in this renewable home heating and cooling technology. Without a NY tax credit to count on after the federal credit ends, the homebuilders who up to now have been installing geothermal systems as standard building procedure would go back to installing fossil fuel systems, and layoffs in the geothermal industry are already starting. With over 30% of NY's greenhouse gas emissions coming from heating homes and buildings, we have to accelerate the transition to geothermal systems to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels and meet NY's climate goals. 
  • ACTION: Due Date: Short film submissions due by February 27th, 2017
    • From our friends over @FastForwardRoc "The Fast Forward Film Festival Call for Entries is now OPEN! "Accepting submissions from novice and veteran filmmakers who live in the Greater Rochester region NOW through February 27th, 2017! If you already have your film ready, please submit. If you haven't yet started filming, get your gear ready, and don't miss out on making the most of Rochester's beautiful summer weather!" Find out more here.
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
    •  stop the Cuomo tax.Governor Cuomo wants to increase our electric bills to bail out old, unprofitable nuclear power plants It will cost hard working New Yorkers nearly $8 billion dollars. Your money will go to plant owner Exelon, a Chicago-based Fortune 100 company with annual revenues over $34 billion. The Governor says it’s about preserving jobs and fighting climate change, but we know better. Energy efficiency and wind and solar cost less, lower your energy bills, create more jobs and give us cleaner air and healthier communities. ⇢ New Yorkers deserve better. Join us, and stop the Cuomo tax.
  • 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!
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
    • Stop Explosive Oil Trains! Find out if you are in the blast zone and sign the petition. There is a fiftyfold increase in local transport of volatile crude oil trains (which are not and cannot be properly designed to carry this dangerous oil) through our region. Check to see if you are in the blast zone, and Take action and put a stop to this! From our friends over at Mothers Out Front! Really take a moment to find out about this clean and present danger in our community and take action here.
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • "Call on Governor Cuomo and The Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to take immediate action to protect the public and the environment from the dangers of crude-by-rail." Stop the Bomb Trains "As much as 7 billion gallons of crude oil could move by train through New York State annually under current and proposed permits as the nation’s “virtual pipeline” for crude oil expands. The Department of Transportation can take immediate action to reduce the risks of derailments, which have caused catastrophic spills of crude oil elsewhere in the United States and Canada, including the tragic loss last year of 47 lives and the destruction of a business district in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. The volatility of Bakken crude oil combined with the inadequacy of the DOT-111 railcars used to transport much of this cargo has led rail workers to dub them "bomb trains." Spills of heavy crudes, such as those from Alberta, Canada, tar sands, would have particularly damaging impacts to water and the ecosystems they support – because heavy crude oils can sink, clean-up is next to impossible. " Riverkeeper
  • 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!
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
  • 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! 
    • Chance to volunteer and help largest wetland in Northeast. "Montezuma Audubon Center Seeks Volunteers   Savannah, NY - September 20 - The Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC), located at 2295 State Route 89 in Savannah, is seeking volunteers to strengthen the current staff’s ability to fulfill Audubon’s mission in conservation.  The MAC is dedicated toward providing opportunities for youth, families, and communities to connect to conservation and enhance the Montezuma Wetlands Complex as an Important Bird Area. We are looking for volunteers interested in routinely supporting day to day needs as an information desk receptionist, animal caretaker for our live reptiles and amphibians, and office supporter to help with clerical tasks. Please call Chris Lajewski at 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org for more information or to sign up today! "
  • 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

 

Rochester, NY February 2013

 

After the People’s Climate March, a Rochester manifesto The public has delivered a clear mandate on Climate Change. The People’s Climate March (PCM), which drew 400,000 concerned souls, demanded that their governmental leaders act on the most pressing crisis of our age.  However milquetoast the UN Summit in NY turns out to be (the summit the PCM tried to kick start), the march will change everything. The media, despite their intentional use of the word ‘activists’ to dismiss most of the world’s peoples as only a special interest group, will have to change too.     Never again. Never again will it be fashionable to deny or dismiss what most people know to be true: that our present way of living is causing our planet to warm up far quicker than most plants, animals and we can adapt to. Never again will our leaders be able to speak as if Climate Change is not occurring. Never again will public pressure cease to compel businesses and governments to respond to the climate crisis with actions that actually bring down greenhouse gases. Promises will be held to a strict standard of compliance—regardless of weak-kneed leaders. The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, whose “objective is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world”1 must not fail.  more...

On-going Action sites for our environment

Many local, national, and international organizations take action for our environment and make it easy for you to do so also.

League of Women Voters Rochester Metropolitan Area "The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy."

New state hotline announced for reporting polluters, poachers The public will be able to instantly report poachers and polluters using a new toll-free hotline that will help to ensure strict enforcement of environmental laws that protect the State's natural resources, state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced Thursday. The public will be able to instantly report poachers and polluters using a new toll-free hotline that will help to ensure strict enforcement of environmental laws that protect the State’s natural resources, state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced Thursday. The toll-free hotline number is 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267). The hotline will be staffed 24/7 and connect callers to a DEC police dispatcher.  (November 13, 2014) Irondequoit Post [more on Action in our area]

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Report an Environmental Violation Online "Report an Environmental Violation Online The New York State Environmental Conservation Police values the watchful eyes and ears of citizens concerned with our environment. Use this form to report suspected violations of New York State environmental conservation laws. Submitted forms are immediately forwarded 24/7/365 to DEC dispatchers. If an immediate response is needed, file your complaint by phone by calling the DEC Turn in Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) hotline at 1-800-TIPP-DEC (1-800-847-7332). Caution: never put yourself at risk to get any of the information. Gather whatever information you can without trespassing or exposing yourself to harmful materials or situations. " from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

 

Contact Your New York State (Senator) and (Assembly) Representatives--from http://newyork.sierraclub.org/legislative/

You'd be surprised how influential a letter or phone call from a constituent can be to a State Senator or State Assembly Member.

  • To find your State Senator's Contact Information: Go to http://www.senate.state.ny.us, click on "Senators", click on your Senator, click on "contact." To identify your State Senator: Go to http://www.senate.state.ny.us, click on "Senators", click on "search by zip code", enter your zip code.
  • To find your Assembly Member's Contact Information: Go to http://www.assembly.state.ny.us, scroll to your Assembly Member, click "go", click on "contact". To identify your Assembly Member: Go to http://www.assembly.state.ny.us, click to "click here to search by zipcode", enter your zipcode, and click "search".

 

Ready to ramp up your Actions to protect our life support system? Check out new Action Switchboard (@ASdotnet) ACTION SWITCHBOARD "THE ACTION SWITCHBOARD IS A PLATFORM THAT HELPS ACTIVISTS FIND EACH OTHER, COME UP WITH DIRECT ACTION IDEAS, AND GET THE RESOURCES THEY NEED TO PULL THEM OFF. Sometimes we need mass protests to make our point. We love that kind of activism, and it’s important. But we can’t all get out in the streets together every single day. Ongoing, sustained creative actions are vital for keeping movements strong in between the big moments when we take to the streets. That's exactly why we built the Action Switchboard."

 

 

Need help choosing an environmentally friendly elected official? NYLCV - New York League of Conservation Voters | Educating and Electing for the Environment - NYLCV is a non-partisan, policy making and political action organization that works to make environmental protection a top priority with elected officials, decision-makers and the voters by evaluating incumbent performance and endorsing and electing environmental leaders to office in New York State.