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Toxics Targeting in the News

Contamination Concerns: Ithaca Development

UPDATE: The City of Ithaca Zoning Board has voted to table any further development approvals until the board can review more information regarding the recent environmental concerns. The Stone Quarry Apartment complex will be back on the board's agenda next meeting, August 26th.

Update: Dramatic, heated meeting ends in tabling of controversial Ithaca development

Ithaca, N.Y — After a heated discussion with multiple twists and turns, Ithaca’s planning board tabled a proposal for a controversial housing development on Tuesday.

The meeting began with several residents near the planned housing complex speaking out against it. Many of them pointed to an Ithaca Voice story published Tuesday showing that toxic contaminants exist at the site.

Ithaca officials change story about toxic contaminants at controversial development

Ithaca, N.Y. — Yesterday, Ithaca officials said they didn’t need to give state agencies a clean-up plan for toxic pollutants found on the site of a controversial city development in 2012.

Today, that story has changed. The executive director of the Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services acknowledged Tuesday that the state is in fact requiring the city to submit a clean-up plan subject to state oversight.

Toxic pollutants found at major Ithaca development project; significance debated

Ithaca, N.Y. — Toxic pollutants were found two years ago on the site of a major housing project on Spencer Road that is now very close to receiving the go-ahead for construction, documents first released today show.

Some city officials disagree with a local environmental watchdog on the significance of the findings.

Soil tests were done by a consultant for the developers of Stone Quarry Apartments, as the project is known, in 2012.

Petitions bloom on Ithaca neighborhood developments

Two development proposal in separate city neighborhoods are generating vigorous petition drives and discussions.

$2.1M study ordered for Cayuga Lake

3-year effort linked to CU’s cooling plant aims to limit impact of phosphorous on water

ITHACA — The New York State Depart­ment of Environmental Conservation and Cornell University announced a joint effort Friday they say will limit the impact of nu­trient phosphorous in Cayuga Lake, al­though a local environmental firm ques­tions the project.

Proposal for Emerson plant spurs debate

The Emerson plant has been vacant for a year. The incoming mayor, Svante Myrick, plans to turn the plant into a residential area, which some believe is hazardous because of contamination.

Ithaca’s mayor-elect has big plans for the Emerson Power Transmission facility, with a controversial proposal to develop housing at the polluted building located off Route 96B.

The Emerson plant has been vacant for a year. The incoming mayor, Svante Myrick, plans to turn the plant into a residential area, which some believe is hazardous because of contamination.

Svante Myrick, Ithaca’s newly elected mayor, wants to develop the Emerson site into residential housing and the plant itself into a combined heat and power plant. However, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has determined that the area had been contaminated with trichloroethene, a recognized carcinogen.

Myrick said the plan isn’t necessarily his, but he sees it as an opportunity for Ithaca.

“It’s a vision that’s informed by the entire community,” Myrick said. “A lot of people have been talking about it and working on it. So it’s the plan that I will pursue, and it’s a plan that I’m excited about.”

Ithaca school district gets OK to tear down Markles Flats building

Ithaca -- It won't be long before the Markles Flats building on Court Street is torn down and replaced with basketball courts, ball fields, and a parking lot.

The Ithaca City School District recently received permission from the State Education Department to take the building down, board president Rob Ainslie said. After it is taken down, probably in the spring, the site will be cleaned up of toxic waste in the summer.