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Krisy Gashler

Court Street coal tar remediation to start Monday

It turns out that the one Plain Street neighbor with 10 inches of carcinogenic coal tar under her yard works at the Cancer Resource Center and has two sisters who've survived breast cancer.

NYSEG has recently completed an extensive environmental cleanup of coal tar on the half-block bounded by Court, Plain and Esty streets where its predecessor ran a gas plant for 75 years. But even after 10 years of testing and cleanup, more coal tar remains.

DEC addresses South Hill toxins

The difficult geology on Ithaca's South Hill makes it virtually impossible to actually remove toxic contamination from beneath neighborhoods, according to staff from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Clinton West cleanup debated

The message was loud and clear, state officials said: neighbors of Clinton West Plaza want the site cleaned to the highest residential standard -- not the restricted commercial standard currently proposed.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation hosted a meeting Wednesday night to explain and answer questions about its draft cleanup plan for Clinton West. Historic leaks of dry-cleaning fluid left a pool of contaminated groundwater at the southwest corner of the property, between Clinton West Laundry and homes along North Titus Avenue.

CU sends animal waste to city sewers

ITHACA -- An accidental release at Cornell University on Friday morning sent 4,300 gallons of digested animal carcass waste into the city's sewer system.

Cornell asserts that the treated waste was neither infectious nor hazardous, and the city's Superintendent of Public Works said he didn't expect the waste to cause problems at the municipally owned Ithaca Wastewater Treatment plant -- though Cornell does not have a permit to discharge to Ithaca's plant.

Cayuga Heights fixes sewage-discharge issues found in EPA investigation

An unannounced spot check by the federal Environmental Protection Agency found that the Village of Cayuga Heights' wastewater treatment plant was out of compliance with some regulations tied to its discharge permit -- though within acceptable limits on what the plant discharged to Cayuga Lake.

The EPA conducted the check last October, but sent the results of its inspection to the village just last week. The village provided the documents to this newspaper Wednesday in response to a Freedom Of Information Law request.

DEC commissioner: Gas spill reports misleading

The commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation has asserted that reports of accidents related to natural gas drilling in New York have been overblown and taken out of context.

In a letter to Assemblyman William Parment, D-150th, a member of the Environmental Conservation committee, DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis said that of the 270 incidents highlighted by an Ithaca researcher, more than half have nothing to do with natural gas drilling -- and they occurred while the DEC was overseeing 10,400 wells.

Drilling issue started quietly in Tompkins, then went out loud

In Ithaca and Tompkins County, the conversation about natural gas development has been dominated by those opposed to hydro-fracturing and concerned about New York State's environmental regulations.

The year started with just a relatively few activists from Shaleshock, a citizens' coalition concerned about horizontal hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale, presenting at town meetings, writing letters to the editor, and trying to draw attention to an issue that was still under many people's radar.

6,000 sign petition asking DEC to strengthen natural gas-drilling regulations

An Ithaca environmental activist and 6,000 other individuals and organizations asked the governor Tuesday to withdraw the state's newly drafted regulations on natural gas drilling, saying the state's entire regulatory framework needs to be strengthened before more drilling occurs.

Natural gas quest: Cayuga Heights won't accept drilling waste

Cayuga Heights has no plans to accept gas drilling wastewater in the foreseeable future, Mayor Jim Gilmore said Tuesday.

"Not in the near future, and based on what we know today, not even in the distant future. But I think it's a subject we'll probably have to revisit. Probably the industry will force us to," Gilmore said. "Already in the last couple months I've had private entities come to me and talk about processing drill water and I told them we're not in the business of accepting drill water at this time."

No word from state on Ithaca Gun funding

Three months after work halted at Ithaca Gun, there's still no word about when or if demolition debris piles will be removed, though the developer is still eager to move forward on redevelopment plans.

In August, the developers behind the proposal to demolish the gun factory and replace it with high-end condos announced that because of cleanup cost overruns, they didn't have the money to pay their contractors, and work stopped.


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