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Toxics Targeting in the News

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.

Ithaca's South Hill buoyed on TCE issue



Ithaca -- Ithaca activists say the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's announcement of a new health assessment for trichloroethylene labeling it as a known carcinogen is a moral victory but not all that useful in efforts to clean up the South Hill neighborhood.

Trichloroethylene, or TCE, was used by the Morse Chain factory, which occupied the facility now known as the former Emerson Power Transmission plant. Use of the chemical ended in the late 1970s, but it remains at the site and downhill from it, in the soil and rock beneath the South Hill neighborhood.

Bronx New School closed because of years-old toxic chemicals that made students sick

The air at a North Bronx school may have been contaminated by dangerous chemicals for as long as 20 years.

Officials closed the Bronx New School at 3200 Jerome Ave. after repeated air monitoring tests since January revealed unsafe levels of several toxic chemicals, especially trichloroethylene (TCE), which is a possible carcinogen.

DEC Says Oil in Creek May Be From Cornell

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is currently investigating oil found in Fall Creek, which likely originated at Cornell’s Arts and Sciences Alumni Building on 726 University Avenue.

DEC officials have told multiple media outlets that although the cause and source of contamination remains uncertain, the creek is safe.

Town of Ithaca to notify residents of chemicals in water tank

Drinking water stored in a tank in Ithaca was reported to contain volatile organic chemicals resulting from repainting as recently as Feb. 18, but the tank is still in service, and the agency that runs the water system is telling customers there is no reason for alarm.

Document details Cornell waste spill

Wastewater from the animal carcass digester at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine overflowed for at least 14 hours last Friday night into Saturday afternoon before the spill was discovered.

A Dec. 12 letter obtained by The Journal from a Cornell engineer to the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility detailed a series of errors that resulted in the spill into sanitary and storm sewers. On Feb. 19, another series of errors at the facility also dumped treated vet waste into Ithaca sewers.

Hang: Digester & Hydrofracking

**Click Here to Listen to Podcast**

Walter Hang, president of Toxics Targeting, discusses two major issues locally: Cornell's discharge from the animal digester, and Governor Paterson's executive order on hydrofracking.

Cornell carcass digester spills wastewater into city waters

ITHACA, N.Y. -- An equipment malfunction at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine causes thousands of gallons of animal carcass wastewater to be dumped into Ithaca's Wastewater Treatment Facility and storm drains that run into Fall Creek and Beebe Lake.

A statement by Kyu-Jung Whang, Cornell University's vice president for facility services, described the spill that happened late Friday night.

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.

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