water quality

BUFFALO (WBFO) - It is now an international incident - and soon to be a possible criminal investigation. Canada and the Niagara County Legislature are calling for further investigation into the sewage dumped into the Niagara River over the weekend.  

Niagara Falls Blob Violated State Regulations

Aug 3, 2017
Twitter/@MaidOfTheMist

GREAT LAKES TODAY - The recent black, odorous wastewater discharge near the base of Niagara Falls violated New York regulations, a state official says. But it's unclear whether any fines will result. 

Associated Press

The Tompkins County Health Department says harmful blue-green algae has been found in Cayuga Lake. In a press release, the Department says the Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) have been "visually identified" on each side of the Southern end of the lake, and that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has confirmed the HABs. 

A project that could reduce the amount of toxins in Oswasco Lake, a primary source of drinking water for about a dozen communities in Cayuga County, is stalled.

The goal of the Owasco Flats Wetland Restoration Project is to build the floodplain around Oswasco Lake with plants and basins that can naturally filter out the toxins in the water from the surrounding tributaries. Phase one of the project was approved for $700,000 in state funding back in 2011. Its designer Bruce Natale says they've been securing permits and contractors ever since.

STEVE JOHNSON VIA FLICKR / (CREATIVE COMMONS LICENCE

A new national database released Wednesday by the Environmental Working Group shines a light on water quality across the U.S. The database allows users to search by zip code or their local water utility name– aggregating information from nearly 50,000 public water systems.

JON HURDLE/STATEIMPACT PA

Sunoco Pipeline agreed on Tuesday to pay for public water to be supplied to about 30 homes in Chester County’s West Whiteland Township where water from private wells turned cloudy after a Sunoco pipeline drilling operation for the Mariner East 2 resulted in loss of water pressure or cloudy water for some residents, a township official said. 

OSWEGO COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT / FILE PHOTO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - This spring's wet weather could make the blue-green algae problem worse later this summer.  It’s no secret that this has been a tremendously rainy spring, according to SUNY ESF biochemistry professor Greg Boyer. And that could set the stage for big algae blooms later this summer. Blooms rely on nitrogen and phosphorus that run into the lake, combined with hot and calm sunny days. 

Trout Unlimited

The upper part of the Delaware River hosts some of the world’s best trout fishing spots. The river also supports humans – about 16 million people living in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware share the river’s water. 

Ellen Abbott, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - There’s only a little more than a week left for the public to weigh in on plans to restore wildlife and recreation on Onondaga Lake. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will then put together a final plan for the lake. 

PA Proposes New Fees To Protect Water Quality

May 23, 2017
BARONBRIAN / FLICKR

(Harrisburg) -- Over the past few months, the federal Environmental Protection Agency has been warning Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection to step up its enforcement of water quality programs. Now DEP is now proposing new fees to keep up with its workload. 

Ellen Abbott, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - As the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continue asking for input into a series of restoration projects for Onondaga Lake, one group of central New Yorkers feels left out. Some southside Syracuse residents want officials to take into account a problem that’s plagued them for years -- a muddy, inaccessible Onondaga Creek.

Alex Crichton, WXXI

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Lawmakers gathered Thursday in a flooded area of a Webster tavern to announce legislation that would expedite emergency funding for counties and towns dealing with water infrastructure issues. 

Cayuga County Worries About Spread Of Hydrilla

May 8, 2017
Ellen Abbott, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Cayuga County officials want to prevent the spread an invasive species in Cayuga Lake, before it becomes impossible to contain. 

gregory monroe / Flickr

Some Pennsylvania drinking water systems have levels of contaminants that violate federal health standards, and may cause illnesses ranging from nausea and diarrhea to birth defects and cancer, according to a national report released on Tuesday. The report blames deteriorating infrastructure and lax enforcement by the federal government.

LIVINGSTON COUNTY HEALTH DEPT.

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Advocates for the environment are pleased the latest state budget contains a $2.5 billion investment in drinking water infrastructure and water quality protection. But more could be done to protect source water. 

Ellen Abbott, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - The state and federal governments want to make up for decades lost enjoying Onondaga Lake because of massive pollution. They have a plan that includes 20 restoration projects along the shore of a lake once called the most polluted in America. 

SYRACUSE (WRVO/WXXI) - Residents who live along the shoreline of Lake Ontario have been trying to stay ahead of rising water levels that are threatening their properties. 

Sandbags stacked in Sodus Point, NYCredit Veronica Volk / WXXIEdit | Remove

Dick Stewart / Flickr

Many drinking water systems in New York State are “past their useful life.” That’s how the state comptroller puts it. But they’re expensive to replace.

COURTESY HANNAH RING / CITIZENS CAMPAIGN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Local environmental activists are putting pressure on Onondaga County to change advisory signs about eating fish caught in Onondaga Lake. 

JASON SMITH / WRVO NEWS

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Residents along the southern shore of Lake Ontario are trying to protect their property from potential flooding as water levels continue to rise. Sodus town supervisor Steve LeRoy says sandbags are being made available to homeowners so they can create a breakwall to protect their property from surges that might be created by passing boat traffic or high winds.  

Hackathon Aims To Clean Lake Erie

Apr 10, 2017
ELIZABETH MILLER / GREAT LAKES TODAY

CLEVELAND (GREAT LAKES TODAY) - Pollution and other problems plague areas all over the Great Lakes region. And they can make drinking or swimming dangerous.  There’s plenty of blame to go around for this – city water utilities, agriculture, and politicians to name a few. 

For years, the Sea Grant program has helped Americans learn about the oceans, the Great Lakes and other waters. Now, President Donald Trump wants to stop funding it. 

Deleware River Basin Commission

Water quality in the Delaware River estuary has improved over the last few decades to the point where regulators are considering adding the breeding of fish to a list of designated “uses” for that section of the river. 

International Joint Commission Visits New York

Mar 29, 2017
ELIZABETH MILLER / ideastream

GREAT LAKES TODAY - U.S. and Canadian commissioners representing the Great Lakes met in Buffalo, N.Y., Tuesday to hear from environmental groups and the public on the region’s progress.

Payne Horning, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - A nomination to make part of Lake Ontario a national marine sanctuary is moving forward. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is accepting the application for further consideration. 

Great Lakes Shipping Season Underway

Mar 21, 2017
JOHN NICHOLLS/SHUTTERSTOCK

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - The Great Lakes shipping season officially kicks off Monday with the opening of the Welland Canal, the shipping channel that connects Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. 

Trump Budget Cuts Great Lakes Restoration Program

Mar 17, 2017
ELIZABETH MILLER / GREAT LAKES TODAY

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - The Trump Administration’s proposed budget is out – and it eliminates the $300 million in annual funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), which inances environmental projects all over the region. 

Manure Spills Recurring Problem On Cayuga Lake

Mar 13, 2017
AP Photo/Ann Levin

The manure spill that contaminated parts of Cayuga Lake and Salmon Creek last month is no longer a hazard to humans.  Still, researchers say too many manure spills can lead to long term damage.  

Todd Walter, who directs the Water Resources Institute at Cornell University, says such manure spills are much too common.

JASECURTIS / Flickr

(KEYSTONE CROSSROADS) With no exceptions, the $1 million Safe Water Plan will distribute water filters to city residents to reduce exposure to lead. People living within the city’s boundaries are eligible to receive one, regardless of income level, whether they rent or own, or who their water provider is. 

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is working on a plan to avoid losing control over its safe drinking water program, along with millions in federal dollars. 

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