New York’s recently passed Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act requires New York to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% in just ten years. Continued investments by teacher pension funds into fossil fuels are sending the wrong message and are contradictory to the goals of students for a sustainable future. In addition, New York state pension funds have lost billions of dollars holding onto fossil fuel stocks, a loss which local governments and school systems must make up for with citizens’ tax dollars. Please sign this petition asking the New York State United Teachers to support divestment from fossil fuels and work with the NYS Teachers Retirement System to get fossil fuels out of pension funds.
Making small changes as we live in the watershed can make a big difference. The health and recreational enjoyment of the Finger Lakes depends on our actions and involvement. This summer, a new program, Lake Friendly Living, will provide steps you can take right now, at home, to make a difference in watershed health! What can you do to get involved? Join the Lake Friendly Living program and adopt Lake Friendly Living practices!
Join Vermont Law School’s the Environmental Law Center for the Hot Topics Lecture Series. Thursday, July 30th at 12pm ET is a talk by Maya van Rossum about Green Amendments and their legal implications in defending our environment. This event is free and open to the public. Livestream here! To learn more about Green Amendments, visit For the Generations’ website.
Did you know that you can now buy trash disposal punch cards and coupons, solid waste permits, and more without leaving your home? RecycleTompkins.org has a Shop Online feature!
The City of Ithaca enacted a hiring freeze this week, putting the newly created Director of Sustainability position, which would have started in early May, on pause for the foreseeable future. The new director was supposed to create an action plan for implementing an Ithaca Green New Deal, which would aim to create a carbon-neutral city by 2030, amongst other ambitious goals. A global conversation has ensued surrounding the necessary transition to more sustainable and just practices and infrastructure in the realms of energy & climate, economy, healthcare, etc, in response to COVID-19. It seems that the time is now to reimagine the structure of society on all levels, so this news is rather disappointing. What steps do you think the city should take moving forward? Read the Ithaca Voice article for more details about this news.
The Butler Town Board is considering a proposal by Tully Environment to build a sewage sludge processing plant to be operated in a gravel pit owned by Riccelli Enterprises. In theory, it would be used to process sewer sludge/waste from NYC, compost it, and turn it into fertilizer that could be used on area farmland or elsewhere. Bottom line – if after reading the info below, you feel it’s not something we want in upstate NY, call either Pam Helming’s office, and/or your local NYS Senator or Assemblyperson, and let them know that.
30 U.S. senators, including local NY Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, have signed a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler asking them to implement the 2019 PFAS mitigation plan, made over a year ago. High PFAS are thought to be, at least in part, attributed to firefighting foam used by the town of Romulus for nearly 60 years, which ran off into the water. PFAS have been linked to birth defects, cancer, and other health risks, which raises concern for communities around Seneca Lake. Read more in the Finger Lake Times. Photo credits: Finger Lake Times.
Job searching? Consider a green career!
A new round of training will be starting up in the Spring of 2020–the fifth year! Energy Navigators help Tompkins County residents learn about ways to reduce (and eliminate) their fossil fuel use, and transition to renewable forms of heating and powering their homes and transportation. Navigators go through a ten-session training, and volunteer through public outreach and by sharing information with friends, family, neighbors and others in their networks.
The City of Ithaca is seeking a Director of Sustainability to launch the City in an organizational transformation initiative to meet the goals of the City’s Green New Deal. The successful individual will have experience with issues surrounding climate change, be a strong visionary with deep commitment to environmental justice and advancing social equity through environmental stewardship, public health, and sustainable urban development.
Applications are due February 10.
The Seneca Park Zoo’s Environmental Innovation Awards celebrate leadership in environmental stewardship, raising the profile of innovative companies and people working to solve complex environmental problems in the Rochester and Finger Lakes Region. Awards were given in five categories: Youth, Individual, Civic & Nonprofit, Small Business, and Large Business. Check out these local innovators here! 🤩🌍✨ Congrats winners!
A proposed galvanizing mill at the Seneca Lake Depot property (abandoned US military depot) presents another threat to Seneca Lake because of both potential leakage of zinc from the facility, and concerns with future Phase 2 and 3 of the project, a milling and welding facility. Seneca County IDA and the town of Romulus are being urged to address the areas of concern prior to making any approvals of the proposed plant. To learn more, read the Finger Lakes Times article.
Homes and properties in communities across New York are located on or near toxic sites that can cause health hazards or reduce investment value. Toxic Targeting obtains environmental data from local, state and federal government sources and updates our information on a continuing basis. They provide extensive archival data now withheld from public disclosure. If you are buying a specific home or property, you can order a Toxics Targeting Phase I Environmental Database Report. They will walk you through your detailed report and answer your questions! For more info, visit their website.
Schuyler County officials assure that test results received for Seneca Lake water are not necessarily reliable, and that the county will conduct their own tests in the near future. Mary Anne Kowalski, SLG’s research director, likened the tests to do-it-yourself home radon kits, and she acknowledged that the results are neither state-certified nor legally binding.