Help Prevent Sewage Sludge Processing Plant from Contaminating the Finger Lakes!

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.

Senators Push to Address Chemicals in Seneca Lake

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.

“Energy Navigator” Training Starting Soon!

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.

City of Ithaca Seeking Sustainability Director!

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.

Winners of Environmental Innovation Awards Announced

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!

Galvanizing Plant Poses Threat to Seneca Lake

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.

Toxics Targeting

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.

Ensure a Just Transition for Former-Coal Plants

Fossil Free Tompkins has joined with Sierra Club in crafting this letter to Governor Cuomo – asking that he ensure that the plants surrender their air emissions permits, there is a solid worker transition plan in place, that toxic materials, including coal ash landfills, are properly managed, monitored and treated, that the new facilities operate with high levels of energy efficiency, that utility scale solar development is supported at both sites, and that there is adequate funding to enable the transition from coal plants to data centers.

Lansing Coal Plant Shuts Down After 64 years

Victory for Finger Lakes protection activists! A coal plant, owned by Heorot Power, on the shores of Cayuga Lake in North Lansing has ceased power generation this past week after 64 years of coal-burning. Plans for the existing building are still being deliberated, as ideas to convert the facility to burn natural gas or a data center were shot down. Heorot’s VP, Jerry Goodenough, said the company will monitor the leftover coal ash landfill for 30 years and has set aside a $7-million bond for remediation. To learn more, click here.

Cayuga Waterfront Trail Initiative

Cayuga Waterfront Trail Initiative (CWTI) is a partnership of the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the City of Ithaca. The Cayuga Waterfront Trail is a 5.5-mile, multi-use trail providing an active, non-motorized transportation and recreation way connecting Cayuga Lake’s most popular waterfront destinations. Rent a bike, canoe or kayak to enhance your waterfront experience!