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Krisy Gashler

DEC: Lake Source Cooling may hurt Cayuga

Cornell questions validity of state analysis

ITHACA - Lake Source Cooling may be negatively impacting water quality in southern Cayuga Lake, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said in a letter to Cornell University this week.

Sprinklers installed at demolition site

In response to concerns about dust from Ithaca Gun, sprinklers have been installed over stockpiled demolition debris on the site.

Several members of the Community Advisory Group (CAG) for the project have repeatedly asked for more dust suppression, arguing that potentially contaminated material could be blowing into the neighborhood.
The city and the state Department of Environmental Conservation have responded that the four air monitors around the perimeter of the site are ensuring that neighbors are safe.

Wastewater may not have met standards

Cayuga Heights says there was no violation

Cayuga Heights may have violated its own law in accepting gas-drilling wastewater that exceeded standards established to protect its treatment plant and Cayuga Lake.

Meanwhile, a regional engineer from the state Department of Environmental Conservation told the village it was OK to continue accepting the waste without a completed study of what kinds of wastewater came to the plant. DEC policy - reaffirmed in a December 2008 memo - requires such analyses before a plant accepts gas-drilling waste.

Group concerned about Ithaca Gun dust

As the Ithaca Gun demolition proceeds, three members of the Community Advisory Group are questioning whether the city and state are doing enough to protect neighbors from potentially contaminated dust.

Group member Walter Hang sent an e-mail to Mayor Carolyn Peterson last week arguing that the demolition contractors are not using enough water to suppress dust and that there is insufficient monitoring to know whether potentially contaminated demolition dust is moving off-site. Hang is president of Ithaca-based Toxics Targeting, which maps polluted and hazardous sites in New York state.

Testing standards still unclear for liquefied carcasses from Cornell

ITHACA - Before the overseers of Ithaca's wastewater treatment plant could consider accepting the liquefied remains of Cornell's animal carcasses, they'll have to decide how often the material must be tested and whether there should be limits on phenols.

Critics, Cornell debate lake source cooling's role in chlorophyll increase

Cornell's long-awaited report on the impact of lake source cooling shows that chlorophyll levels, which indicate algae growth, have increased dramatically in the area south of its discharge but haven't changed at all north of its discharge.

Overall, chlorophyll has increased throughout Cayuga Lake since lake source cooling came online, but whether lake source cooling is to blame for any of that increase is still being debated.

Toxics Targeting owner makes hazardous-site maps available online

ITHACA — Walter Hang has made his enormous database of toxic-site maps available for free online.

The Ithaca business owner and outspoken environmental activist makes his living compiling environmental database records from local, state and federal agencies and creating maps that show potential property buyers where pollution has been found.

“Even though the vast majority of my clients are engineers and environmental consultants, I started this company to help people who are buying homes,” Hang said.

Gun factory to be razed

ITHACA — After more than a century as an icon on Ithaca's East Hill, the Ithaca Gun factory could be gone by this summer.

Demolition of the dilapidated and environmentally contaminated factory could begin by “late June, early July,” said Nels Bohn, director of the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency. How long it will take to finish demolition will depend on the contractor, but it could be as little as a month, he said.

The project is going forward even though the city has not yet secured a state grant needed to clean up lead and other pollution in the ground around the factory.

DEC orders Cornell to submit more analyses for Lake Source Cooling permit

ITHACA — Cornell University will be required to include a controversial analysis of the impact of their lake source cooling project in order to renew their discharge permit with the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

DEC spokeswoman Lori O'Connell said Wednesday that the DEC has decided to require Cornell to evaluate site 7, which sits south of and closest to Cornell's lake source cooling discharge, against site 4, a control site at roughly the same location on the other side of the lake.

Clinton West Plaza named Superfund site for VOC cleanup

ITHACA — The Clinton West Plaza — home of Ohm Electronics, Tanfastic, the Ithaca Pennysaver and the Daycare and Child Development Council of Tompkins County, among others — has recently been added as the
12th state Superfund site in Tompkins County.


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