T.J. Pignataro, The Buffalo News
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T.J. Pignataro

Editor - Buffalo, NY

Environment Reporter for The Buffalo News since 2013. News Staff Reporter since 1998. Previous beat assignments included suburban coverage in WNY and the News' bureau at Buffalo Police HQ. Former staff reporter at the Altoona Mirror (1997-98) and Dunkirk Observer (1995-97), and assistant news director at WBTA-1490, Batavia (1994-95).

Continuing the progress of Great Lakes restoration while solving the watershed's emerging challenges were the top topics of discussion at Tuesday's public meeting held by the International Joint Commission in Buffalo. Some of the top goals? An international designation of importance for the Niagara River. The elimination of sewage overflows. More wetlands an…

The 10 month streak of above-average warmth in Buffalo looked like a goner last week. A cold and unusually snowy start to March dropped the average temperature for the month to just over 29 degrees as late as last Thursday. The comeback is underway. It's possible that a week-long run of above-normal temperatures to end the month could erase a nearly four-degre…

The people who shape Great Lakes policy are in Buffalo Tuesday and they want to hear from you. Do you fish Lake Ontario? Swim at Woodlawn Beach State Park? Boat out of the Small Boat Harbor, Sturgeon Point or Barcelona? Now's your chance to speak up. Restoring the Great Lakes and tackling the environmental challenges facing them will be discussed at a public meeti…

Thank Winter Storm Stella for driving the final stake into Western New York's drought. For the first time since last May 24, the National Drought Monitor in its weekly report that the region is entirely free of drought or abnormally dry soil conditions. The nearly 10-month stretch was the longest consecutive dry spell on record in Erie and Niagara counties, since t…

Ice chunks the size of cannon balls exploded from cone-shaped formations off of Point Gratiot in Dunkirk during last week’s Nor’easter. On both shores of Lake Ontario, icy hills or mountains spew plumes of sand, water, ice – and even fish. [PHOTO GALLERY: Ice volcanoes on Lake Erie] Moving pictures streamed to social media are capturing similar icy eruptions…

The results of private soil sampling around their homes late last year confirmed some of the decades-long fears of residents in a North Tonawanda neighborhood. A toxic stew from nearby landfill, which once housed waste from Love Canal, was detected in their yards, they said. Now, a separate investigation by the state Department of Environmental Conservation will incl…

It's part of the longest streak of record-breaking warm weather in Buffalo's history. The last of winter's days and first of early spring in March 2012 launched Buffalo right into summertime. Shorts and T-shirts were broken out. Buds popped on trees. And the flowers bloomed. March 2012 bested its counterpart from 1946 by nearly 3 full degrees as the warmest March …

Spring officially sprung Monday morning in Buffalo – on the calendar. Outdoors, the weather told a different tale. Snowflakes and freezing drizzle fell from steel-gray clouds. Temperatures remained cold. And 5 inches of snow clung to the ground. That snowpack was all that remains of the more than 20 inches of snow that fell in Buffalo as winter’s final week …

The state's top fish catches from 2016 were recognized late Thursday by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Entries came in from 39 counties statewide and Chautauqua County placed in the state's top five counties for anglers, officials said. The others were Suffolk, Warren, Onondaga and Essex counties. "The Angler Achievement Awards program recogni…

The winter weather warnings and advisories expired across many parts of the eastern United States in time for today's tip-off of the NCAA's March Madness. There's only one weather warning left in any of the eight cities hosting the first and second round matchups. It's for cold weather. In South Carolina. The National Weather Service has a freeze warning in place …

The city will feature its wintry side in the NCAA men's basketball tournament's sixth visit to Buffalo this week, according to National Weather Service forecasts. The weather has been about average for late winter, verging on spring during most of the previous five times the city played host to March Madness. Fans and tournament teams have been treated to cool, but g…

  Here's what to expect and when:   Tonight "Some light lake-effect snow" is possible southeast of lakes Erie and Ontario as a northwesterly flow sets up across the region. A slight chance for more snow showers is forecast in the metro Buffalo area with less than an inch of accumulation possible. There could be as much as a few inches in areas a…

Misa Yasumiishi grew up near Fukushima, Japan, but was in Clarence when reactors went into meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Six years ago Saturday, a massive earthquake set off the tragic chain of events. When a tsunami tore apart the nuclear facility, radiation spewed out over a large area and forced people in the affected towns and cities to eva…

Coming off the warmest February in Buffalo's history, it seemed an early spring was already at hand. Not so. Arctic-sourced air will be calling the Buffalo Niagara region its home for at least a week, and possibly longer. That means daily temperatures could run as much as 20 degrees below normal for mid-March, along with snow and frigid wind chills. So keep the…