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).

The Clean Air Coalition wants the state  to hold a meeting for Tonawanda residents to answer their questions and provide details concerning a plan for reprocessing waste at the Tonawanda Coke site. Earlier this month, the Department of Environmental Conservation proposed "an expedited cleanup"  on a part of Tonawanda Coke's site near the Niagara River where contaminan…

Another 19th century record for precipitation was obliterated today in Buffalo. As of 11:30 a.m., the National Weather Service reported a total of 1.41 inches of rain at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The former record for the date was set 143 years ago when 1.21 inches of rain fell. Since April 1, it's the fifth daily rainfall record eclipsed. All wer…

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday announced funding to expand or enhance hiking trails at three locations in Western New York. The trails are at: Whirlpool and Devil's Hole State Park, where $450,000 will pay for continuing rehabilitation efforts at trail stairways to the Niagara Gorge; Niagara Falls to Artpark state parks, which will get $50,000 for the design and…

Self-proclaimed “geeks” are boldly exploring the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center this weekend in search of Captain Kirk, Darth Vader and Captain America. For these thousands – from Western New York and worlds beyond – who crammed the floors of the second annual Nickel City Con Saturday, it was a voyage to the ultimate frontier. “It was kind of crazy walki…

ALLEGANY STATE PARK – Earlier this week John Darr reeled in a few 11-inch trout amid the peace and quiet at Red House Lake. The tranquility won't last long. Neither will some of the water. An ambitious $6 million rehabilitation project at the aging Red House Dam – including demolishing and replacing a bridge on the north end of the Allegany State Park lake – wi…

Even the wildlife seems flummoxed by the record-breaking wet spring. Earlier this month after another heavy rain deluged Western New York with an inch or more of rain, a loon apparently mistook a roadway for a pond, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. That's when an astute environmental conservation officer in Cattaraugus County came …

The first of about 150 shipments of high-level liquid nuclear waste between Ontario and South Carolina began last month. It's unclear whether the flatbed tractor trailer carrying a cask with a uranium solution containing cesium-137, strontium-90 and plutonium-239 crossed the Peace Bridge. The route taken is apparently classified for national security reasons. But just t…

Buffalo already struck 80 degrees once this year – on an unseasonably warm April 27. Forecasters project the first back-to-back days in the 80s are in the offing today and Thursday. It would be the first 80-degree tandem since last Sept. 21 and 22. Spurred by "a subtropical airmass," temperatures away from Lake Erie are expected to surge into the mid- to upper 80s …

Normal operations on the Black Rock canal resumed last Thursday after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported the lock between between Buffalo and Tonawanda harbors was repaired ahead of schedule, the Corps reported. "We appreciate the navigation community's understanding while the lock gate was repaired, and the contractors for working to get the repairs done so…

There's no indication the first reported transport of liquid nuclear waste from the Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario passed over the Peace Bridge. But federal officials aren't saying it didn't either. All that is known is that it arrived at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C. last month and there were some problems after it arrived, according to the Savannah Riv…

Chautauqua County health officials were advising residents in Brocton to boil their water until further notice. Officials said a major water leak including all of Portland except for the Van Buren Point area resulted in water being shut off for repairs. "When service is restored all water customers must boil their water until further notice," health officials stated …

Chances are we’ll still see the random “ice car” from time to time in Ed Hoak’s lake shore parking lot. But that gantlet of water, ice and debris that Southtowns motorists run through along Route 5 in front of his Athol Springs restaurant will be going away as early as next year. The state and federal governments intend to take the sting out of Lake Erie’s …

Days are numbered for chilly, soggy conditions in the Buffalo Niagara region. As of this morning, that magic number is 3½. National Weather Service forecasters say an upper level ridge of dramatically warmer air will build from the south starting early next week. But, there's another cool, wet weekend to endure first. "The main highlight (between Monday nigh…

The temperature dropped into the upper 20s in places like East Aurora, Delevan, Randolph and Olean this morning, according to the state's new Mesonet system. That's cold enough for a hard freeze. It could happen again tonight in southern Erie and Wyoming counties, forecasters warn. A freeze warning is posted for southern Erie and Wyoming counties from 11 p.m. …

The National Weather Service posted a frost advisory in several counties across the Buffalo Niagara region and a freeze warning in southern Erie, Chautauqua and Wyoming counties. The advisory includes northern Erie, Niagara, Orleans and Genesee counties. It runs from 10 p.m. until 9 a.m. Tuesday, the weather service said. Temperatures in those areas are forecast t…