T.J. Pignataro - The Buffalo News

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T.J. Pignataro - 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).


Local News

Early Monday, forecasters at the National Weather Service issued an outlook for hazardous weather next weekend. That's unusual. So, take the next few days to prepare, just in case. Prepare for what? Possibly "strong winds," forecasters said, "followed by the first significant lake-effect snow of the season." Forecasters have their eye on a potentially strong…

Environment

The cleanup is finished on two tracts of land covering nearly 28 acres at the former Bethlehem Steel site, the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced. That will allow the once-contaminated parcels to be developed. Tecumseh Redevelopment, under DEC oversight, excavated and removed fill laced with arsenic, petroleum and other contaminants from the pai…

Environment

An estimated 800 million gallons of untreated sewage and stormwater have flowed into the Niagara River from the American and Canadian sides so far this year, eight times more than last year. It's enough to pour over the Horseshoe Falls for 20 minutes. The American side accounts for about three-quarters of the sewage and overflow, according to discharge data The Buffa…

Weather

The mercury dropped into the teens early this morning across most parts of Western New York. That was enough to equal another record for cold behind the Arctic front that crossed the region late Thursday. The 19-degree reading at Buffalo at 5 a.m. tied a mark set in 1957 for a daily low temperature. That's 16 degrees below average for Veterans Day. It's also the e…

Weather

Middle autumn will play deep January today. Temperatures in the 20s. Wind chills in the single digits. Some lake-effect snow. Of all of those, the cold will be today's main weather issue. It should break several records. Today's high temperature came at midnight -- it was 29 degrees. That will break a 140-year-old daily mark for the coldest Nov. 10 in Buffalo'…

Environment

The state Department of Environmental Conservation Police cited four New York city area men for fishing after legal hours last month on Eighteen Mile Creek in Newfane, the DEC reported Thursday. The department also filed other charges in connection with the incident. The DEC said Environmental Conservation Officer Mike Phelps used night vision equipment to first spot th…

Weather

Call Thursday night and Friday "practice winter." The coldest air of the season will thrust the Buffalo Niagara region into the icebox, but it will only last about 24 hours. A pair of Arctic fronts will arrive in the region from the west-northwest early this evening and overnight. Expected are gusty winds, heavy rain, snow and thunder. Behind the secondary front, …

Local News

"Winter will arrive abruptly," warn National Weather Service forecasters of an approaching Arctic front scheduled to arrive in Buffalo Niagara later Thursday. Afternoon lake-effect rain and gusty winds ahead of the front are expected to quickly change over to snow in many spots by evening. "This could produce a snow squall tracking across the forecast area with the f…

Education

Sherri "Sam" Mason, the SUNY Fredonia professor whose research has focused on "microplastics," taught teachers last week about the environmental hazards of plastics. Mason's lecture was part of a professional development day for about 60 area K-12 teachers. It was hosted by the Buffalo Zoo and the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning. https://twitter.c…

Local News

Forecasters expect a strong Arctic cold front to deliver a shot of mid-winter-like cold late Thursday in the Buffalo Niagara region. The good news? It's a dry air mass rushing in from the northwest. That means the chances for lake-effect snow will be minimal. Also, the cold temperatures won't last long, forecasters said. "Usually, we don't get this cold this early…

Environment

Man-made alterations to Dutch Hollow Creek in Ellery over the years included straightening and widening the creek. Those changes left it prone to erosion and a conduit for phosphorus into an already nutrient-rich Chautauqua Lake. This week, the state Department of Environmental Conservation tentatively approved a pair of restoration projects on Dutch Hollow Cree…

Business

Louis Delmonte, the town supervisor in Sheridan, faces charges for violating state environmental law after he tried demolishing and burying his old garage on site, the state Department of Environmental Conservation reported. The DEC cited Delmonte, who's also the former owner of an automotive repair shop in Sheridan, for illegal disposal of solid waste. A recentl…

Environment

If the Niagara Gorge is going to return to the pristine natural wonder it once was, then there's no room for the Tree-of-Heaven and other invasive trees, state officials say. The trees will be targeted for removal from up to 242 acres along the Niagara Gorge as part of a restoration project by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the West…

Weather

There is a lot of winter to be had between now and April, but Buffalo got on the snowfall board Tuesday. Buffalo recorded 0.1 inch of snow Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. That means the first measurable snow, defined as one-tenth inch or more, came earlier than usual this year. It doesn't happen typically happen until Nov. 8. The city usually r…

Environment

Two Niagara County residents are suing the state Department of Environmental Conservation and CWM Chemical Services and its parent company, Waste Management, in an effort to block the treatment and storage of PCBs and other hazardous waste at CWM's hazardous waste landfill in Lewiston. The lawsuit, brought by Amy Witryol of Lewiston and Thomas Freck of Porter, alleges t…