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

The effort to locate missing Buffalo Police diver Craig E. Lehner in the Niagara River off Broderick Park has been suspended and will continue tomorrow weather permitting, Buffalo Police said. Authorities said they believe they know the area of the river that diver Craig Lehner is located in. "We're pretty confident of the area where he might have been snagged o…

Environment

A federal contract estimated at $4.7 billion to handle liquid radioactive waste at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C. was inked Thursday, the U.S. Department of Energy reported. That may be of interest to Western New Yorkers because radioactive waste from Canada goes to that site in South Carolina, and a  possible route for the waste involves tractor-trailer transp…

Local News

Michigan, Ohio and Ontario are not adequately addressing phosphorus pollution in western Lake Erie despite their now 2-year-old commitment to do so, environmental organizations report. And, it shows in the water. One of the largest toxic algal blooms on record inundated the lake again this summer. It also turned the Maumee River bright green through downtown Toledo. …

Environment

University at Buffalo Librarian Fred Stoss has educated people about climate change for decades. Next week, he'll join former Vice President Al Gore's non-profit Climate Reality Project as a mentor at its International Training Workshop in Pittsburgh. Stoss helped design and edit the Global Climate Change Digest starting in 1987 as the director of library and in…

Environment

LONG POINT STATE PARK – Every year, a large oak tree fights nature to keep Long Point’s head above Chautauqua Lake’s waves. New York State is about to toss it a life-ring. A half-million dollar project to strengthen Long Point’s eroding shoreline and rehabilitate its state park is scheduled to begin this fall. The project plans to restore and protect about…

Weather

The forecast for the Columbus Day weekend isn't as rosy as it was earlier this week. It'll be unseasonably warm — maybe record-breaking in the low 80s Saturday — but there will be some turbulence. Here's what to expect: Saturday Chances for showers dissipate after 8 a.m. and temperatures are forecast to quickly rise from the low 60s to the low 80s by mid…

Environment

Sumitomo Rubber in the Town of Tonawanda plans to double its daily production of passenger and light truck tires. It also will increase the air emissions generated from the facility, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. In its application for a renewal of its federal air permit, documents show Sumitomo plans to produce 10,000 passenger an…

Environment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency failed to meet a Sunday deadline to designate which areas in the United States were being plagued by smog pollution. State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and 13 other attorneys general from various states and the District of Columbia filed on Thursday a notice to sue the federal agency to force it to comply with those requ…

Environment

Soil contaminated by PCBs, metals and other organic compounds found below the surface of the Western New York Workforce Training Center on Northland Avenue would be removed and disposed of under an expedited cleanup plan by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The DEC released a draft of its interim remedial work plan Wednesday for the site at 683 Northla…

Environment

The National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. is proposing to install roughly 1.5 miles of natural gas pipeline along Stone Dam Road in Willing, Allegany County. Documents submitted to the Department of Environmental Conservation call for a portion of the pipeline to cross within a 100-foot-wide regulated area near a state freshwater wetland and a trout fishery, the agency r…

Local News

Heavy rains on Wednesday afternoon caused another unplanned discharge from the Niagara Falls wastewater treatment plant, the State Department of Environmental Conservation reported. The NY-Alert notification system shows there were three separate reports of wet weather overflows reported by the Niagara Falls Water Board on Wednesday. Those included: a 15 million…

Local News

Erie County's first case of West Nile Virus in five years was diagnosed last week, the Erie County Health Department confirmed Wednesday. The department's announcement corresponds with recent confirmations from the state Department of Environmental Conservation of the virus in dead birds found in both South Buffalo and Hamburg. In August, county health officials conf…

Environment

The state Department of Environmental Conservation plans to partner with retail chains and independent pharmacies to take back pharmaceuticals, according to state documents. The state says the program would provide a safe way for people with unwanted pharmaceuticals to dispose of them without flushing them down the drain. That long-held practice has been found to conta…

Environment

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has unveiled its fleet of nearly two dozen drones. The agency said they will aid its mission to manage and conserve the state's environment and respond to emergencies. "The use of drone technology will help us do our jobs better and faster while saving taxpayer dollars," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "This technol…

Uncategorized

It's not going to be the upper 80s and 90s of Buffalo's unusually hot September, but the first 10 days of October look to bring more above-normal temperatures, forecasts show. There will be lots of sunshine too. Starting Monday, the National Weather Service forecast calls for days in the mid to upper 70s through at least Thursday, including 78 degrees on Tuesday and …