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).


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 …

Environment

Garden writer and Buffalo News contributor Sally Cunningham will tell people why native plants are critical to the health of the local environment during a talk next Wednesday at the Niagara Falls Public Library. The 7 p.m. free event is being sponsored by the Western New York Land Conservancy. The land conservancy is currently coordinating a multi-year native "Resto…

Environment

The state Department of Environmental Conservation added "I Bird NY" signage upgrades to improve bird watching at its 38 priority Bird Conservation Areas statewide. Several are in Western New York. Among the locations: the wildlife management areas at Tonawanda and Oak Orchard in Erie, Genesee, Niagara and Orleans counties; Carlton Hill in Wyoming County; Keeney Swam…

Weather

The National Weather Service reported that a severe thunderstorm with high winds and the potential for waterspouts is closing in on the Lake Erie shoreline between Westfield and Dunkirk. It issued a special marine warning cautioning boaters in the area that waterspouts could overturn their boats and strong wind and wave action could damage them. The weather service a…

Environment

It's been a whirlwind month for University at Buffalo chemistry Professor Diana Aga. Aga's recent paper that found anti-depressants in local waters were affecting the fish populations that live there attracted international attention in early September. This week, the Henry Woodburn Professor of Chemistry, who has her own laboratory at the University at Buffalo's Nor…

Environment

Pete Lopez, a Republican state assemblyman from Schoharie County, will lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region 2 office, which covers Western New York, the EPA announced today. Lopez, 56, was appointed Thursday by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. He will oversee the EPA's regional office that covers all of New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Vir…

Environment

After nearly two weeks of bonus summer weather, it finally feels a little more like fall. Leaves are "just changing" across most of Western New York, according to the I Love New York Fall Foliage map. And it's looking a lot more like fall in some spots of the Southern Tier. Allegany State Park is one of those spots. Observers there forecast about 35 percen…