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Shirley A. Nicholas, whose activism is credited with producing a cleanup of toxic sites in her Lockport neighborhood after decades of government inaction, has been honored with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's highest award. Nicholas, 80, is one of this year's winners of the Environmental Champion Award. She was nominated by the EPA's Buffalo-area spokesman, M…

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…

A birdwatching hike in the Niagara River Gorge is set from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, according to the Western New York Land Conservancy, which is working on a multiyear gorge restoration project. Tom Kerr, a naturalist from the Buffalo Audubon Society, will lead the hike, which the Conservancy said will be strenuous, involving hiking up and down steep and rough terrain. Pa…

A boil water advisory in effect in Brocton since a major water main break on Monday has been lifted, village officials and the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday. Officials said that samples collected Tuesday and Wednesday were found to be safe for drinking and other uses. More than 2,000 customers were affected in the Villag…

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…

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 …

The state placed a quarantine on all eight counties of Western New York in an effort to slow the spread of the invasive emerald ash borer. The state this week expanded the quarantine zones to cover all or part of 43 counties. As of last summer, the restricted area locally covered all of Niagara and Orleans counties and portions of Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Genes…

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 …

Soil sampling began in backyards last week to gauge the effect of Tonawanda Coke's illegal air pollution in the Town of Tonawanda, Kenmore and Buffalo. The sampling comes as the state Department of Environmental Conservation revealed elevated levels of arsenic, cyanide and other chemicals were found on a portion of a company site, nestled between River Road and the Niag…

The discoloration and stink of the tap water at Raymond Becker’s mobile home come and go. So do the advisories not to drink it – sometimes for weeks at a time. It has been this way for 13 years. The 68-year-old retired DuPont laboratory technician stores a few gallons of bottled water in a kitchen corner for cooking and brushing his teeth. He lets the water run f…

LOCKPORT – Niagara County has introduced a voucher system to help residents get rid of household hazardous wastes. Vouchers can be obtained online at rethinkyourwaste.com, along with an appointment time to drop off materials at the collection site, Hazman, 177 Wales Ave., City of Tonawanda. One voucher will be issued per household and residents must offer proof of res…

Cheektowaga resumed its pickup of yard waste this month, but the town is reminding residents to keep plastic and papers out of their yard waste. The waste is taken to a local composting facility, Good Earth Organics Corp., from mid-April through mid-November. Officials from Good Earth Organics have issued the following guidelines: Grass clippings must be placed in …