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Environment

We thought the lake-effect snow season was over. Our hopes, apparently, rested on thin ice. An unexpected round of lake-effect snow pelted metro Buffalo most of Wednesday. It snarled traffic, aggravated motorists and padded the city's seasonal snow total by several inches. It wasn't one for the books by Buffalo's standards. But the fact it happened at all came as …

Environment

Algal blooms have threatened drinking water supplies and affected industries in upstate in recent summers. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed Tuesday spending $65 million to rid them from upstate's lakes and water bodies. "We have a really serious problem with different bacteria and algal blooms," Cuomo said in his budget speech. "Many of those lakes are sources of drinki…

Environment

The Olmsted Parks Conservancy unveiled Tuesday a host of events for the 150th anniversary of the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed park system in Buffalo. Among the highlights: The launch of an Olmsted app that will allow visitors to view an "augmented reality" of what the historic quarry garden looked like in its own time before the Scajaquada Expressway was buil…

Columns

Every day, every season, can be different on Lake Erie. The coldest winter in years has tightened the opportunities for David Sandford to do what brings him every year to the shore, and he was grateful for what he saw on Dec. 6, when the lake is often at its wildest. Lake Erie, pitching and violent, seemed alive. Sandford moved in and out of the water at Port Stanley, O…

Environment

Melting snow and run-off into area sewers is creating another round of overflows from sewage treatment plants across the Buffalo Niagara region into area waterways, according to the state's emergency alert system. Niagara Falls made the list again. The Niagara Falls wastewater treatment plant reported that at 12:30 p.m. Thursday it was discharging an estimated 1,500 …

Environment

The 1½-inch thick Swedish steel outfitted on the bow of Buffalo’s Edward M. Cotter fireboat churned through more than a half-foot of ice on the Buffalo River Wednesday. It was the third day in a row city crews prepped area creeks and streams for an inevitable January thaw coming Thursday and Friday that the National Weather Service cautioned could pose a risk for ice ja…

Environment

WEST VALLEY – The building where the most highly radioactive materials at the West Valley Demonstration Project were once handled is being torn down. The vitrification plant is where 600,000 gallons of liquid nuclear waste were turned into glass cylinders in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The cylinders were then packaged in fives and welded into steel canisters before …

Hamburg officials are hoping the observation deck at Hamburg Town Park can stay where it is. The state Department of Environmental Conservation told the town last month that the deck, built on the bluff overlooking Lake Erie last summer, violates state law because it was built in a regulated area within a coastal erosion hazard area. The construction required a state pe…

Environment

As of Tuesday, Lake Erie was 91 percent covered in ice, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory data. That figure is forecast to grow again today as temperatures as much as 10 degrees below average are expected today and tonight. The current level of ice cover is the most so far in 2017-18, and well ahead of average, data shows. When…

Environment

Last year, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo introduced a $2.5 billion program for clean water infrastructure as a way to assist communities plagued by sewage overflows, aged pipes and poor water quality. The effort will continue this year, Cuomo said during his State of the State address Wednesday. The state needs to improve drinking water quality and also eliminate harmful alga…

Environment

Soil could be excavated and removed from nine residential lots in the Lowertown section of Lockport because of test results showing what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calls "slightly elevated levels of lead" in the ground. Residents could refuse to allow the EPA to work at their homes, but Frank Fitzsimmons of Mill Street said Wednesday he favors the plan. …

Environment

Imagine hiking or biking along a 25-foot-high elevated nature trail between Canalside and SolarCity. The Western New York Land Conservancy — and many residents in the Old First Ward and the Valley — can. A roughly 1.5-mile linear park that runs along the old Delaware, Lackawanna and Western (DL&W) Railroad line overlooking some of Buffalo's most historic — and re…

Environment

A railroad company owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has agreed to remove its rail cars from New York's Adirondack Forest Preserve. Environmentalists and state officials had objected to plans by railroad companies, including Berkshire Hathaway's Union Tank Car Company, to store derelict oil-tank railcars on a roughly 22-mile rail line that runs from the …

Environment

Sewage overflowed into Scajaquada Creek, Cazenovia Creek, Eighteen Mile Creek and other creeks Tuesday and today from wastewater treatment plants overwhelmed from melting snow. NY-Alert, the state's emergency alert system, reported overflows in Lancaster, Cheektowaga, Derby, Blasdell, West Seneca and the Town of Tonawanda. Typically, sewage overflows get more att…