Sunday, May 31, 2009

Nuclear Waste: Not in MY Drinking Water!

Speakers urge full cleanup of West Valley waste site - 05/31/2009
With only eight days left for public comment and no final repository decided upon for the most dangerous radioactive wastes at the West Valley Demonstration Project, a coalition of environmental groups is trying to steer the decades-old debate over how to clean up the former nuclear fuels processing center.

Federal and state officials wish to defer for up to 30 years the question of whether to leave some radioactive waste forever buried, but according to Brian Smith, western New York program director of Citizens’ Campaign for the Environment, a full cleanup of the waste site is the only “responsible option to protect our Great Lakes, health and economy.”

Smith was one of five speakers at the Erie Basin Marina Saturday, urging people to make their opinions on the issue heard. The speakers urged state residents to tell the Department of Energy (DOE) and the NY State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to fully excavate and clean the 3,300-acre site 30 miles south of Buffalo.

“Now is our chance to protect our drinking water from intensely radioactive nuclear power and weapons waste buried upstream decades ago but still able to cause large numbers of cancers now and in decades to come,” said Diane D’Arrigo, radioactive waste project director at Nuclear Information and Resource Service. “The [DOE] and [state] won’t commit to dig it all up before it leaks further unless every one of us tells them they must,” she said.

Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, spoke
at the Erie Basin Marina on Saturday and he supports a full cleanup. He, along with Rep. Eric Massa, D-Corning, will ask Energy Secretary Steven Chu for a 90-day extension of the public comment period that began in November.

The public comment period on the issue ends June 8, and environmental officials and the congressmen encourage New York residents to file comments and complaints about the West Valley site [click here].

For the full Buffalo News report by Jake May, click here.

Related Reports and Information:

Study urges removing all waste from West Valley nuclear site - 12/03/2008
Excavating and removing all the radioactive material from the West Valley nuclear waste site is costly in the short term but cheaper and safer for area residents in the long run, a new study of the site cleanup found.Study urges removing all waste from West Valley nuclear site. The study’s authors say permanently burying nuclear waste at the Cattaraugus County facility would lead to higher costs and risks of radiation poisoning. Click the title for the full report by Stephen T. Watson in The Buffalo News.

Senecas endorse plan for radioactive waste cleanup - 03/24/2009
The Seneca Nation of Indians has endorsed a plan calling for the digging up and removal of all radioactive waste from the West Valley nuclear waste site in Cattaraugus County. The nation agrees with a recent cleanup study that found removing toxic material from the site is the best way to ensure the health and safety of the population and ecosystem.
Click the title for the full report by Stephen T. Watson in The Buffalo News.

West Valley: Washington, Albany must remove all nuclear wastes - 03/24/2009
Radioactive waste has leaked into West Valley’s ditches. It sends a plume of radioactive groundwater toward Buttermilk Creek. Buttermilk’s 160-foot bluff, a few hundred yards away, has had a landslide. Plutonium has been found in Cattaraugus Creek behind Scobey Hill dam. There is the potential of polluting the waters of Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River with West Valley’s poisons. Clearly it was a terrible mistake to put such a dangerous facility into such unstable terrain. The only conceivable answer now is complete removal of nuclear materials from West Valley.
Click the title for the
The Buffalo News article by Larry Beahan, conservation chairman of the Sierra Club Niagara Group.

Complete cleanup of West Valley site is the only real solution
- 04/01/2009
The more than 600 metric tons of solidified nuclear waste, plus toxic leaks that have already been detected in surrounding water supplies, is no gift for us to leave future generations. It will be expensive, and it will take time, but the best approach to the West Valley waste site is to remove it, completely, once and for all. Editorial in The Buffalo News.

Push is on for full cleanup of NY nuclear site - 05/29/2009
Environmentalists and others say removing all traces of high- and low-level waste is the only way, given the erosion-prone geology, to ensure that it will not eventually seep into nearby creeks, make its way into Lakes Erie and Ontario and contaminate drinking water supplies.
Among others weighing in to support a full cleanup have been the Presbytery of Western New York, which passed a resolution citing its "Christian commitment to caring for creation," Catholic Charities and the Western New York Council on Occupational Safety & Health. Read the full report by Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press Writer.

The public comment period on the issue ends June 8, and New York residents can file comments and complaints about the West Valley site by clicking here.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

In the NEWS

Paterson's solar power plan envisions 50,000 jobs - 05/15/2009
Gov. David A. Paterson will announce today that the state’s two power authorities will purchase up to 150 megawatts of solar power through a program aiming to make the state the nation’s second-biggest solar power producer.
Paterson chose a solar power conference in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center attended by about 3,000 people from around the nation to unveil the plan, which his staff says eventually could create not only a new source of electricity but also 50,000 jobs in an entire new manufacturing industry. Read the report by Robert J. McCarthy in The Buffalo News.

Paterson backs local sharing of NYPA hydropower profits
- 05/16/2009
Governor opens possibility for economic development
Western New York’s long-standing argument that profits from unused hydropower generated at Lewiston should remain in the area gained Gov. David A. Paterson’s preliminary approval Friday, setting the stage for a potentially significant influx of money for infrastructure and economic development projects.
Paterson’s promise to reassess what many Western New York officials have long considered an injustice marks a major victory for Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, who filed a bill last month requiring the Power Authority to turn over future proceeds from the sale of unused power to a locally controlled economic development corporation. That agency would use the money to fund infrastructure work and capital improvements for public facilities in Erie and Niagara counties.
The congressman said late Friday he is pleased with the new developments, but also promised to continue to monitor the situation. Read the report by Robert J. McCarthy and James Heaney in The Buffalo News.

State OKs low-cost power for Yahoo! facility
- 05/20/2009
Gov. David A. Paterson announced Tuesday that Yahoo! would bring a new data center and more than 100 jobs to Western New York, but the Internet company said it is still considering other states.
Paterson said Tuesday that Yahoo!, one of the world’s best-known Web sites and search engines, will spend $150 million to set up a new East Coast regional data center here, with at least 125 new high-tech jobs. As an inducement, the company will receive low-cost hydroelectric power from New York State. No other state taxpayer dollars will be spent on the project, officials said. The company has not chosen a site, but it is looking at two locations, one in Niagara County and one in Genesee County, Paterson said. Read the report by Jonathan D. Epstein in The Buffalo News.

Power deal would save Yahoo! $101.2 million
- 05/21/2009
Subsidy package is one of the richest ever offered by the NY Power Authority.
The deal state officials are offering Yahoo! to entice it to build a data center in Western New York would provide about $810,000 in power discounts over the lifetime of the subsidy for every $50,000 job created, a Buffalo News analysis has found.
The discount would save Yahoo! an estimated $53,996 per job per year over the 15-year life of its proposed contract with the New York Power Authority. The average subsidy for companies given new power allocations in recent years is less than a quarter of that—$12,446. The offer, which Yahoo! officials are considering, represents one of the richest subsidy packages ever offered by the Power Authority. Read the report by James Heaney in The Buffalo News. Post comments on his News blog at Outrages & Insights.

Renewable power mandate overcomes hurdle in Senate
- 05/21/2009
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A measure requiring utilities to generate a certain amount of electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, overcame a legislative hurdle in the U.S. Senate on Thursday.
The proposed committee bill would mandate that power plants meet targets to gradually produce more renewable power, beginning with 3 percent of their output between 2011 and 2013 and rising to 15 percent between 2021 and 2039.
Utilities could meet about a quarter of their renewable requirements through energy efficiency gains.The full report is here.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Meeting of Environmental Group Reps

This is a call for Environmental Group Representatives to attend a meeting on Monday, May 18th, at 6:45pm. The purpose is explained in the message below from Roger Cook, Legislative Committee, WNY Climate Action Coalition:

This is an important meeting as we hope to secure as many commitments from organizations as well as individuals for three NYS legislative initiatives that need to be pushed this session. Two are being sponsored by Senator Thompson: a "Feed-In" law (S. 2715) that would create a favorable climate for businesses to invest in renewable energy like wind and solar and a climate change law (S. 4315) that would set mandate a drastic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. There are companion/"same as" bills in the Assembly (A. 187 and A. 7572). The third piece, a Green Homes/Green Jobs housing retrofit proposal is currently being negotiated with the governor/senate/assembly leadership and, as I understand it.

To get these bills co-sponsored and passed, we're going to have to ramp up public pressure. The WNY CAC legislative committee is on board and we're willing to do grassroots mobilization. But, we would like to be part of a broader coalition. Representation at this meeting from groups like Citizen Action, Apollo, NYPIRG, Audubon, Sierra Club, LCV, Adirondack Mtn. Club, Citizens Coalition for the Environment, Citizens Environmental Coalition, campus environmental groups, etc. would be critical. This will help us find out where we have consensus and allow us to wage a coordinated campaign to secure Senate/Assembly legislative support .

Meeting will be held on Monday, May 18 at 6:45pm at the Tri-Main Center, 2495 Main Street, Suite 438, Buffalo
Questions: E-mail: Roger Cook Phone: 716-833-5416

SOLAR 2009 Conference in the NEWS

Conference boosts solar power - 5/14/2009
Climate may be right for eco-friendly alternative
The future of solar power in the United States was charted on an industrial, a technological and a political map Wednesday as Buffalo hosted the opening session of the American Solar Energy Society’s annual conference. Advocates and marketers of solar power have already solved the major technical issues and now must join the political battle of winning the technology its proper share of the market, according to a Washington consultant. See the report by George Pyle in The Buffalo News.

State grant aims to help UB build clean-energy businesses - 5/15/2009
A $1.5 million grant from the state agency in charge of energy research will help the University at Buffalo establish a program to help students, inventors and others to turn clean energy ideas into profitable businesses. The grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, one of four to be awarded for similar programs across the state, was announced as part of the American Solar Energy Society’s annual conference at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. See the report by George Pyle in The Buffalo News.

Solar vendors see potential in U. S.
- 5/16/2009
Today marks last day of energy conference
Vendors at Solar 2009 - some from as far away as China and Germany - spoke optimistically Friday about the potential of green energy in the United States. That optimism was embodied in the “Welcome to the New York Energy Revolution” banner over the New York State Energy, Research and Development Authority booth, as hundreds of dealers, manufacturers and company representatives discussed building long-term business relationships. See the report by Mark Sommer in The Buffalo News.

Solar conference here turns on a green light - 5/17/2009
Public views exhibits on alternative energy
The national solar conference that attracted as many as 3,000 out-of- town visitors to the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center all last week opened Saturday for local residents who wanted to get a glimpse of what is new in the green movement. The focus was wind, solar, hydro and cell energy, and renewable technology. See the report by Deidre Williams in The Buffalo News.

Video at the SOLAR 2009 Reception featuring NY State Senator Thompson, and short videos of various exhibitors at the Buffalo-Niagara Green Expo are in the Business Gets Green group at VideoWebWorks.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sunny Buffalo - We've got the Power!

UB North Campus to plug into solar power in big way
Panels on 7 acres will provide electricity for 735 apartments housing 2,000 students
The largest ground-mounted solar energy project to date in the state will be built in sunny Western New York. The State Power Authority and the University at Buffalo (UB) announced plans Wednesday to install 5,000 solar panels, which could generate enough solar energy to power 735 campus apartments for 2,000 UB students. The project, on the North Campus in Amherst, will cost about $7 million and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2010. To read the full report, click here.

At 1100 kW capacity, the UB solar power project ranks among the top 10 in the country on college campuses, most of which are in California, according to information provided by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

Buffalo poised to display its green side to 3,000 visitors - 5/11/2009
Solar 2009 spotlights region’s potential as a renewable power hub
Buffalo this week hosts one of the largest national conferences on solar and other renewable energy sources. Organizers say the Solar 2009 National Conference offers a chance for an expected 3,000 out-of-towners to see that this region is a hotbed of activity in renewable energy and green jobs. See the report by Stephen T. Watson in The Buffalo News.

Solar 2009 Public Day
Celebrating Solar Energy and Our Commitment to the Environment

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Green Jobs Training in Buffalo...Ready?

On April 17th, 2009, Buffalo ReUse submitted their application to the U.S. Conference of Mayors to initiate a Pre-Apprenticeship, Green Jobs Training Program in Buffalo! The program is called the ReBEL Corps. BEL stands for Buffalo ECO Leaders. To be considered, Buffalo ReUse must have a letter of support from our Mayor, Byron Brown and we need your help!

We know the Mayor is committed to creating Green Jobs and to training youth in our neighborhoods. Your signature will communicate your support for this proposal and urge the Mayor to submit a letter of support on behalf of the City of Buffalo to make GREEN JOBS TRAINING possible for out of school young adults, ages 17 - 24.

Please support this effort. Click Here and Sign the Petition.
Oakland is ready...
South Bronx & Chicago are ready. See Web Links -->
The question is...Is Buffalo Ready?