Friday, September 30, 2011

WNY Solar and Green Buildings Tour – October 1st

 Solar and Green Building Tour
It's the BIGGEST in NY State!

Saturday, October 1, 2011
10am - 4pm

The tour is FREE, self guided, and open to the public. We give you the addresses, you choose the ones you want to see.

Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Green LEED buildings, Bale on Bale, Net Zero - you name it, we have it on the tour.

Kickoff Awards Party will occur from 10am-11am at the Innovation Center,
640 Ellicott St. in Buffalo on the Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus [MAP].
There will awards given to highlight solar & green buildings as well as refreshments and prizes for those in attendance.

Workshops will held be at
Innovation Center from 11am-1pm.
11am-11:30 - Gary Carrell, NYSERDA, energy efficiency
11:30 - 12 - Wind Action Group, Wind in Buffalo
12 - 12:30 - Geothermal 101
12:30 - 1pm - Solar Liberty, Solar 101

TOUR over 40 Solar and Green Buildings at locations throughout Western New York. Open from 10am-4pm.

  • List of buildings with the addresses is here.
  • Map of building locations is here.
Letter about the Tour in The Buffalo News: Green technologies are wise investment

Brought to you by the Western NY Sustainable Energy Association
Many thanks to our Sponsors – Solar Liberty, Buffalo CarShare, Green Options Buffalo, NFTA, and Buffalo Energy. 
For more information see or email

Moving Planet - Rally to Move Beyond Fossil Fuels

On Saturday, September 24th, thousands of people across the country and millions around the globe participated in a Moving Planet Day of Action -- calling for our leaders to move beyond fossil fuels. In every nation on earth people were in motion -- powering themselves without fossil fuels. The event was sponsored by The Sierra Club and

Michael Brune, Executive Director, The Sierra Club, and Bill McKibben, Founder,, wrote in an article [1] that:
... burning fossil fuels is making us sick, strangling our economy, and fueling climate disruption. A healthy economy requires healthy people, clean air, and clean water.  
America and the world cannot afford any more inaction. We can build healthy, thriving communities and create new jobs by moving beyond fossil fuels and investing in clean energy, like wind and solar, that already has created millions of American jobs.

On Sept. 24th, at over 2000 Moving Planet events in more than 175 countries, people walked, ran, biked, canoed, kayaked, danced and moved under their own power in other ways without relying on fossil fuels. For examples of some events, have a look at the video below:

There were four Moving Planet events in Western NY, three in Buffalo (University at Buffalo, Daemen College, & Buffalo State College) and one in Orchard Park.  To view some photos of the events click here .
To see a selection of some of the many photos from events around the world, click here.

[1] "Time to Move -- Beyond Fossil Fuels" by Michael Brune and Bill McKibben.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gas Facts Fall Fest - Impacts of Fracking

Join us!
Sunday October 9th
at the Buffalo Irish Center
245 Abbot Rd in South Buffalo
Gas Facts Fall Fest


  • Film Premiere of a short documentary about Western New York families affected by fracking: "WNY Frack Chat"
  • Informative presentations about how high-volume fracking in NYS could affect WNY
  • Live music by Babik. If you already know their gypsy swing jazz, you love them. If not, come and enjoy the band recognized for their talents and popularity by Buffalo Spree and Artvoice.
  • Pizza, soda and beer included
Tickets: $15 pre-sale, $20 at the door.
Tickets available by contacting Sarah at, Rita at, and at Burning Books, 420 Connecticut St, Buffalo, NY. See for hours.

Fundraiser for WNY Drilling Defense and POWR, Protecting Our Water Rights - two grassroots environmental groups

Poster is available here.

Co-sponsors: WNY Peace Center, Veterans for Peace, Sierra Club Niagara Chapter, Arden Farm, Above & Beyond Tree Expert Company, Rezults Consulting, Body Glyphix Yoga Studio, For the Love of Toulouse: Shiitake Mushroom Pate de Faux Gras, Eco-logic Studio, Burning Books, Peace Education Fund.

P.S.- the game will surely be on in the center's cash bar for Bills fans.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Niagara Falls Plans to Treat Wastewater from Shale-Gas Drilling

A Public Meeting will be held on Thursday, September 22

In July, the Niagara Falls Water Board was reported to be exploring the possibility of treating wastewater containing toxic chemicals resulting from unconventional shale-gas drilling, known as horizontal, hydraulic fracturing or simply fracking. Water from the treatment plant would be released into the Niagara River which flows into Lake Ontario and provides a source of drinking water. A new report issued last week indicated that an outside firm has completed a feasibility study and that the Water Board is moving forward with the plan to treat fracking wastewater.

The Buffalo Avenue treatment plant was built over 30 years ago to clean up wastewater from chemical industries in the city of Niagara Falls and it benefited the region by generated millions of dollars income annually. The Executive Director of the Water Board, Paul Drof, said "Until the state finalizes their guidelines on the treatment of fracking waste, we can't say for sure even if we can do it." He added, "Frankly, we have a responsibility to our rate payers to at least look at this as a possibility."

However, Walter Hang, Ph.D., an expert in wastewater management and head of Toxics Targeting Inc., has studied the Niagara Falls plant and believes that it can not handle fracking wastewater. Hang said "The wastewaters generated by the chemical manufacturing facilities in Niagara Falls are vastly different from the gas-drilling wastewater that could be generated by horizontal hydrofracking in the Marcellus Shale."

Dr. Hang does not stand alone in his criticism of the concept. Over fifty scientists signed a letter warning NY Gov. Cuomo that it would be impossible for municipal systems to practically protect against chemicals used in fracking and others in the wastewater. The scientists indicated that municipal systems were not designed to filter the toxic chemicals, biocides and radioactive compounds, and that some of these would pass through the systems and enter water supplies.

Local environmentalists expressed concern about the Niagara Falls plan. Rita Yelda, organizer of WNY Drilling Defense, said "If this fracking waste is not treated correctly, it could contaminate our water. It's a potential risk."  Brian Smith, with the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said "The Niagara Falls sewage treatment facility is ill equipped to properly treat hazardous fracking waste. Allowing this would risk the discharge of toxic, radioactive, and caustic waste into our fragile Great Lakes ecosystem."

The Niagara Falls Water Board will hold a public meeting on Thursday, September 22 at 5pm in the Water Treatment Plant, 5815 Buffalo Ave, Niagara Falls, NY [MAP]. Concerned citizens are encouraged to attend. Those who wish to speak should sign up before the meeting.