Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Hiker surveys, small business loans and more

AMR lot

Remember those hiker surveys at the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) in Keene? They were conducted by SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and collected data about the three-year pilot reservation system there. The surveys aren’t happening this year, said Jill Weiss, assistant professor of environmental studies at the college. Her students are, however, in the process of collecting more data from focus groups. Weiss is also analyzing survey data from years one and two (we’re in year three currently).

The state Department of Environmental Conservation added that a final report on the surveys will be done by the end of the year. DEC will share it once it’s finalized.

The AMR has a foot traffic easement to allow the public to access a number of popular High Peak hikes. Its trustees and the state implemented a reservation system in 2021 to limit the number of users. To access the reservation system, click here: https://www.hikeamr.org/.

Small business support

Adirondack groups along with Empire State Development announced a new small business revolving loan fund on Monday in Saranac Lake. Loans will be distributed through the nonprofit Adirondack Economic Development Corp. Learn more about this new $2 million program here: https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stories/state-and-adirondack-partners-establish-fund-for-small-businesses

Environmental notice bulletin

Last week’s DEC environmental notice bulletin showed the following on the docket for public comment.

  • The town of Peru is applying to modify its industrial state pollutant discharge elimination system permit, which allows for the discharge of water treatment filter backwash to Furnace Brook from the primary treatment plant on Reservoir Road. The modification involves sampling the water for total aluminum instead of dissolved aluminum. The DEC has made a tentative decision to approve the permit. Comments on the project are due by Sept. 1 and may be submitted to Benjamin M Shubert, NYSDEC Region 5 Headquarters, 1115 St Rte 86
    Ray Brook, NY 12977 or emailed to DEP.R5@dec.ny.gov.

APA meeting

The APA has released its preliminary agenda for this week. You can review it here: https://apa.ny.gov/Mailing/2023/08/FullAgency/AgencyMonthlyAgendaAugust2023.pdf.

The agency has a couple of new projects out for public comment.

  • SUNY ESF is applying to install two 10-foot research towers involving wetlands, one to hold instrumentation and one to hold solar power equipment at Adjidaumo Flow in the town of Newcomb. Public comment collection ends Aug. 24. To view the tower plans and to comment, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2023-0099.
  • Franklin County’s Solid Waste Management Authority is applying to remove an existing compactor building and recycling building at the Lake Clear Transfer Station. It also plans to build a new transfer building that is 5,920 square feet and 52.5 feet tall. The new building will help facilitate top loading of full-sized trailers, according to the project description. The comment period ends Aug. 24. To view the site layout and comment, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2023-0107.

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Gwen is the environmental policy reporter for Adirondack Explorer.




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