Over the past several months, as we’ve investigated road salt pollution in homeowners’ water, we’ve been keeping an eye out for lab tests that show salt getting into town and village water supplies.
It stood to reason that since road salt can run off roads into private wells, it could also get into water supplies used by larger public drinking water systems.
But tracking the spread of salt is complicated because of uneven testing by public water systems across upstate New York. The state’s Department of Health decides which contaminants public water suppliers have to test for each year.
The 31st Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference has been set for April 23 & 24, 2020 at the Woodstock Inn, in Woodstock, Vermont.
This conference, which is coordinated by New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) in partnership with member states and EPA, is a forum for sharing information about nonpoint source pollution (NPS) issues and projects in this region. » Continue Reading.
Community groups and a local septic service company are cooperating to provide discounted septic system pumping to homeowners in the Eckford Chain watershed, which includes Blue Mountain, Eagle and Utowana Lakes, and is the headwaters of the Raquette River.
While Blue Mountain Lake has some of the highest quality water in the state and there is no immediate threat, cottages and houses, some with systems that are quite old, grace the shorelines and tributaries and a pumped-out septic system works better. The goal is to enhance awareness about septic and sewage issues and to inspire homeowners with septic systems to take timely action, perhaps learning the location of their tank and leach field for the first time. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Garden Club and Garden Club of Lake Placid is set to host Judith Enck, Senior Fellow and Visiting Faculty Member at Bennington College, who will give a presentation and strategy session focused on eliminating single-use plastics in the Adirondacks, at Lake Placid’s Olympic Conference Center on Tuesday, July 16, from 3 to 5:30 pm. » Continue Reading.
Almost 50 scientists who work in the Adirondacks gathered March 6 and 7 in Old Forge to present results of research and monitoring activities in the region during the 16th Annual Adirondack Research Forum. Below is a quick summary of their reports and findings.
Readers will note that the names of a few private waterbodies where specific research is being conducted were redacted. This was done for privacy purposes and to protect the fisheries. Each of the research and monitoring projects fits into the state’s plan to protect itself from acid rain and climate change by proving what damage has already occurred. Some of the projects also seek to find ways to accelerate the park’s recovery from all air pollution-related damage. » Continue Reading.
At the conclusion of his visit to Bear Pond in the St. Regis Canoe Area on August 10, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer answered questions from press and local residents who were worried about Federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Senator Schumer confirmed that Kavanaugh would be bad news for clean air, clean water and public health in the Adirondack Park.
The Senator had come to celebrate Bear Pond’s recovery from acid rain and to warn federal officials not to backslide on clean air rules. The Senate Minority Leader said he was opposed to Kavanaugh’s confirmation. » Continue Reading.
The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), St. Lawrence County, and the Development Authority of the North Country (DANC) have announced a public meeting has been set for Friday, July 20, 2018, to provide the public with a comprehensive presentation of cleanup efforts at the former Jones and Laughlin (J&L) Steel Company site (Benson Mines) at Star Lake.
The Magnetic Iron Company began developing the area on top of what they believed would be a valuable ore body in the late 1880s. The Benson Mines Company started open pit mining operations at the site and produced magnetite and non-magnetite ore intermittently until the mine closed from 1919 to 1941.
Have you ever wondered what happens to the many pieces of plastic we contact in our daily lives? I wrote here recently on recycling, and the negative impact on others that littering can have. The best solution to wondering where plastics end up is to control their fate — by recycling and not littering. Trash left lying anywhere in the Adirondacks reflects negatively on the region and lessens the experience of both locals and visitors alike. » Continue Reading.
For any movie buffs out there, here’s a trivia question: what single substance is mentioned during memorable conversations in the films It’s A Wonderful Life and The Graduate? Hints, if you need them: in It’s A Wonderful Life, the word is mentioned by Sam Wainwright during a famous and subtly steamy telephone conversation with George Bailey and Mary Hatch (Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed) together on the other end of the line. In The Graduate, the word is uttered at a graduation party, and is part of an often-repeated line that was offered as confidential advice by Mr. McGuire to the college graduate himself, Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman).
For me the word also comes to mind each spring, a season that seems to bring out the worst in some drivers. The winter cold apparently discourages littering — people who toss garbage out of their cars tend to do so much less from November through March. Apparently disposing of their trash in alternate fashion (maybe a garbage can or recycling container, god forbid) is more attractive than opening the car window during the cold season. » Continue Reading.
My family has always spent Earth Day cleaning up a trailhead parking area. We’ve managed to gather plenty of disgusting items throughout the years, but the one thing we’ve never seen is a smaller amount of garbage.
There is always plenty of styrofoam containers, to-go cups, plastic straws, and plastic bags tucked into trees or buried in streams. We find paper, personal mail and crates of items that should be in a recycle bin. Cleaning the trailhead never seems to lessen the amount of plastic, or help people recycle. » Continue Reading.
Everyone knows that acing an algebra exam won’t help your grade in anthropology, history or theatre class. The same logic applies to water.
A coliform test can tell if your well is impacted by septic leakage or manure runoff, but it won’t tell you if residues from agricultural chemicals or spilled gas or oil are getting in your water. Those are very different kinds of tests. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced they will begin remedial construction activities to address contamination in Pontiac Bay of Lake Flower and Brandy Brook.
A public availability session has been set for Tuesday, March 13th from 7 to 9 pm at the Harrietstown Town Hall, 39 Main Street, Saranac Lake. » Continue Reading.
In a recent newsletter from Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, she mentioned visiting the facilities of the Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation to discuss strategies for measuring and combating acid rain in the Adirondacks. Although acid rain remains an important topic of study and discussion, the once commonplace phrase has become somewhat obscure in recent years and the problems associated with acid rain have taken a back seat to other, more widely discussed environment-impacting issues.
Like global warming, acid rain results from burning fossil fuels, either to generate electricity at large power plants or to run vehicles and heavy equipment. As the resulting ‘acid gasses’ are released into the air, they combine with water vapor, producing sulfuric and nitric acids, which fall to earth in acidified rain, snow, sleet, fog, mist, or hail. » Continue Reading.
As the season draws to a close, Lake George partner groups, including the Fund for Lake George, Lake George Waterkeeper Program and the Lake George Association, along with state and local governments, continue to search for the source of contamination to the lake water at Million Dollar Beach. The Department of Environmental Conservation closed the beach again recently after detecting bacterial contamination.
“Unfortunately, Lake George continues to be compromised through contamination from an apparent human source at Million Dollar Beach,” said Chris Navitsky, the Lake George Waterkeeper, in a press release issued by the Fund for Lake George. “While tracing the exact origin of the contamination is a complicated issue, we are confident this problem can be solved with a focused, science-driven plan of action.” » Continue Reading.
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