New York State Environmental News

New York is one of our largest states, and home to the cultural capital of the world, New York City. Some of our nation’s oldest and most accomplished environmental organizations were founded in New York. Recycling-not the least of which would be auto recycling and salvage-and other environmental projects are big in the Empire State. Here is the latest New York environmental and recycling news.

Water Bottle Deposits Still on Hold

New York government has been buffeted by endemic budget problems, committed spending draining all available revenue and then some. Our current economic downturn has affected New York’s budget like it has everyone else’s. One creative move undertaken by the state has been to order a new five cent a bottle deposit collected for plastic water bottles. Increasingly under fire for their creation of unnecessary litter and for their expansion of corporate control of water, water bottles have ended up in many environmentalist’s sights. More details please

However New York’s recycling oriented revenue scheme has hit an impasse, halted by a Federal District Court Judge. He delayed implementation of the program until next spring, and struck down a provision which would have hindered interstate commerce. While this is bad news for revenue generation, it still preserves the recycling program for the future.

New York Faces Rise in Invasive Pest Species

As global warming ticks up and agriculture is increasingly globalized, the introduction and migration of new invasive species occurs more frequently. These weed and pest species can devastate agriculture, raise food prices and cause untold ecological damage. New York has faced a wave of new invasive species detected of late, none more serious than the Emerald Ash Borer.

A small beetle, the Emerald Ash Borer (also EAB) is deadly to all varieties of ash trees; there are over 900 million ash trees in the State of New York. This follows on the detection of yet another invasive beetle species, the Asian Longhorned Beetle, which feeds on ash trees as well (along with other hardwood species). The invasion of the EAB has been foreseen for some time, having caused untold damage in neighboring Northeastern states.

In order to stem the spread to other states, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation is stepping up regulation of firewood coming into and leaving the state.

Utica Harbor Cleanup Commences

Utica–the central New York town on the Erie Canal–is home to Harbor Point, a peninsula on the canal that has seen better days. For years lined with factories and put to industrial use, and used as a dumping ground for sediment and other waste, cleaning up Harbor Point has been a priority for local officials for years, seen as vital to any redevelopment efforts

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