albany

4:29pm

Tue January 10, 2012
Hydrofracking

Thousands of last-minute fracking comments delivered to DEC

As of Monday, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) had received a record-breaking 20,800 public comments on the latest draft of its review of hydrofracking.

But by Tuesday, the agency had its hands full with thousands of more comments arriving at the 11th hour.

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2:04pm

Fri December 30, 2011
Safety

America's "most secure" cities include three in upstate

What does it take to be a "secure" city? Good snowplows and low crime, it turns out.
Bindaas Madhavi WNED

Three upstate New York cities rank in the top 20 most “secure” places to live in America. But what does that mean?

Turns out, the survey’s definition of “secure” is not simple.

Farmers Insurance Group releases the annual list, which purports to definitely define where myriad factors converge, creating an environment where citizens’ health, happiness and well-being are least threatened. 

The survey was inspired by the question of how cities have responded since 9/11,  to shore up defenses against possible perils facing modern Americans.

Rochester leads the upstate New York bunch at number two in the nation, followed by Buffalo, slotted at sixth, with Albany coming in twelfth.

UPDATED 1/3/12: Syracuse comes in fourth on the list of large cities, but we left them off of our summary of the upstate cities that made the grade - sorry about that 'Cuse!  It's probably also worth noting that Binghamton comes in fifth on the "mid-sized cities" list, and Utica-Rome comes in twelfth.  Ithaca takes the top spot on the "small towns" list, and Elmira comes in fourth.

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5:09pm

Mon November 14, 2011
Politics

Deadline day for regional councils

Empire State Development President and CEO Ken Adams says the ten regional blueprints will be graded "before the holidays" - and state money could begin flowing before the end of the year.
Zack Seward WXXI

Pencils down. Time is up.

"Today's the day all the homework assignments are due," says Empire State Development President and CEO Ken Adams.

The governor's ten regional economic development councils had until 4 p.m. Monday to submit their final strategic plans.

The state's economic development arm tells the Innovation Trail that all ten councils are in the process of meeting the submission guidelines.

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12:45pm

Fri October 14, 2011
Marcellus Shale

Fracking meeting canceled because agencies "not prepared"

A meeting scheduled for today, of the state's hydrofracking advisory panel, has been called off.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which convenes the panel, confirmed that the meeting was not happening, but did not give a reason.

The 17 member advisory panel includes environmentalists, local government officials, and representatives from the natural gas drilling industry.  It's charged with giving recommendations to the DEC about how to best handle hydrofracking.

Erica Ringewald is the communications director for Environmental Advocates of New York, whose executive director, Robert Moore, is part of the advisory panel. She says the meeting was canceled because a number of state agencies did not have reports ready about how they will be affected by drilling.

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9:14am

Fri October 7, 2011
Marcellus Shale

Lawmakers grill environmental regulators on fracking

The DEC's chief legal counsel, Steve Russo (right) was joined by Commissioner Joe Martens (center) and the agency's executive deputy commissioner, Marc Gerstman (left) in defending the agency's report on hydrofracking.
Marie Cusick WMHT

About a dozen assembly members spent much of Thursday questioning top officials from the state's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) at a public hearing on hydrofracking.

Lawmakers questioned whether the DEC is rushing the process, and relying on data from the natural gas drilling industry.

They were also concerned that the DEC and the state Department of Health might not have enough resources and staff to oversee potential threats to public health.

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