Action - Rochester, NY area Environment 

RochesterEnvironment.com

Take Action for your area's environment.  These actions come for non-profit and governmental (many in the form of public input forums) on issues that will affect our particular environment.

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Page Contents: Actions with Specific Due Dates | On-going actions | Contact your Representatives in Government |

 

Take Action for our Rochester area environmentOften, I receive request to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local developments, and environmental items needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world. 

This page is designed to bring all these requests under one roof so the Internet can facilitate these requests by various groups for aid. Look for the due date for each of the action items.  I try as much as possible (because there are so many environmental online actions) to limit my listings to items that will influence the Rochester, NY area

 

What did you do on the road to COP21 - United Nations Conference on Climate Change? Your grandchildren will ask.

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Top Ten Things You Can Do for Rochester’s Environment

Sure there are lots of top ten lists around.  So why not one on the things you can do for your local environment—that system that keeps us alive and thriving?  But, this list is different from the usual stuff.  It’s not one of those really easy, warm and fuzzy lists of fun activities you can do in your spare time.  It’ll be transformative.

This list assumes you are ready to take responsibility (as a member of the only species capable of doing so) for your presence at this critical time in our planet’s history.  And, it isn’t about just your personal fulfillment thing—our environment isn’t politics, religion, a fad, or a cause; it’s science all the way down. Pollute the planet, stuff happens.  Finally, in order for the effects of this list to be effective a lot (I mean billions) of humans need to do them too.  In the deepest practical sense, everything you do (where you live, what you eat, what you buy, what you throw away) matters to our environment. Ready folks, here we go:     

 

  1. Be engaged with the issues surrounding our local environment by monitoring the media, books, reports, and the Internet using the laws of Nature as your guide to monitor how our lifestyle is affecting our environment.
  2. When you consume anything--food, water, cars, gadgets, whatever—do so as though you were demonstrating how to consume for the rest of the world—considering the lifecycle of the products you buy, how they are made, how they are used, and how you get rid of them.
  3. When you have someplace to go, consider all your options in order of their affect on our environment: walking, biking, car-pooling, mass transit, and lastly a personal vehicle. 
  4. Conserve energy until we find a non-polluting, renewable energy source.
  5. Vote. If you’re doing good for our environment and your representative in government doesn’t get it, you’re just making yourself feel good without much effect.
  6. Recycle, reuse and encourage your local government to create a place where recycling just about everything is the norm.
  7. Think twice before using toxic chemicals that make your yard look like a golf course and your house like a hospital.
  8. Consider other species (plants and animals) and their role in sustaining our environment.  Some are annoying and critical.  Some are cute and a burden.
  9. Adopt green business practices: your business will save our environment and be able to compete with the rest of the world.
  10. Communicate your concerns about the state of our environment to everyone. Sustainability isn’t going to work unless everyone gets on board quickly. 
  11. Encourage all your news sources to have an environmental section daily and help move environmental investigations and news to mainstream media.

R-Cause

Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale-gas Extraction R-CAUSE was created by Rochester citizens who treasure New York State and want its waters, land and air to remain clean and its communities to remain viable. R-CAUSE's goal is to inform as many people in the Rochester area as possible about the risks associated with high-volume, slick-water, horizontal hydraulic fracturing.

Actions with Specific Due Dates:

[Actions with specific dates are listed first, then actions due now (and without specific dates that I can determine are listed after.]

  • ACTION: Due Date: July 31, 2015
    • Make public comment on Sewage Pollution Right to Know Law from June 17 - July 31. Attend meeting in Rochester, Wednesday, July 15, Monroe Community College, Monroe B Warshof Conference Center,1000 East Henrietta Road, Rochester, NY 14623 | Meeting will start at 7:00 PM DEC Accepting Public Comment on Sewage Pollution Right to Know Regulations Public Can Now Enroll For NY-Alert to Receive Notice of Sewage Discharges Four Public Information Sessions to Be Held The public is invited to submit comments on regulations to implement the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Law from June 17 - July 31 and can now sign up for NY-Alert to receive notice of sewage discharges, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced today. DEC will hold four public information sessions to provide background on the regulations. "The Sewage Right to Know Law is a critical tool for protecting public health by requiring municipalities to report sewage discharges," said Commissioner Joe Martens. "In developing the NY-Alert notifications for sewer discharges, DEC strived to find a way to provide New Yorkers with free and easy access to this information while minimizing the burden to municipalities. With the NY-Alert system in place, information can now be provided to residents in a timely manner." (June 3, 2015) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • "Call on Governor Cuomo and The Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to take immediate action to protect the public and the environment from the dangers of crude-by-rail." Stop the Bomb Trains "As much as 7 billion gallons of crude oil could move by train through New York State annually under current and proposed permits as the nation’s “virtual pipeline” for crude oil expands. The Department of Transportation can take immediate action to reduce the risks of derailments, which have caused catastrophic spills of crude oil elsewhere in the United States and Canada, including the tragic loss last year of 47 lives and the destruction of a business district in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. The volatility of Bakken crude oil combined with the inadequacy of the DOT-111 railcars used to transport much of this cargo has led rail workers to dub them "bomb trains." Spills of heavy crudes, such as those from Alberta, Canada, tar sands, would have particularly damaging impacts to water and the ecosystems they support – because heavy crude oils can sink, clean-up is next to impossible. " Riverkeeper
  • ACTION: Due Date, NOW!
    • From a friend: Learn more about saving 12.8 acres of beautiful wild land and wildlife habitat in Henrietta: Save Beckwith Park "There is a group of neighbors working hard to save 12.8 acres of beautiful wild land and wildlife habitat. In view of the Pope's recent encyclical, we are mystified that the Catholic Diocese of Rochester is in the process of selling it for development. We were able to have a wetlands surveyor look at arial photos of the land and he identified two likely areas of wetland on the property. In addition there is a waterway that runs through the property that is marked on the DEC classified water bodies map. Trees present include quite a few cherry, many slippery elm maple, some maple, a few large oaks, many large ash and even walnut. It’s a wonderfully overgrown home to fox, deer, skunk, raccoon, bats, woodchucks, turkey, ducks and a host of other wildlife. One neighbor has even seen a bobcat there! We saw fox cubs once. They looked like little fur-balls rolling around playing like puppies while the mama fox stood nearby. There are thickets, meadows, and even a wild blackberry patch. A recent bird watch walk through the property found 41 species of birds which are listed here:  We are looking to get more public awareness of the situation and will appreciate any help you might be able to give! There is more information on our newly developed website: www.SaveBeckwithPark.org
  • ACTION: Due Date, NOW!
    • Fracking ain't over in New York until it's over: Take action: Call on the NYS Senate and Assembly to ACT NOW to pass the Hazardous Waste Loophole Bill! Read more: Time to Close New York’s Fracking Waste Loophole Despite the recent historic ban on high-volume fracking, New York still has a fracking waste problem. More than 510,000 tons and 23,000 barrels – and counting – of waste from oil and gas extraction operations in neighboring Pennsylvania have been shipped to New York landfills for disposal. Leachate from those landfills is then sent to nearby wastewater treatment facilities. And New York State continues to allow the use of certain kinds of waste from low-volume oil and gas extraction on our roads for de-icing and dust control. Fracking waste can contain a number of pollutants, such as chemicals, metals, excess salts, and carcinogens like benzene and naturally-occurring radioactive materials. Due to a loophole in state law, oil and gas industry waste is exempt from hazardous waste requirements, meaning that – no matter what it contains – fracking waste is not classified as hazardous. This “hazardous waste loophole” also means that fracking waste can be disposed of at facilities unequipped to handle it, and in ways that can put our health and environment at risk. (June 3, 2015) Riverkeeper [more on Fracking in our area]
  • ACTION: Due Date, NOW!
    • Do this! DEMAND WORLD LEADERS SIGN A STRONG AGREEMENT AT THE PARIS CLIMATE NEGOTIATIONS IN DECEMBER. TAKE CLIMATE ACTION NOW Climate change threatens our lives and livelihoods. As the world’s leaders prepare to gather for the UN climate negotiations in Paris this December, now is the moment for the world to speak as one: A strong emissions reductions agreement is the key to our collective prosperity, and well-being for all. --from The Climate Reality Project
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Submit letters to the Democrat and Chronicle Editors about oil trains passing thru Rochester and gas storage in the Seneca Lake salt mines concerns: Editorial submissions
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Been wondering how your group can help our environment? Help monitor our Water Quality by being Citizen Scientists. “Citizen Science is a vital fast-growing field in which scientific investigations are conducted by volunteers.” Learn more, get training, get equipment, get started. EPA Region 2 Citizen Science |  Equipment Loan Program [PDF 437 KB, 5 pp] Apply for the Region 2 Citizen Science equipment Loan Program [PDF 318 KB, 2 pp] Citizen Science is a vital fast-growing field in which scientific investigations are conducted by volunteers.  Individuals and community groups have long collected data to better understand their local environment and address issues of concern to them.  Over the past decade, there has been an explosion of citizen science projects as tools have advanced and people have become more empowered.  These projects have been remarkably successful in expanding scientific knowledge, raising people’s awareness of their environment, and leveraging change. EPA Region 2
  • ACTION: Due Date NOW!
    • Please sign this petition: Sign the petition: Stop NPR from gutting its climate coverageAs tax-paying citizens of the USA, whose government supplies 4.6% of NPR’s income (and 39% from individual contributors), we insist that you restore your climate reporting team—or rather, actually increase it. At this critical juncture, with the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris is coming up where our leaders need to act on Climate Change, our public needs more day-to-day, accessible, and thorough coverage. NPR’s reasoning that “because so many other staffers cover the subject, along with their other beats”, it’s OK to gut your climate reporting teams ignores the fact that so many Americans are uninformed about an issue that requires long-term planning and public support for long-term adaptation strategies as noted in most climate plans and studies. more...
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • New York State needs a clear and enforceable climate action plan so we can prepare our state for damage to our public health, our water, waste, transportation, telecommunications infrastructures and agriculture.  This cannot be done ad hoc, or just with grants, or just using the market forces.  Properly planning for something as pervasive as Climate Change needs top-down direction from our leaders.  Urge Governor Cuomo to Develop a Climate Action Plan "Governor Cuomo,  The world is changing. New York communities have been caught devastated by the growing climate crisis, suffering through hurricanes and other extreme weather events. World leaders, assembled by the United Nations for a summit on the climate crisis, have recognized the need to act now to protect communities worldwide from the ravages of climate change, and to create an economy that works for the people and the planet.  Governor, you’ve already made a commitment to an 80 percent reduction in carbon pollution by 2050. We applaud you for this. We ask that you articulate your plan for getting us there. It is time for you to take the bold step to pull our state out of the dirty energy ways of the past and to move us forward with energy sources that are clean, healthy and beneficial for all New Yorkers.  We, the undersigned are asking your administration to seize the moment by creating a climate action plan for New York. We believe that without such a plan, piecemeal efforts to offset or mitigate the hazards of climate change will too little and too late. New York should be a clean energy leader, and a leader in cutting climate-altering pollution. We are calling on you to prepare a plan to fight climate change, keep our communities safe, and move New York away from the dirty fossil fuels of the past.  Sincerely, " from Environmental Advocates of New York
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Pound for pound, getting community leaders to pledge to the state’s ‘Climate Smart Communities’ program is one of the most effective things people can do to address Climate Change. Take action! It’s all spelled out for you here: Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities': New York State's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program supports municipalities as they identify, plan and carry out projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and prepare for the challenges climate change will bring. This program provides resources that enable localities to act on climate, without mandating which programs or policies they should adopt. 
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Interested in the water quality of our rivers and streams and want to get trained to help monitor them?  "Reminder -- Volunteers for Stream and River Monitoring Wanted: DEC is looking for citizen scientist volunteers for stream and river monitoring as part of the Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) project. Volunteers visit stream sites once between July and September to collect macroinvertebrates -- insects and other small organisms -- from the rocks and rubble on the stream bottom.  In 2014, volunteers can participate by joining a local WAVE group led by a trained local coordinator, or by sampling independently. Volunteers working under a trained local coordinator do not need to attend a training session; however, volunteers who want to work independently must attend a training session.  WAVE training sessions rotate around the state on a five-year schedule, targeting those basins that will be sampled by DEC's Stream Biomonitoring Unit the following year.  Three training sessions remain for 2014: June 14 in Esperance, June 21 in Wyoming and June 29 in New Hartford. " (June 13, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!  
    • Give Feedback to open.ny.gov! Back in March of 2013,  Governor Cuomo Launches Open.NY.Gov Providing Public Unprecedented User-Friendly Access to Federal, State and Local Data “Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched "open.ny.gov," a new and comprehensive state data transparency website that provides - for the first time - user-friendly, one-stop access to data from New York State agencies, localities, and the federal government. The website, featuring economic development, health, recreation, and public services information, was unveiled today during Sunshine Week, a nationwide initiative designed to raise awareness about the importance of open government.”  open.ny.gov is now up and running and filled with a lot of data, most of not really helpful in learning about the state of our environment.  This data site is a good start, but it could use some more datasets focused on information we need to monitor the health of our New York State environment—especially as Climate Change affects our state. Consider giving open.ny.gov suggestions on new datasets, like Brownfield sites that need cleaning up, what kind of toxins are still the in Genesee River, where are all the landfills, what routes to hazardous materials take through our state, in what areas are folks getting cancer and what kind of cancers, and a lot more.  Give Feedback to open.ny.gov!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW! 
    • Chance to volunteer and help largest wetland in Northeast. "Montezuma Audubon Center Seeks Volunteers   Savannah, NY - September 20 - The Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC), located at 2295 State Route 89 in Savannah, is seeking volunteers to strengthen the current staff’s ability to fulfill Audubon’s mission in conservation.  The MAC is dedicated toward providing opportunities for youth, families, and communities to connect to conservation and enhance the Montezuma Wetlands Complex as an Important Bird Area. We are looking for volunteers interested in routinely supporting day to day needs as an information desk receptionist, animal caretaker for our live reptiles and amphibians, and office supporter to help with clerical tasks. Please call Chris Lajewski at 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org for more information or to sign up today! "
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • New website by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to demand clean energy and do away with dirty energy to prevent more Climate Change. "Tell President Obama to reject the climate-destroying, Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and lead the way to a clean energy future instead. " DemandCleanPower.org
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Thinking it’s about time to do something on a big scale to combat Climate Change?  Think about joining Citizen’s Climate Lobby.  Here’s what Dr. James Hansen, head of Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA say’s "Most impressive is the work of Citizens Climate Lobby, a relatively new, fastgrowing, nonpartisan, nonprofit group with 60 chapters across the United States and Canada. If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group." The contact information for the local Rochester group: nyrochester@citizensclimatelobby.org We meet monthly, and people can contact us for more info on getting involved!
  • ACTION: Due Date NOW!
    • Don’t need those massive phone books?  Just throw them away because you’re a digital kind of person? Opt out of getting those phone books, easy peasy, and save trees .  Phone Book Opt-Out Program Gives Choice to Consumers Did you know you can control how many phone books you get every year, or whether you get one at all? In the age of smart phones and Wi-Fi, the way people search for information is changing. For many, online search options are the new go-to for finding contact information to local residences or businesses. That means when a printed phone book arrives on your doorstep, it might go to waste. Find your local recycle  solution for Phone Books So why do phone books continue to show up? According to the Local Search Association, 70 percent of consumers still prefer to receive a printed phone book every year.  (November 20, 2012) Earth 911 [more on Recycling in our area]
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Can you imagine what our world would look like if everyone used their smartphones to report environmental crimes? Healthier! Become an environmental crime stopper Polluting a stream and getting away with it? Violating the Clean Air Act without detection? Now, anyone with a smartphone can help bust abusers of the environment. New York State Crime Stoppers announced a new phone app that makes it very easy for people to instantly report environmental crimes to the appropriate agency. Cellfare created the app in collaboration with Crime Stoppers, Waterkeeper Alliance, state police and local law enforcement agencies across the state. (November 21, 2012) Investigative Post

 

Rochester, NY February 2013

 

After the People’s Climate March, a Rochester manifesto The public has delivered a clear mandate on Climate Change. The People’s Climate March (PCM), which drew 400,000 concerned souls, demanded that their governmental leaders act on the most pressing crisis of our age.  However milquetoast the UN Summit in NY turns out to be (the summit the PCM tried to kick start), the march will change everything. The media, despite their intentional use of the word ‘activists’ to dismiss most of the world’s peoples as only a special interest group, will have to change too.     Never again. Never again will it be fashionable to deny or dismiss what most people know to be true: that our present way of living is causing our planet to warm up far quicker than most plants, animals and we can adapt to. Never again will our leaders be able to speak as if Climate Change is not occurring. Never again will public pressure cease to compel businesses and governments to respond to the climate crisis with actions that actually bring down greenhouse gases. Promises will be held to a strict standard of compliance—regardless of weak-kneed leaders. The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, whose “objective is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world”1 must not fail.  more...

On-going Action sites for our environment

Many local, national, and international organizations take action for our environment and make it easy for you to do so also.

League of Women Voters Rochester Metropolitan Area "The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy."

New state hotline announced for reporting polluters, poachers The public will be able to instantly report poachers and polluters using a new toll-free hotline that will help to ensure strict enforcement of environmental laws that protect the State's natural resources, state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced Thursday. The public will be able to instantly report poachers and polluters using a new toll-free hotline that will help to ensure strict enforcement of environmental laws that protect the State’s natural resources, state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced Thursday. The toll-free hotline number is 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267). The hotline will be staffed 24/7 and connect callers to a DEC police dispatcher.  (November 13, 2014) Irondequoit Post [more on Action in our area]

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Report an Environmental Violation Online "Report an Environmental Violation Online The New York State Environmental Conservation Police values the watchful eyes and ears of citizens concerned with our environment. Use this form to report suspected violations of New York State environmental conservation laws. Submitted forms are immediately forwarded 24/7/365 to DEC dispatchers. If an immediate response is needed, file your complaint by phone by calling the DEC Turn in Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) hotline at 1-800-TIPP-DEC (1-800-847-7332). Caution: never put yourself at risk to get any of the information. Gather whatever information you can without trespassing or exposing yourself to harmful materials or situations. " from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

 

Contact Your New York State (Senator) and (Assembly) Representatives--from http://newyork.sierraclub.org/legislative/

You'd be surprised how influential a letter or phone call from a constituent can be to a State Senator or State Assembly Member.

  • To find your State Senator's Contact Information: Go to http://www.senate.state.ny.us, click on "Senators", click on your Senator, click on "contact." To identify your State Senator: Go to http://www.senate.state.ny.us, click on "Senators", click on "search by zip code", enter your zip code.
  • To find your Assembly Member's Contact Information: Go to http://www.assembly.state.ny.us, scroll to your Assembly Member, click "go", click on "contact". To identify your Assembly Member: Go to http://www.assembly.state.ny.us, click to "click here to search by zipcode", enter your zipcode, and click "search".

 

Ready to ramp up your Actions to protect our life support system? Check out new Action Switchboard (@ASdotnet) ACTION SWITCHBOARD "THE ACTION SWITCHBOARD IS A PLATFORM THAT HELPS ACTIVISTS FIND EACH OTHER, COME UP WITH DIRECT ACTION IDEAS, AND GET THE RESOURCES THEY NEED TO PULL THEM OFF. Sometimes we need mass protests to make our point. We love that kind of activism, and it’s important. But we can’t all get out in the streets together every single day. Ongoing, sustained creative actions are vital for keeping movements strong in between the big moments when we take to the streets. That's exactly why we built the Action Switchboard."

 

 

Need help choosing an environmentally friendly elected official? NYLCV - New York League of Conservation Voters | Educating and Electing for the Environment - NYLCV is a non-partisan, policy making and political action organization that works to make environmental protection a top priority with elected officials, decision-makers and the voters by evaluating incumbent performance and endorsing and electing environmental leaders to office in New York State.