News from the Associated Press - February 18, 2014

Associated Press
February 18, 2014

Groups ask NY lawmakers to keep pesticide rules

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Environmental, health and consumer advocacy groups are pushing back against plans by the Cuomo administration to restructure how pesticides are tracked.

In a letter to legislative leaders, 38 groups protested a proposal in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget that rolls back a requirement that commercial applicators report where pesticides are used. It would replace that with a new reporting requirement that collects pesticide data at the point of sale.

Environmental Advocates and other groups say the changes impede the public's right-to-know about toxic chemicals being used where they live, work and play.

Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens said at a budget hearing last month that the intent is to make the data more usable and accessible.


NY senator pens bill banning mute swan slaughter

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A state senator from Queens is trying to stop the slaughter of mute swans proposed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

A bill introduced last week by Sen. Tony Avella would put a two-year moratorium on DEC's plan to eradicate all 2,200 wild mute swans in the state by 2025.

The environmental agency is seeking to have the birds declared a "prohibited invasive species." Agency biologists say the elegant white birds have multiplied to the point that they've become a pest that pollutes water, displaces native birds, poses a hazard to aviation and shows aggression toward people.

The birds are most numerous on Long Island, the lower Hudson Valley and along Lake Ontario.

They were imported from Europe in the late 1800s to decorate private estates.


NY colleges have teams in solar design contest

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Three New York teams are among 20 college teams from across the country chosen to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon 2015.

The event is intended to foster innovation in designing and building affordable, energy-efficient solar-powered houses.

The teams from New York are led by New York City College of Technology; University of Buffalo; and State University of New York at Alfred College of Technology and Alfred University.

The teams will compete in 10 contests, ranging from best architecture and engineering to home appliance performance.

The homes they build will be open for public tours in 2015.


Upstate NY faces wet week of showers, melting snow

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for later this week in western New York, but this time the threat is from melting rather than falling snow.

Forecasters say rising temperatures may lead to ice-jam flooding on rivers and streams Thursday night or Friday.

In eastern and central New York, Tuesday is expected to be snowy with two to four inches possible. There's a chance of rain later in the week with temperatures rising into the 40s Wednesday through Saturday.


Another storm to bring a bit more snow to Pa.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Forecasters say winter-weary Pennsylvania residents can expect another storm overnight that is expected to bring several inches of snow to many areas.

The National Weather Service says 1 to 3 inches is expected in many areas of eastern Pennsylvania, but forecasters expect 2 to 4 inches in Philadelphia and some areas of southeastern Pennsylvania and 4 to 6 inches in the Poconos.

Forecasters expect 2 to 6 inches of snow in parts of western and central Pennsylvania, and they say a freezing drizzle or a thin coating of ice is possible in some areas.

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