Fracking in New York: Weighing Risks and Benefits

The url provided below links to a short, readable ‘white paper’ on ‘fracking’ in New York State. This work was performed by my co-author, the physicist Dr. Randy Simon, and myself based upon the premise that a reasonably non-technical treatment of this issue by qualified experts viewing it from a strictly neutral, objective perspective would be useful. Please feel free to circulate the article, and/or quote from it: http://www.oeic.us/articles/reviews/fracking_in_new_york_weighing_risks_and_benefits

August 13, 2013 · Dr. Robert A. Michaels

A snapping turtle bill in New York State that should NOT become law...

Assembly Bill A2490-2013 would amend the New York State Environmental Conservation Law to allow trappers to take snapping turtles, our State Reptile. Turtles already are under pressure globally, with populations reduced by more than half, and many species already endangered. Likewise, snappers are already under pressure in New York State. To permit trapping as an additional source of mortality for our State Reptile would be like allowing hunting of our national symbol, the bald eagle, as both are highly esteemed, emblematic, and pressured....

July 27, 2013 · Dr. Robert A. Michaels

More on Emerging Issues for EPA PCB Dredging Five-Year Review

In its five-year review of the Hudson River PCB dredging project, EPA should consider the following three emerging developments in deciding whether Phase 2 can be resumed and implemented safely: High-flow events are predicted to occur with increasing frequency in future years, as illustrated last year by events such as Tropical Storms Irene and Lee; such events will drive PCB sediments mobilized by dredging downstream for decades to come;...

May 21, 2012 · Dr. Robert A. Michaels

Issues for EPA PCB Dredging Five-Year Review

Environmental groups recently have been advocating expansion of Hudson River PCB dredging. They are premature at best, given the ongoing five-year review by EPA of the dredging project, required under the Superfund Law. Maybe politics will drive the result of this review, but EPA and environmental groups should consider the documented, substantial long-term consequences of dredging, rather than seizing on the simplistic, short-term expedient of digging up more PCB sediments....

May 20, 2012 · Dr. Robert A. Michaels

Hudson River PCB Dredging: Impacts on Endangered Sturgeon

A watershed event for Atlantic sturgeon, and for us all, occurred on 6 February, when the Department of Commerce added this ancient fish to the Endangered Species List. The Federal Government now is committed to protecting sturgeon and their habitat… most notably the Hudson River. Loss of habitat is a big part of the problem of loss of sturgeon, as fishing for sturgeon has been prohibited for over a decade, since 1999....

March 9, 2012 · Dr. Robert A. Michaels

EPA Silence on Impacts of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee on Hudson River PCB Dredging Is Ominous

EPA reported that Hudson River PCB dredging is “back on target” after high river flow delayed the start of Phase 2 this past spring. What EPA has refused to say, though I repeatedly asked via phone and email, is what effects were exerted on dredging by even faster flows caused by Tropical Storms Irene and Lee, which interrupted dredging during the summer. Indeed, raging currents driven by Irene and Lee caused 500-year flooding, and gouged new channels up to 45 feet deep along the Mohawk River....

November 13, 2011 · Dr. Robert A. Michaels

Repairing the Flawed US Post Office Business Model, for Economic and Environmental Benefit

This year’s Postal Service deficit is approaching $9 billion, but remedial suggestions seem ineffective. Closing some post offices will make delivery more expensive, and USPS less competitive. Reducing delivery days will divert more business to the internet or other carriers. The fact is, the USPS business model is flawed. To fix it, USPS operations should not be reduced; they should be made profitable and then, if possible, increased. I suggest dividing USPS revenue into two streams, one from mail senders and one from mail recipients....

October 13, 2011 · Dr. Robert A. Michaels

Hudson River PCB Dredging: Hearings and Injunctions May Be Imminent

April 14th may have been EPA’s last chance to avert legislative hearings, judicial injunctions, and delay of Hudson Dredging Phase 2, scheduled to commence this month (May). EPA must justify its Phase 2 plan, especially in light of the evident failure of Phase 1. To do this, EPA held a public meeting in Fort Edward on 14 April, led by GE, to explain why the Agency and GE think that resumed dredging can be and should be implemented....

May 12, 2011 · Dr. Robert A. Michaels

Hudson River Dredging: Westchester & New York City, Next Stops for Mobilized PCB

Fred LeBrun’s April-24th Commentary in the Albany Times Union Newspaper, titled Dredging up a PCB Resolution, describes Hudson River PCB dredging as simply removing two million cubic yards of tainted sediments. He visualizes an armada of 100 vessels excavating noxious PCB, and loading it into railcars for landfilling far away. Mr. LeBrun’s columns on birds and bees reveal a great naturalist, but PCB dredging requires different expertise, and his explication is technically flawed....

May 10, 2011 · Dr. Robert A. Michaels

Less Data, More Doubt About Hudson River PCB Dredging

Imagine you are a powerful federal environmental agency concerned about GE’s disposal of DDT’s almost-twin, PCBs, from 1947 to 1977 into the Hudson River and to neighboring land. You might do what EPA did in 1984: add the Hudson River Superfund Site to the National Priorities List for remediation to be paid for by the polluter. You would study the river, and find ways of cleaning it, including letting nature degrade the PCBs the way nature does: naturally....

March 26, 2011 · Dr. Robert A. Michaels