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News stories tagged with "dioxin"

Lenny Merculdi and Blake Putnam fill the "Bigfoot" with used plastics. Photo: David Sommerstein
Lenny Merculdi and Blake Putnam fill the "Bigfoot" with used plastics. Photo: David Sommerstein

Story 2.0: More farmers recycle ag plastics

Four years ago, state environmental officials made it illegal to burn trash and other waste anywhere in New York. That meant the end of the burn barrel, then a common sight across the countryside. Burn barrels were a major source of cancer-causing dioxin and other toxic chemicals in the air.

The burn ban also meant farmers could no longer burn the agricultural plastics that have become ubiquitous in farming. Trucking them to a landfill is the most common, but expensive, alternative. But more and more farmers are recycling them.

Our ongoing series, Story 2.0, checks back in on stories from the past.  Go to full article
Larry Lago (left) and friends burn a wood shed outside Copenhagen.
Larry Lago (left) and friends burn a wood shed outside Copenhagen.

Burn ban has fans and critics

A rural tradition is now a thing of the past, or at least, so says the law. Two weeks ago, New York outlawed burn barrels and many other types of open burning. You can still burn brush and small tree limbs and have small campfires. The question is will people obey the new burn ban? David Sommerstein surveyed some residents and has our story.  Go to full article

Getting people to stop burning trash

State environment officials say a revised ban on open burning will be made public "in the very near future." Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman Laurie Severino says the first draft of the ban received thousands of public comments. She says "pretty significant changes" have been made in the new version. The burn ban targets the widespread rural practice of burning garbage outside, especially in backyard burn barrels. The low temperature burn of a burn barrel releases toxic pollution and an acrid smell. Some rural communities are already trying to change their trash disposal habits. Todd Melby reports.  Go to full article

Ins and outs of proposed burn ban

Tomorrow night is the last public comment session in the North Country about the state's proposed ban on burn barrels and other forms of opening burning. It'll be held from 4 to 8 at SUNY Canton. There's widespread agreement that burning garbage outside is very bad for public health and the environment. But there are concerns about unintended economic consequences. As David Sommerstein reports, the devil's in the details.  Go to full article

DEC wants to outlaw trash burning

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation announced yesterday it's proposing a statewide ban on open burning, including burn barrels and agricultural plastics. The DEC says the measure will reduce pollution and the risk of wildfires. But farmers have long fought a ban. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
St. Lawrence County's no-burn campaign logo
St. Lawrence County's no-burn campaign logo

St. Lawrence may stoke burn barrel campaign

The St. Lawrence County planning office is asking for $20,000 to continue its campaign against burn barrels and other forms of outdoor garbage burning. It recently completed a two-year campaign that included roadside billboards, bumper stickers, and public service announcements. The EPA says outdoor trash burning is the number one source of dioxin in America today. Dioxin is a highly toxic chemical that can cause cancer, neurological disorders, and many other health problems. Jon Montan has been spearheading the no-burning campaign for St. Lawrence County. He told David Sommerstein burn barrels are a persistent problem, but his efforts are working.  Go to full article

Open Burning Issue Smolders at Farmers' Conference

Last week in Syracuse farmers touted their environmental stewardship at the annual conference of the New York State Agricultural Society. Farmers presented new ways to build barns, reduce pesticides, and manage manure to control runoff into streams and creeks. In a session on what farmers need to do to become better environmental stewards, a state Assemblyman brought up an uncomfortable issue in the agriculture industry: the open burning of plastics and other garbage. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Logo from St. Lawrence County burn barrel campaign
Logo from St. Lawrence County burn barrel campaign

Farmers Give Open Burn Ban Cold Shoulder

The St. Lawrence County Farm Bureau has distanced itself from a proposal to support a ban on burn barrels and other forms of garbage burning. The group's president pushed for the measure last summer after reading a government report warning of open burning in agricultural areas. David Sommerstein has more.  Go to full article
St. Lawrence County's awareness campaign logo
St. Lawrence County's awareness campaign logo

County Farmers Contemplate Burn Ban

A controversy is smoldering in the St. Lawrence County agricultural community. After years of opposition, the county Farm Bureau is considering a resolution supporting a ban on the open burning of trash. Supporters say farmers could take the lead in abolishing a practice that could poison their products. Critics say a ban would hurt farmers already reeling from low milk prices. As David Sommerstein reports, the outcome could have statewide implications.  Go to full article

Dioxin High Risk in Agricultural Areas

A new report out this month says the government needs to do more to reduce the presence of the chemical dioxin in the food supply, especially in agricultural areas like the North Country. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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