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#1500730 --- 06/30/17 05:45 PM Seneca Lake’s coal legacy
all seeing eye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 2038
Loc: Seneca Lake
WRITE ON: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy
By MICHAEL FITZGERALD
Finger Lakes Times
6-30-2017
0
You might think a documentary about the coal industry wouldn’t be of interest to Finger Lakes residents.

We have no coal-rich mountains towering over us for coal-mining corporations to flatten using mountaintop removal techniques. We don’t have tightly controlled company towns, built, owned and ruled by coal barons and their minions. And as coal use has declined, even uncovered rail cars leaving coal dust in their wake as they pass through our area are a rare sight.

But the just-released documentary about the coal industry — “From The Ashes” — shown in Penn Yan last Friday night and broadcast nationwide Sunday on cable television, connects the past and the present environmental impact of coal use in our area.

The film also is available for a short time on outlets such as YouTube and Facebook.

The 90-minute film documents the rise and fall of the coal industry in the U.S. with plenty of discussion about the problems of coal mining and coal use — environmentally, financially and socially.

Unfortunately, it isn’t a distant and disconnected concern in the Finger Lakes.

The film brings the narrative right to Seneca Lake where the legacy of many decades of industrial coal use at the Dresden power plant lurks, connecting water pollution with coal mining.

Since before World War II, the Dresden power plant — officially known today as Greenidge Generation — was burning coal to generate electricity. Dresden residents recount tales of long trains of uncovered coal cars rumbling through town to feed the hungry power station.

The plant closed in 2011 and was set to be dismantled by a salvage company until Atlas Holdings took it over. In 2014, it announced it would restart the plant — again burning coal — with plans to switch to burning biomass and natural gas.

That plan was discarded in 2015 in favor of using natural gas with the possibility of someday using solar power.

Compared to coal, burning natural gas is often considered nearly squeaky clean, provided you don’t take into consideration the manifold problems associated with the hydrofracking process.

But the many years of coal burning left a nasty environmental mess behind at the Lockwood Ash Landfill, where coal ash residue sits in an unlined pond, a pond the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has labeled a serious problem.

“Groundwater at the site contains substances in excess of the duly promulgated water quality standards for total dissolved solids, boron, manganese, magnesium, iron, sodium and sulfate,” the DEC said in 2015.

The “ ... leachate pond is a source of the substances and has contributed and continues to contribute to a contravention of duly promulgated water quality standards.”

How harmful such chemicals — and others found in coal ash — might be to groundwater, or in a body of freshwater like Seneca Lake, are explained graphically in the new film.

The DEC’s concerns were serious enough to prompt the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association to begin collecting water samples in the Keuka Outlet upstream and downstream of the Lockwood Ash Landfill to determine the type and volume of chemicals that might be leaching into the watershed.

The restarting of the Greenidge Generation facility was opposed by many local environmental groups, who focused on whether there really was a need for more electricity, citing the impact of air pollution and of dumping millions of gallons of hot power plant cooling water daily into Seneca Lake.

The coal ash pile problems got lost in the blur of those questions.

After reviewing the coal ash pond and dump in early 2015, the DEC ordered Lockwood Landfill “to eliminate the discharge of leachate to groundwater and to monitor the groundwater impacted by the discharge.”

But two years later, it seems DEC hasn’t made any serious move to enforce that order, even as rain pours down filling — and perhaps overfilling — the coal ash pond.

Maybe a viewing of “From the Ashes” is in order for the DEC staff.


Seneca Lake's Coal Legacy
_________________________
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#1500876 --- 07/04/17 09:55 PM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: all seeing eye]
gassy one Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/27/16
Posts: 2493
Originally Posted By: all seeing eye
WRITE ON: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy
By MICHAEL FITZGERALD
Finger Lakes Times
6-30-2017
0
You might think a documentary about the coal industry wouldn’t be of interest to Finger Lakes residents.

We have no coal-rich mountains towering over us for coal-mining corporations to flatten using mountaintop removal techniques. We don’t have tightly controlled company towns, built, owned and ruled by coal barons and their minions. And as coal use has declined, even uncovered rail cars leaving coal dust in their wake as they pass through our area are a rare sight.

But the just-released documentary about the coal industry — “From The Ashes” — shown in Penn Yan last Friday night and broadcast nationwide Sunday on cable television, connects the past and the present environmental impact of coal use in our area.

The film also is available for a short time on outlets such as YouTube and Facebook.

The 90-minute film documents the rise and fall of the coal industry in the U.S. with plenty of discussion about the problems of coal mining and coal use — environmentally, financially and socially.

Unfortunately, it isn’t a distant and disconnected concern in the Finger Lakes.

The film brings the narrative right to Seneca Lake where the legacy of many decades of industrial coal use at the Dresden power plant lurks, connecting water pollution with coal mining.

Since before World War II, the Dresden power plant — officially known today as Greenidge Generation — was burning coal to generate electricity. Dresden residents recount tales of long trains of uncovered coal cars rumbling through town to feed the hungry power station.

The plant closed in 2011 and was set to be dismantled by a salvage company until Atlas Holdings took it over. In 2014, it announced it would restart the plant — again burning coal — with plans to switch to burning biomass and natural gas.

That plan was discarded in 2015 in favor of using natural gas with the possibility of someday using solar power.

Compared to coal, burning natural gas is often considered nearly squeaky clean, provided you don’t take into consideration the manifold problems associated with the hydrofracking process.

But the many years of coal burning left a nasty environmental mess behind at the Lockwood Ash Landfill, where coal ash residue sits in an unlined pond, a pond the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has labeled a serious problem.

“Groundwater at the site contains substances in excess of the duly promulgated water quality standards for total dissolved solids, boron, manganese, magnesium, iron, sodium and sulfate,” the DEC said in 2015.

The “ ... leachate pond is a source of the substances and has contributed and continues to contribute to a contravention of duly promulgated water quality standards.”

How harmful such chemicals — and others found in coal ash — might be to groundwater, or in a body of freshwater like Seneca Lake, are explained graphically in the new film.

The DEC’s concerns were serious enough to prompt the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association to begin collecting water samples in the Keuka Outlet upstream and downstream of the Lockwood Ash Landfill to determine the type and volume of chemicals that might be leaching into the watershed.

The restarting of the Greenidge Generation facility was opposed by many local environmental groups, who focused on whether there really was a need for more electricity, citing the impact of air pollution and of dumping millions of gallons of hot power plant cooling water daily into Seneca Lake.

The coal ash pile problems got lost in the blur of those questions.

After reviewing the coal ash pond and dump in early 2015, the DEC ordered Lockwood Landfill “to eliminate the discharge of leachate to groundwater and to monitor the groundwater impacted by the discharge.”

But two years later, it seems DEC hasn’t made any serious move to enforce that order, even as rain pours down filling — and perhaps overfilling — the coal ash pond.

Maybe a viewing of “From the Ashes” is in order for the DEC staff.


Seneca Lake's Coal Legacy

This Fitzgerald guy is a real crackpot!

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#1500883 --- 07/04/17 10:51 PM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: gassy one]
all seeing eye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 2038
Loc: Seneca Lake
Not sure I understand.

Are his facts wrong?

If so, how?
_________________________
I wonder if clouds ever look down on us and say "Hey look, that one is shaped like an idiot."

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#1500922 --- 07/05/17 10:07 PM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: all seeing eye]
gassy one Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/27/16
Posts: 2493
Originally Posted By: all seeing eye
Not sure I understand.

Are his facts wrong?

If so, how?
Read some of his columns in the Finger Lakes Times!

Top
#1500966 --- 07/06/17 02:56 PM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: gassy one]
Timbo Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 13833
Loc: CNY
Originally Posted By: gassy one
Originally Posted By: all seeing eye
Not sure I understand.

Are his facts wrong?

If so, how?
Read some of his columns in the Finger Lakes Times!

No. You're the one making a personal attack on an opinion piece.

It's YOUR obligation to explain your baseless insults and characterizations, no one else's.
_________________________
Everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

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#1500976 --- 07/06/17 09:52 PM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: Timbo]
gassy one Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/27/16
Posts: 2493
Originally Posted By: Timbo
Originally Posted By: gassy one
Originally Posted By: all seeing eye
Not sure I understand.

Are his facts wrong?

If so, how?
Read some of his columns in the Finger Lakes Times!

No. You're the one making a personal attack on an opinion piece.

It's YOUR obligation to explain your baseless insults and characterizations, no one else's.
I didn't make any attack BIMBO! All I said was read his articles and you will know which way he leans and how he picks and chooses his arguments! I can gladly give examples!


Edited by gassy one (07/06/17 09:54 PM)

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#1501021 --- 07/07/17 08:40 PM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: gassy one]
all seeing eye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 2038
Loc: Seneca Lake
Gassy,

I think Timbo and are both asking the same thing.

What is factually incorrect with this article?

You are complaining about his opinions, which he is allowed to have. What is wrong with the facts in this article?


Originally Posted By: gassy one
Originally Posted By: Timbo
Originally Posted By: gassy one
Originally Posted By: all seeing eye
Not sure I understand.

Are his facts wrong?

If so, how?
Read some of his columns in the Finger Lakes Times!

No. You're the one making a personal attack on an opinion piece.

It's YOUR obligation to explain your baseless insults and characterizations, no one else's.
I didn't make any attack BIMBO! All I said was read his articles and you will know which way he leans and how he picks and chooses his arguments! I can gladly give examples!
_________________________
I wonder if clouds ever look down on us and say "Hey look, that one is shaped like an idiot."

Top
#1501024 --- 07/07/17 10:03 PM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: all seeing eye]
gassy one Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/27/16
Posts: 2493
Originally Posted By: all seeing eye
Gassy,

I think Timbo and are both asking the same thing.

What is factually incorrect with this article?

You are complaining about his opinions, which he is allowed to have. What is wrong with the facts in this article?


Originally Posted By: gassy one
Originally Posted By: Timbo
Originally Posted By: gassy one
Originally Posted By: all seeing eye
Not sure I understand.

Are his facts wrong?

If so, how?
Read some of his columns in the Finger Lakes Times!

No. You're the one making a personal attack on an opinion piece.

It's YOUR obligation to explain your baseless insults and characterizations, no one else's.
I didn't make any attack BIMBO! All I said was read his articles and you will know which way he leans and how he picks and chooses his arguments! I can gladly give examples!


dumping millions of gallons of hot power plant cooling water daily into Seneca Lake. #1 The plant doesn't dump hot cooling water into the lake! The cooling water goes through a cooling tower before it goes back into the lake! The water has to be down to a certain temp before it goes back into the lake per DEC permit. Work was done on the ash pond to bring it up to DEC specs a little while ago. This guy writes articles that are factually incorrect either intentionally or because he just has no idea what he is talking about!

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#1501092 --- 07/08/17 10:56 PM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: gassy one]
gassy one Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/27/16
Posts: 2493
If it wasn't for the FLT liberal leaning paper this joker wouldn't even exist! He and David Shaw make a great pair!


Edited by gassy one (07/08/17 10:59 PM)

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#1501121 --- 07/09/17 06:30 PM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: gassy one]
all seeing eye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 2038
Loc: Seneca Lake
"The draft permit authorized discharges into Keuka Outlet “of condenser cooling water with a maximum temperature of 108 degrees F in summer and 86 F in winter, outfall 02a discharge, and unit 4 boiler blowdown."

The plant uses an "open cooling" system, where up to 190,000,000 gallons of water PER DAY from Seneca Lake are withdrawn and used to cool the steam:


Once-through systems take water from nearby sources (e.g., rivers, lakes, aquifers, or the ocean), circulate it through pipes to absorb heat from the steam in systems called condensers, and discharge the now warmer water to the local source. Once-through systems were initially the most popular because of their simplicity, low cost, and the possibility of siting power plants in places with abundant supplies of cooling water. This type of system is currently widespread in the eastern U.S. Very few new power plants use once-through cooling, however, because of the disruptions such systems cause to local ecosystems from the significant water withdrawals involved and because of the increased difficulty in siting power plants near available water sources.


How it works water for power plant cooling


Combined with the sewage from the Penn Yan plant, warm water is a perfect opportunity to grow harmful algae blooms.

Originally Posted By: gassy one
Originally Posted By: all seeing eye
Gassy,

I think Timbo and are both asking the same thing.

What is factually incorrect with this article?

You are complaining about his opinions, which he is allowed to have. What is wrong with the facts in this article?


Originally Posted By: gassy one
Originally Posted By: Timbo
Originally Posted By: gassy one
Originally Posted By: all seeing eye
Not sure I understand.

Are his facts wrong?

If so, how?
Read some of his columns in the Finger Lakes Times!

No. You're the one making a personal attack on an opinion piece.

It's YOUR obligation to explain your baseless insults and characterizations, no one else's.
I didn't make any attack BIMBO! All I said was read his articles and you will know which way he leans and how he picks and chooses his arguments! I can gladly give examples!


dumping millions of gallons of hot power plant cooling water daily into Seneca Lake. #1 The plant doesn't dump hot cooling water into the lake! The cooling water goes through a cooling tower before it goes back into the lake! The water has to be down to a certain temp before it goes back into the lake per DEC permit. Work was done on the ash pond to bring it up to DEC specs a little while ago. This guy writes articles that are factually incorrect either intentionally or because he just has no idea what he is talking about!
_________________________
I wonder if clouds ever look down on us and say "Hey look, that one is shaped like an idiot."

Top
#1501125 --- 07/09/17 07:15 PM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: all seeing eye]
Mean Gene Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/10/09
Posts: 2781
Loc: Yates County
That is informative, although the amount of water drawn from Seneca Lake is minor in relation to the lakes volume. I would be surprised if that was an eco system issue. "Sewage from Penn Yan"? All sewage is treated and the water when discharged is treated and meets all of DEC requirements.

Everyone wants to see that our lakes remain healthy. The revamped power plant is a much needed shot in the arm for Yates County. Switching out from Coal is sure a plus.
_________________________
"Rational arguments based upon ample evidence will not change the minds of irrational people"

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#1501131 --- 07/09/17 08:30 PM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: Mean Gene]
all seeing eye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 2038
Loc: Seneca Lake
May I suggest that you visit the EPA website and take a look at the report on the Penn Yan Sewage Treatment Plant:

EPA Penn Yan Facility Report

According to the report, based on data submitted by the DEC, the plant is in significant violation this quarter. It was in significant violation for 7 of the last 12 quarters and in non-compliance 3 other quarters.

You might also want to review the PT MUB minutes. The June Minutes included the statement:

 WWTP needs to answer the letter of non-compliance by July 15 and get this proposal by September 15


The minutes do not detail what the non-compliance entailed, specifically, but the EPA report suggests exceedances in phosphorus and solids.

Sounds like DEC and EPA disagree with your assessment.


Originally Posted By: Mean Gene
That is informative, although the amount of water drawn from Seneca Lake is minor in relation to the lakes volume. I would be surprised if that was an eco system issue. "Sewage from Penn Yan"? All sewage is treated and the water when discharged is treated and meets all of DEC requirements.

Everyone wants to see that our lakes remain healthy. The revamped power plant is a much needed shot in the arm for Yates County. Switching out from Coal is sure a plus.

_________________________
I wonder if clouds ever look down on us and say "Hey look, that one is shaped like an idiot."

Top
#1501132 --- 07/09/17 09:43 PM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: all seeing eye]
gassy one Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/27/16
Posts: 2493
One of the bigger factors for degradation of water in the lakes is vineyards! Where do you think the fertilizers,pesticides and herbicides end up after usage on a side hill? Nobody will speak up about that though because it is politicly unpopular! There is always bad with the good!

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#1501138 --- 07/09/17 10:03 PM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: all seeing eye]
gassy one Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/27/16
Posts: 2493
The violations are partly caused by the yogurt plant. They are going to have to pre-treat their waste so the sewer plant can handle it.

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#1501159 --- 07/09/17 11:06 PM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: gassy one]
all seeing eye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 2038
Loc: Seneca Lake
Sorry, Gassy, trying to shift the blame to major employers , like the yogurt or wine industry, from the disappointing hiring at the plant, isn't fair.

Let's just say we all have to do better. And the plant should clean up the ash landfill.
_________________________
I wonder if clouds ever look down on us and say "Hey look, that one is shaped like an idiot."

Top
#1501183 --- 07/10/17 10:57 AM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: all seeing eye]
gassy one Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/27/16
Posts: 2493
Originally Posted By: all seeing eye
Sorry, Gassy, trying to shift the blame to major employers , like the yogurt or wine industry, from the disappointing hiring at the plant, isn't fair.

Let's just say we all have to do better. And the plant should clean up the ash landfill.
I agree with that and it will be done but you were talking about the PY sewer plant which is in violation because of the Yogurt plant and Seneca Lake algae blooms which vineyards are a big contributing factor!


Edited by gassy one (07/10/17 10:58 AM)

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#1501245 --- 07/10/17 04:09 PM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: all seeing eye]
scwoodchuck Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/22/14
Posts: 1649
Loc: LOST IN SPACE
Originally Posted By: all seeing eye
Not sure I understand.

Are his facts wrong?

If so, how?
Well ,first the supposed chemicals are natural elements found in most ground water.
Second he fails to give the results of any TESTING that was done.
Third, as a result the DEC hasn't taken any action but no reason is given.
Fourth the hot water is not discharged directly into the lake but is instead discharged into a man made channel then mixed with cooler water from the Keuka Lake outlet. So what is the actual temperature of the water as it enters the lake.
Fifth, the warmer water is beneficial to wildlife.
In my opinion the entire article is misleading.
_________________________
I can't wait till humans evolve into an intelligent species.

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#1501251 --- 07/10/17 08:56 PM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: scwoodchuck]
all seeing eye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 2038
Loc: Seneca Lake
Here is a quote from the 2015 Consent Order signed by Lockwood agreeing to the violations and admitting to violating its permits for hazardous waste and effluent discharge:

ELEVENTH. The SPDES and Part 360 Permits as well as an Environmental Monitoring Plan and Site Analytical Plan dated February 2007, required groundwater, surface water and leachate monitoring and reporting.

TWELFTH. Based upon a review of information provided pursuant to the above Permits and Plan, the Department has determined that groundwater at the site contains substances in excess of the duly promulgated water quality standards for, inter alia, total dissolved solids, boron, manganese, magnesium, iron, sodium and sulfate.

THIRTEENTH. The Department believes that the Leachate Pond is a source of the substances and has contributed and continues to contribute to a contravention of duly promulgated water quality standards in violation of ECL § 17-0501 and 6 NYCRR § 360-1.14(b)(2).

FOURTEENTH. The discharge of leachate to groundwater from the Leachate Pond.is not permitted or otherwise authorized by the Department.

FIFTEENTH. Each violation heretofore stated, is subject to the sanctions authorized by ECL Article 71, Titles 19 and 27.

SIXTEENTH. Representatives of Lockwood Hills and the Department have
conferred and have agreed to execute this Consent Order (the "Consent Order'') in settlement of the violations related to the groundwater discharges described and identified herein.




Originally Posted By: scwoodchuck
Originally Posted By: all seeing eye
Not sure I understand.

Are his facts wrong?

If so, how?
Well ,first the supposed chemicals are natural elements found in most ground water.
Second he fails to give the results of any TESTING that was done.
Third, as a result the DEC hasn't taken any action but no reason is given.
Fourth the hot water is not discharged directly into the lake but is instead discharged into a man made channel then mixed with cooler water from the Keuka Lake outlet. So what is the actual temperature of the water as it enters the lake.
Fifth, the warmer water is beneficial to wildlife.
In my opinion the entire article is misleading.
_________________________
I wonder if clouds ever look down on us and say "Hey look, that one is shaped like an idiot."

Top
#1501270 --- 07/11/17 07:09 AM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: all seeing eye]
scwoodchuck Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/22/14
Posts: 1649
Loc: LOST IN SPACE
boron, manganese, magnesium, iron, sodium and sulfate.are not chemicals.

http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/En-Ge/Fresh-Water-Natural-Contaminants-in.html


Edited by scwoodchuck (07/11/17 07:14 AM)
_________________________
I can't wait till humans evolve into an intelligent species.

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#1501283 --- 07/11/17 08:45 AM Re: Seneca Lake’s coal legacy [Re: scwoodchuck]
all seeing eye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 2038
Loc: Seneca Lake

Maybe you should share your theory with DEC and they can withdraw the consent order and Lockwood can stop the corrective action.


PS, all of these chemicals are toxic in high enough quantities, which is why there are discharge limits.


Originally Posted By: scwoodchuck
boron, manganese, magnesium, iron, sodium and sulfate.are not chemicals.

http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/En-Ge/Fresh-Water-Natural-Contaminants-in.html
_________________________
I wonder if clouds ever look down on us and say "Hey look, that one is shaped like an idiot."

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