Corrections and Clarifications

Beginning Aug. 1, 2018, I began posting a record of significant corrections and clarifications to articles that I’ve posted on this website. 

In the past, I’ve made changes to posts to correct or clarify so that current material on the site is as accurate as I can make it. However, that doesn’t solve the problem of early versions of posts that went out before corrections were made. 

I hope that readers will continue to feel free to email me at when they believe a post is not entirely accurate. Going forward, I will post an explanation of all significant changes that result.

— Feb. 3, 2023. A post on Jan. 24, 2023 incorrectly stated that a draft of a proposed moratorium on waste facilities and activities in the Town of Thurston would not affect the practice of spreading municipal sewage sludge on farm fields. In fact, the draft indicates the one-year moratorium would apply to all local and state permits for “waste facilities applicable under Part 360 et seq.” (NYCRR Parts 360-366 and 369). Sewage sludge spreading operations are covered under Part 361-2.4. So the proposed moratorium, if enacted, could apply the new permits related to the sludge spreading.

— July 18, 2022. A post on July 18, 2022 incorrectly stated that County Line MRF in Cayuta would accept wastes, including leachate, from major municipal solid waste landfills. Actually, the facility will be receiving wastes primarily from small haulers and generating its own leachate. The incoming wastes will be sorted and shipped to the large MSW landfills.

— Apr. 30, 2022. A post on April 1, 2022 included an incorrect scheduled date for New York State’s Democratic Primary for governor. That primary is currently scheduled for June 28.

— Apr. 15, 2022. Posts on March 18, 2022 and March 28, 2022 reported on levels of PFAS contamination in landfill leachate. A chart published on March 18 included the highest readings from several samples from four landfills, including Seneca Meadows Inc. “Active landfills typically send their runoff, or leachate, to local municipal wastewater treatment plants, which discharge it virtually untreated into state waterways,” the article said, noting that SMI’s leachate contained PFOA at 1,690 parts per trillion. Each year, SMI sends roughly 70 million gallons of leachate, leachate concentrate and purified leachate — known as permeate — to several different treatment sites. The PFAS contamination levels of the shipped liquids are vastly different. SMI says all leachate liquids now sent to the Seneca Falls wastewater treatment plant have been purified through a reverse osmosis process. Based on 2018 testing data, SMI’s permeate showed negligible levels of PFAS contamination (several hundred times less than the leachate and leachate concentrate).

— Feb. 14, 2022. A post Feb. 4, 2022, incorrectly stated the date of a statement from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to WaterFront. The correct date was Feb. 1, 2022.

— Jan. 28, 2022. A post on Jan. 27 incorrectly stated that the state Drinking Water Quality Council  recommended in December contamination levels for seven PFAS chemicals at which the state Department of Health must require the public be notified. The council discussed recommending specific levels but did not vote to recommend them to the DOH. Also, the state formally established maximum contamination limits for PFOA and PFOS in 2020, not 2019, as reported. The MCLs were posted on the state register in 2019 but did not become official until the following year.

— April 8, 2021. A post today included a photo that was incorrectly identified as Mandy DeRoche, an attorney with EarthJustice. The picture has been removed.

— Mar. 26, 2020. A post today incorrectly compared the effective power output from 10 proposed solar projects in the Finger Lakes region with the effective output of the Indian Point nuclear plant 35 miles north of Manhattan. While the solar installations’ combined “nameplate” capacity of 1800 megawatts is close to Indian Point’s “nameplate” capacity of 2000, the comparison ignored important differences in efficiency between solar and nuclear power in upstate New York. Nighttime and cloudy weather drop upstate solar’s efficiency to roughly 15 percent of nameplate, while Indian Point has operated at 80+ percent of nameplate for years.  So effective contributions to the grid would be closer to 270MW for the solar farms, compared with at least 1600MW for Indian Point.

— May 7, 2019. An Apr. 15, 2019 post concerning the PFAS class of toxic chemicals incorrectly reported that a state water quality council had set a health advisory level of 20 parts per trillion for two chemicals, PFOA and PFOS. In fact, the council recommended in December that the state Department of Health establish maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) of 10 ppt for each chemical. MCLs are legally enforceable, while health advisories are not. The DOH is considering the council’s recommendation.

— Apr. 4, 2019. In a Mar. 15, 2019 post (“Manager of Cayuga Biofuel Facility Says He was ‘Strong-Armed’ to Accept Illicit Waste”), John Roser was quoted — indirectly — as saying that Casella and others began delivering loads of illicit waste to the Cayuga Regional Digester earlier this year. In an email received Apr. 4, Casella said that while it had made deliveries of “packaged organic products” allowed under a state permit, it did not deliver waste loads that violated that permit. Asked to respond, Roser said Casella was correct in saying that it hauled authorized food wastes. Following a recent surprise inspection of the digester facility, the DEC issued a notice of violation dated Mar. 27 that found it had taken illicit wastes. The DEC notice did not name Casella as a responsible party. The agency did halt waste shipments to the digester from the Metropolitan Transfer Station in the Bronx and all source-separated organics from the NYC’s Department of Sanitation.  

— Oct. 16, 2018. Early versions of the Oct. 15, 2018 post concerning CAFO permitting cited estimates that one cow produces waste weighing 100 times more than waste from a family of four people and that a CAFO with 500 cows produces as much waste as the city of Rochester, population 208,000. Those figures were based on Earthjustice’s reading of figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. However, on closer examination, the EPA figures appear to reflect the weight of dry human waste (urine, minus the water weight; dry poop). But using the dry weight figure for humans and the usually-cited wet weight for cows makes for an apples-to-oranges comparison. Better to compare wet waste to wet waste. Doing that, cows produce roughly 10 times more waste than a family of four, not 100 times. That means it would take a CAFO with 5,000 cows — not 500 — to match the human waste from the city Rochester. 

— Oct. 2, 2018. The initial Oct. 1 article concerning a Seneca Meadows plan to extend its useful lifetime to 2037 incorrectly identified the sender and receiver of an email dated Sept. 29. The email was sent by David Hou to David Foster, as shown in the link embedded in the original post.

— Sept. 15, 2018. The initial post today regarding Joe Morelle and his stance on the proposed Romulus incinerator incorrectly reported that Earthjustice represents the Town of Romulus in a lawsuit brought by Circular enerG. It does not. However, Earthjustice is seeking to represent the interests of Seneca Lake Guardian in legal disputes between the town and the company.

— Aug. 1, 2018.  Several posts on WaterFront incorrectly reported FlaumSignREADYthat David M. Flaum
has been a principal in Circular enerG LLC. According to Alan Knauf, the company’s
attorney, Flaum has never been a principal or an investor in Circular enerG but is affiliated with Seneca Depot LLC, which owns the site in Romulus where Circular enerG proposes to build a trash incinerator. As LLCs, neither Circular enerG nor Seneca Depot are required to disclose their principals or investors, but both companies share a Rochester address with Flaum Management Co., Flaum’s real estate development company.