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July 2012 Archives

July 12, 2012

Report Shows that Rates of Sea-Level Rise on East Coast Are Three to Four Times Faster Than Global Average

On June 24, 2012, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report was released that shows that the rates of sea-level rise between Boston and Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, since 1990 are three to four times higher than the global average. According to the report, since 1990, the sea level along that 600-mile stretch of the East Coast has risen 2 to 3.7 millimeters per year, not including land subsidence. The global average over the same period was 0.6 to 1.0 millimeter per year.

According to the report, if increases in the sea-level rise rate that have already occurred along the East Coast continue for the rest of the century, the area will have sea levels 8 to 11.4 inches above the projected global average. The report shows that the sea-level rise in the 600-mile "hot spot" is consistent with the slowing of Atlantic Ocean circulation. USGS said models indicate that this change in circulation may be tied to changes in water temperature, salinity, and density in the subpolar north Atlantic. The study is entitled "Hotspot of Accelerated Sea-Level Rise on the Atlantic Coast of North America."

July 25, 2012

DEC Announces Expansion of Pilot Program to Increase Compliance With Environmental Laws in Small Regulated Facilities

On July 18, 2012 DEC announced the expansion of a pilot program called "Operation ECO-Quality" that is aimed at increasing compliance with environmental laws in small regulated facilities to communities from Buffalo to Long Island.

According to DEC, the program combines enhanced outreach, consultation and environmental community policing activities to help prevent pollution in some of New York's most environmentally burdened communities. The program focuses on encouraging greater compliance with environmental laws to address potential environmental health and quality of life issues.

Operation ECO-Quality was successfully piloted in three Westchester County communities in 2010. In the City of Yonkers, the compliance rate more than doubled, jumping from 42 percent to 91 percent. In Mount Vernon, the rate climbed from 36 percent to 86 percent, and in Peekskill, it rose from 45 percent to 83 percent. DEC is expanding Operation ECO-Quality to Western New York, the Capital Region, New York City and Long Island. The communities into which the program will expand include the South Bronx in New York City, Wyandanch on Long Island, and specific neighborhoods in the cities of Buffalo and Albany. DEC expects to add more communities to the program in the coming months.

From Buffalo to Long Island, DEC's Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) will conduct enforcement activities such as diesel truck emission checks where officers address truck traffic-related issues like idling and excessive exhaust. Officers will also conduct community patrols where they will visit neighborhoods to determine if any enforcement action is needed to address potential environmental and health issues in low-income and minority areas.

Operation ECO-Quality takes a flexible, community-centered approach to outreach and enforcement. Through education and enforcement, follow-up visits to facilities that were issued warnings have shown a dramatic increase in the level of compliance. DEC's Office of Environmental Justice and Division of Law Enforcement developed the program to prevent violations of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law that impact the health and quality of life of low-income and minority communities.

About July 2012

This page contains all entries posted to Envirosphere in July 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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