Local News for Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Seneca Lake Fish Contaminated

Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act or FOIA filing, a 2020 report from the New York DEC has come to light showing that Seneca Lake fish are highly contaminated with PFAS chemicals. According to environmental reporter Peter Manius, the samples of lake trout and yellow perch contain hundreds of times the allowed limit for PFAS in drinking water. Nearly 80% of the fish sampled contained at least 2000 parts per trillion of so-called forever chemicals and a few showed more than 15,000 parts per trillion. The state health department requires remediation if a drinking water supply contains more than 10 parts per trillion but doesn’t issue “don’t eat” warnings until fish contain more than 200,000 parts per trillion. Anglers who eat freshwater fish are likely to have higher than average levels of PFAS in their blood. The chemicals have been linked to kidney and testicular cancers as well as infertility and other problems.

Report Shows Pay Lags Among Ithaca’s City Employees

The Ithaca Voice has attained a report commissioned by the City of Ithaca studying compensation among some of its employees. The study shows that for the first three years of employment, the city’s pay lags when compared to the regional median. Ithaca’s police and fire department staff were not included in the study. Jeanne Grace, Ithaca’s former Forester and the president of the Executive Association unit, pointed out that the cost of living in Ithaca is higher than it is in the surrounding areas and said the city has to increase new hires salaries faster to stay competitive. The city’s taxes are already notoriously high, raising employees’ salaries will add to budgetary pressures and could result in an increased tax levy.

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