Local News: February 20, 2024

- New federal flood maps begin municipal review process -

Municipalities in Tompkins County have until May 1 to appeal mistakes in the new FEMA flood maps. The Ithaca Voice reports appeals can only be made about errors in the maps and not disagreements about it. The maps indicate the risk of flooding for individual properties. Individual property owners can not appeal the maps until after they have been approved. The last federal flood maps for Tompkins County were created 40 years ago.

- A Steuben County town is being sued for trying to stop the spread of sewage sludge as fertilizer on fields -

The town of Thurston is being sued over a local law that bans the spreading of sewage sludge as fertilizer. Thurston is about 20 minutes from Corning. WSKG Public Radio reports the town board passed the law last October to prevent the spread of PFAS or “forever chemicals’. The toxic chemicals have been found in local groundwater sources near where sludge has been spread. The lawsuit was brought by Casella and three local businesses. Casella bought a 150-acre sludge spreading business and leased another 2,700 acres from Leo Dickson and Sons. The lawsuit claims the town violated state and federal policies when it passed its ban.

- NY Cannabis Control Board approves home-grown regulations -

The New York Cannabis Control  Board approved rules for growing marijuana at home at their Feb. 16 meeting. WSHU Public Radio reports the new rules expand the existing regulations for home growth of medical marijuana. It clears the way for adults 21 and over to cultivate up to 6 plants at a private residence they own or rent. The regulations are not final. They must go through a 60-day public comment period. After that if there are no significant changes the Cannabis Control Board may approve the package. However, if there are significant changes the regs will go into another 45-day public comment period.

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