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Sweet, now there going to put in a trash burner the proper term for (incinerator) makes for air pollution which will fall into the lake and surrounding properties. Where are remnants of the trash going? Or is it that hot there’s nothing left. In order to keep this unit going there going to bring in trash from NY. city, soon you’ll see Jersey trucks, Pa. trucks. Just like the company Grand Central Sanitation, that’s in our back yard so to speak. We get garbage haulers from all different states, but what’s really nice is when those Jersey trucks bring in the medical waste with the red hazardous materials in it. People don’t understand why there is so much cancer patients in this area?? This is off the cuff, but this really pi$$es me off. As a home owner we need to put a septic system in Ok, now this cost me over $10,000 to do:sweating: now 7 years later we need to get it pumped out, so I call a $hit pumper he comes, charges me $169.00 now this is what gets me, this guy mixes lime into it supposedly and spreads this out over farm fields and it’s legal?? WTF your kidding me, what happens when these fields become saturated and the $hit finds it’s way into the water table, which it has done already. These types of things just blow my mind:envy: I guess when it’s a multi million dollar a year project the higher up put their blinders on and as long as the palm gets greased things continue no matter what the locals are dying from?? That’s whats going to happen up there also!! Sad.

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I live about 4 miles from green tree land fill in Elk Co. Pa. they have an incinerator. I was surprised by the lack of ash fallout. But the smell it puts off is awful. There’s is a methane fired incinerator and you can really smell the methane when the wind shifts our direction. Thankfully that isn’t very often. But the people who live down wind of it complain a lot about the smell.

There are trucks from jersey, New York, Ohio,all coming to Pa. to dump their garbage.


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Storing the trash to burn will still put the stink in the air... If you ever been to Waterloo when the wind is blowing out the North... you will know the stink I am talking about.It's hard to want to even shop there knowing that the smell is sneaking in the store every time someone walks in then the particulates are landing on the food that we then consume... 🤔[emoji90]


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I agree with Sk8man.  The problem is so frustrating precisely because it is ecologically so complex. But just a few observations.  Re: 'fertilizer spreading' :  fertilizer plowed and mixed in with the soil continues to break down and 'compost' so, unless it is spread during an active rain storm, it is unlikely to run unimpeded into the lake.  That doesn't mean we can't be concerned about continued insults to the lake, but I would be more concerned with chemical pollution, be it from gas storage, pesticides, or whatever.  Secondly, the discharge from the coal fired plant at Dresden of 190,000,000 gallons of 108 deg water per day represents between .001 & .002 of 1% of total lake volume so a global impact is unlikely.  The more immediate problem is the increasing incidence of HAB's (blue green algae) in the area.  That probably IS temp pollution driven, given the very hot summers and increases in the temp of the lake over the last two years.  Increasing the temperature and pollutant burden by the addition of trash burner would certainly do no good.


Don't know if y'all remember, but about 6 or so years ago, we couldn't keep 'em out of the boat.  At least for me, it seemed I could put a peanut butter sandwich down on a rigger and catch a decent laker.  At the same time, fishing on Cayuga sucked.  We heard great gnashing of teeth and rending of garment because there were 'no fish in Cayuga'. Now, for some reason,, the reverse is true.  To be fair, I don't think the problem on Cayuga was a severe as our present situation on Seneca.  This is not to minimize because I'm workin' my A_ _ off for a very few forgettable fish. But maybe it MAY be a cyclic occurrence, after all.  I hope so.  We cannot, however, afford to to be  complacent.  We need to continue to be vigilant and to keep the pressure on those responsible for the stewardship of our precious resource and those responsible for legislating it's protection.  

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Independent Incinerator expert to cite problems, and offer alternative solutions


Residents, Businesses and Organizations Hold Educational Forum on Proposed Trash Truck and Rail Incinerator Project


Romulus, NY – Weeks after applicant Circular enerG has had multiple opportunities to present its side of the proposal, concerned citizens, local businesses and several organizations are hosting a community forum to discuss the dangers of, and possible alternative solutions to, trash incineration.  “We are urging the Town Boards of Romulus and community members to hear from Dr. Paul Connett, environmental chemist and world renowned independent incinerator expert about the negative economic, health, and environmental impacts associated with trash incineration,” said Yvonne Taylor, Vice President of Seneca Lake Guardian. “Hundreds of concerned residents have urged the Town of Romulus Planning Board to reject the unnecessary, dangerous proposal to build a massive truck rail and trash incinerator facility at the Seneca Army Depot, and we hope that they will take the time to become fully informed and respect their community’s wishes by rejecting the plan immediately.”  The forum will include an introduction by Judith Enck, former EPA Regional Administrator.

“The Finger Lakes must not become the state’s garbage dump,” said Joseph Campbell, President of Seneca Lake Guardian. “Hidden under a false guise of ‘renewable energy,’ this project would undermine the region’s environment and economic potential and endanger our communities.”


Free and open to the public.


              WHERE:               Romulus Central School Auditorium
                                            5705 State Route 96
                                            Romulus, NY 14541


                          WHEN:                 Sunday, January 7, 3pm

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Hey All,


For what it's worth, I'm a member of the Keuka Lake Assocation and the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Assocation along with a couple of other things. Not that any of that matters much to you but I have been at some of the meetings over the past year where both Keuka College and the DEC gave presentations.

That being said, I'll throw in my 2 cents coupled up with some personal experience over past decade or so. Forgive me for the long response but I suppose the more information shared is better than less. Tried to keep it relatively organized.

First, nice video on pg. 3 of this thread where the scientist from Hobart College speaks. Similarly, on pg. 5, shaneo19 has some nice posts along with jerktroller who also mentions Keuka College & the DEC.

Anybody else notice an issue with the pike & pickerel?


Those of you who have fished the lake over the past 10-15 years probably noted that the pike population really exploded 10-12 years ago. Then, almost in one year, it plummeted. In the late winter prior to their decline, almost every pike I caught had red splotches on them. Not holes from lamprey. We saw some of that too. What I'm referring to are areas of their skin where the color had all washed out leaving only what looked like the fish equivalent to a brush burn. If you've ever seen photos of fish with VHS, it appears eerily similar.


Some historical considerations:


Sk8man, on pg. 5, mentioned how the waters on Seneca had become more turbid as we moved from the 50s & 60s into more recent decades. 


Weed growth declines as water clarity decreases. Less light penetration = less photosynthesis = less plant growth. 


Pike fishing declined as we moved from the 70s into the 80s. Why is this?


Ahh... pike eggs have an adhesive. They stick to the weeds. No weeds means the eggs go into the mud and considerably fewer survive. 


Zebra mussels arrive and the waters clear. Light penetration increased significantly. Lo and behold, there is an explosion of weed growth. With the weeds so, too, come an increase of warm water fishes. The weedy environment is more hospitable to them. Weeds provide hiding places for juvenile fish.


However, with the zebra mussels also came less productive water. They are filter feeders. Notice how your smelt are gone? Yeah, those zebra mussels outcompeted them. Also consider that the lake, just like a piece of land, can only produce so much. You can't plant 10 acres worth of corn on one acre of land. In other words, however ever many tons of invasive mussel species there are in the lake would probably be about how many more tons of smelt and alewife, etc. existed prior to their introduction.



Don't believe this enzyme and the associated disruption of the vitamin B process in salmonoids matters? Here's a scientific paper that discusses the topic in great detail:




Of course, you can just skip most of it and scroll down to the "Conclusions" section at the end ;)


While there has been an explosion of agriculture, which can include vineyards, along the lake(s) over the past 20-30 years, I tend to agree with some of the other posters here that it would not seem to align with the recent, abrupt decline. Of course, there is the possibility that the majority of farms, etc. switched to some new product but there is no evidence of such. 


Similarly, the presentations which I saw earlier this year discussed that the the water quality in the lakes was generally very good. However, they also stated that the lakes would not be as historically productive due to the impact these invasive species have had. The ecosystem has changed. 


Now, back to that pike problem ;)


The DEC did confirm VHS in the canal as well as Conesus Lake but not in Seneca Lake proper. It's a pity none of us got any of those sick pike over to the DEC / Cornell. Let's, for a moment, consider that VHS or whatever it was, caused the abrupt decline of esocids in the lake. Let's also consider the explosion of alewife that folks on here have mentioned. 


Did you know that alewife predate heavily on perch fry? I didn't... until recently.


So now you'd have a lake with few esocids (i.e. few predators keeping those hordes of alewife out of the shallows) but also loaded with minnow-based forage that predate heavily on panfish fry. Sound like this could be our lake?


From time-to-time over the past 8-10 years, there have been days where maybe I've caught 5-7 pike & pickerel in combination. As I'm generally a catch-n-release angler, I couldn't tell you what was in their stomachs but what I can tell you is that they were absolutely gorged. These fish tended to be visibly fatter than those that I had caught, say, 10+ years ago. Not that those that I had caught in the past were not well-fed fish. The pike & pickerel in Seneca have, generally, always been fast growing, thick fish. The few that I encounter in recent years are just stuffed.

It is ironic that so many fishermen complained about the pike and pickerel not understanding that, similar to lions on the Serengeti, they help to weed out the sick, weak and injured. Predators usually improve the genetic quality of this fish population.

Predators, Perch, etc.:

In my opinion, this points to an over-abundance of bait and a scarcity of predators. Some have also mentioned that, in the past, when bait increased, the bite decreased. This would make sense as the fish would be less active / hungry. The DEC has mentioned this too.

As for Keuka, the DEC said there was a recent decline in the alewife population. Not surprisingly, the perch seem to be doing well in Keuka. Both Keuka and Cayuga (especially the north end), are loaded with pickerel but they tend to be much thinner than those I've encountered in Seneca.


During the presentation at Keuka College, the DEC expressed concern over the rainbow population. They believe that the young rainbow trout entering the lakes from the streams as juveniles are being predated upon more heavily than in the past.


Here's a .pdf of a slideshow that details a variety of nutrient-related topics on Seneca Lake:


Similar to the charts in the above document, this paper also mentions that the salinity has actually decreased:


While salinity has apparently decreased over the decades since their peak, some have expressed concern over the lack of testing:


Keep sharing information:

In any event, I hope that the above information is helpful to our discussion both on here and externally.

Meanwhile, I guess we can continue to hope for tighter lines in the future ;)

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Excellent information from Tmag and in general on this thread. As a researcher, I will emphasize that while it's nice to have data, it's also important to distinguish between cause and correlation. There are a variety of models that might help to explain the situation, but as with most biological systems, Seneca is complex and likely impacted by multiple variables in only marginally predictable ways. This is why economic drivers almost always have an advantage over biological concerns. The sure bet of $$ in the pocket wins out against an uncertain ecological impact, and a cost-benefit analysis generally favors the almighty dollar (does that make me cynical or realistic :o?)


That having been said, it's great to see all of the folks who are trying to understand what's happening. Obviously from my perspective, science-based resource management strategies are the way to go. I applaud everybody who's supporting evidence-based decision making...science has been getting a bad rap lately. 

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TKS for the update Gator. Again, I don't think the complexity of the issue can be overstated.  To say that the problem is solely the result of the sewage spill is simplistic at best. It's a cascade of insults to the lake(s) that continue to degrade the resource. BTW, I don't think it is at all cynical to recognize that Management decisions are $$$ driven.  If they weren't, we wouldn't have two of the largest garbage dumps in the country in our backyard and we damned sure wouldn't be considering a waste to waste trash incinerator.

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I live about 4 miles from green tree land fill in Elk Co. Pa. they have an incinerator. I was surprised by the lack of ash fallout. But the smell it puts off is awful. There’s is a methane fired incinerator and you can really smell the methane when the wind shifts our direction. Thankfully that isn’t very often. But the people who live down wind of it complain a lot about the smell.
There are trucks from jersey, New York, Ohio,all coming to Pa. to dump their garbage.
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You may be smelling something but it isn’t methane. Has no odor.

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kind of related , there was a time recently that no swimming was allowed at Stewart park on the south end of cayuga and maybe is still off limits, whats that all about there's a nice park on a beautiful finger lake and the water in this area isn't clean enough to swim !!!!

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