August 4, 2017 — Algae blooms close Taughannock Falls State Park, the number of toxic algae blooms in New York is up 25 percent this week, and the presence of toxic blue-green algae in Dryden Lake is confirmed by the DEC.
This isn’t the beginning of some apocalyptic eco-thriller – it’s the reality that people in Tompkins County, and all over the country will have to get used to as the fallout from 30 years of unrestricted agricultural activity has turned toxic Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) into this summer’s biggest blockbuster.
The influence of rich and powerful interests in maintaining the status quo in the face of an ever increasing destruction of the environment, is nowhere better seen than in Tompkins County’s handling of agricultural pollution.
The Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan’s representation of environmental issues and policies is a careful dance around the facts — Facts that paint a very different picture of the sources of pollution in the county, and expose an elitist policy making agenda.
“The participation of citizens in an open, responsible and flexible planning process is essential to the designing of the optimum town comprehensive plan.” — Town Law § 272-a
Although New York State Town Law stresses the importance of an open and responsibly designed town comprehensive plan, many local officials downplay this document, claiming the local comp plan is only a “guide” — and hide their agenda behind the minimum legal requirements for public meetings and the placement of notifications that exclude the community from participation.