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Irene prompts disaster declaration, delay in drilling rules draft

Marie Cusick

Today in your Trail Mix:

The flooding in New York is officially a disaster.

The DEC pushes back the release of its draft drilling rules - again.

Tech firms aren't talking about acquiring Kodak patents.

Plus, your chance to meet Alec Baldwin at the New York State Fair.


The president has officially signed the disaster declaration for eight New York counties, easing the way for federal relief money (Michael Johnson, State of Politics).

The Times Union has an impressive spread of photos from the flooded areas in the capital region.

The head of National Grid says the damage from Irene is "rather unprecedented” (Larry Rulison, Times Union).

So far there's no precise data about what the clean-up will cost, but one firm is estimating a $2 billion economic loss (Joseph Spector and Cara Matthews, Gannett).

At least the Thruway has reopened in both directions (John Mariani, Post-Standard).

"The timing coulnd't have been worse" for New York's cabbage, onions, and corn crops during Irene (Rik Stevens, AP).

The Adirondack Park Agency is lifting its ordinarily strict building rules to help homeowners in the park rebuild (Nick Reisman, State of Politics).

If your power is still out in the capital region, you can get dry ice from National Grid at the following locations, reported by Larry Rulison at The Buzz.

Natural gas

Irene has pushed back the release of draft drilling rules for hydrofracking from the DEC, which in turn pushes back the start of the public comment period (Jon Campbell, Politics on the Hudson).

A University of Pittsburgh study says it costs drillers $7.6 million to drill a Marcellus Shale well (Katherine Schmidt, Upstream Online).

At MIT's Technology Review, Mike Orcutt takes a look at the USGS data about gas volume in the Marcellus Shale that conflicts with Department of Energy estimates.

The foundation that funds FracTracker wants to move the website away from the University of Pittsburgh, where it was developed (AP).


If the Windstream takeover of PAETEC doesn't take hold, it could cost the Rochester company up to $40 million in termination fees (Matthew Daneman, Democrat and Chronicle).

The regional economic council for the Finger Lakes had a public input session last night (Tom Tobin, Democrat and Chronicle).  Look for more on that later today from the Innovation Trail's Zack Seward.

Bloomberg continues to hound Kodak about its patents, this time reporting that no one will comment about potentially acquiring the photo firm's technology (Chris Burritt).

There was more construction employment in Rochester last month than in the prior month, helping the city to join an elite list of places where construction is gaining jobs (Mary Stone, Rochester Business Journal).

Thanksgiving is saved: the maker of Gravy Master, Richardson Brands in Canajoharie, is back online after flooding from Irene (Eric Anderson, The Buzz).


The 10th annual Buffalo Wing Festival kicks off at noon on Saturday, with 50 tons of chicken wings (Deidre Williams, Buffalo News).

Alec Baldwin will be at the New York State Fair today, helping raise funds for cancer research (AP).

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