Around the Region

A boring machine arrived recently in Newburgh for a sewer project

A boring machine arrived recently in Newburgh for a sewer project. (City of Newburgh)

Newburgh: Sewer Tunneling to Begin

On Jan. 12, microtunneling began in the City of Newburgh as part of wastewater and stormwater infrastructure upgrades.

The $6.1 million project is the first cleanwater infrastructure construction project in the state to receive funding from a federal infrastructure law. In addition, the state is providing $21 million in grants and interest-free loans for the construction of larger sewer pipes and other upgrades to prevent high-water problems and reduce pollution in the Hudson River.

A boring machine was delivered to the city earlier this month; it will allow remote-operated trench digging and pipe-laying through bedrock. The project will include the installation of 8,700 linear feet of sewer piping, and microtunneling is needed for a 2,000-foot-long portion.

Croton: No More Hydrilla

The state Department of Environmental Conservation recently announced that it has eradicated the invasive hydrilla plant from the Croton River. 

Hydrilla verticillata was discovered in the river, which is a tributary to the Hudson, in 2013. The $3.5 million project that began in 2017 was the first large-scale effort to control an aquatic invasive plant managed by the DEC, the agency said. 

Hydrilla spreads rapidly and forms dense mats of vegetation. Its decomposition can also pollute drinking water.

The DEC used herbicide to treat hydrilla, which was found at 190 of 446 survey points in the Croton River. In 2022, no hydrilla was found at any of the points, or in the Hudson River. The DEC will continue to monitor the Croton River until 2026.

Orange: Polio Virus Found

A new test of wastewater in Orange County turned up two samples that were positive for the polio virus, one in Harriman and one in Middletown, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.

The strains were linked genetically to the case of a 20-year-old Rockland man whose legs were permanently paralyzed by the disease. He had not been vaccinated, officials said. Weekly tests in other nearby counties have not found any of the virus.

The polio vaccination rates for children at age 2 are 60 percent in Rockland and 59 percent in Orange, according to state data. The rate is 78 percent in Putnam and 76 percent in Dutchess.

Red Hook: First Ticket from Bus Camera

The Red Hook Police Department issued its first ticket using a camera installed on the stop arm of a school bus when it recorded a driver passing illegally, according to The Daily Catch.

The system captured the license plate of a 42-year-old woman who passed the bus while its stopping arm was extended and its lights flashing. The cameras were installed on district buses in April.

Mahopac: Schools to Drop Indian Mascot

Under pressure from the state Education Department to retire its Native American mascot, the Mahopac school district said on Jan. 17 it would drop its Indian, The Journal News reported. Students will vote in May on a replacement.

The Education Department told districts last year, including Wappingers Central, that they needed to have a plan to retire their Native American mascots by July or face cuts in state aid.

The Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department recently unveiled its new logo.

The Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department recently unveiled its new logo.

The Wappingers district said it is waiting for proposed regulations on Native American mascots to be approved in April before it decides what to do with the Indians of Ketcham High School.

At the same time, the Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department unveiled an updated logo for its fire-rescue unit that one Native American scholar called “a disgusting and inaccurate way to portray Indigenous peoples.”

Mohegan Lake: Movie Theater to Close

Regal’s United Artists Theatre at Cortlandt Town Center will be closing.

Regal is the second-largest movie-theater chain in the country. Its parent, Cineworld, filed for bankruptcy in September. According to Variety, the company said it could save $22 million annually by not renewing leases at 39 complexes, including in Mohegan Lake. The first leases renew on Feb. 15.

Other theaters on the list are located in Buffalo, Ithaca, Union Square in New York City, Rochester and Williamsville in Erie County. About 500 remain nationwide.

Dover Plains: DEC to Hold Pipeline Hearing

The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will hold a public hearing on Tuesday (Jan. 31) to address a proposed series of upgrades to the 414-mile Iroquois pipeline that carries natural gas from Canada to New York City and passes through eastern Dutchess County.

Iroquois Gas Transmission System LP hopes to upgrade two compression stations in New York, at Dover Plains and at Athens, in Greene County. The upgrades would increase the amount of natural gas that can travel through the pipeline by an additional 125 million cubic feet per day.

Compression stations are points in the line where excess pressure is let off to prevent fires and explosions. These “blowdowns” release pollutants into the air.

In order to have the upgrades approved, the DEC is asking Iroquois to explain how the plan would be in compliance with New York’s climate goals of getting 70 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030, and reaching zero-emissions electricity by 2040.

To view the hearing, visit For more info, see

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