Matt Richmond

Innovation Trail Reporter

WSKG/Southern Tier reporter for the Innovation Trail.

Matt Richmond comes to Binghamton from South Sudan, where he worked as a stringer for Bloomberg, and freelanced for Radio France International, Voice of America, and German Press Agency dpa.

He has worked with KQED in Los Angeles, Cape Times in Cape Town, South Africa, and served in the Peace Corps in Cameroon.  Matt's masters in journalism is from the Annenberg School for Communication at USC.

After about seven years of research, public hearings, rallies, elections and rumors that a decision was imminent, the final environmental impact statement on hydrofracking was released on Wednesday. Its findings aren’t a surprise.



The DEC’s “draft permit conditions”, released on Monday, propose rules that would have to be followed if the state issues a permit to Finger Lakes LPG Storage. Finger Lakes LPG, which is owned by Houston-based Crestwood Midstream Partners, wants to store up to 2.1 million barrels of butane and propane in old salt caverns on the western shore of Seneca Lake, in the Town of Reading.

H. Michael Miley/via Flickr


Both sides in the long-running battle over a proposed gas storage facility next to Seneca Lake are looking to moving on to the next stage.

Houston-based Crestwood Midstream has submitted a construction plan to federal regulators. The company says they are waiting on approval of the construction plan from federal regulators before beginning work.

The Department of Environmental Conservation announced last week that it will hold an issues conference this fall to hear concerns from both sides before signing off on the project.


The two cases involved a natural gas producer, originally Anschutz Exploration before Norse Energy took over, and a Cooperstown-area landowner named Jennifer Huntington, challenging drilling bans passed by the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield.

Tyler Hale is a 25-year-old volunteer firefighter with the Cayuga Heights Fire Department. Wires connecting small plastic sensors snake up his arms and legs and down his back and Huiju Park, an assistant professor at Cornell University, directs Hale through a series of movements.

The sensors send data about Hale's movements to Huiju's laptop.

"The system keeps checking and recording the continuous change in range in motion at each joint,” says Park.

Park’s goal is to test the different ways the body reacts to the rubber boots commonly used by firefighters compared to leather ones. Eventually, Hale climbs into his firefighting gear and slips on his boots, the rubber ones first.


The Binghamton area was largely spared the impact of Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath. The Innovation Trail’s Matt Richmond reports on what turned out to be a near miss.

On Tuesday morning, the storm’s center was near State College, Pennsylvania, heading northwest. Mike Evans is from the National Weather Service’s Binghamton office. He says it looks like Sandy will mostly pass by the Southern Tier.

file photo

BROOME COUNTY - Lt. Governor Duffy was at the Broome County Office of Emergency Management and made these comments about likely storm impact across the Southern Tier region earlier today:

"We expect high winds, we do expect several inches of rain. Hopefully far less than we experienced last time. The one thing that happened last time with Hurricane Irene any fluctuation can change things, so we just dont know."

Outside Wednesday’s town board meeting in Windsor, drilling advocates handed out pro-drilling stickers. About 150 people showed up and most of them put a sticker on.

The issue on that night was Resolution 24 - the town board’s May declaration of support for state, not local government, power decide whether fracking comes to New York.

The Town of Windsor passed its resolution on May 2, one of 30 or so passed by town boards mostly in the Southern Tier, says Binghamton lawyer Scott Kurkoski. He says they were meant as a way to counteract the spread of local drilling bans.