Environment

Environment
8:18 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Duck Death Toll Increases to 25, Oil Spill Investigation Continues

Credit Trevor Dennis / Flickr/CC

  New Hampshire wildlife officials say several more ducks have died since nearly two dozen of the wild birds were found dead in a storm runoff basin in Concord.

Conservation officers recovered 22 dead ducks Saturday from the oil-contaminated water at a housing development. Another four ducks were captured and taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center, but two have since died, along with another duck found walking in a driveway.

Officials are investigating how what appears to be motor oil ended up in the basin.

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Environment
7:00 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Officials Investigating Contamination Of Basin That Killed 22 Ducks

Credit Trevor Dennis / Flickr/CC

New Hampshire wildlife officials say 22 wild ducks were 

found dead in oil-contaminated water in a storm runoff basin at a Concord housing development.

Officials say the dead birds were recovered Saturday by conservation officers using nets while contending with extreme cold temperatures, deep snow and thin ice. Another four ducks were captured and taken to a veterinarian for treatment.

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Environment
7:22 am
Thu February 19, 2015

N.H. House Votes To Stay In RGGI, Defund Energy Efficiency Programs

Credit Jon Sullivan / Flickr CC

  Rather than ending New Hampshire's participation in a regional cap-and-trade program designed to limit carbon emissions, House members have voted to stay in the program but send more of the profits back to ratepayers.

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Environment
8:45 am
Wed February 11, 2015

N.H. To Stay In RGGI But Bill Would Eliminate Renewable Energy Projects

Credit iStock Photo/Thinkstock

  A bill to take New Hampshire out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, has been changed in the House Committee on Science, Technology and Energy.

It would now maintain New Hampshire’s participation in the program but would allocate all of the money raised by the program away from renewable energy projects and into electric rate relief.

Right now, the state puts four out of every five dollars it gets per carbon allowance into rate subsidies.

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Environment
3:08 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Bald Eagles Seen In Record Numbers In Annual Count

Credit Dan Arndt / Flicker CC

  The Audubon Society says it has observed 90 bald eagles in New Hampshire this winter. That’s the second year in a row that the count has documented a record number of the once-endangered birds in the Granite State..

When bird enthusiasts did the first winter count of Bald Eagles in New Hampshire in 1981, they saw fewer than ten. The population stayed low through the 1980s, but then began to rise.

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Environment
6:47 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Seacoast Marine Mammal Rescue Team Conducts 73 Rescues In First Year

Belmont was the first rescue for the Seacoast Science Center's Marine Mammal Rescue Team. Has abandoned by his mother, and spent four months in rehab. He was released in September.
Credit www.seacoastsciencecenter.org

The Seacoast Science Center’s Marine Mammal Rescue Team just wrapped up its inaugural year.

The team took over responding to rescue calls for seals and other stranded mammals in coastal New Hampshire last January.

The New England Aquarium in Boston previously handled those duties.

Ashley Stokes is rescue coordinator for the Marine Mammal Rescue Team.

She joins Morning Edition to talk about the group’s efforts.

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Environment
6:29 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Pipeline Public Outreach Campaign Brings Voices 'For' And 'Against' To The Forefront

The Laborers International Union of North America brought this truck-mounted sign to the open house in Winchester
Credit Sam Evans-Brown for NHPR

A public outreach campaign for a major natural gas pipeline kicked off at an open house Wednesday in Winchester, New Hampshire. 

The proposed project, by Texas-based pipeline developer Kinder Morgan, was moved North to New Hampshire late last year, in part to ease concerns of critics along the original route in Northern Massachusetts. Despite the company’s efforts to minimize the line’s impact, resistance along the new route has been just as strong.

The scene outside a presentation of any major energy infrastructure project tends to feature two crowds: unions…

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Environment
5:00 am
Fri January 30, 2015

As Kearsarge Solar Campaign Nears Deadline, Limit On Incentives Causes Uncertainty

Credit Julian- / Flickr Creative Commons

The New Hampshire Electric Coop will soon be the first utility in the state to fulfill a state-mandated requirement on how many customers are allowed to sell their solar energy back onto the grid. This has led some potential solar customers concerned about whether they will recoup their investment to bring their complaints to the Coop’s Board of Directors.

To get what this brouhaha is all about, you first have to know what net-metering is.

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Environment
4:39 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Should Canadian Hydro-Power Count Towards N.H. Renewable Energy Goals?

Credit Mac Armstrong / Flicker CC

State lawmakers are being asked to decide if hydro-power from Canada should be eligible for renewable energy subsidies.

The proposal was one of two presented by Republican David Murotake of Nashua that would make modifications to the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).

He says lumping hydro in as renewable energy would drive down the cost of meeting the state’s renewable energy goals.

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Environment
5:49 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

DES: Without RGGI, N.H. Won't Meet Federal Carbon Goals

A proposal to remove New Hampshire from a multi-state carbon cap-and trade program appears to have little public support.The House Science, Technology and Energy Committee took testimony on the bill Thursday morning. Two Republican lawmakers spoke in favor of the bill during the first two hours of the hearing while several state officials and members of the public spoke against it.Mike Fitzgerald with the Department of Environmental Services noted that participating in the program, called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or RGGI , will likely make the state compliant with proposed fed

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Environment
5:10 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Woodstove Change Out Program Launched For Cheshire County

Credit Gord McKenna / Flickr Creative Commons

Starting Thursday residents of Cheshire County can turn in old, inefficient woodstoves for a voucher towards a new cleaner-burning stove.

The vouchers are worth $1,000 towards an EPA certified woodstove, $1,500 towards a pellet or gas stove, or $4,000 towards a new outdoor wood boiler. In all $425,000 worth of vouchers will be given out.

Woodstoves built before 1988 are a lot less efficient and put out a lot more pollution than modern stoves, and since they are essentially big chunks of iron they last a long time.

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Environment
5:42 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Fish and Game Weighs Allowing Trapping Of Bobcats

Protesters outside Fish and Game on Wednesday
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

In a meeting Wednesday, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission began a discussion on whether to open a bobcat trapping season. The proposal is far from final, but it’s already attracting the ire of the animal rights community.

Late last year biologists at the University of New Hampshire announced the results of a study, commissioned by Fish and Game. They estimated that from 1989 to today, the bobcat population in New Hampshire had rebounded from less than 200 cats to somewhere between 800 and 1,400.

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Environment
11:20 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Officials: Air Pollution Levels Unsafe Because Of Weather, Increase Use Of Heating Devices

Much of the locally emitted pollution comes from heating devices such as wood-burning stoves.
Credit Rich Misner via Flickr CC

The state Department of Environmental Services has declared an "air quality action day" for southwestern New Hampshire.

The state said on Thursday, it expected air pollution concentrations to reach unhealthy levels for children, older adults, and anyone with heart or lung disease such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis.

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Environment
7:16 am
Mon January 12, 2015

If Budget Writers Sweep Dedicated Funds, Is It Legal?

While many funds were raided in the past ten years, three environmental programs - the Renewable Energy Fund, LCHIP, and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund - have contributed 65% of the money raided by the general fund since 2005.
Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR; Data: NH Legislative Budget Assistant

It’s a budget year, and lawmakers will soon be hard at work trying to come up with a balanced two year spending plan. If past is precedent, one place where budget-writers on both sides of the aisle may look for money is from what are known as dedicated funds – pots of money raised by fees and earmarked for specific purposes. But this year the practice may face serious pushback.

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Environment
10:37 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Mason Residents Raise Objections At Pipeline Forum

Credit Credit Kinder Morgan / http://www.kindermorgan.com/content/docs/TGP_Northeast_Energy_Direct_Fact_Sheet.pdf

Some residents of the New Hampshire town of Mason say they feel singled out by a proposed natural gas pipeline project that would cross the town twice over.

Related: Sam Evans-Brown reports on Kinder Morgan's plans to move their preferred pipeline route to New Hampshire.

They raised objections at a public meeting Tuesday night.

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Environment
4:49 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Ice Conditions Still Dangerous Across New Hampshire

Credit Flickr

State officials are warning ice conditions are more dangerous than they appear.

After an unseasonably warm December, a hard frost has settled over New Hampshire, coating many ponds and lakes with a layer of ice. That ice may look solid, but in many cases it’s not nearly thick enough for ice fishing or snow mobiles.

Kevin Jordan with Fish and Game says to hike or fish safely you need four to six inches of solid ice, and for snowmobiling you need eight to ten inches.

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New England Snapshot - Vermont
12:42 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Weatherization Funding Rises And Falls As Winter Sets In

A home in the Northeast Kingdom is warmer in winter, after being weatherized through services offered by RuralEdge, a housing agency serving low-income families. The state's goal to weatherize 80,000 homes by 2020 is behind schedule, despite new funding.
RuralEdge

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 8:25 am

As winter arrives, many Vermonters are probably going to be shivering – indoors. The state wants to weatherize 80,000 homes, a quarter of them owned or occupied by people with low incomes, by 2020.

But that goal is behind schedule, even though some new money is coming in.

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Environment
5:28 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Previously Rejected Wind Farm To Try Again In Antrim

Credit Chris Jensen / NHPR

A proposed wind farm in the Monadnock Region is resubmitting its application to the state. Almost two years ago regulators rejected the project.

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Energy
3:13 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Kinder Morgan Officially Moves Preferred Pipeline Route To N.H.

Credit Kinder Morgan / http://www.kindermorgan.com/content/docs/TGP_Northeast_Energy_Direct_Fact_Sheet.pdf

A natural gas pipeline developer says New Hampshire is now its preferred route for a brand new project it hopes to build in 2017. 

Kinder Morgan, a Texas-based deveoper, had initially planned to route the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline through Northern Massachusetts. After grass-roots groups and several politicians pushed back against the plan, the developer began to explore alternatives.

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Environment
6:21 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

State Approaching Decision On Mount Sunapee Expansion

Snow guns and early season conditions at Mount Sunapee
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

  The Mount Sunapee Ski Resort is asking the state for permission to build new lifts and new trails. It’s a proposal that was stymied by political resistance in Concord for ten years. Now with a change of governors, a court victory, and growing local support for the expansion, the lay of the land for the expansion has shifted dramatically.

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Environment
8:40 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Officials Meet In Portsmouth To Discuss 2015 Shellfish Rules

Credit Min Lee via Flickr CC

New Hampshire health, environment and wildlife officials are holding a public meeting on shellfish rules for 2015.

The information session set for Tuesday night in Portsmouth will be an opportunity for the public to hear about a dye tracking study that traced effluent flows from the Pierce Island wastewater treatment facility to Little Harbor and areas of Portsmouth Harbor out to Odiorne Point. Officials say that study indicates that shellfish harvesting in those areas need to be closed.

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Environment
4:08 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Cod Catch Limits To Be Cut By 75 Percent... Again

New England Cod Fishermen are again facing stricter catch limits.

Last year, fisherman faced a 77 percent cut in how many cod they could catch, and now the New England Fisheries Management Council has voted to establish another 75 percent cut. Together the cuts reduce the catch limit for Gulf of Maine Cod from 6,700 metric tons in 2012 to 386 in 2015.

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Environment
5:11 am
Fri November 14, 2014

As Snow Flies, N.H. Contemplates Using Less Salt

Credit Flicker CC

The southern tier of the state is getting its first dusting of snow of the winter season this morning. As it does, the first question on the minds of many is probably “how is the driving?”

We have never been better at keeping roads clear during snow-storms, but now for environmental and budgetary reasons the question is how to use less salt.

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Environment
6:15 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

'Polar Vortex' Might Be Click-Bait, But Its Effect On Climate Is Real

The Polar Vortex pushes the Jetstream South in 2014
Credit NASA / Flicker CC

There’s a cold snap on the way.

At least one town in Wyoming has set a new all-time low for the month of November, and that arctic air mass is now barreling its way toward New Hampshire.

While it’s unclear to what extent this cold actually is a piece of the polar vortex, that doesn’t mean the vortex isn’t an important driver of New England’s winter Climate. Experts are debating if more extreme swings from warm to cold are part of what a changed climate will look like in New England.

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Environment
5:08 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Hillsborough County Latest To Be Put Under Firewood Quarantine

With the discovery of an invasive beetle infestation Hillsborough became the latest New Hampshire county under a firewood quarantine. The quarantine expansion went into effect last week, after Emerald Ash Borer was discovered in the town of Weare, which makes three counties now in lockdown. This means that firewood can no longer be taken from Hillsborough County and brought elsewhere.

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Environment
6:12 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Executive Council OKs Wind Farm Funding, Clears The Way For Five New Turbines

Jericho Mountain Wind Phase II Project. Proposed Conditions with 85M tower. Site 3 - Cates Hill Road
Images captured from Jericho Power's proposal to the Berlin Planning Board

The North Country is on its way to getting a 5-turbine, 14-megawatt wind farm on a ridge called Jericho Mountain to the West of Berlin.

The city of Berlin is working with a private developer to build what’s been termed a “community” wind farm, because of its small size. Despite the objections of wind opponents, the executive council approved the final piece of the project’s financing puzzle Wednesday.

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Environment
5:34 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Spilled Oil In Speedy Piscataqua Would Make For Tricky Clean-Up

Ray Reimold directs a Newington Fire Department boat during an oil spill drill on the Piscataqua river Thursday.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

  At 4:30 in the morning, a worker unloading number six oil from a barge at the Sprague River Terminal in Newington, smells fumes. He finds a leaking pipeline, and radios to stop the pumping, but already there are an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil in the river.

It sounds scary, but as the crackling voices over the radio in the boat supervising the cleanup make clear, there’s nothing to fear. Before every transmission, they declare, “This is a drill, this is a drill.”

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Environment
3:25 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

An Unusual, Non-Lethal Idea to Deal With Connecticut's Pesky Monk Parakeets

Monk Parakeets get their name from the distinctive cowl over their heads. They're also known as "Quaker Parrots."
Kevin Burgio

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 12:14 pm

Kevin Burgio remembered the first time he saw monk parakeets. He was out bird watching "and I ran across this puddle that had like five or six monk parakeets drinking from it," he said. "I'm like, what the hell is that? Did someone lose, like, five parrots? I didn't know there were parrots here."

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Environment
4:28 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

'Scrubber' Cost Dispute Heard By Regulator

Credit Christian Patti / http://christianpatti.com/

The question of who will pay the cost of cleaning up emissions from the state’s largest coal-fired power plant is before the Public Utilities Commission this week.

“The issue that we’re facing here today is that as a result of increases of costs of commodities as well as increases in the engineering complexity of what we had to build, the price was higher than a lot of people expected it to be,” said PSNH’s lead attorney Bob Bersak.

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Environment
4:29 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Report: Cancer Cases Avoidable If Well Owners Test For Arsenic

Credit Dennis Amith via Flickr CC

A new study out of Dartmouth College estimates that arsenic in well water could be causing as many as 830 cases of cancer in the granite state.

Related: Worried About Your Water? How To Get Your Well Tested

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