Environment

Environment
9:31 am
Mon July 14, 2014

The Ins & Outs Of Star Island [Infographic]

(Click to enlarge)
Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

As sustainable as Star Island's systems are, the folks at Star Island Corporation are working to make them even more efficient, making improvements that mean bringing less onto the island, sending less off, and making more use of what's there.

The graphic below outlines what comes onto the island - either naturally or shipped by boat - what gets sent off, and where everything goes in between.

Notes:

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Environment
6:48 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Star Island Seeks To Go Solar, Serve As Energy Example

Star Island lies more than 6 miles off the coast of New Hampshire, very close to the border with maine
Sara Plourde NHPR

Star Island – a 43 acre spit of land in the isles of shoals, more than 6 miles off the New Hampshire coast – is installing enough solar panels to power roughly 30 homes and a battery array to back them up.

The island is home to a hotel and conference center run by a non-profit with close ties to the Unitarian Universalist Church. Its efforts to go solar are actually culmination of years of work that some think are a model for how the future of energy could look on the mainland.

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Environment
5:06 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Implementation Of State Energy Plan Will Depend On Politics

The baseline forecast for New Hampshire's energy mix does not imagine a whole-sale shift in where power comes from over the next ten years, though it does presume that the amount of energy coming from coal will shrink.
Credit NH OEP

New Hampshire officials are working on a new state energy strategy, which is supposed to be a roadmap to a new energy future, but politics may ultimately decide whether the strategy becomes reality.

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Environment
5:00 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Timber-Frame Architect Wins Competition With Wooden Sky-Scraper Column

Tim Olson's "Coopered Column," on display at the Boston Society of Architects consists of 118 timber peices and over 250 screws
Courtesy: Tim Olson

Architect Tim Olson, from Bensonwood homes in Walpole, has a problem.

He and a friend have screwed together the first few pieces of a design project, called the Coopered Column, backwards.

“We’re looking at the plan upside down and assembling it, so we swapped the pieces,” he says laughing.

It’s understandable: there are 118 pieces – each one a big, meaty timber – and 250 screws to hold it all together.

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Environment
8:30 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Infographic: The Science Behind Summer Storms

Credit NHPR Staff

With warming weather comes stormy weather - but why is that? If it's been a while since elementary school science class, catch up on the phenomena of summer thunderstorms and hail with this primer.

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Environment
6:20 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Environmental Group: Governors' Natural Gas Proposal Too Expensive, Rushed

Credit natural gas drilling / Flickr CC

An Environmental Group says regional energy policy makers and the natural gas industry have too cozy a relationship. To prove their case the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released a series of documents obtained by right to know requests. Those indicated therein say the claim is overblown.

The release highlights a growing unease in the environmental community toward bringing new natural gas pipeline into New England.

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Environment
5:00 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Arsenic Is Prevalent In Well Water, But Treatment Is Readily Available

The "filter train" on display at Secondwind Water Treatment
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

This is the second of two stories about arsenic in well-water.

Almost twenty years ago, Joe Ayotte got a well drilled at his house in Concord.

“As you can see it’s a bit of a mud-pit, and it’s very red,” says Ayotte surveying the site of his artesian well, which has since been retired from service, but continues to leach iron-stained water onto his lawn.

Ayotte had some bad luck. The well must have hit what he calls “rotten rock” and brought up massive amounts of minerals in the water, including so much iron that it destroyed his fixtures.

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Environment
9:53 am
Thu June 19, 2014

What You Should Know About Arsenic & Your Well Water [Infographic]

Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

Have you ever wondered how toxic elements like arsenic get into your well water? Do you know how many of New Hampshire's bedrock wells contain more arsenic than the EPA recommends for safe, potable water? If your well was one of them, would you know how to treat it?

Read through the graphic below to learn more about arsenic and well water.

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Environment
5:30 am
Thu June 19, 2014

50,000 N.H. Wells At Risk Of High Arsenic, Negative Health Impacts

A rig for Cushing and Sons rills a new well on a property in Stoddard
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

At a house in Stoddard, a Cushing and Sons truck mounted rig pounds a drill bit into bedrock 90 feet below.

“What we’re hearing now is a pneumatic hammer,” says Bart Cushing, who together with his brother runs this family owned well-drilling business, “That’s a flat-based bit with carbide buttons. And it’s literally pounding the rock.”

These artesian groundwater wells are the norm these days: something on the order of 95 percent of new wells are drilled into the bedrock.

And there’s a reason for that.

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Environment
4:38 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

"Bioblitz" Aims to Catalog All The Species In Two Square Miles In 24-Hours

Jan McClure and Chris Kane stand on top of an abandoned beaver dam, in a complex system of beaver impoundments an area the Nature Conservancy plans to purchase for preservation.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

One of the state’s biggest environmental organizations is finishing the fundraising for a 1,300 acre conservation deal in North Conway. Once it’s finished, the land will be added to the 4,000 existing acres of the Nature Conservancy’s Green Hills Preserve, where it will provide recreation for people, and habitat for plants and animals.

But before the conservancy closes the deal it wants to know what it’s getting, and to figure that out it assembled plant and wildlife experts from all over the state for a sort of naturalist marathon.

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Environment
2:34 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Following Proposed Carbon Regulations, RGGI Allowances Reach Another New High

After two years of trading at or near the floor price, the price of RGGI allowances - which represent the right to emit a ton of CO2 - have been on the rise since last year's announcement that the "cap" on emissions would be tightened.
Credit Data: RGGI.org / NHPR

In the latest quarterly auction of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, the cost for the right to emit a ton of carbon has again reached a new high. Speculation that more states could join RGGI could be driving interest in carbon allowances.

The announcement of the new EPA rules jazzed the latest RGGI auction. When the prices came out Friday morning, they were at $5.02 per ton of CO2, up from $4.00 in the last auction.

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Environment
4:54 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

N.H. Likely Has Proposed Carbon Limits 'In The Bag'

Credit Flkr Creative Commons / PSNH

Under a proposed rule out of the EPA Monday, New Hampshire will have to come up with its own plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. However, many of the building blocks for that plan are already in place.

The new EPA rule says that New Hampshire should emit 486 pounds of carbon per megawatt hour of electricity generated, and that, as of 2012, New Hampshire’s rate was 905 pounds per megawatt hour.

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Environment
5:37 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Is Climate Change To Thank For Dramatic Recovery Of Acid Rain's 'Canary In The Coal Mine'?

US Forest Service Researcher Paul Schaberg holds up a lush, healthy red Spruce branch for inspection
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Paul Schaberg marshals a small team of scientists, surveying a stand of red spruce in Colebrook for frost damage from last winter.

“So what are you guys seeing, are you seeing any injury yet?” he calls out.  

“We’re just seeing green needles,” hollers back one of his helpers.

“Happy, happy trees,” responds another.

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Environment
5:42 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Developer Pulls The Plug On Wind Farm Proposed For Newfound Lake Area

Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Spanish Wind Developer Iberdrola has pulled the plug on Wild Meadows, a controversial wind farm that was proposed for the towns of Alexandria and Danbury, the troubled project submitted an application for construction in December but put it on hold to deal with problems at another wind farm the next town over.

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Environment
4:47 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Fish And Game Seeking Information On "Loon Poachers"

Credit Flkr Creative Commons / KeithCarver

The Fish and Game Department wants the public’s help to find one or more loon poachers.

Two loons were shot this week, in different parts of the state. The first bird was shot in Dover, and was found near the Cocheco river. That loon survived and is expected to be released back into the wild. The second was shot in Gilford, near Varney point, and died.

The attacks were both reported on Tuesday.

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