Environment

Epa.gov

Residential water sources near a Superfund site on the Seacoast have tested below the state’s standard for perfluorichemicals - including PFOA. Earlier tests at the site showed PFCs at levels significantly higher than the state standard.

Sixteen residential wells near the former Coakley landfill were tested for perfluorichemicals following the discovery of those contaminants in monitoring wells at the landfill earlier this year. All of the residential wells tested showed PFC levels below the recently established state standard.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The second largest solar array in the state is up and running as of today. It now powers municipal buildings in Durham.

The newly installed 2,100 solar modules sit on a former gravel pit in Lee. These panels now provide all of the energy to buildings owned by the town of Durham, with the exception of the wastewater treatment plant.

National Audubon Society

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire think blue-green algae blooms may be contributing to the declining population of loons in certain New Hampshire lakes.

While scientists have long warned humans to stay clear of algae or cyanobacteria blooms, researchers at UNH now suspect they may be harming New Hampshire’s loon population. While the state’s overall loon population has been steadily rebounding each year, some lakes are still seeing losses.

Elizabeth Szelog for NHPR

Biologists have begun investigating what killed an 18-year-old humpback whale that washed ashore in New Hampshire.

New England Aquarium spokesman Tony Lacasse tells The Portsmouth Herald the reason the whale named Snow Plow died remained a mystery as of Wednesday.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A group representing New England states and federal agencies held a meeting Sunday in Portsmouth to get public input on their plan to coordinate the use of the region’s ocean resources.

The Northeast Regional Planning Body was designed to coordinate the interests of a whole host of parties interested in how the ocean gets used, from commercial fishing to transportation to national security. The group includes representatives from all six New England states and nine federal agencies.

Sean Hurley

Growing up in Loudon, Andrew Timmins didn’t see his first bear until he was nearly 20.  Now, as Fish & Game’s Bear Project leader, Timmins manages the state’s population of more than 5,500 bears. NHPR’s Sean Hurley recently spent a day with Timmins at a bear hotspot at the Attitash Ski Resort and learned how the state regularly catches troublesome bears and relocates them to the northernmost part of the state.

aaronHWarren / Flickr Creative Commons

A ban on lead tackle in New Hampshire goes into effect Wednesday to help protect loons and other bird species in the Granite state.

Harry Vogel is a senior biologist and executive director at the Loon Preservation Committee. He calls the law one of the toughest of its kind in the nation. The law goes beyond use to include sales and also covers sinkers up to an ounce — more far reaching than most other states. Vogel says lead tackle was the largest cause of loon mortality in New Hampshire, with the state losing 124 loons from 1989 to 2011 due to lead sinkers.

Outside/In: Stake Your Claim

May 20, 2016

There used to be a time when you could strike out into the vast unexplored wilderness and stake your claim – but not anymore.  Today, the story of one seaside town where one homeowner is facing a brutal property dispute against an undefeatable opponent: the Atlantic Ocean.  

Plus, a group of 19th century pioneers lay claim to one of the world’s most inhospitable mountains and turn it into a premiere tourist destination. 

And, Sam goes on a hunt for Earth’s last unexplored places, so he can plant a flag and stake his claim.

Outside/In: Living Fossils

May 20, 2016
Greta Rybus and Logan Shannon

Technology advances at breakneck speed, so why hasn’t the electric grid changed in 60 years? This week’s episode explores  things, that for one reason or another, haven’t changed in a very, very long time. Like the ginkgo tree, which has remained strong--and smelly--for over 250 million years.

Outside/In: Nurture vs. Nature

May 12, 2016
Greta Rybus and Logan Shannon

Tyler Armstrong is 12-years-old. He loves video games, laser tag, and he wants to become the youngest person to summit Mount Everest. In this episode, Outside/In poses an ethical question: how young is too young to climb Mount Everest?

Plus, what to expect when you're expecting a child...and a gold medal at the Nordic World Ski Championships. And a father wages a 17-year-long battle against the Department of Environmental Services over a dock. 

Sandra Rehan/UNH

Monday, researchers from UNH released the first scientific findings about the state of New Hampshire’s bee population.

It's the first comprehensive list of bee species in the state, including 17 species never before recorded in New Hampshire.

The research comes after years of reports of declining bee populations around the country.

Assistant professor of biology Sandra Rehan co-authored the report and said biologists will use this data as a baseline to measure future trends.

Outside/In: On the Hunt

Apr 29, 2016
Greta Rybus and Logan Shannon

Ever since becoming a reporter, Sam has heard stories about a secret hunting reserve in New Hampshire, stocked with elk and 200-pound wild boar.  It's the size of a medium-sized town, but most people have never even heard about it, and almost nobody wants to talk about it.

A new study from the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy says towns in the Great Bay watershed stand to save a lot of money if they can coordinate their efforts at reducing the amount of nitrogen entering the bay.

Communities in the Great Bay watershed have been tasked with lowering the amount of nitrogen entering the bay by federal and state regulators for years now.

Outside/In: Let's Take This Outside

Apr 22, 2016
Greta Rybus and Logan Shannon

How do you define wilderness? Why are humans drawn to summits? Will the cold-hardy kiwi save a struggling local economy, or will it destroy a native eco-system? What is nutria, and why does it taste so good?

Meet Outside/In. A brand new radio show and podcast that takes a look at the natural world and how we use it.

Ben McCleod via Flickr CC

The Executive Council is holding a work session on a proposal to expand the Mount Sunapee ski resort, which is supported by economic development officials and businesses, but opposed by environmental groups.

The five-member Council and Gov. Maggie Hassan are scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced Wednesday that the state is going to extend the range of water testing as results continue to come in showing widespread contamination around the former Chemfab plant in North Bennington.

https://flic.kr/p/fA6veL / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire environmental regulators and realtors have reached an agreement on how to communicate the risks associated with Radon in drinking water.

Materials and fact sheets available from the Department of Environmental Services previously recommended that homeowners “test the indoor air for radon and consult with radon mitigation and water treatment providers” whenever radon exceeds 2,000 picocuries per liter in well water, which was the lowest advisory level in the United States.

A former manager of a scrap metal business in New Hampshire who admitted to dumping contaminated water into the Piscataqua River will be on federal probation for a year.

The Portsmouth Herald reports Christopher Garrity, of Leeds, Maine, was also ordered last month to pay a $5,000 fine. He pleaded guilty last year to a felony charge of discharging a pollutant into water in the U.S. without a permit.

Via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/7MMKBg

A long-running dispute between the real estate industry and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is back before the state legislature this year. Realtors have put forward a bill that would force the DES to get in line with federal standards when it comes to what's considered safe levels of radon in drinking water.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

There’s nothing that strikes more fear into the heart of a New England driver than the words "ice storm."

But this pernicious wintery precipitation is not just trouble for cars. Forests, where a thick coating of ice can break limbs or bring down a whole tree, suffer too.

NH Fish and Game

Should New Hampshire sportsman be allowed to hunt and trap bobcats?

Since the idea of a season on bobcats was first put on the table more than a year ago, that question has stirred up strong emotions, and those emotions came to a head Monday night.

The proposal Fish and Game is weighing would let New Hampshire hunters and trappers kill 50 bobcats a year. There are more than 600 such trappers, and permits would be given out using a lottery, at $100 a pop.

 This weekend, two Canadians in Tuckerman Ravine triggered an avalanche, which swept them and two others 500 feet down to the bottom of the bowl. None of those affected suffered serious injuries, but it highlights a growing trend in the White Mountains: more skiers getting themselves into avalanche terrain earlier in the year.

Flicker CC

 The future of solar power in the Granite State was front and center in the New Hampshire statehouse Wednesday, as law makers presented a deal to extend a program that has been crucial to the development of the state’s solar energy industry called net metering.

American Chestnut Foundation

Hold off on lighting that open fire — chestnut trees being planted by the University of New Hampshire won't produce a crop for roasting for at least five years. But officials hope the project will help restore a species that has been nearly wiped out by a blight that has killed trees from Georgia to Maine.

As the climate summit in Paris wraps up, Washington Republicans continue to press their battle against the Obama administration’s climate change policies.

Even as the Paris conference was underway, Senate Republicans held a subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill to challenge the climate change science. Senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz ran the hearing.

But many of the GOP’s old allies in corporate America believe climate change is real and action is needed. NPR’s Peter Overby reports.

https://flic.kr/p/muU7qZ

The Obama Administration's top environmental regulator, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, was in New Hampshire today promoting the use of wood as a fuel. McCarthy took a tour of sawmill in Middleton that burns leftover wood scraps to generate electricity and to heat its facility.  

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

  In Londonderry, bush-whacking through some seriously thick brush, Fish and Game field biologists Brett Ferry and Tyler Mahard are hunting for rabbits, but instead of firearms they’re using traps and radio telemetry.

They will take blood samples and put radio collars on rabbits they capture to ensure that we will continue to have a good idea of the state of the threatened rabbit population, and a few will be sent to a captive breeding program at a zoo in Rhode Island.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

States all over the country have picked sides in the coming court challenge over the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, and New Hampshire will join 18 other states in defending the new carbon dioxide regulations from a legal challenge. 

All of the New England states are in this coalition as well as California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington. A few major cities round out the group.

Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/6ZKrW

New Hampshire has joined 48 other states and cities to sign a non-binding agreement to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050.  The pledge is called the Under 2 MOU (MOU is short for memorandum of understanding, and “Under 2” refers to the goal of keeping temperatures from increasing more than 2 degrees Celsius).

Ron Sher; PREP King Tide Photo Contest

Thirty-five mayors and other local elected officials from coastal communities all over the country gathered in New Hampshire this weekend to talk about Sea Level Rise. They came from both parties, and they didn’t wind up in the state that hosts the nation’s first primary by accident. 

Basically anywhere with a coast was represented.

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