Environment

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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Environment
5:35 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

N.H. Officials Seek Public Input In Ocean Plan

Credit Northeast Regional Planning Body / http://www.northeastoceandata.org/maps/maritime-commerce/#

New Hampshire citizens got a chance Monday night to weigh in on a first-of-its-kind ocean plan at a hearing in Portsmouth. Officials from across the region are working on recommendations on how to use federal waters.

This is a big committee. It includes representatives from the six New England states, ten Native American tribes, ten federal agencies, and the region’s fisheries regulator.

The goal is to balance the various uses of the ocean beyond three miles off-shore.

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