Environment

Environment
10:36 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Efforts to Restore Oyster Beds Could be a Stopgap Measure for Great Bay

Three-year-old oysters that were killed by one of two invasive European diseases
Sam Evans-Brown

 

The Nature Conservancy and the University of New Hampshire are working to restore oyster beds in the Great Bay. The organization hopes its efforts can help stave off an ecosystem collapse while towns in the watershed work toward upgrading their wastewater plants. 

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Environment
5:32 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

PSNH Teams With CDFA to Ramp Up Energy Efficiency Programs

A blower door test is one of the first steps for homeowners hoping to reduce their energy bills.
Flikr Creative Commons / Graysky

Two New Hampshire Energy efficiency programs are teaming up to try to weatherize more New Hampshire homes. The Community Development Finance Authority is combining its weatherization program with Public Service of New Hampshire’s.

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Environment
1:55 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

DES Moving Towards New Superfund Site in Farmington

The Department of Environmental Services is working to have  a former auto-parts factory and landfill in Farmington declared a Superfund site. DES officials are confident the site will be accepted into the federal program.

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Environment
5:30 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Great Bay Communities and EPA Square Off In Exeter

Sam Evans-Brown

 

Representatives of five New Hampshire towns say the Environmental Protection Agency is imposing wastewater limits on the Great Bay that are a financial burden. They made their case to two members of the Congressional Committee on Oversight at a field hearing held in Exeter Monday. While towns and regulators haggle over the cost of improving waste water treatment, time may be running out for the Great Bay estuary.

A Contentious Issue

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Environment
5:30 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Energy Efficiency Programs Hang in the Political Balance

RGGI seeks to curb CO2 emissions from power plants.
Flikr Creative Commons / Jim.Richmond

Republican are working at finding common language on a bill that would weaken or repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI. They will have to agree on a version that will get enough votes to overcome a governor’s veto.

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Environment
1:18 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Expanded Renewable Energy Rules Pass NH House

Biomass could get a boost if the new renewable rules pass
Asea Flikr Creative Commons

The New Hampshire House has passed a new version of the rules that govern what counts as renewable energy. The bill would expand the definition of renewable to include thermal energy.

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Environment
4:51 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Federal Grants Help Farmers Produce Fresh Greens in Winter

Reed and Hank Letarte take row covers off the winter greens in their "cold house"
Sam Evans-Brown

 

The cold, dark New Hampshire winter is tough on vegetables, and vegetable growers. Farmers race the frost in the fall and chomp at the bit in the spring waiting for snow to melt. But  a federal grant program has been changing the way that some Yankee farmers grow food.

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Environment
1:42 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Environmental Groups Ask EPA to Investigate Schiller Plant Emissions

Environmental groups in New Hampshire and Maine want the EPA to investigate sulfur dioxide emissions at a power plant in Portsmouth.

Sierra Club chapters in the two states are mounting a petition drive.

It asks the EPA to look into the possible effect of the emissions on asthma cases in the Seacoast regions of the two states.

The groups contend that sulfur dioxide emitted by the Schiller Plant could be adding to respiratory illnesses, especially in Maine.

But Martin Murray, spokesman for PSNH says that an examination of the plant isn't necessary.

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Environment
3:00 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Regulators Punt Big Cut in Cod Limits

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced cuts to the catch limits on Atlantic Cod for the 2012 fishing year. But New Hampshire fishermen got a reprieve, since the cuts could have been much worse.

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Environment
4:19 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

New Renewable Energy Rules Face an Uphill Battle

Concord Steam has been in operation since 1938. Originally it was the heat plant for the State Hospital, but now it heats and powers parts of the downtown.
Sam Evans-Brown

 

The New Hampshire legislature is considering a bill that would expand the state’s renewable portfolio standards. That means more money to subsidize renewable energy.

Supporters say the measure is a real boost to the state’s wood industries, but critics doubt whether the new subsidies are worth the price.

There’s a little something for everyone in the new Renewable Portfolio Standards.

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Environment
3:03 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Great Bay Area Communities Sue State Over Water Quality Issues

Amy Quinton, NHPR

A coalition of Great Bay area communities is suing the state and the Department of Environmental Services, claiming DES failed to follow proper rules when determining water quality standards in the Great Bay.

Dover, Portsmouth, Rochester, Exeter and Newmarket claim DES violated state and federal law by not conducting a formal public process when determining water quality standards in the Great Bay.

As a result, the communities say they face unnecessary multi-million dollar wastewater treatment upgrades.

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Environment
2:20 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Anti-Nuclear Groups Excluded From Seabrook Re-licensing Process

Jim Richmond

Anti-Nuclear groups are angered by a decision of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to exclude them from the re-licensing process for the Seabrook Nuclear Plant. 

A number of groups filed for intervener status so that they could file objections to the plant's extension of its operation to 2050. The coalition of environmental organizations planned to argue that renewable energy resources, such as wind power, could ultimately replace nuclear power. But the NRC ruled that their argument lacked merit, because that replacement power isn't available now.

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Looking Up: Pockets of Economic Strength
12:01 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Record-High Food Prices Boost Farmers' Bottom Lines

An Illinois farmer checks the blades on his combine while harvesting corn last October. The value of the 2011 U.S. corn crop was more than $76 billion.
Seth Perlman AP

Part of a series

Thanks to high commodity prices and surging productivity, U.S. farmers earned a net income of nearly $98 billion last year — a record, according to the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute.

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Planet Money
12:01 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Meet Claudia, The High-Tech Cow

Technology at rest.
Adam Davidson NPR

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 11:09 am

Here's the secret of the modern dairy farm: The essential high-tech advances aren't in machinery. They're inside the cow.

Take a cow like Claudia. She lives at Fulper Farms, a dairy farm in upstate New Jersey. Claudia is to a cow from the 1930s as a modern Ferrari is to a Model T.

In the 1930s, dairy farmers could get 30 pounds of milk per day from a cow. Claudia produces 75 pounds a day.

To appreciate a cow like Claudia, you have to know where to look.

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Rebuilding Japan
12:01 am
Thu March 8, 2012

With Radiation, Doubt Grows In Fukushima Farms

A woman picks carrots on her farm as she explains her fears that no one will buy them since the radiation fallout in March 2011 in Fukushima, Japan. A year later, challenges persist for farmers in the region.
Wally Santana AP

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 4:00 pm

The mountain village of Kawauchi lies partly inside the area deemed unsafe because of high levels of radiation in Japan's Fukushima prefecture. Chiharu Kubota uses a high-pressure water gun to hose down buildings there.

Radiation is still leaking from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, which suffered multiple meltdowns immediately after last year's earthquake and tsunami.

'Nothing Is Better'

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