The Environmental Protection Agency says in 2013 New Hampshire experienced only three days with poor air quality due to ground-level ozone – or smog. This fits into the overall trend of declining smog over the last three decades.
Smog primarily is formed when pollution out of car tailpipes and power plant emissions interacts with light, and it forms more quickly (and so is worse) on hot summer days.
But in New Hampshire, smoggy days peaked in the summer of 1988, with 36 poor air quality days, and has been declining slowly ever since.
Since June New Hampshire lawmakers have been grappling with what to do about the persistently above market cost of electricity at the state’s largest utility, Public Service of New Hampshire. Now the legislative committee wants advice from regulators to see if selling PSNH’s power plants is the solution, but that advice may be slow in coming.
Heating oil dominates New Hampshire's home heating landscape, and propane takes up a much higher share of what's left over than in other states. Conversely, the number one fuel nationally -- natural gas -- heats only 1 in 5 NH homes.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown; Data: American Community Survey / NHPR
Wind power developer Iberdrola Renewables has signed a contract to sell power to four Massachusetts utilities, and has included in that contract a proposed wind farm in New Hampshire that has yet to submit its application for construction.
The Beede Waste Oil site encompasses 40 acres in Plaistow, and abuts Kelley Brook. It is closely surrounded by residential development. The site was closed in 1994, and its former owner was sentenced to 37 months in prison for contaminating it.
Later this month a water treatment plant will switch on in Plaistow to clean ground water at a notorious former oil dump. The total bill for the cleanup of what’s now known as the Beede Superfund site could reach nearly $70 million dollars. This site is now on its way converting from brownfield to greenfield, but illustrates how the law governing the cleanup of superfund sites can also be messy.
New Hampshire lawmakers say new leadership at Public Service of New Hampshire has brought a change of tone. For policy-makers this as a welcome development as they seek a solution to the steady bleed of customers from the state’s largest utility.
Meanwhile, many of the stresses that threaten water quality – more waste-water, increased runoff from pavement, and fewer forests to naturally filter water – increase hand-in-hand with development. Those in the conservation community say the cheapest route is to keep water clean by putting land into conservation, instead of trying to clean it up after it’s already a mess. No-where is the tension between environmental quality and more acute, than on the seacoast, in the communities of the Great Bay.
Public Service of New Hampshire, the state’s largest electric utility, has filed an appeal with the state supreme court. PSNH is trying to head off regulators’ attempts to question whether the company should have installed a mercury scrubber on its largest coal-fired power plant.
When setting aside land for conservation, what are the priorities? Nice views? Old trees? Mossy stone walls? A pair of conservation groups think that maybe the biggest consideration should be how much the land will help different species survive climate change.
New Hampshire’s show-stoppers are its great granite peaks, and a lot of resources are going toward protecting them.
Results have been posted from the latest auction of allowances for emitting a ton of carbon dioxide under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or RGGI. After rising in the first half of the year prices and demand have leveled off this quarter. The right to emit a ton of carbon sold for $2.67 this quarter.
That’s down nearly 17 percent from the last auction, but still substantially higher than the floor price where it had been trading for more than two years.
Lawmakers working on a bill that would require the labeling of food containing Genetically Modified Crops heard from a leading advocate of GMO labeling Tuesday. New Hampshire is one of a patchwork of states considering similar such bills.
Michael Hansen, a senior scientist with the publisher of Consumer Reports Magazine, told lawmakers that Europe’s labeling requirements show that many of the concerns raised by opponents of GMO labeling are unfounded.
The United States Department of Agriculture is distributing vanilla flavored rabies vaccine packets from airplanes over New Hampshire. The packets will show up in Coos and Grafton counties as part of 5-state pilot study of a new rabies vaccine.
The vaccines are thrown from 500 feet from a small aircraft over rural areas and distributed by hand in towns. They’re vanilla flavored, which trials have shown to be a favorite flavor for critters.
New Hampshire lawmakers weighing the future of Public Service of New Hampshire are not ready to force the utility to divest, or sell, their power plants. During its third meeting of the summer on Wednesday, the joint Electricity Restructuring Oversight Committee admitted that they did not have enough information – and perhaps not enough expertise – to make an informed decision.