Environment

Environment
2:00 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Meet Ben Kilham, 'Bear Whisperer'

Ben Kilham with one of his bears, Big Girl
Lauren Gesswien Courtesy of Ben Kilham

From ThoughtCast comes a story about the bear whisperer of Lyme, New Hampshire, Ben Kilham, and the abandoned black bear cubs he has rescued, rehabilitated and released back into the wild.

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Environment
5:25 am
Sat October 26, 2013

UNH Research: Bees Nearly Went The Way Of The Dinosaurs

Credit BSC Photography / Flickr Creative Commons

According to new research out of UNH, the same event that spelled the end of the dinosaurs nearly did in bees as well. An investigation into the genome of the small carpenter bee shows bee evolution ground to nearly a halt right around the time dinosaurs died out.

UNH professor Sandra Rehan was busy mapping out the ancestral trees of the four tribes of carpenter bees she studies when she noticed something funny: around 65 million years ago evolution paused.

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Environment
5:17 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

EPA: Low Air Quality Days On The Decline In New England

Even though New Hampshire did not have the worst air quality in New England in the 1980s, it never-the-less has seen improvement over the decades.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown; Data: EPA New England / NHPR

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.

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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.

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Environment
6:22 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Lawmakers Look To Keep The Door Open To PSNH Action

The scrubber on Merrimack Station drives much of the difference in PSNH's rates vs. those of competitors.
Credit Christian Patti / http://christianpatti.com/

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.

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Environment
6:48 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Staying Warm In The Granite State: A Guide To Home Heating Fuels

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

The frost advisories are beginning to pile up and boilers in basements are cycling on to take the edge off of the autumn chill: heating season is upon us.

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Environment
5:24 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Wind Developer Iberdrola Will Sell Energy To Mass. Utilities

Credit Chris Jensen / 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.

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Environment
4:50 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

As Water Cleanup Commences, Beede Story Shows Superfund Law's Flaws

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.
Credit The Beede Group

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.

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Environment
5:28 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Outlines Of Plan For PSNH Power-Plants Begin To Emerge

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.

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Environment
12:30 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

As Seacoast Development Booms, Water Quality Could Bust

While development trends vary slightly from town to town, in general development is on the rise, and in many communities speeding up
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

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.

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Environment
5:42 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

PSNH Asks Supreme Court To Weigh In On Scrubber Costs

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.

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Environment
10:50 am
Wed September 18, 2013

How The '38 Hurricane Changed Our Forests

Hurricane damage in Wolfeboro
Credit Peter Roome, Creative Commons

September 21st is the 75th anniversary of the Great New England Hurricane of 1938. The Category 3 storm tore through the center of the region moving at 70 miles per hour, with wind speeds that reached 125 miles per hour. In just hours, it killed hundreds and caused millions of dollars in damage.

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Environment
5:30 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Adding Climate Change Into The Conservation Equation

To ensure that more species survive, more variety of habitat has to be conserved, which some conservation groups fear won't happen without some coordination.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

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.

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Environment
5:36 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Grid Operators Lay Out New England's Energy Future

Credit Flikr Creative Commons / Claudio Schwarz

The New England Independent System Operator, or ISO, who operates the region’s electric grid, presented the latest draft of its 10-year plan in Boston on Thursday. 

All Things Considered Host Brady Carlson speaks with NHPR's Sam Evans-Brown about the future of energy in the region. 

The ISO operates the Grid, but it doesn’t own any power plants, so how exactly are they involved with planning for the future of where we get our electricity.

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Environment
4:42 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Investment Firms Still Lining Up To Buy RGGI Allowances

Sam Evans-Brown NHPR; Data: RGGI

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.

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Environment
5:37 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

GMO Labeling Advocate Testifies Before N.H. House

Credit artist in doing nothing / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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