Environment

Environment
12:47 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Newfound Area Voters Again Show Distaste For Wind Power At Town Meeting

Credit Donna Hiltz / NHPR

For the second year in a row, voters in the Newfound region have used town-meeting day to voice their disapproval of proposed wind development in the area. Ordinances and resolutions restricting wind development passed by wide margins. Alexandria, Danbury, Hebron and Ashland all passed wind related warrant articles by as much as five to one.

There were a wide variety of measures.

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Environment
5:49 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

RGGI Prices Climb As States Institute Tighter Carbon Cap

While the blue line is price, the red line is demand (how many bids vs. how much available supply)
Credit RGGI Inc / NHPR

The  price power plants will pay to emit a ton of carbon reached a new high in the latest Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative auction.

This quarter, it cost $4 to buy the right to emit a ton of carbon dioxide; previously, the highest price was $3.51, set in 2009.

In total New England power plant operators spent nearly $94 million to comply with  RGGI, funds which most states reinvest into energy efficiency programs.

The rising price is the result of a lower cap on carbon dioxide that the New England States enacted last year, and which took effect this auction.

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Environment
5:30 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Tension And Suspicion Between Wind Farm Host Towns And Neighbors

The view from Mario Rampino's driveway, which attracted the attention of local watchdogs.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

At town meeting this year, a handful of towns in the Newfound Lake region, and elsewhere, will take up questions related to wind farms. Many of these articles highlight the tensions between neighboring towns when one hosts a wind farm and its tax benefits, and the other just has to look at it. This dynamic often plays out in small town politics that may come to a head on town meeting day.

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Environment
9:43 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Cities, State "Hopeful" For Settlement On Great Bay Question

Credit Flikr Creative Commons / Rickpilot_2000

There is a hint of light at the end of a two-year-long legal battle over waste-water treatment plant upgrades on the Great Bay.

The towns of Portsmouth, Rochester and Dover have been arguing that regulators with the Department of Environmental Services and the EPA hadn’t proved that requiring millions of dollars of state-of-the-art wastewater plants would substantially improve water quality. But after a panel of independent scientists issued a sharp critique of the science used by the DES, a deal could be on the horizon.

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Environment
6:16 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Shaheen and Portman Reintroduce Stalled Energy Efficiency Bill

Credit NHPR Staff

  Thursday Senator Jeanne Shaheen reintroduced a wide-ranging energy bill that would promote energy efficiency buildings and appliances. But Shaheen and her co-sponsor, Ohio Republican Rob Portman, had to make some compromises to get the long-stalled legislation moving again.

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Environment
5:12 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Race To Conserve Belknap, Major Properties Heads Towards Finish

Arthur Richardson pushes toward the summit of Mount Major on a recent hike. He completed the climb twice this day
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

In the Southern Lakes Region of New Hampshire, a bid is underway to conserve about a thousand acres of forested valleys and peaks in the Belknap range.  The fundraising campaign to buy this land has focused on a popular and convenient hike, Mount Major, on the shores of Alton Bay. As the project heads toward the finish line, it illustrates the tension between preserving access while still protecting ecosystems.

Everyday, “Two or Three Times”

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Environment
4:18 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Wind Developer Puts Newfound Project "On Hold"

This Novemeber file photo was taken during a tour of the Iberdrola Wind Farm in Groton.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The developer of the proposed 23-turbine Wild Meadows wind farm has announced that it will put the project on hold. Iberdrola Renewables says it will focus its resources on resolving disputes around another wind farm in Groton.

“We don’t have a specific time table” said Paul Copelman, Iberdrola Spokesman, explaining that the application that is currently pending will have to be resubmitted.  

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Environment
5:59 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Groups Agree: Time To Decide What To Do With PSNH Plants

The New Hampshire House appears poised to send the question of whether the state's largest utility should sell its power plants to regulators.

In 2012, lawmakers tried to force PSNH to sell its power plants outright, but that effort stalled in the New Hampshire house. So this time around they’ve written a bill that asks the Public Utilities Commission to rule on whether that sale would eventually lower electric rates.

That bill got near unanimous support during a committee hearing Thursday, including from PSNH itself.

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Environment
5:23 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Energy Developers Critical, Environmentalists Hopeful On SEC Reform

Credit Flikr Creative Commons / Claudio Schwarz

New Hampshire’s energy community turned out at a Senate hearing on Wednesday to react to a senate bill proposing changes to the Site Evaluation Committee, which approves power plants. The proposed changes include shrinking the SEC to five members, including two public representatives, hiring dedicated support staff, and requiring projects have a net public benefit.

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Environment
5:16 am
Tue February 18, 2014

New Woodstove Rules Could Clear The Air, Push Up Prices

EPA certified wood stoves today have to emit fewer than 7 grams of particulate per hour, like this one, already are below 2.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

  A new EPA Clean Air standard for wood stoves is set to take effect next year.

It has been 25 years since the EPA wrote the first woodstove regulations. Since the rules were last refreshed, the health hazards from the unburned particles in wood smoke have been researched and quantified. But with the new rules now pending, manufacturers are saying that prices for new stoves will rise, and worry that will result in more people sticking with dirty old stoves.

Cheap, But Dirty

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Environment
1:21 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Durham To Host One Of Seven 'Climate Hubs'

The White House has announced that New Hampshire will host one of seven regional “climate hubs”. The Forest Service’s Northern Research Center in Durham will provide technical support to farmers and land managers working to adapt to climate change.

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Environment
3:58 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Even With Cold Snaps, Open Water Remains On Winnipesaukee

Looking north across the lake from Gilford on January 25th.
Credit Courtesy: Civil Air Patrol

Despite a couple of long cold snaps, Lake Winnipesaukee is still not entirely frozen. A fly-over by the civil air patrol last weekend revealed a large patch of open water and unstable ice stretching from Gilford to Moultonborough. A large patch of open water sits in between Lake Shore Park and Welch Island, and questionable ice extends all the way to Long Island. This section of the lake is called “the Broads,” which is typically last to freeze.

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Environment
5:41 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

N.H. House To Take Up Wind, Transmission Moratorium

Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Wednesday the New Hampshire House of Representatives will take up a bill proposing a moratorium on wind turbines and electric transmission projects.

The Science, Technology, and Energy Committee voted 13 to 6 to recommend killing this bill, which failed to make it to the House floor last year, but the politics surrounding wind farms and Northern Pass have become volatile.

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Environment
4:18 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

State Entomologist: Cold Not Enough To Stop Invasive Bugs

Wooly Hemlock Adelgid was discovered to be killing trees in the state in 2000.
Credit BlueRidgeKitties / Flickr CC

While frigid temperatures don’t feel particularly great, they do play an important role in the state’s ecosystem.

One way that cold temperatures can be helpful is by beating back the wave of invasive insects that have laid siege to the state’s forests, but State Entomologist Piera Siegert tells NHPR’s Brady Carlson that the some of the recent headlines about the impact of this cold on invasive bugs over-state the case in the Granite state.

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Northern Pass
10:18 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Special Series: The Northern Pass Debate & New England's Energy Future

The proposed route for Northern Pass
Credit Courtesy New Hampshire Magazine

Northern Pass is a highly controversial proposal to run new 180 miles of new power lines from Canada, through northern New Hampshire, down to Concord, and then eastward to Deerfield.

While a high-profile debate in the state, many New Hampshire residents are unsure of how Northern Pass compares to past energy projects, what both sides have at stake, and what the future of the region's energy supply could look like.

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