Environment

Environment
4:13 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

USDA Airdrops Vanilla-Flavored Rabies Vaccines Over Eastern Forests

Raccoons were the animal most frequently found rabies positive in 2013 in New Hampshire
Credit fatedsnowfox / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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Environment
4:36 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Any Action On PSNH Power Plants Remains Distant

The mercury scrubber which came online late in 2011 remains at the center of the dispute surrounding PSNH's above market rates.
Credit PSNH / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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Environment
6:25 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Eliot, ME Sends Petition Asking EPA To Monitor Schiller Station

The town of Eliot, Maine has submitted a petition to the EPA asking it to look in to pollution that drifts over state lines from New Hampshire power plants. The petition takes aim at Public Service of New Hampshire’s Schiller station, which has two coal-fired boilers in Portsmouth.

Normally such petitions are based on air quality monitoring data. No such monitoring has been conducted inside the town’s limits, but modeling done by the Sierra Club suggests when the plant runs at full power, it would exceed sulfur dioxide limits within the towns borders.

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Environment
1:21 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Statewide Project Looks At Ecosystems And Climate Change

UNH aqua-sensor technician Lisle Synder inspects an electrical cord at the Saddleback Mtn. site in Deerfield, N.H.
Ella Nilsen NHPR

A collaborative project between New Hampshire universities, the National Science Foundation, and state agencies is looking at ecosystem health and how the environment is affected by climate change.

At first glance, this part of Saddleback Mountain in Deerfield looks like a regular forest. But look closer and you see thick, black electrical cords running along the forest floor and silver instruments sitting among the trees.

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Environment
5:43 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Durham's Third Way: One Great Bay Community Blazing A New Trail To Clean Water?

Durham Town Engineer Dave Cedarholm shows off one of the rain gardens installed as alternative an storm water control in Durham.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Several   seacoast communities have been ordered to upgrade their waste-water treatment plants by the EPA.But towns are pushing back on the question of how much the plants need to improve.

Durham is in that boat. The town is trying a new approach to pollution control called adaptive management. And depending on how things go for Durham, this could be the way the way towns and the EPA will resolve difficult and expensive water problems going forward.

The Nitrogen Numbers

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Environment
6:09 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

EPA 'Water Chief' Tours UNH Stormwater Center

Durham's town engineer Dave Cedarholm shows off one of the towns several rain gardens. The town hopes innovative "green infrastructure" like this will help them avoid expensive waste water treatment plant upgrades.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The chief regulator of EPA’s Water division visited Durham Wednesday to check out the town’s collaboration with UNH to create innovative solutions to pollution in storm-water runoff. Town officials used the opportunity to underscore a new approach to achieving clean water.

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Environment
4:37 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Citing Low Participation, PSNH To Phase Out Green Energy Program

Weighted for Population, government data rank New Hampshire around 12th for voluntary purchase of "green" power, and last in New England.
Credit National Renewable Energy Laboratory / NREL

Regulators have given Public Service of New Hampshire, the state’s largest electric utility, permission to phase out its EarthSmart Green rate, which allows customers pay more to support renewable energy. PSNH asked for relief from the program because just 148 customers are signed up; that’s about .04 percent percent of their customers.

But it’s a phenomenon that isn’t unique to PSNH. In general New Hampshire rate-payers haven’t been convinced to switch to more expensive renewable rates.

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Environment
10:04 am
Wed July 17, 2013

VIDEO: Oyster Farming With Fat Dog

Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

On the dock of Great Bay Marine, there’s what looks like a little raft tied up, but get close and you hear the hum of a water pump. This is where Fat Dog Oyster Company is based.

Reporter Sam Evans-Brown recently spent a day with Jay Baker and Alex Boeri of Fat Dog for his story on the boom in oystering in N.H.'s Great Bay Estuary. You can check out more of his photos and sound in this 2-minute video:

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Environment
8:48 am
Wed July 17, 2013

The Heat is Up, and So Are Beach Advisories

With recent heavy rains, more New Hampshire ponds and lakes have been under water quality advisories.

See a map of current beach advisories here.

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Environment
5:30 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Is N.H. Oyster Farming Poised to Surge?

Three-year old oysters grown in Little Bay by Fat Dog Shellfish Company. These oysters are ready to go to market.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Oyster farming in the Great Bay Estuary is in the midst of a little bit of a boom. In recent years, the number of oyster farms has leapt from 1 to 8, with more on the way. These gains are boosting the hopes that using these filter feeders as an “outside-the-pipes” way to clean up the waters of the Great Bay could become a reality.

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Environment
5:39 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

N.H. Groups Split $1 Million In Brownfield Grants

The site of an old Tannery in Penacook served as the backdrop for the announcement of the grant money. This site is already slated for clean-up and redevelopment. Other, similar sites will get a boost through this program
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The EPA has given the state of New Hampshire $1 million dollars to help clean up contaminated industrial sites, or brownfields. The Capitol Region Economic Development Council received $800,000 dollars for it’s a revolving loan fund that helps developers clean up brownfields. The remaining $200,000 goes to the Lakes Region Planning Commission for assessments of sites in need of clean-up.

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Environment
5:28 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Environmental Advocates, Lawmakers Praise President's Climate Action Plan

Rep. Rick Watrous and Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, both Democrats, attend an event to praise President Barack Obama's recently announced climate action plan.
Credit NHPR / Michael Brindley

Environmental advocates and state lawmakers gathered in Concord on Thursday to praise President Obama’s recently announced climate action plan.

Tom Irwin, vice president and director of Conservation Law Foundation’s New Hampshire office, says a key component of the plan is to cut carbon emissions from power plants.

He pushed back against critics who argue this is a unilateral action by the administration.

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Environment
4:38 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

President Obama's Climate Action Plan Comes Home To N.H.

Credit Steve Rhodes / Flickr Creative Commons

President Obama’s newly announced climate action plan could have impacts down the line for New Hampshire. The big headline for New Hampshire is that over the next two years the EPA will develop restrictions on carbon emissions from power plants.

“Power plants can still dump unlimited amount of carbon pollution into the air for free.” Obama told students assembled at Georgetown University, “That’s not right, that’s not safe, and it needs to stop.”

That raises questions for the state’s coal plants.

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Environment
5:57 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Budget Deal Funds LCHIP, Raids Renewable Energy Fund

A big priority for environmental groups – The Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, or LCHIP – has survived through budget negotiations. But that win comes at the expense of a raid on funds set aside for renewable energy development.

Under the budget deal struck today LCHIP was allotted the full $8 million dollars that it’s expected to raise. The program uses funds raised from fees tacked on certain real-estate transactions to pay for land conservation grants.

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Environment
5:39 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Maine Town Wants EPA To Stop Border-Crossing Pollution

Credit Jim.Richmond / Flickr Creative Commons

Residents in the border town of Elliot, Maine have voted to ask the EPA to test air quality downwind of a Portsmouth power plant. Eliot is just across the river from Schiller Station, a three-boiler plant run by Public Service of New Hampshire. Two of its boilers burn mostly coal, and a third burns primarily wood chips.

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