Environment

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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Environment
5:30 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Gulf Of Maine At High Risk From Ocean Acidification

Commercial oyster cultivation has become the poster child of the impacts of Ocean acidification. Juvenile oysters melt away in just slightly acidic water, and on the west coast farmers have been struggling as climate change has resulted in more and more acidic oceans.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Saturday was World Ocean Day. Coastal and Marine scientists used the occasion to highlight their growing concern over Ocean Acidification, and it’s impacts on New Hampshire.

The laws of thermodynamics dictate that as CO2 increases in the atmosphere, the ocean will absorb more CO2 as well. As that happens, the acidity of the ocean slowly begins to rise, which can start to dissolve the shells of young plankton, the foundation of the ocean’s food chain. 

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Environment
4:57 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

With Lower Caps Announced, RGGI Carbon Prices Climb

Credit Captain Kimo / Smokestacks

The price of carbon under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or RGGI is on the rise. For some time the cost that a New England Power plant has paid for the right to emit a ton of carbon dioxide was bumping along near the floor price of $1.98.

That price has jumped ever since the RGGI states announced that they would lower the cap on carbon dioxide, bringing it in line with the lower emissions that have resulted from the region’s switch to natural gas. In the last two auctions, carbon has gone for $2.80 and $3.21 a ton.

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Environment
6:36 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Senate Sends Lower RGGI Cap To Governor

New Hampshire’s Senate has joined the House of Representatives and voted to ratchet down the cap on carbon dioxide restrictions under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI. Because of the historic rise of cleaner burning natural gas, it’s been easy for  carbon dioxide RGGI’s existing caps. So earlier this year, the RGGI board asked the member states to lower those caps by 45 percent.

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Environment
4:24 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Lead Fishing Tackle Ban Charges Through N.H. House

Credit aaronHWarren / Flickr Creative Commons

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has voted to ban lead fishing jigs or sinkers that weigh less than an ounce.

The bill had a hard fight to get to this point. Last year it was scuttled in the House after passing unanimously out of the Senate. A big reason for that was opposition from the Fish and Game commission, an appointed body that many see as supportive of sportsmen.  That’s why Republican John Burt from Goffstown voted against the bill.

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Environment
3:00 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

New Study: Lawn Fertilizer, Septic Tanks Big Contributors To Great Bay Pollution

The study modeled nitrogen inputs from Non-Point Sources, which is to say, it didn't count outflow from waste water treatment plants.
Credit NH Department of Environmental Services

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services has released a draft of a major study trying to pin down the sources of nitrogen pollution in the Great Bay Estuary. The results offer some insight, but few easy solutions.

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Environment
4:49 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Fiddleheads: Tasty Forest Secrets

Fiddleheads, when fresh-picked, are a vibrant green. After a few days they begin to brown along the stalk.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Fiddleheads are the whimsical, tightly coiled spiral of fern sprouts that push their way up from under the layers of winter debris on the forest floor. They are also a regional and seasonal delicacy, and their season is incredibly short. In some Southern parts of the state, it may already be over. For any given fiddlehead patch, it can last as little as a week and a half.

That means for those who harvest the sprouts, fiddlehead patches are closely guarded secrets.

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Environment
4:58 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Hassan to Malloy: Hydro Doesn't Need Support

Credit Chris Hunkeler / Flickr Creative Commons

Governor Maggie Hassan has sent a letter to the governor of Connecticut, Democrat Dannel Malloy, asking him to reject changes to that state’s renewable energy laws, called the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The changes are seen as a boost to the controversial Northern Pass Transmission line.

The Governor Hassan’s letter says the Connecticut proposal that would allow hydro to be counted toward that state’s renewable energy goals quote, “undermines our common goal of fostering new and small-scale renewable resources here in New England.”

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Environment
9:25 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Connecticut Law Could Be Good For Northern Pass, Bad For N.H. Biomass

Credit Peupleloup / Flickr Creative Commons

Lawmakers in Connecticut are working to review and revamp the rules that encourage renewable electricity generation. And the changes as proposed could be good news for Canadian hydropower, and bad news New 

  Hampshire Biomass.

Democrat Bob Duff chairs the Energy and Technology Committee in the Connecticut State Senate. He’s also a sponsor of a controversial bill on renewable energy.

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Environment
3:28 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Stabilizing The Suncook: Pacifying A River Run Amok

During the 2006 Mother's Day flood the sand pit showed in the square filled with water from the Suncook's secondary channel (the smaller river that breaks off south of Old Mill Road. Water spilled into the main channel, and released the river.
Google Earth: 2003

Since 2006 the Suncook River has been on a different course: it jumped its bank in the Mother’s Day flood, and the state has been trying to stabilize it ever since. Now as part of a recent fine for filling wetlands, a gravel company will give the project 8,000 tons of stone for the project. But this is only part of a continuing effort to live next to a changing river.

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Environment
5:23 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Invasive Beetle Survey Finds Infestation Along Merrimack River

Ash limbs that have been peeled and found not to be infested by emerald ash borer stack up in a warehouse in Concord
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

A survey is now underway in Concord, to determine how far an infestation of invasive beetles has spread. The Emerald Ash Borer has been detected in trees up and down the Merrimack River in Concord. But so far the survey has not found any of the pests outside of a six-mile radius of the city.

There are 25 million ash trees in New Hampshire, found mostly in western and Northern counties. They make up about 6 percent of the state’s forests. But so far, the beetle that has decimated forests in the Midwest, has only been discovered in and around Concord

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