Energy & Environment

The home for VPR's coverage of energy and environment issues affecting the state of Vermont.

VPR reporters Pete Hirschfeld and John Dillon cover energy and environment issues from the Statehouse Bureau in Montpelier.

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Water Quality & PFOA | Technology | Vermont Legislature | Iberdrola

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the license transfer for the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant.

Toby Talbot / AP

Right now the world seems topsy-turvy. It feels as if the light has been dimmed and we’re at risk of losing our way. But autumn is a brisk reminder that change will come.

Levin: Flying Machines

Oct 9, 2018
www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com

Many birds of the Northern Hemisphere are now migrating southward. Every year I marvel at how they manage to stay aloft over such vast distances.

Some of the world's top climate scientists have concluded that global warming is likely to reach dangerous levels unless new technologies are developed to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says pledges from the world's governments to reduce greenhouse gases, made in Paris in 2015, aren't enough to keep global warming from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees F) above pre-industrial temperatures.

Angela Evancie / VPR

The 272-mile Long Trail follows Green Mountain ridgelines from one end of Vermont to another. So what’s it like to hike the whole thing?

Gerry Broome / AP

I’ve often been moved by the story of animal victims in the midst of human tragedy.

After Quebec confirmed its first-ever case of chronic wasting disease earlier this month, wildlife officials say they're working to make sure the disease doesn't spread to the deer herd in Vermont.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press File

Wildlife officials are keeping a close eye on a potentially lethal threat to Vermont’s deer herd.

Vermont Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter said officials in Quebec have confirmed the province’s first-ever case of chronic wasting disease.

Al Gore stands on a stage with a sign that says Global Climate Action Summit in the background.
Eric Risberg / Associated Press

The Global Climate Action Summit was held earlier this month in San Francisco. While it may seem counterintuitive for that conference to be in a major American city when the United States has pulled out of the Paris climate accord, the activists who were there see an opportunity for the U.S. to still be a leader in fighting the effects of climate change.

People stand in front of a "mock nuclear waste cask" and hold up a yellow sign that says Don't Nuke The Climate.
Amy Shollenberger, courtesy

If you’re on the road in Vermont this week and happen upon a giant nuclear waste cask being towed by a white pickup truck, don’t panic — the cask itself is a fake. The people behind the spectacle, however, say the threat posed by nuclear waste is very real, and they’re sounding the alarm over plans for radioactive waste being stored at Vermont Yankee.

Monday evening, a citizen group called Don't Undermine Memphremagog's Purity (DUMP) held a panel discussion about a proposed expansion of the Coventry landfill. The panelists sit along a table in front of a brick wall while one speaks.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Most of the trash generated in Vermont is trucked to the state’s only permitted landfill in the Northeast Kingdom. The landfill's owner has plans to expand it, and this week residents from both sides of the U.S.-Canada border pushed back on those plans.

Where are all these squirrels coming from?!
Dgwildlife / iStock

Throughout the Northeast, including parts of Vermont, it seems like there are a lot of squirrels around. Both live squirrels, squirreling around the woods and our yards, as well as dead squirrels dotting the roads. 

But is there really a squirrel population boom going on (spoiler alert: there is)? Where is it coming from?

Matthew Dickerson fly fishes in Vermont's Mad River.
Mitch Wertlieb / VPR

Vermont has no shortage of beautiful rivers for fly fishing, but the trout that roam these waters are increasingly under threat from environmental challenges that aren't necessarily visible to the naked eye. 

Right before a monarch emerges, its chrysalis goes from green to translucent. Scroll through the slideshow to see it emerge.
KT Thalin / courtesy

When KT Thalin bought a rural home with some land in Saxtons River, Vermont, 14 years ago, she thought it might be nice to have monarch butterflies flitting around her yard in the summertime. So she started encouraging the growth of milkweed, the sole food source for monarch caterpillars and the host plant for monarch eggs.

Suzanne Spencer Rendahl

I lived on Puget Sound in the seventies, where I saw only rain clouds for months. We celebrated in April when the sun broke through and Mt Rainier reappeared.

A streetview of downtown Wilmington, Vermont.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Selectboard member Ann Manwaring says the town of Wilmington is considering a proposal to ban plastic bags and will take up the issue at its next meeting.

The exterior of the the Joseph C. McNeil Generating Station in Burlington
National Renewable Energy Laboratory / Associated Press

If Burlington is ever able to get its district heating proposal off the ground, the state would not have the authority to regulate the system.

The Public Utility Commission this week effectively ruled against itself, saying that the commission doesn’t have jurisdiction over the proposed heating service.

Newport on Lake Memphremagog
John Dillon / VPR

The small Northeast Kingdom city of Newport has its economic hopes pegged to a long-neglected asset: Lake Memphremagog.

Shelby Semmes speaks at an event in Richmond announcing a study on the return on investment for conservation land in Vermont.
Henry Epp / VPR

Every dollar that Vermont spends on conservation land generates a $9 return — that's the finding of a study out Wednesday from a group of conservation-related nonprofits in the state.

Mike Sullivan is general manager of Hardwick Electric.
John Dillon / VPR

Small electric utilities around Vermont are concerned their customers will face higher bills to pay for a boom in solar projects. Last month, the utilities complained to regulators about the subsidies they have to pay for certain solar projects.

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency in New England has been tapped to lead the agency's national Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention office.

Alexandra Dunn is a long-time lawyer and environmental justice advocate who’s been the EPA's New England administrator for a little less than a year.

In this and other roles, she's worked with residents, industry and state officials in places like New Hampshire and Vermont to address chemical contamination in drinking water.

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