Enviroment

Samuel John / Flickr

Why does it get quieter when it snows? Can there actually be thunder and lightning during a snow storm? And how can smog and flooding happen in the dead of winter?

These questions cover just a few of the winter weather phenomena that Vermont Edition is looking into.

The Vermont Clean Water Act will hold more than 1,000 properties across the state to stricter stormwater standards, but environmental advocates say the Scott administration is trying to undermine some key provisions.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR/File

Environmental advocates say the Scott administration is trying to dismantle key provisions in a 2015 law that set out rigorous new water quality standards across Vermont.

One challange for those with physical mobility issues is having snow plowed into handicap parking spots.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

Winter weather can be a drag for anyone in Vermont. Now, imagine the added challenge of using a wheelchair or having other physical mobility issues and having to navigate icy and snowy parking lots, ramps and sidewalks.

The graphic shows the seismic activity that is taking place about 100 miles below Vermont's surface.
Vadim Levin/Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Vermont is seismically and geologically a very stable place, but new data gleaned from a vast array of seismic sensors has uncovered a massive hot rock located just beneath our surface.

The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is holding a series of meetings around Vermont to update residents on the condition of the state's moose herd. The first meeting was held in Island Pond.
Toby Talbot / AP/File

Vermont’s moose population is in trouble and scientists fear climate change is to blame.

This photo simulation shows what the proposed Swanton Wind project might have looked like. Developers have put the project on hold for an undetermined amount of time.
VERA Renewables

Developers of Swanton Wind have decided to put the project on hold. The move has opponents of the project cautiously optimistic.

The PUC is hiring an independent expert to assess the burial depths of the Vermont Gas pipeline in Addison County. The expert is examining areas where Vermont Gas didn't bury the pipeline to the depth required by their certificate of public good.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

The Public Utilities Commission is hiring an independent expert to assess the burial depths at several locations along a half-mile section of the Addison Natural Gas Project pipeline.

Catherine Goldsmith, of Responsible Growth Hinesburg, stands by a stake marking the corner of a proposed supermarket. The Vermont Supreme Court reversed an approval of Hannaford's site plan due to a required setback from a canal behind her.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

For seven years a citizen’s group has been fighting a proposed supermarket in the Chittenden County town of Hinesburg. The battle went all the way to the Vermont Supreme Court and it’s still not settled.

Gov. Phil Scott says lawmakers should consider mandatory reductions in school staff, as well as reforms to the education funding system, to avoid an increase in the statewide property tax rate next year.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott presented his plan Wednesday for how to spend money from one of the largest environmental settlements in state history, but the proposal is already drawing fire from some environmental groups.

Holiday dinners are not what they used to be for my family. They’re smaller and quieter. Parents and grandparents on both sides of the family are long gone, and Liz and I are now the senior generation.

Federal regulators are shutting down fishing rights for a significant portion of New England’s stressed groundfish stocks, such as cod and flounder. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says managers for a New Bedford, Massachusetts-based sector undermined conservation goals while disgraced fishing magnate Carlos Rafael was falsifying catch reports.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Two years ago, then Gov. Peter Shumlin signed Vermont's most comprehensive clean water law. Now, many of the and a lot of the regulations included in that law are coming into play.

A tree downed on a powerline in Monkton, Vermont. Thousands of homes and buisnesses have been without power since wind storms hit the region on Sunday.
Jane Lindholm / VPR

Every year, electric utilities clear trees and vegetation around power lines. With several thousand homes and business in Vermont still without power after Sunday's windstorm, could more clearing prevented these lengthy outages?

Molnar: Land And Lens

Oct 31, 2017
Photographer: Richard Misrach (b. 1949 ) / Middlebury College Museum of Art

To paraphrase an old saying about the power of art, a photo exhibit at Middlebury College Museum of Art demonstrates that the camera can sometimes be mightier than the keyboard.

Conservation biologist Kent McFarland spoke with "Vermont Edition" about the robust number of box elder bugs currently populating the state.
Renman1605 / iStock

For those of you who have been shocked by huge clusters of bugs that are graphite in color with red piping, fear not. It's just a little box elder bug invasion.

Blue-green algae blooms, like this one photographed in the summer of 2014 in Lake Champlain, have many in the state concerned. A new draft plan proposes funding sources for water cleanup efforts.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR FILE

Lake Champlain and Lake Carmi saw numerous outbreaks of blue-green algae blooms this summer, which seems to have rallied support for clean water efforts in the state. But the age-old question of how to fund those efforts persists.

My compost pile sits west of the garden and consists of two ripening mounds of table scraps, grass clippings, and hand-pulled weeds that I turn from time to time.

This plant is commonly call self-heals, and it refers to plants in the genus Prunella. Herbalist Stephanie Cohen says it can treat skin and digestive issues.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

To prevent their collective cultural knowledge about medicinal plants from disappearing, some Vermont tribal nations are sharing their expertise with those outside the native communities.

With over half of the state using septic systems, we talk with experts about how to keep yours operating properly.
BlakeDavidTaylor / iStock

We know it's not your favorite subject. But over half of the state has to deal with them. Yes, your septic system.

A new wave of forest loss is underway in New England, at a rate of 65 acres a day. That's the conclusion of a new regionwide study spearheaded by a Harvard University forest research group. And the authors say New England could lose more than a million acres of forest cover over the next half-century.