Environment

Courtesy / Lake Champlain International

State officials identified a potentially toxic bloom of cyanobacteria – also known as blue-green algae – in Mallets Bay earlier this week, after they had stopped monitoring the lake for the blooms for the season.

Lynne McCrea / VPR

Saffron. The golden, flavorful spice has been used to season foods for thousands of years, often in rice and chicken dishes, and is largely grown in the Middle East. So what's it doing growing in Vermont?

Rebecca Sananes / VPR

Under new federal legislation, the Environmental Protection Agency will work to deepen its understanding of 10 chemicals in commercial use. Topping that list is 1,4-dioxane, which has also been found in drinking water in a Hanover, New Hampshire, neighborhood. 

fotoguy22 / iStock

When the Environmental Protection Agency mandated regulations for the cleanup of Lake Champlain, one concern was whether Vermont could actually meet those standards. Now a new study suggests that the bar the EPA has set may actually be too low, because the lake may be more susceptible to climate change than previously thought.

Plastic today is everywhere: in our bottles and cell phones, our grocery bags, and our trash. Some plastic garbage is so small, it's impossible to see with the naked eye: tiny microbeads, which have been banned from some products because of their environmental impact. WNPR went looking for them in the waters off Connecticut's coast.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Rain and snow in the last three weeks have helped a bit, but low levels of precipitation from August through October have put much of Vermont in drought conditions.  We get three different scientific  perspectives on what drought means to Vermont's landscape and waterways.

The nation’s first offshore wind farm off the coast of Block Island will start producing electricity any day now. It’s a pilot project that will change the way the people on this small island power their homes and businesses. They’ve relied on importing diesel fuel up to this point.

Mosa'ab Elshamy / AP

As world leaders wrap up the annual United Nations climate change conference this week in Marrakech, Morocco, many there are worried about President-elect Donald Trump's plan to pull the U.S. out of a major climate change agreement.

Rebecca Sananes / VPR

This week, the National Organics Standards Board plans to decide if hydroponically-grown foods, which use a water-based model of cultivation, can be sold under the label “certified organic."

But some organic farmers and advocates are objecting to the change, saying the label should be rooted in soil-based growing.

Steve Zind / VPR

There were gatherings across the country Tuesday in support of efforts to stop a proposed oil pipeline that will impact the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. They included rallies around Vermont and in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Toby Talbot / AP

You may have been paying attention to other news, but on Election Day last week, Entergy announced plans to sell the shuttered Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. The deal still needs to be approved, but it could speed up the decommissioning process by decades.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Lake Champlain water levels approached record lows this summer, which exposed acres of beach sand that would normally be underwater.  This allowed some rare — and a few endangered— species of sand-dwelling grass plants to blossom, some of which may have lain dormant for decades.

Vermont's rifle season is underway, and hunters have been up before dawn trying to bag a buck. And this year, wardens are enforcing a new ban on the use of natural urine-based scent lures. 

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

An industrial wind development was flatly rejected by two southern Vermont towns that voted on the project Tuesday.

Jason R. Henske / AP

Entergy says it wants to sell the shuttered Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant to Northstar Group Services, a firm that specializes in the dismantling and remediation of energy plants.

Rebecca Sananes / VPR

As residents of a Hanover, New Hampshire neighborhood grapple with a contamination caused by Dartmouth College, the school is providing more information about the health hazards of the chemical released.

Mark Scott / Vermont Fish and Wildlife

While rifle hunting season is still a week away, around 7,000 young Vermonters will be getting the chance to hunt for deer this weekend.

courtesy, 'Power Struggle'

It's been nearly two years since the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant shut down for the last time. The debate over closing the plant is the subject of a new documentary, Power Struggle, that will be airing on HBO.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

One of the largest remaining elm trees in New England has died. But the wood from the 109-foot-tall slippery elm tree is heading on to a new life — as custom furniture. And a percentage of the sales proceeds will support research to breed elms that are resistant to Dutch elm's disease. 

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

About two dozen University of Vermont students marched from UVM’s campus to the Burlington office of Sen. Patrick Leahy Wednesday to ask Vermont’s senior senator to take a firm stance against two pipelines under construction – the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota and the Vermont Gas Systems pipeline in Addison County.

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