Environment

Travis Quetel / Vermont State Parks

Last week, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation issued a water quality certification governing the future operations of Green Mountain Power’s Waterbury hydroelectric project.

New York Moves To Ban Fracking

Dec 18, 2014
Office of Gov. Cuomo / Flickr

The Cuomo administration will move to ban hydrofracking citing unresolved health issues and dubious economic benefits of the widely used gas-drilling technique.

The news came at a meeting of the governor’s cabinet where Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens summarized the findings of their environmental and health reviews.

The Governor distanced himself from the decision and referred questions to Zucker and Martens.

Susan Bulmer / Vermont State Parks

Looking for something to do New Year's Day? Vermont State Parks suggests you go take a hike.

Guided First Day Hikes are being offered at nine Vermont State Parks and Forests on Jan. 1. Professional guides and outdoor educators will lead the family-oriented hikes. Leashed dogs are also welcome on most of the hikes. Snowshoes are recommended if the snow is deep. There's no need to preregister just pack a snack, water and warm clothes and go take a hike!

VT Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation and US Forest Service Forest Health Protection

An annual report on the health of Vermont forests identifies some trouble spots but says overall, it was a good year for trees.

Because Vermont is 78 percent forested, the health of the state’s hardwood and softwood species is important.

John Dillon / VPR File Photo

The Conservation Law Foundation is challenging the state of Vermont in court to impose more stringent controls on water pollution from farms in the Missisquoi bay watershed.

Chris Kilian, the Vermont director of the Conservation Law Foundation, said the group filed an appeal in the environmental division of Vermont Superior Court Tuesday after the state Agency of Agriculture declined to mandate “best management practices” on farms in the polluted Missisquoi Bay watershed.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

Parts of the Missisquoi and Trout Rivers in northern Vermont are now officially “wild and scenic.” The designation was tacked onto the omnibus federal spending bill passed earlier this month, which is on its way to President Obama’s desk.

Toby Talbot / AP/file

Vermont policy to promote renewable energy is at a turning point. The Legislature will soon debate whether the state should join other New England states and many around the country in adopting a set standard for the amount of renewable energy utilities here must use.

At stake in the debate is how - and how much - Vermonters will pay for renewable energy.

Homeyer: Gray Days

Dec 13, 2014

December has all too many gray days. Days when the sun doesn’t shine, or makes only a token appearance. I like sunny days, or even snowy days. But not gray and drizzly days. I do my best to combat gloominess in a number of ways.

RuralEdge

As winter arrives, many Vermonters are probably going to be shivering – indoors. The state wants to weatherize 80,000 homes, a quarter of them owned or occupied by people with low incomes, by 2020.

But that goal is behind schedule, even though some new money is coming in.

Toby Talbot / AP/file

How would you like to be part of the world's longest running citizen science program? Sunday kicks off the 115th annual Christmas Bird Count, and birders throughout the state are invited to participate.

The count is conducted in specific areas, known as Christmas Bird Count circles. Each 15-mile diameter circle is managed by an experienced birder. Leaders and their contact information are listed on the website Vermont ebird.

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