Environment

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The first municipal waterline extensions to homes contaminated with the chemical PFOA have been installed. State officials were in Bennington Monday marking the important milestone.

Recently, The Washington Post published an Op Ed piece by Alexander Pyron, an evolutionary biologist at George Washington University, titled “We Don’t Need To Save Endangered Species.” The author argued that extinction is both natural and unimportant and that humans should take care of themselves, trusting Earth to correct any arrogant mistakes over deep time.

At twilight in late fall, thousands of crows take wing above highways running through Hartford. These crow “commuters” are headed home to roost, but where, exactly, do they go?

"Vermont Edition" discusses the amazing year it's been in our night skies, from an interstellar asteroid to the launch of SpaceX.
Nataniil / iStock

Look, up in the sky! It's SpaceX, the Cassini probe, a solar eclipse, and so much more. 2017 was an incredible year in space. And we'll recap many of the biggest developments in and out of our galaxy.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont Rail System is storing tanker cars filled with propane near a residential neighborhood in Bennington, and some of the people who live nearby are wondering what they can do to ensure their safety.

Former Fish & Wildlife board chairman Brian Ames, left, and photographer Candace Brown discuss who should be able to use the state boat launches while standing along the Connecticut River in Putney.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont's boaters and anglers pay for public boat launches through their license fees and specific use-taxes, and the general public is not allowed to park at the areas for other uses. But the chairman of the committee on Fish, Wildlife & Water Resources says the boat launch areas should be available to everyone.

Electric vehicles, or EVs, make up a tiny fraction of the cars sold in New England. But new state policies — and a big cash infusion from the settlement of Volkswagen’s pollution scandal — could speed the building of electric vehicle charging stations and help push the regional market for EVs to new levels.

A new plan has been introduced to cleanup Lake Memphremagog, Vermont's second largest body of water. The plan seeks to reduce phosphorus loading by 29 percent over the next five years.
VPR File

Phosphorus runoff from farms and other sources is a nuisance for Vermont’s lakes. Phosphorus loading can lead to toxic algae blooms that threaten the health of our waterways. This is a well-known problem for Lake Champlain, but now Vermont’s second-largest body of water, Lake Memphremagog, is in the spotlight for a new plan developed to correct its water pollution issues.

The White-winged Crossbill eats thousands of conifer seeds each day.
Kent McFarland, courtesy / Vermont Center For Ecostudies

In this episode of Outdoor Radio, biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra are way up in the Northeast Kingdom at Moose Bog in Ferdinand.

In statewide elections last week, voters in New York approved a measure that will create a land bank that will allow communities in the Adirondack Park and Catskill Parks to undertake some high way and utility projects. We speak with North Country Public Radio’s Adirondack Bureau Chief Brian Mann.

Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation Stewardship Forester Jason Nerenberg stands at the Monroe Trailhead at Camel's Hump State Park, in Duxbury.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Trying to balance the varying interests for more than 26,000 acres of land is a big task, but the state of Vermont has created a new draft management plan for Camel's Hump — and they want to know what the public thinks.

piles of cardboard box recycling
danielvfung / iStock

Recyclable materials are one of the US's major exports. And a lot of our "stuff" goes to China. Recent policy changes coming out of Beijing are aimed at restricting what material comes from the United States. That's having a major effect on the US waste system.

Sarah Reeves, general manager at the Chittenden Solid Waste District, tells Vermont Edition how these Chinese policy changes are going to be felt in Vermont and why it's important to be vigilant about following recycling guidelines.

Fishermen up and down the New England coast say it has been decades since they’ve been able to catch so many Atlantic bluefin tuna, so fast. Once severely depleted, populations of the prized sushi fish appear to be rebuilding.

Kerstin Lange

For those old enough to remember, the fall of 1989 was an exhilarating time. One had to have a heart of stone to not be moved by the chants of “We are the people”. So many East Germans had mustered the courage to challenge their repressive regime that it finally collapsed, and they did it peacefully.

UVM researchers will be studying the impacts of blue-green algae blooms on St. Albans Bay and the reactions in the community.
Sally McCay / UVM

Researchers at the University of Vermont have received a $598,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to study the effects of cyanobacteria, otherwise known as blue-green algae. It will also take into account the human reaction to those blooms.

A coalition of environmentalists and power generators is calling for the creation of a regional cap-and-trade market for carbon emissions from the transportation sector. They’re modeling the market on a successful effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation.

A Green Mountain Power truck pulls out of the Middlebury shop on Wednesday. GMP said Wednesday that for people in certain towns and cities, it could be Friday night before power comes back on.
Melody Bodette / VPR

When a storm blew through Vermont earlier this week, it knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses in all parts of the state. Utilities say that because these outages are so scattered, it has been a slow process to bring power back to homes. It could even be into the weekend before power is restored in some areas.

Workers from Stowe Electric tend to damage from a fallen tree on Moscow Road Tuesday. Utility officials say the scope of the damage from Sunday's storm has complicated recovery efforts.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Tens of thousands of Vermonters moved into their second day without electricity Tuesday, and utilities say it could be days until they restore power to everyone.

Deicing winter roads by applying salt is poisoning Vermont's ecosystems, and experts say it’s over-salting by private contractors in parking lots and other urban areas that are increasingly the source of the salt.
Modfos / iStock

Salt used for deicing and winter road management is poisoning Vermont's ecosystems, but it isn't coming from where you'd think. Parking lots and congested urban areas are increasingly the source of the salt, winter managers say. Drivers expecting visibly salted roads, and a lack of standards for private companies offering salting services, has many calling for tough standards to stop the problem cold.

Levin: Ghost Butterflies

Oct 30, 2017

Recently, while visiting the rocky shores of Rhode Island and relaxing at George’s Beach in the unseasonable warmth of a protracted Indian summer, I watched a steady stream of monarch butterflies rise above pine and flaxen tangles and pass by our beach chairs.

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