Environment

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Vermont Edition
3:01 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Vermont Mosquito Season Update

All the rain we’ve had this summer has been great for gardeners, but it’s also been good news for the species of mosquitoes that like to breed in artificial containers: the little pools created in your drain spouts, bird baths, and garbage can lids. Those are the mosquitoes that carry some of the diseases we all worry about, like West Nile, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, also known as EEE.

Alan Graham is the Vermont State Entomologist, and he joins us again today to tell us about this year’s mosquito season.

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The Catch-Up
12:13 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

The Catch-Up: Lake Champlain Is Kinda Gross

You might have heard about these blue-green algae blooms on Lake Champlain. But do you know what they smell like? What causes them? The health effects? VPR reporters Annie Russell and Taylor Dobbs take a field trip to an active bloom in St. Albans Bay to get some answers.

For a map of algae problem areas, check here.

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Public Post
9:26 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Public Post: Randolph Wastewater, Vandalism Problems, Heating Lothrop School

Randolph is about to build a new wastewater treatment facility and has a settlement agreement with the state regarding violations at the old plant. Concerns are raised over litter and vandalism at recreation areas in Wallingford, Norwich and Waitsfield. And school and town officials in Pittsford aim to lower last year's $68,000 heading bill at Lothrop Elementary School.

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VPR News
7:00 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Blue Bins Coming To Parades And Tractor Pulls

A truck unloads recycled material in E. Montpelier.
Toby Talbot AP/file

This year, for the first time in its 38-year history, there will be a full-on recycling effort at the popular Northfield Labor Day Weekend

It’s a voluntary effort on the part of event organizers, but next year recycling will be mandatory at this and other public events across the state.

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Public Post
4:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Pittsford Hoping To Knock $40K Off School Heating Bill

Last winter it cost $68,000 to heat Pittsford's Lothrop Elementary School. The school board has put together a plan that it thinks will reduce the school's annual heating bill by $40,000, but first school directors must find a way to pay for the project.

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Regional Report
12:39 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Regional Report: Residents React To St. Albans Algae Blooms

A beach in St. Albans is closed to the public due to poor water quality.
Daria Bishop

Toxic algae blooms are a chronic issue for Lake Champlain.  But according to some, this year’s blooms are among the worst – and perhaps nowhere is it worse than in St. Albans Bay.

We often hear from state officials and environmental groups about the problem and how to address it, but the Vermonters who live nearest to these blooms and are most affected by them are also weighing in.

The St. Albans Messenger's Elodie Reed reported on the local response to the water quality problems on the bay.

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VPR News
6:22 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Bennington Pushes FEMA On Post-Irene River Work

The Roaring Branch is now wider and rockier, with room to meander and dissipate its energy.
Susan Keese VPR

Three years after Tropical Storm Irene, much of Vermont’s damaged infrastructure has been repaired. The federal government has dispensed more than $600 million to help make that happen. But some towns are still struggling. One of them is Bennington. 

The town is about to enter the final round of a battle with FEMA over funding for emergency work on the Roaring Branch of the Walloomsac River.

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Commentary
5:35 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Levin: Sue Moves On

At 90% complete, Sue is the largest, most intact and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever found. The Chicago Field Museum, after using an industrial CAT scan to examine the fossil, purchased Sue for $8.6 million at auction. Once the bones were painstakingly removed from their stone overcoat, each was cast in plastic. The fossil itself was assembled for exhibit in Chicago, and exact, full-size replicas of the nearly complete fossilized skeleton were created to tour around the United States and the world. One of them has been on display at the Montshire Museum in Norwich all summer.

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VPR News
5:12 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

As Lake Cleanup Money Flows In, Advocates Call For New Policy

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced $45 million in Lake Champlain cleanup funds as Sen. Patrick Leahy (left) and Vermont Secretary of Agricluture Chuck Ross (right) looked on.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stood at the edge of Lake Champlain Thursday and promised help for its troubled waters.

"This is the sixth-largest fresh water body in the country, and there’s no question that it needs help,” Vilsack said.

That help - $45 million of it - is coming from the USDA over the next five years. That’s the same amount USDA dedicated to Lake Champlain over the previous 10 years, to be given out in half the time.

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Commentary
3:35 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Lange: River Trail

The silver maple likes to get its feet wet. It grows in groves along silty river banks, hanging over the water. When it dies, or is undermined by the river, it often falls into the water. During floods, the river flows through its groves, easing the pressure on the valley below; and when the floods subside, they leave fresh layers of silt behind.

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