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Environment

On Thursday morning, law enforcement entered the Oceti Sakowin camp to do a final sweep before officially shutting it down, ending a months-long protest against the completion of the nearby Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Oceti Sakowin camp was the largest of several temporary camps on the northern edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Protesters have been living on this land for months, in support of members of the Standing Rock Sioux.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

This week NASA announced the discovery of at least seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a single star. The next step is peering more closely at this unique system to search for signs of alien life.

Local law enforcement officers have arrested some people who chose not to evacuate federal land near part of the Dakota Access Pipeline north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Most protesters had left earlier. At dusk, police moved back, and said they would not enter the camp at that time.

ThunderUPforever / Creative Commons

With winter here, it's nice to have some outdoor garden activities that result in beautiful flowers. One activity I like is forcing flowering branches of spring blooming trees and shrubs indoors. Not only do you get beautiful color weeks before the natural bloom time, you prune your plants too. 

In North Dakota, authorities set Wednesday as the deadline for the dwindling number of protesters against the Dakota Access pipeline to clean up and go home.

At the main protest camp, a massive cleanup effort has been underway. Semi trucks have been hauling debris out of camp and people here are piling garbage into bags.

"It looks like a trash pile. But it's getting picked up and every spot is starting to look better and better as we work together," Dotty Agard of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe says as she sorts through abandoned goods.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

In 2013, Connecticut's legislature passed a law requiring some businesses to recycle old food, but the rule has a catch: it only applies if a certified recycler is nearby -- and able to take it. The idea was to jumpstart a market for organic recycling in Connecticut. And now, more than three years later, the first of those new recyclers is set to come online.

On Jan. 25, President Trump signed an executive order instructing construction to begin on a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Environmentalists and civil rights activists say the proposed wall on the southern border with Mexico is a threat to the environmental rights of the people who live on both sides of the border.

Franco Folini / Creative Commons

This ancient vegetable hales from Southeast Asia. Laborers who built the pyramids in Egypt were paid with it. In Mexico a special night in December is dedicated to this veggie where they artistically carve the root. What vegetable is this? It's the radish. 

The proposed high-speed rail in the Northeast Corridor has hit a bump. After pushback from residents in Connecticut and Rhode Island, the Federal Rail Administration says it’s willing to modify the plan due to residents' worries that the new route would run right through historic districts.  

Environmental advocates say a planned natural gas pipeline in New England could cost ratepayers more than twice what’s currently projected. And they point to a study that says the pipeline could be unnecessary by as early as 2023.

Martin Svedén / Flickr Creative Commons

A tree’s roots touch more than just soil. They reach into the recesses of our past; into our culture and our traditions. It's something Fiona Stafford writes about in her new book The Long, Long Life of Trees. This hour, we sit down with the author. 

The promise of automated cars is that they could eliminate human-error accidents and potentially enable more efficient use of roadways. That sounds, at first blush, like self-driving cars could also mean traffic reduction and lower commute times.

But researchers aren't so sure.

Hesham Rakha is an engineering professor at Virginia Tech who studies traffic's flow — or lack thereof.

Sharon Dowdy / Creative Commons

Everyone loves flowering shrubs, such as lilacs and rhododendrons, but you may be wondering, how should I prune this thing? Pruning reduces the size and shape of your shrub, but you have to know when and how you do it.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Twenty-first century technology has made its way onto a 19th-century building in Hamden. WNPR recently visited the headquarters of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, which just installed solar panels on its office.

Loco Steve / Creative Commons

Opponents of a new rail bypass plan for shoreline Connecticut want to see intervention from state lawmakers. Two bills before the General Assembly would mandate that changes to the state’s rail service could only take place after referendums in affected communities.

In late December last year, the Federal Railroad Administration released the latest iteration of its plan to upgrade the Northeast Corridor, including rerouting the line in several places. The aim is to be able to accommodate much higher speed trains.

Stanley Zimny / Creative Commons

As you drive around the state, you'll notice orchards are being pruned. You can start pruning apple trees anytime after the New Year, up until the flower buds start swelling. 

Shenanadoah National Park Service / Creative Commons

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is certain to change under the new administration of President Donald Trump, but just how much remains to be seen. 

dno1967b / Creative Commons

As natural gas gets diverted for home and other heating this winter, the head of New England's electricity grid is warning about possible future risks to the region's power.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee says the state will continue to receive EPA grant money for its two largest projects. The announcement comes after President Donald Trump’s administration ordered the EPA to freeze its grant spending last week.

Lori Mack / WNPR

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp announced efforts on Thursday to sustain the city’s commitment to the environment. 

Gov. Gina Raimondo's position statement came as a welcome surprise to dozens of protestors gathered at the Statehouse Wednesday.

Residents and lawmakers had crammed into the Statehouse rotunda to protest federal plans to move rail infrastructure in parts of Charlestown and Westerly. Then, Charlestown Town Councilor Virginia Lee told the crowd the governor agreed with them.

Alex "Skud" Bayley flickr.com/photos/alexsbayley / Creative Commons

Unless you have a greenhouse or hoop house, you're probably buying greens this time of year. It's good to support local growers, but you can grow nutritious greens right in your windowsill without an elaborate light system. 

Rocpoc / Creative Commons

When you buy a container of soda, water, or beer, you pay five cents -- and if you return the bottle or can to be recycled, you get that money back. In Connecticut, the program is called “the bottle bill,” and it’s been around since 1980. But now, some are worried the whole system is on the verge of falling apart.

FuelCell Energy, Inc.

A fuel cell came online Monday in Connecticut, at Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge.

Martin Fischer / Creative Commons

Last week, I highlighted award-winning vegetables that we can grow in our gardens this summer. Now, it's the flowers' turn. The All-America Winners selections include annual flowers that you'll be seeing in garden centers in spring.

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