Environment

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A chemical spill in Southington has mobilized cleanup crews and resulted in a warning for nearby residents to avoid a section of the Quinnipiac River.

George Bredehoft / Creative Commons

While admiring the tomato fruits in my garden recently, I stumbled upon some damage to the tops of the plants. They were defoliated, almost like a deer had mulched on them, and the fruit was chewed too. After closer inspection I came face-to-face with the tomato hornworm.

Updated at 12:50 a.m. ET on Thursday:

Officials in Italy say the death toll has risen to 247. The Associated Press quotes the country's civil protection agency, after it announced updated figures about 27 hours after the earthquake struck. Urgent search efforts continue.

Original Post:

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Drivers going through Colebrook on Route 44 may notice the state’s first two commercial turbines towering over treetops a short distance from the road. The owners of those turbines are now proposing to build a second, larger wind farm in the nearby town of Goshen.

In the small flood-ravaged town of Springfield, La., Rachel Moriarity waited more than a week for a center where she could apply for emergency food stamps to finally open in the Am-Vets hall — but she's been turned away at the door.

This week they are processing only those with last names beginning with A through D.

"I don't have a vehicle to get here," she tells a staffer from the state, who replies that due to the volume of applicants in need, there isn't anything they can do.

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New rules from the federal government will put tighter regulations on the trucking industry. The restrictions are aimed at cutting carbon pollution and bolstering fuel efficiency. 

Devastating floods in Louisiana have left an estimated 40,000 houses damaged; some 86,000 people have applied for federal disaster aid in the wake of the disaster.

It's a crisis some people are comparing to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The disaster area stretches over 20 parishes, Eileen Fleming of member station WWNO reports, and officials are working to determine how to provide temporary housing to meet the extreme need.

USDA NRCS / Analia Bertucci / Creative Commons

As the farming population gets older, a federal grant is going to fund training programs for new farmers. 

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An old saying about planting seeds goes, “One for the mouse, one for the crow, one to rot, and one to grow." I'd like to add, “One to save,” as well.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Connecticut is prepared to go to court with the state of New York over the right to dump dredged materials in eastern Long Island Sound. 

Four of five turbines that will produce energy off the coast of Block Island later this fall have been completely installed.

If the weather cooperates, the fifth will also be up by the end of the week, said GE Offshore Wind CEO Anders Soe-Jensen during a small media boat tour yesterday of Deepwater Wind's Block Island Wind Farm.

Jeroen Moes, Wikimedia Commons

Most of Connecticut remains in a moderate to severe drought, despite the recent storms. In an average year, many areas would have seen at least eight inches more rain at this point in the season. 

Devastating floods in southern Louisiana have killed at least five people and pushed tens of thousands from their homes.

As the Two-Way reported Sunday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency over the weekend, describing the flooding as "unprecedented and historic."

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Hissing sprinklers, humming mowers, buzzing weed whackers: the quintessential sounds of summer are also symbols of an American mission -- to craft the so-called “perfect lawn.” 

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Hissing sprinklers, humming mowers, buzzing weed whackers: the quintessential sounds of summer are also symbols of an American mission -- to craft the so-called “perfect lawn.”

This hour, we trace the history of American lawn culture and explore some of the latest turf trends. From trimming, to fertilizing, to xeriscaping, we want to hear from you. How do you care for your lawn during these hot, dry summer months? 

Just 12 years ago, researchers feared that the California Island fox, a species about the size of a cat inhabiting a group of islands off the Southern California coast, was toast. Non-native predators and pesticides had dramatically reduced their ranks. The few that remained were placed on the endangered species list.

Jeff Kubina / Creative Commons

We've all seen this happen in summer. Your phlox, roses, bee balm, squash, and pumpkins are growing well, producing flowers and fruit.

Georg Aumer / Flickr

What can you say about the sun? It sits not only at the center of our solar system but has, over time, been at the center of religions, scriptures, songs, art and countless other aspects of our culture.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Modern biologists catch and study fish much the same way they did centuries ago: by shoving their hands, or a net, into the water and pulling fish out. But safely catching slippery fish can be tricky, which makes one piece of gear invaluable: electro-backpacks. 

anuradhac / Creative Commons

Two painted storks are making their public debut at Brooklyn's Prospect Park Zoo, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. 

The Public Service Board held a much-anticipated hearing Thursday on a Vermont Gas Systems effort to build a pipeline through a wetland area in Geprags Park in Hinesburg.

A new study shows millions of pounds of produce go uneaten in Vermont every year and yet nearly 80,000 Vermonters are living in food-insecure households. Volunteers, legislators and farmers are trying to find ways to bridge the gap between unused food and people experiencing hunger.

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Growing up in an Italian household, one of the treats of summer was my mom's olive oil laden fried sausage and pepper meals with fresh Italian bread.

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Examples of climate change often seem pulled from faraway spots – places like Northern Alaska, Canada, or the mountains of Europe. But what about southern New England?

A new urban farm in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood opens today. It’s the fifth urban farm created by the nonprofit Southside Community Land Trust.

There's a voracious little bug destroying forests across the eastern U.S. Scientists say emerald ash borers, exotic beetles imported accidentally from Asia, have killed as many as 50 million trees.

They're now threatening groves in New York's Adirondack Mountains that are used to make an iconic kind of baseball bat.

Editor's note: Since this story was originally published — on Friday, July 29 — Explore.org, in partnership with the National Audubon Society, captured this dramatic slow-motion footage of a bald eagle attacking ospreys on Hog Island, Maine. Watch below, then read our story about what the bald eagles' resurgence means for other bird species.

Call it conservation blowback: Since the 1970s, when the pesticide DDT was banned and the Endangered Species Act took effect, the emblematic American bald eagle’s population has roared back from near-extinction. But more eagles need more food, and for some other struggling bird species — here in Maine and around the country — the eagle’s success story has a menacing side.

Sage Ross / CC BY-SA 2.0

New Haven has received a $20 million federal grant to help transform the city's downtown and Route 34 area.

The region's ongoing drought has forced state officials to restrict or ban outdoor water use in 54 New Hampshire towns and cities.

The state's drought management team has classified the North Country and the White Mountains as “abnormally dry,” while four counties in the southern tier are suffering severe drought conditions. 

Luke Aikins on Saturday became the first skydiver to jump from a plane without a parachute or wingsuit and live to tell the story.

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