Environment

WNPR's Environmental Reporting Initiative is made possible by United Technologies Corporation.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission / Flickr Creative Commons

New York's Indian Point nuclear facility has faced a number of recent incidents including fires, blown transformers, and most recently detection of radioactive water near the facility. This hour, an update on the situation there and in Florida where the Turkey Point nuclear facility is under scrutiny.

We also hear from WNPR’s David DesRoches, who has been following the story of PCBs in Connecticut schools and in Alabama.

cogdogblog / Creative Commons

After more than two years, an effort to reduce the amount of food thrown out by big businesses and supermarkets is finally starting to take hold in Connecticut.

Graeme Lawton / Creative Commons

Controversy continues over where to relocate a new state police firearms training facility in Connecticut.

Its name will be "Red Dragon." And if the latest partnership between SpaceX and NASA works out, the privately funded craft will land on Mars to collect scientific data — possibly within the next two years. The plan is to use the Dragon capsule, but without a human crew.

"SpaceX is planning to send Dragons to Mars as early as 2018," the company said via Facebook Wednesday. "These missions will help demonstrate the technologies needed to land large payloads propulsively on Mars."

Pixabay / Creative Commons

Ahh spring, the flowers are blooming, asparagus is growing, and, oh yes, the lawn needs mowing. 

Thegreatlandoni / Flickr

From scientists to fiction writers, conspiracy theorists to theologians, aliens have captured the imagination of us all. But as we ponder the possibilities let us pause to ask ourselves why.

Why do these yet to be found creatures from space occupy such a central role in the musings of so many? And should their existence be confirmed, what will it mean for us on Earth?

A bill before the U.S. House of Representatives would designate Connecticut's lower Farmington River as “wild and scenic,” which means it would get federal funding and protection. Last week the U.S. Senate voted in favor of it, something advocates have wanted them to do for nearly ten years.

In the past week, two major natural gas pipelines have been scrapped in New York. A third, which would expand a line that is near the Indian Point Nuclear Power plant, is still scheduled, but opponents are putting pressure on Governor Cuomo to use his persuasive powers with the federal government to stop the expansion.

Randy Wick / Creative Commons

A bill that would gradually phase out single-use plastic and paper bags at supermarkets and grocery stores in Connecticut has passed out of the state Senate and is awaiting action in the House. 

Connecticut’s fuel cell companies are hoping to make a splash this week at one of the world’s biggest industrial innovation trade shows. 

John Winkelman / Creative Commons

I've got a question for you. The top ten vegetables grown by home gardeners really haven't changed much in the last 20 years, except for one new comer. Any ideas? Think spicy.

Plans to build a $3.3 billion natural gas pipeline from New York into New England through western Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire have been suspended.

Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc. announced Wednesday it has decided to stop work on the project. It cites a lack of contracts with gas distribution companies.

The company also says New England states haven't established needed regulatory procedures to allow it to move forward and the process in each state for creating those procedures remains open-ended.

A historic church in Springfield, Massachusetts is being moved down the street to make way for the city’s new casino. 

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Ecuador on Saturday has left more than 400 people dead and many more injured.

Thousands are homeless, The Associated Press reports, and highways, air traffic control towers and buildings along the coast have collapsed.

Rescue workers were working to find and aid survivors, while officials warned the general public of the perils of digging through the rubble.

Randy Wick / Creative Commons

A bill to phase out plastic bags at grocery stores is moving forward and it's got the support of one prominent garbage man. 

Kristin Shoemaker / Creative Commons

Irises are embedded in our art and culture. Vincent Van Gough and Georgia O’Keefe loved to paint them. Mary Oliver and Robert Frost waxed poetic about them.

Wikimedia / Creative Commons

UConn has received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to preserve and exhibit a collection of two million army ants.

A German train dispatcher was playing a game on his cellphone shortly before he misdirected two trains, causing a head-on collision that killed 11 people, according to prosecutors.

The dispatcher may face charges of negligent homicide, according to Reuters and The Associated Press — though he insists he was not distracted by the game.

Maura Healey / Facebook

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office has filed its opposition to an injunction request by Kinder Morgan. The company wants to build a natural gas pipeline which would run through state-owned conservation land in Southern Berkshire County on its way to Connecticut.

Dean Hochman / Creative Commons

Money set aside for energy-efficiency projects could soon get slashed as state legislators work to close a large budget deficit.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

When UConn engineering professor Karthik Konduri was reviewing the first set of results from a statewide transportation study he’s working on, he wasn’t surprised when the mobile taxi service Uber started showing up in survey responses.

Catherine Bukowski / Creative Commons

In my book, Foodscaping, I talk a lot about growing trees not just for shade or flowering, but for their fruiting. 

Karim D. Ghantous / Creative Commons

The threat of cyber attacks -- and the risks posed to water, natural gas, and electric supplies -- are very real. That's according to the head of the agency that regulates public utilities in Connecticut. 

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Wikimedia Commons

Few of us remember Hurricane Ike as vividly as we remember Katrina and Sandy. But for people down in Houston, Texas, the 2008 storm was a major wake-up call. 

Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

The CEO of General Electric has broken his silence over the company’s dispute with the Federal Environmental Protection Agency. 

Pattys-photos / Creative Commons

Biologists are starting to augment eyes in the forest with eyes in the sky. But even as satellite imagery has a growing role in a field long-dominated by on-the-ground observation, the brave biologist trekking through a rainforest with binoculars and a cool hat isn't going away anytime soon. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Standing in a laboratory packed with various scientific instruments, University of Connecticut engineering professor Arash Zaghi gestured to three steel beams, modest in appearance where they sit under the large and brightly-painted hydraulic-powered machine capable of applying weights of up to 275 tons.

The investigation into the crash of an Amtrak train just south of Philadelphia on Sunday, in which two people were killed, is ongoing.

A forward-facing video from the train that recorded footage "up to the collision" showed that there was "construction equipment on the track and work train equipment on the track immediately adjacent to the Amtrak train's track," said Ryan Frigo, the National Transportation Safety Board investigator in charge.

Andrew Malone via Flickr.com / Creative Commons

This vegetable is one of the oldest known to mankind, dating back 10,000 years.

A video of a porcupinefish trapped in a net in Chaloklum Bay, Thailand, being freed by snorkelers who happened upon it got lots of traction last week.

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