Environment

Where We Live
10:36 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Pipelines

Chion Wolf

Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman has given the go-ahead to the revised Keystone XL pipeline route. That project has been the subject of intense debate since it was first proposed in 2008. And now its fate is up to President Barack Obama.

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Where We Live
11:25 am
Thu January 24, 2013

A Look at Connecticut's Green Energy Programs

Chion Wolf

In his second inaugural address Monday, President Obama addressed the nation on the need for clean and renewable energy, but he might as well have been talking about Connecticut.

Each state has developed its own plan to harness wind, solar, hydro and geothermal power. And by most indicies Connecticut ranks in the bottom half of the states in terms of renewable energy -- far behind our neighbor Massachusetts.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:44 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Interstellar Travel

Temari 09, Flickr Creative Commons

When you think of all the things here on the ground that don't work right, the notion that we should consider traveling to other stars seems a little crazy.

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National Fish and Wildlife Refuge
12:36 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Former Connecticut Yankee Land Expands Fish and Wildlife Refuge by 38 Acres

Jon Sullivan (Wikimedia Commons)

Last week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service announced it had purchased 38 acres of pristine land along the Salmon River from the owner of the former Connecticut Yankee power plant. 

The 38-acre parcel of land runs along Salmon River Cove, where the Salmon River meets the Connecticut River in Haddam. The land will become part of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.

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Where We Live
12:02 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

The Air We Breathe

The Environmental Blog on Flickr Creative Commons

The air we breathe is usually not something we can see.  Today, in Beijing, that is not the case. Activist Zhou Rong of Greenpeace tells NPR, "In the last three days, the air pollution is beyond index. It's the worst since we have readings starting from last year." But just because this blanket of smog highlight’s China’s less-than-stellar air quality, that doesn’t mean we’ve got the problem solved here at home.

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Where We Live
10:14 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Ocean Sounds, Bird Habitats, and Key Topics to Legislate

Chion Wolf

The world is a pretty noisy place...but you don’t think of the middle of the ocean being one of those places. But a project by NOAA - the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration - has found that sea life in the North Atlantic Ocean is in danger because of the human sounds of shipping, military testing and oil and gas exploration.

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Traveling Disease
10:58 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Chronic Wasting Disease in Nearby Deer Prompts Reminder of Ban on Whole Venison

Jiří Nedorost (Wikimedia Commons)

After chronic wasting disease was identified in Pennsylvania and New York, Connecticut is trying to keep the disease from crossing the border.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says whole deer carcasses may not be brought out from these affected areas.

Ray Hardman talked with state wildlife biologist Andrew Labonte about the ban, and about chronic wasting disease.

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Bone Dry
1:50 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

University of Connecticut Proposes Options to Expand Its Water Supply

At the University of Connecticut's Storrs campus, plans for a major expansion are being hindered by a lack of water. So the university is looking at a few options for a new water supply, including drawing water from the Farmington River.

Joining us to talk about the proposals is Karl Wagener, executive director of the Council on Environmental Quality.

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Transportation
12:15 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Call for Tolls Grows Louder as Transit Funds Diminish

Transportation advocates and officials across Connecticut gathered in the state capitol Monday to ask some tough questions about how the state will pay for badly-needed transit upgrades. Commuters themselves will probably have to chip in.

On the national level, we’re looking either at a “fiscal cliff” meltdown with big spending cuts or possible tax increases. Here in Connecticut, the state’s own money problems seem to be getting worse each day. So where does that leave funding for transportation?

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Connecticut
7:22 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

For Bridgeport, Post-Sandy Life Still A Struggle

Superstorm Sandy took a heavy toll on residents of public and low-income housing in Bridgeport. Those living near the water are faced with rebuilding as well as trying to prepare for the next storm. But they simply can’t afford to do both.

Debris still litters the front yards of Seaside Village in Bridgeport. It’s the second year in a row that resident Mariela Wilches has lost her washer, drier, water heater and furnace. Not only does she have to replace them all again, she has to pay rent to live somewhere while she has no heat.

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Land Versus Ocean
8:46 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Study Shows How Climate Change Affects Northeastern Hardwood Forests

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

A new study takes a look at how climate change has impacted the northeast's hardwood forests. As WNPR's Ray Hardman reports, forests are threatened by a host of factors brought on by shorter winters.

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Rant and Rail
11:28 am
Tue November 27, 2012

The Thanksgiving Commute

42 million people drove to visit family and friends during Thanksgiving weekend. WNPR’s Neena Satija joined them this year, but before leaving, she paid a visit to the state department of transportation to get the insider’s guide to holiday traffic. 

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Mountain Lion
1:43 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Friends of the Connecticut Mountain Lion Seeks Evidence of Cougars in the State

Art G. (Wikimedia Commons)

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection refutes the notion that wild populations of mountain lions live in Connecticut. But as WNPR's Ray Hardman reports, a grass roots organization aims to prove DEEP wrong.

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Where We Live
10:48 am
Tue November 20, 2012

The Greening of Connecticut Brownfields

nitram242

Connecticut’s industrial history means that we have hundreds of  abandoned sites, or ”brownfields,” whose clean-up could provide economic opportunity and take away the pressures to develop “greener” land.

Successful clean-ups like the Brass Mill Center Mall in Berger’s hometown created new jobs, revitalized a park, and spurred new development. 

But, with hundreds of these sites still contaminated and left unused - there’s a long way to go.

Lack of funds, risk of liability, and unwieldy bureaucracy makes developing brownfields difficult.

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Pipe Lines
5:31 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

State Energy Plan A Threat For Some Businesses

State officials held the first of several public hearings on Connecticut’s new comprehensive energy strategy last night, and many of those who attended voiced their concerns about the plan’s focus on natural gas.

Connecticut’s new energy plan calls for as many as 300,000 homes to be heated with natural gas instead of oil. That doesn’t sit well with the 600 or so home heating oil businesses in the state. Dozens of them said so in Bridgeport yesterday, including David Cohen, who works for Standard Oil of Connecticut. He said his industry could lose thousands of jobs.

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Park Land Development
1:27 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Hartford, Farmington Look To Develop A Piece Of "Gold"

The city of Hartford and the town of Farmington are working together to turn 86 acres of forested land into office space. The city owns about 1,000 acres of wooded property in Farmington, land it has had for nearly a century since it was acquired from the old Hartford Water Company.

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Washed Away
10:53 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Beach Erosion Post-Sandy

Jan Ellen Spiegel

We’ve been thinking a lot about the damage Sandy inflicted on homes, communities, infrastructure. But it’s also been reshaping the coastline in places like Hammonasset beach, where a lot of sand and vegetation was cleaved away, leaving the dunes looking like cliffs. At Misquamicut beach in Rhode Island - a summertime destination for many Connecticut residents - four feet of sand was reportedly pushed into one beachside business.

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Environment
9:52 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Connecticut on Alert for Emerald Ash Borer After Superstorm Sandy

Courtesy USDA (Creative Commons)

We've talked on WNPR's Morning Edition about the Emerald Ash Borer, the tiny green Asian beetle that feeds exclusively on the ash tree and has decimated millions of ash trees in over a dozen states. It has been recently discovered in several towns in Connecticut.

Superstorm Sandy has thrown a wrench in the effort to contain the Emerald Ash Borer. Joining us by phone is Chris Martin, Director of Forestry for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

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Transportation
5:27 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

When the Trains Stopped: Getting From New Haven to New York

Dru Nadler

I don’t normally think of commuting as an adventure. But it did seem a little like one yesterday morning as people got word that they could finally take the train from Stamford into Manhattan once again. Trumbull resident Brian Keane usually commutes from Westport into the city. Today, he drove to Stamford’s train station – and was ready for a little adventure when it came to parking.

“I actually have a bike in my car, because I figured if there wasn’t any parking, I’d park up on Bedford Street and bike down," he told me.

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Super Storm
5:16 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

As shoreline recovers from Sandy, another threat looms

INTRO: A Nor’easter hit Connecticut today with snow, sleet, rain, and strong wind gusts. The state is still recovering from damage caused by hurricane Sandy. And as WNPR’s Neena Satija reports, some shoreline towns are concerned it will hamper their recovery efforts.

About 1200 people in the town of Greenwich still don’t have power after last week’s storm. This storm is expected to cause more problems for the region.

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Where We Live
10:31 am
Mon November 5, 2012

One Week After Sandy

Jan Ellen Spiegel

It’s been one week since Sandy hit, and the state and region are still clearing up. While Connecticut has not suffered anything like the damage inflicted on New Jersey or Queens, thousands are still in the dark - and it’s unclear how this might all affect tomorrow’s election.

We get an update on power outages from Connecticut Light & Power's Frank Poirot. We'll also hear from Greenwich's First Selectman Peter Tesei. That town was rocked by Sandy and many are still without power.

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Sandy Recovery
4:50 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Oyster Farmers Take Stock of Sandy's Damage

Oysters
3:09 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Sandy's Damage Under The Sea, Through The Eyes Of Oyster Farmers

What they pull up is discouraging. Normally, 30 seconds under water would bring up a cage full of mostly healthy oysters. This time, Jimmy Bloom pulls up a cage that is barely one-third full. And it's haul is a mix of broken, chipped, meatless oysters.
Jeff Cohen for NPR

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy wrapped up a post Hurricane Sandy news briefing earlier this week by talking about sewage discharges into Long Island Sound. "Suffice to say in the immediate time being, no one should eat the clams or oysters," he said.

That's right. Because of water quality issues, the state put a temporary stop to oyster farming, but that's usually a short-term thing and it happens fairly regularly after a big storm.

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Modern Technology
1:51 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Buoys in Long Island Sound Measured Sandy's Significant Wind Speed and Direction

UConn Department of Marine Sciences

Hours before Connecticut started to feel the effects of Hurricane Sandy, a network of buoys in Long Island Sound were measuring the wind speed and potential storm surge. Joining us by phone is James O'Donnell, a marine sciences and physics professor at UConn's Avery Point campus, and oversees the Long Island Sound Integrated Coastal Observing System. LISICOS operates four buoys throughout the Sound, all providing data to the NOAA forecasting system in real time, about every 15 minutes.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:10 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Was Hurricane Sandy A Result Of Climate Change?

NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab

It's really possible that ten years from now, the main thing anybody will remember about this presidential election is that the two candidates had three debates and never mentioned climate change. Ten years from now, this will seem to everyone as astonishing as it seems to me right now.  If the last few days are any indication, climate change is going to re-map our physical world and introduce a new level of uncertainty into our lives. Climate change is, I believe, the most pressing human issue of this century and nobody talked about it.
Astonishing.

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Sandy
2:48 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Voting Will Happen With or Without Power

Photo by Chione Wolf

Local registrars held a conference call Wednesday to talk about election preparation in the wak of Hurricane Sandy. As WNPRs Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the Secretary of the State says Election Day will go on with or without power.

Denise Merrill says as of mid-week, there are one-hundred polling sites in Connecticut Light and Power's coverage area without  So far, Merrill says CL&P has been very responsive, making it a priority to get town halls back on. But she hasn't heard yet from United Illuminating, a utility that powers a much smaller part of the state.

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Where We Live
10:35 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Resilient Cities

Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York

The phrase is: “The new normal.” The world we used to know...one where Connecticut seemed neatly tucked away from hurricanes and tornadoes, destructive storm surges and catastrophic snowstorms.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:16 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: Connecticut After The Storm

James Baldwin's book "Fire Next Time" takes its title from a gospel song about Noah, whose warnings were not heeded by others. "God gave Noah the rainbow sign. Said it won't be water, but fire next time."

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Where We Live
11:54 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Sandy's Aftermath

Diane Orson

For days, meterologists and state officials have been saying that “Superstorm Sandy” would be one of the worst weather events in history - and as we woke up this morning, it seems those predictions were true.

More than 625 thousand customers are without power today because of high winds that uprooted trees and knocked down power lines.

And as Governor Dannell Malloy told the state in a briefing this morning, an unknown number of shoreline residents may be stranded by flooding.

Today, we’ll go around the state and get the latest on storm recovery.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:48 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Is Here

Jan Ellen Spiegel

This is going to be a bad storm, but it doesn't have to be personally catastrophic. There will be considerable loss of property, but loss of life and limb doesn't have to be terrible if people will get out of the way of the water.

Easy to talk about. The persuading can be hard.

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