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Environment

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

Additional hearings have been scheduled to review the latest plans for the $950 million MGM Springfield casino. 

The Springfield City Council, which has already held four hearings on the site plan for the resort casino, has scheduled two additional hearings later this month. 

City Council President Mike Fenton said he’s been assured by MGM officials that the extended review will not hold up the construction of the casino which is scheduled to open in 2018.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

More trains! Wider roads! Fixed bridges! The governor’s big plan to fix our transportation system has a lot in it but the state is still figuring out how to pay for it. Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker stops by for an update on the state of Connecticut’s current transportation infrastructure and plans to overhaul the system.

WoodlyWonderWorks / Creative Commons

I'm always amazed at the price of arugula and baby greens in the grocery store. They sell sometimes for ten dollars a pound! A better way to eat healthy greens is to grow them yourself, and we're getting close to the day when we can start planting two of my favorites: arugula and mache.

Thanks in part to the mild snow-free winter so far, the reconstruction of Interstate 91 through downtown Springfield is ahead of schedule.

   MassDOT CEO Stephanie Pollack said the contractor on the $185 million project appears to be on track to earn a $9 million bonus by completing the work by the end of 2017.

"Between the mild winter and those rewards the contractor has every incentive to bring the project in ahead of schedule and it is my understanding that may well happen," Pollack told reporters in Springfield Wednesday.

DFSB DE / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Audubon Society announced it's banning the use of aerial unmanned "drones" at all of its 19 privately-owned wildlife sanctuaries, but the measure is highlighting questions about just how far the organization can go.

Aaron Anderer / Flickr

The National Transportation Safety Board released evidence on Monday gathered in its investigation of the crash that killed eight people and injured 200 others last May. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Plunging oil prices are proving to be a boon for about six million homeowners in the northeast who heat their homes with oil. And they may also lessen the appetite for conversion to other fuels -- a movement that had been gaining ground. 

Creative Commons

The recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan has spurred national and local outrage as allegations arise of environmental racism against lower income and black communities. A public health advocate said there needs to be more collaboration among federal, state, and local agencies to resolve the problem.

Tambako The Jaguar/Creative Commons

Six seals have been spotted on the North Shore of Long Island, off Centre Island.

An executive director of the Riverhead Foundation said seals are more typically seen on the East End. Most seals live in cold waters off Maine, Nova Scotia, and Massachusetts.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

University of Connecticut officials have scheduled public presentations of a proposal to expand the CTfastrak express bus service from Hartford to the Storrs campus.

A citizens group pushing for the revitalization of the Hoosic River in North Adams has released detailed plans to redevelop a section of the waterway.

Rick / Flickr Creative Commons

Did you know that roughly one-third of the food we produce each year is either lost or wasted? This hour, Food Foolish co-author John Mandyck tells us how reducing global food waste could help mitigate the stresses of hunger, water shortages, and climate change. 

Theophilos Papadopoulos via flickr.com / Creative Commons

Winter is a great time to sit down and plan the expansion of existing gardens or creation of new ones. But don't just think of growing gardens for yourself. 

slack12 / Creative Commons

Millions of tons of sediment and sand could be dumped into the open waters of Long Island Sound in the coming decades. That’s according to a recently-unveiled federal plan outlining what to do with materials dredged from the bottoms of coastal ports and harbors.

At the start of the work week, many offices from Virginia to New York are closed, and road crews are working to clear streets as residents dig themselves out of a blizzard's snowfall. Flight schedules, riddled by cancellations, will likely take days to get back to normal.

They're coping with massive amounts of snow that, despite all the shoveling and plowing, will only start to go away once temperatures rise — something that will happen emphatically Tuesday, when much of the Interstate 95 corridor in the Mid-Atlantic will see melting from temperatures in the 40s.

Paul Sullivan / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is holding a public meeting on migratory bird hunting regulations.

Shovelful by shovelful, snowplow by snowplow, the East Coast is digging its way out from underneath an enormous winter storm that blanketed much of the region with up to 3 feet of snow.

And as high winds and 36 hours of snow give way to clear skies and sunshine, some people are taking to the wintry landscape with glee.

A massive snowstorm that affected most of the East Coast finally ended Sunday morning, leaving in its wake 1-3 feet of snow over major cities, at least 18 storm-associated casualties and severe coastal flooding.

While the snow has stopped, the weather warnings continue. High winds will create blowing and drifting snow in some areas, the National Weather Service warns. And while New York City lifted a police-enforced travel ban on Sunday morning, many authorities are asking citizens to refrain from driving for another day as efforts to clear off the roads continue.

The snow will glow white on the mountains tonight — the Appalachians, that is, from North Carolina through Pennsylvania.

The wind is howling — gusts over 60 miles per hour in some areas, the National Weather Service reports — as this swirling storm moves up the coast.

Cyclonebiskit / Creative Commons

Connecticut has received a $54 million federal grant to improve shoreline infrastructure and make portions of the state more resilient.

Anne / Creative Commons

Connecticut will miss the brunt of the winter storm affecting the mid-Atlantic region, but not all parts of the state will be untouched. The worst will be along the shoreline with the possibility of six to ten inches in some parts. Meanwhile, northern Connecticut may see no accumulation at all.

Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr

Heirloom vegetables are generally any variety grown before World War II. Many are unique for their flavor, looks, and growth habits.

Rayandbee / Flickr Creative Commons

When you think of drought, what place comes to mind? California? Texas? How about... Connecticut?

According to the United States Drought Monitor, more than 90 percent of our state is in a moderate drought right now -- and we’re not the only ones in the Northeast experiencing unusually dry conditions.

New satellite images of St. Elijah's Monastery, located in the ISIS-held city of Mosul, no longer show a neatly chiseled, square parcel of land, complete with walls and buildings built into a hill.

All that can be seen of the Christian monastery, parts of which are 1,400 years old, is a dusty field of rubble. It was apparently razed by ISIS in its quest to destroy religious or historical artifacts deemed heretical.

The astronomer whose work helped kick Pluto out of the pantheon of planets says he has good reason to believe there's an undiscovered planet bigger than Earth lurking in the distant reaches of our solar system.

A rare sight will greet early risers starting Wednesday morning. About 45 minutes before sunrise, five planets – Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter – will all be visible in the sky.

The best time to get planetary sightseeing in will be at the end of the week. By then, the five aforementioned planets will form an arch-shaped line in the sky that will be fairly easy to follow. The moon will pop up in the intergalactic line-up shortly thereafter.

To understand why General Electric would abandon its sprawling Fairfield, Connecticut, campus, for Boston’s waterfront, consider what one small, 30-person firm is looking for as it seeks out office space in the same neighborhood: showers.

“Because a lot of people are biking to work,” explained real estate broker Greg Hoffmeister. “They want to have that, or go running at lunch. So having a shower is pretty important.”

Wikimedia Commons

Atlantic salmon are back, and they're spawning in Connecticut. It's the first time in centuries this creature has returned naturally to the state. But climate change and dwindling conservation money still present a lot of issues for this migratory fish.

Water contamination in Flint, Mich, — where the city switched water sources, causing pipe corrosion and ultimately filling the city's water supply with high levels of lead — has prompted President Obama to declare a state of emergency.

The move, which was requested by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, means FEMA is authorized to provide equipment and resources to the people affected. Federal funding will help cover the cost of providing water, water filters and other items.

Jake Gagne / Creative Commons

Congestion tolling, a higher sales tax, and increasing the state gas tax to the 1990s rate of 39 cents per gallon are among the ideas being recommended to help fund Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy's proposed $100 billion transportation overhaul.

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