Giant Tracts of Panel
8:20 am
Fri September 5, 2014

A Hartford Eyesore Turned Solar Oasis

The solar array is on top of 10 million tons of capped-off waste in Hartford's north end.
Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority

A new solar array in Hartford is the first solar-energy project to be built atop a closed landfill in the state. At peak capacity, it's expected to power about 1,000 homes per day.

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State Parks Centennial
1:29 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Gov. Malloy Announces Free State Parks Weekend in Connecticut

Huntington State Park in Redding.
David Brooks Creative Commons

Have you been to a state park lately? On July 26 and 27, you'll be able to visit any state park in Connecticut for free.

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Connecticut First
11:34 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Bear Population on Rise in Connecticut

Bear sightings are practically a daily occurrence in the northwest corner of Connecticut. In the past year, there have been 340 bear sightings in Avon alone, and speculation of bear dens near commercial areas, such as busy route 44.

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Environmental Law
3:41 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Can More Environmental Violations Actually Be a Good Thing?

Flickr Creative Commons

The Council on Environmental Quality issued its annual report on state environmental data on Wednesday, and one number seems to be at the center of some questions: 72.

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Suing the State
5:03 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Charla Nash Wants Her Day in Court

Charla and Briana Nash
Credit Shelly Sindland Photography

Charla Charla Nash was attacked by a 200-pound chimpanzee in February of 2009, while helping her employer, Sandra Herold, get her pet, Travis, back in his cage.

Nash says she was unaware of the danger that lurked.

She doesn't remember anything about the attack, just waking up in the hospital. Travis broke most of the bones in her face, he ripped off her lips, nose, eyelids, and her hands, leaving Nash in a coma for four months. Today, she's blind and lives in a rehabilitation facility at a cost $16,000 per month, an expense she'll have for the rest of her life.

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5:43 am
Tue March 18, 2014

For Connecticut Deer, Sunday May No Longer Be a Day of Rest

A new proposal is floating the idea of bow hunting on Sundays.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / jonnnnnn

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection hasn't done a statewide estimate for about five years, but at last count, there were around 120,000 deer in Connecticut, with the largest concentrations in Fairfield County.

DEEP officials said the numbers are getting out of control, and voiced their support for a legislative proposal that would expand deer hunting in Connecticut. 

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DEEP Commissioner
8:15 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Malloy's DEEP Commissioner Appointee Clears a Hurdle

Robert Klee.
Credit Yale World Fellows

Governor Dannel P. Malloy's newly-appointed Department of Energy and Environmental Protection commissioner is moving closer toward being confirmed.

The General Assembly's Legislative and Executive Nominations Committee on Tuesday voted unanimously, with one member absent, in favor of Robert Klee's appointment. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon February 10, 2014

A Look at Connecticut's State Parks and Forests

Kent Falls State Park in Kent, CT.
Credit write99 / Creative Commons

From the glistening Hammonasset shoreline to the winding paths of the Blue-Blazed trails, Connecticut is home to 139 of the most beloved parks and forests in our region.

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Open Season On Open Land?
2:12 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

State Parks and Forests Aren't as Protected as You Think

Credit Flickr Creative Commons / ChrisHConnelly

If you think Connecticut's roughly 270,000 acres of forests and parks are protected forever, you're wrong. That's according to a new report from Connecticut's Council on Environmental Quality claiming state conservation lands aren't always preserved forever.

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Connecticut First
7:34 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Malloy Touts School Safety; Names New DEEP Commissioner

Governor Dannel Malloy was joined by school officials and lawmakers at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven on Thursday to announce a plan to expand the school security grant program as part of his legislative agenda for 2014.The governor’s budget proposal will include a $10 million plan to expand the program.

Malloy Names New DEEP Commissioner

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Leadership Changes
1:11 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Top Esty Aide Named As New Commissioner of DEEP

Robert Klee will take over as the new head of Connecticut's DEEP.
Credit Yale World Fellows

Robert Klee, a lawyer who served as chief of staff to Dan Esty, will take over as the new commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

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Connecticut First
3:01 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Winter Storm Warning Continues; Pothole Problems

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Connecticut First
9:41 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Yale Fraternity Members Sued; Esty Stepping Down from DEEP


Eighty-six current and former members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity at Yale University are being sued over an accident at a Yale-Harvard football game in 2011. Nancy Berry, 30, of Salem, Massachusetts, was killed after being struck by a rental truck that was heading to the fraternity’s tailgating party outside the Yale Bowl. Lawyers for Barry’s family and another woman who was injured in the accident sued the fraternity members late last month. 

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Leadership Changes
12:04 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Dan Esty To Leave DEEP, Return To Yale

Dan Esty has led Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection since 2011.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Dan Esty will step down as commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection effective Feb. 3. He told Governor Malloy he plans to return to a teaching position at Yale. 

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Connecticut First
10:35 am
Wed January 15, 2014

DCF Developing Children's Behavioral Needs Plan; DEEP Commissioner Discusses Climate Change


The proposal to address the behavioral, mental, and emotional needs of children is a requirement passed under legislation that was passed by the General Assembly last year. The plan is in response to the shooting in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School. DCF is looking to create the plan with help from families along with experts and other advocates. It should be completed by October.

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4:17 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Environmental Violations Cost Three New Haven Companies $750K

Attorney General George Jepsen says three New Haven companies and their operator, Bruno F. Suraci, Jr., must pay nearly $750,000 in civil violations as the result of environmental violations.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / jwellsrobinsonpc

At the center of the investigation was Bruno Suraci, Jr., owner of three metal-finishing businesses near the Quinnipiac River in New Haven. The court ruling, totaling nearly $750,000 in civil penalties, comes for hazardous waste and air pollution violations.

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Host's Diary
10:37 am
Wed December 18, 2013

A Long Fracking Conversation With Dan Esty

Dan Esty, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, during a visit to WNPR.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Okay, so it's not Frost/Nixon. But over the last few years, I've been having an ongoing, at times entertaining, occasionally frustrating, and always interesting conversation on air and on stage with Dan Esty about "fracking" and natural gas. 

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9:29 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

CRRA Claims Multimillion-Dollar Deficit

CRRA said it's facing a revenue gap of $7.6 million over the next three years, but a state audit said that number was a lot higher - 23 million. CRRA management met with state officials on Tuesday to discuss the agency's plans moving forward.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Representatives from the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority (CRRA), a trash agency responsible for waste management in more than 50 Connecticut municipalities, said they're facing a $7.6 million budget gap for the next three fiscal years. The gap was revealed to members of a state task force on Tuesday. The reveal comes on the heels of a state-sponsored audit of CRRA released earlier this month that projects a much bigger shortfall: around $23 million. 

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3:49 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

State May Loosen Some Sunday Hunting Restrictions

In Connecticut, hunting on Sundays is prohibited.  But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, a law now being considered may change that. State law pretty much forbids Sunday hunting.  In fact, just possessing a hunting implement in the open on a Sunday is evidence that you've broken the law.  "It's an old blue law, it's been in effect I don't know how long, forever and ever, I guess." That's Robert Crook, the executive director of the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen.  But a new bill has just passed the state house that would allow Sunday deer hunting on private land with a bow and arrow.

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10:54 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Most Connecticut Snakes Aren't Venomous


State environmental officials have joined a national campaign to raise awareness about local snakes. 

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8:11 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Striving for innovation, spending millions, Stamford leaders ignored major problems

Tim Coffey

Aging infrastructure is taking its toll on Connecticut’s sewer treatment plants. But in Stamford, that problem has been coupled with years of mismanagement that could cost state and local taxpayers dearly, and is creating problems for Stamford Harbor and Long Island Sound.

I’m standing in front of a huge water tank that’s 130 feet in diameter. And I’m with Bill Degnan, supervisor of Stamford’s sewer treatment plant. The plant treats an average of 17 million gallons of water a day in Stamford and Darien.

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12:23 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Connecticut's Top Polluters

A recent report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finds that in the year 2011, companies in Connecticut released more than two million pounds of toxic chemicals into the air, water and land. Although high, the numbers are within legal limits.

There are 310 facilities in Connecticut listed on the Toxic Release Inventory. Ninety-one reported no emissions for 2011, but the state's top polluter, Cytec Industries, a chemical manufacturer, emitted some two-hundred thousand pounds of toxic waste in Wallingford.

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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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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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11:19 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Squirrel Population Boom Driving You Nuts?

Sage Ross (Wikimedia Commons)

Many parts of the country this year have seen an eruption in squirrel populations. I couldn't help but notice many, many more of the critters in my yard this fall. Is Connecticut being overrun by squirrels? Every year, we put pumpkins out on our porch and stoop, and most years we get a few nibbles and scratches on our pumpkins. But this year, they have devoured the pumpkins, just leaving the base. What's going on this year?

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8:55 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Connecticut Renews Permit for Bridgeport Harbor Station Coal Plant

The operating permit for Connecticut’s lone coal-fired power plant in Bridgeport was renewed yesterday, after the state received record amounts of public comment.

No one expected the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to deny a permit renewal for the Bridgeport Harbor Coal Plant.

Still, more than 150 people attended a public hearing on the issue in May and more than a hundred local businesses in Bridgeport have publicly supported closing the plant.

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Population Control
9:27 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Bear Problems on the Rise in Connecticut; Could a Bear-Hunting Season Be Far Off?

Mike Bender, US Fish and Wildlife Service (Wikimedia Commons)

Encounters between humans and bears are on the rise in Connecticut, and some of them could be dangerous. That’s prompting environmental officials to consider allowing a regular bear-hunting season for the first time ever in the state. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports.

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Fairfield County
10:46 am
Thu July 12, 2012

State, Bridgeport Wrestle With Hot Issue; Coal, Or No Coal?

Neena Satija

As the nation sheds the idea of “clean coal” for plentiful and even cleaner natural gas, environmental activists are hoping that they can push Connecticut to abandon coal as a power source. But that’s easier said than done.

The Bridgeport Harbor Station has been a fixture in this city for decades. Now primarily a coal-burning plant, it’s one of the city’s biggest taxpayers, and it's capable of powering about half a million customers. For Tamara Wood, who lives down the street from the plant, it’s this sound. 

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Beetle Under Bark
12:31 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Emerald Ash Borer Creeps Towards Connecticut

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Creative Commons)

Connecticut's Ash Trees have been spared infestation from an invasive insect so far this summer. But trees along the New York border with Connecticut haven't been as lucky.

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