environment

Daniel Orth / Creative Commons

Michigan is not the only state with a water crisis on its hands. Right now, communities in New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont are grappling with their own water contamination challenges. It’s just that for these states, the problem does not stem from corrosive water or aging lead pipes, but from a toxic chemical known as PFOA. 

National Weather Service, Taunton, Mass. Office

After a quiet winter and drier than normal spring, parts of western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut are in a moderate drought.

Vermont’s so-called GMO Labeling Law will go into effect July 1. It requires manufacturers to label foods made with genetic engineering. It’s the first law of its kind in the nation, and it has started a trend.

Maine and Connecticut have passed similar laws, but only require labels if nearby states join the labeling bandwagon. New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are also considering labeling legislation.

CGP Grey / Creative Commons

President Obama just signed into law a new and long awaited Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Officially called the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, it’s expected to radically change how the federal government oversees thousands of chemicals used in products and in the workplace.

A federal judge in Wyoming has struck down the Obama administration's regulations on hydraulic fracturing, ruling that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management doesn't have the authority to establish rules over fracking on federal and Indian lands.

In the ruling on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl said Congress had not granted the BLM that power, and had instead chosen to specifically exclude fracking from federal oversight.

A new law, years in the making, mandates that all public schools in New York State test for lead in their drinking water.

Lead is a neurotoxin that has been linked to learning disorders and lower IQs, especially in children. Back in the 1980s, the federal government tried to regulate the amount of lead in school drinking water but failed.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued the first operational rules to govern the commercial use of drones on Tuesday.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said this was a "huge step for innovation."

The 600-plus pages of new regulations require drone operators to pass a written exam every two years, keep the unmanned aircraft within sight and avoid flying it over people and at night. The rules also require drones to stay at least 5 miles from airports.

Kathleen Masterson/VPR

As our reliance on solar and wind energy grows, so does the challenge of reliability: The wind and sun can’t be turned on and off whenever people need electricity. One part of the solution is energy storage. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

They have green backs, pink bellies, and are only about two inches in diameter.

The decision for institutions to divest from fossil fuels is more complicated than just a list of pros and cons, according to a new report commissioned by Dartmouth College.

bbcamericangirl / Creative Commons

My mom loves roses, so I recently took her to Elizabeth Park in West Hartford. This is one of the first municipal rose gardens in the country.

Scientists announced Wednesday that they have once again detected ripples in space and time from two black holes colliding far away in the universe.

The discovery comes just months after the first-ever detection of such "gravitational waves," and it suggests that smaller-sized black holes might be more numerous than many had thought.

Leif Anderson / Flickr

Animal rights have come a long way over the last century, providing, of course, we're not talking about fish. While other vertebrates have slowly been recognized as social, feeling, even sentient beings, fish remain good for three things: owning, catching and eating.

Loren Kerns / Creative Commons

There are many ways to experience the American landscape -- you can bike it, drive it, fly over it... even take trains across it. But there’s nothing quite as intimate or liberating as the experience you get while walking it. 

Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut's chief insect expert said he's hopeful rain will help control gypsy moth populations in the state this year. The non-native insect feeds on leaves, which can cause health issues in trees. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture

State officials have confirmed the emerald ash borer -- a small green beetle that feeds almost exclusively on ash trees -- has now been detected in all eight Connecticut counties.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Monday announced $5.5 million in projects to construct visitor centers at each entrance of the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world —  Walkway Over the Hudson. Cuomo made the announcement mid-bridge before a number of local elected officials and others.

Natalie Maynor / Creative Commons

Connecticut is seeing an increase in the number of new farmers. The number of start-ups has grown by 15 percent from 2007.

Connecticut Fund for the Environment, the state’s largest environmental group, says runoff from a sewage treatment plant in Springfield, Massachusetts, could hurt Connecticut rivers and Long Island Sound. This week the organization asked the EPA to hold the plant to higher scrutiny.

marakawalv / Creative Commons

This weekend, nearly 200 scientists joined up with members of the public in a 24-hour race to identify as many plant and animal species as possible. It's called a "BioBlitz."

According to the American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2016 report, Suffolk County, Long Island, and Fairfield County, Connecticut, have the highest levels of ozone pollution in their respective states.

Wikimedia Commons

Mosquito-testing season has begun in Connecticut and public health officials have added a new virus to their monitoring list this year: Zika. 

Joanna Gilkeson / USFWS / Creative Commons

Every year, monarch butterflies make an amazing journey from Canada and New England all the way down to Mexico.

Lennart Tange / Creative Commons

If you're allergic to it, you might be cursing pollen in between sneezes right now. But the process of pollination is essential to plant, animal, and human life. All sorts of insects and animals can be pollinators including bats, bees, moths, butterflies, birds, and even lemurs!

BB and HH / Creative Commons

The story goes that during World War II, the English started using radar to detect Nazi bombers. 

NASA / Flickr

The man who once walked on the moon, and helped America define itself as a leader in space travel is now out with a new book. It reads half as a memoir, and  half as a motivational speech to the next generation of explorers who he hopes will carry on America's legacy.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Take a trip out to the Housatonic River Valley over the next few days, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a peculiar-looking fungus that’s a tasty trophy for mushroom hunters. 

The electric car company Tesla has convinced a handful of prime states, including Massachusetts and New York, to exempt it from laws that require car companies to sell through dealerships.

Mention the concept of food waste, and for many people, it's likely to conjure images of rotting fruit and vegetables or stale meals unfit for consumption.

But a lot of the food that gets tossed out in America — some $162 billion worth each year, enough to fill 44 skyscrapers — is fresh, nutritious and downright delicious: think plump eggplants, bright yellow squashes, giant, vibrant-orange carrots with a crisp bite. The kind of beautiful produce that would be perfectly at home in, say, this giant vegetable paella made by celebrity chef José Andrés and his team.

Liz West / Creative Commons

Colin has a "pet" raccoon that visits his porch. The raccoon will press her tiny paw up against the outstretched palm of Colin's significant other, which rests on the indoor side of the glass. Eventually, the raccoon gets a bit of food because "she" is too cute to resist. The pleased raccoon now visits on a regular basis. Colin fears this cannot end well.

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