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rivers

FRED BEVER / MAINE PUBLIC

New England is home to thousands of dams that have fallen out of use -- a legacy of our industrial past. 

Unlike large hydropower dams, where there's often serious political and emotional resistance to removal, conservationists are finding many landowners of small dams are happy to have them removed.

Over a year ago, residents near Merrimack, New Hampshire learned their drinking water had been contaminated by emissions from a plastics plant owned by the multinational company, Saint-Gobain.  

More than a year later, some residents in Merrimack say state and federal officials haven’t done enough to protect them from the contamination. Now, a few are taking things into their own hands, going door to door.

The Connecticut River springs to life in Pittsburg, New Hampshire, just a few hundred yards from the Canadian border. From there, it snakes 400 or miles southward, where it discharges into the Long Island Sound. This month, a group of river-lovers are paddling the length of the Connecticut to highlight its history, importance and beauty.

Video screengrab by Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Once plentiful in New England’s rivers, native Atlantic salmon have since all but disappeared.

Ryan Caron King / NENC

Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont wastewater plants along the Connecticut River are waiting to hear from the Environmental Protection Agency. Even without specifics, managers at the larger plants know they will be required to adjust the amount of nitrogen in their treated wastewater, considerably lowering the levels, potentially at a high cost.

Ryan Caron King / NENC

By the end of the year, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce new limits on the amount of nitrogen that wastewater treatment plants in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire can release into the Connecticut River.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided it will continue to hear a controversial case about which water bodies the Environmental Protection Agency can regulate, even after President Trump asked them to hold off. Vermont is one of eight states that has filed to defend the EPA rule.  

Wikimedia Commons

Millions of river herring used to return to New England's fresh waterways to spawn, but at some collection spots today, populations have dropped into the dozens. 

General Electric and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are battling over the last stretch of the PCB clean-up of the Housatonic River in Massachusetts from Pittsfield through Great Barrington.

GE is appealing the government’s clean-up plan, which is estimated to cost $613 million over 15 years. One big issue is where to put the toxic PCBs that are dug up from the river.

Wikimedia Commons

An environmental advocacy group claims hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage flowed into rivers and streams in the state over several years, and it's blaming the city of Danbury.

grongar / Creative Commons

A settlement has been reached in a complaint filed against a Glastonbury, Connecticut metals-treatment company. The lawsuit, which was filed under the Clean Water Act, means Connecticut Galvanizing will have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and penalties.

sometimes drywall / Creative Commons

More than 2,000 volunteers recently helped clean up the Connecticut River as part of the 20th anniversary of the "Source to Sea Cleanup," a multi-state effort spearheaded by the Connecticut River Watershed Council to get trash and old plastic out of the water.

Wikimedia Commons

A chemical spill in Southington has mobilized cleanup crews and resulted in a warning for nearby residents to avoid a section of the Quinnipiac River.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Modern biologists catch and study fish much the same way they did centuries ago: by shoving their hands, or a net, into the water and pulling fish out. But safely catching slippery fish can be tricky, which makes one piece of gear invaluable: electro-backpacks. 

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