Environment

Metro-North
12:43 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Metro-North Workers Were on Job for Seven Days Straight

MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast at a press conference in July.
Patrick Cashin Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority told federal safety officials that traffic control staff at the Metro-North Railroad worked seven days straight for weeks when several accidents, including one fatal, disrupted commutes in Connecticut and New York last year. 

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Connecticut Summit Promotes Climate Stewardship; a Taste of Iceland in Litchfield County

Kenneth Lu Creative Commons

Last month, hundreds of thousands showed up for the People’s Climate March in New York City, the largest climate march ever seen in U.S. history. There, climate activists worked their way through the busy streets of New York, calling on Americans to act on global climate change. Today, we talk to someone who was at the march. We’ll also preview today’s Climate Stewardship Summit at the University of St. Joseph.

Also, radio personality Gerri Griswold and Icelandic singer-songwriter Lay Low join us to talk about the upcoming Iceland Affair and Fire and Ice Music Festival.

Read more
Natural Gas
4:32 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Connecticut Oil Dealers Sue DEEP Over Energy Policy

Flickr Creative Commons / kennymatic

The Connecticut Energy Marketers Association is a trade group representing about 600 heating oil and propane dealers. In a complaint, it alleges the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection didn't adequately assess the environmental impact of Governor Dannel Malloy's Comprehensive Energy Strategy, which plans to add 900 miles of natural gas pipelines in the state.

Read more
WAMC News
8:59 am
Thu October 9, 2014

NYC Council Considers Car Ban For Central Park

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 6:40 am

New York City’s Central Park may soon be free of cars.

Read more
New York
3:45 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Large Crane Arrives To Help New NY Bridge Project As Toll Question Remains

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 12:54 pm

New York state officials, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, welcomed the one of the world’s largest floating cranes to the construction site of the replacement Tappan Zee Bridge Monday. At the same time, the governor’s opponent in the November election called for details on the new bridge’s expected tolls. 

Read more
Springfield
5:40 am
Wed October 8, 2014

City Removes Tornado Damaged Trees

A tree damaged during the June 2011 tornado is removed from the yard of a home in Springfield,MA. The city launched a "Right of Entry" program to remove trees from private property after FEMA rejected numerous appeals to pay for it.

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 3:56 pm

More than 3 years after a tornado tore through the East Forest Park neighborhood of Springfield, Massachusetts the city is removing damaged trees from private property.

Michelle David watched Tuesday morning as a crew hired by the city cut down the tall oak tree that teetered dangerously close to her house.

"It is a relief. It has been a long time. The street was a mess, but it looks beautiful now. We are grateful to the mayor and everyone in the city who helped get this done."

Read more
Trees, Please
1:36 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Think Cutting Back Forests for Power Lines in Connecticut Is Always Bad? Think Again.

Ken Metzler, left, with David Wagner at a power line corridor in South Windsor. The pair co-authored a paper on how power lines impact plant and animal life.
Patrick Skahill / WNPR

When you think of environmentally beneficial landscapes, the land beneath power lines might not be at the top of your list, but new research is highlighting this habitat's importance in conserving a wide array of plant and insect life.

Read more
Night Sky
11:13 am
Tue October 7, 2014

'Blood Moon' Eclipse To Be Visible Throughout U.S.

A "blood moon" captured on the night of Jan. 20, 2000.
Fred Espenak NASA

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 12:59 pm

If you missed the total eclipse of the moon in April, you might have another chance: On Wednesday morning, the second of four lunar eclipses this year and next will occur.

Read more
Blue Ribbon
6:38 am
Tue October 7, 2014

3 Scientists Win Nobel In Physics For Development Of Blue LED

A screen shows the laureates of the Nobel Prize in physics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm on Tuesday.
Bertil Ericson EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 12:49 pm

A trio of scientists, two from Japan and one from the U.S., will share the Nobel Prize in physics for the invention of blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which led to a new, environmentally friendly light source.

Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan and U.S. scientist Shuji Nakamura were selected by the committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to share the 8 million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million) prize.

Nobelprize.org says:

Read more
Stockin' Trout
12:09 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

A Good Year for Connecticut's Fishermen, Thanks to "Survivor Strain" Trout

From left, Rob Castrogiovanni, Brian Eltz, Alan Rousseau, and Bob, a volunteer from Trout Unlimited, worked to stock about 3,300 trout into the Housatonic River.
Patrick Skahill / WNPR

It's the fall trout-stocking season for Connecticut's rivers and streams. I met up with a team of scientists and volunteers to learn more about the journey trout take from hatchery to stream.

Read more
Animals
6:32 pm
Sun October 5, 2014

Dolphins: Adorable, Playful, Not As Smart As You Might Think

Some researchers have begun to question the notion that dolphins are the super-intelligent creatures they've been made out to be.
Pavel Golovkin AP

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 9:26 am

Everyone loves dolphins. They're adorable, playful and super-intelligent, often called the geniuses of the ocean.

But recently some researchers have begun to question that last notion. When it comes to brainpower, dolphins might not be as special as you might think.

In a recent piece for New Scientist, Caroline Williams rounds up some of the dissenting opinions.

Read more
Science
10:02 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Soil Doctors Hit Pay Dirt In Manhattan's Central Park

The Bronx may be up and the Battery down, but Central Park is where an amazing wealth of different sorts of microbes play.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 9:14 am

Manhattan's Central Park is surrounded by one of the densest cities on the planet. It's green enough, yet hardly the first place most people would think of as biologically rich.

But a team of scientists got a big surprise when they recently started digging there.

They were 10 soil ecologists — aka dirt doctors. Kelly Ramirez from Colorado State University was among them. "We met on the steps of the natural history museum at 7 a.m. with our collection gear, coolers and sunblock," she recalls.

Read more
The Pollinators
8:10 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Should Neonicotinoids Be Banned to Protect Honeybees?

Neonicotinoids, a class of pesticide, thought to be linked to decling bee numbers, have been temporarily banned in Europe.
d o w n s t r e a m Flickr Creative Commons

Members of Congress, including three from Connecticut, have signed a letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency to better regulate a controversial class of pesticide called neonicotinoids.

Read more
Historic Sites
9:41 am
Wed October 1, 2014

State Establishes Shoreline Park in Southeast Connecticut

Seaside in Waterford closed in the 1960s, according to state library records.
Artondra Hall Creative Commons

Connecticut is establishing its first shoreline state park in 50 years.

Read more
Clean Water Act
2:33 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Clearing Up Murkiness in the Clean Water Act

Curt Spalding, regional administrator for EPA in New England, right, accepts a box full of comments on the proposed update to the Clean Water Act.
Credit Patrick Skahill / WNPR

A proposed rule change seeks to better define what waters are protected by the Clean Water Act, the law regulating pollution discharges into American water.

As written, the Clean Water Act currently applies to waters with a "significant nexus" to "navigable waters," a bit of legalese that's made it tough for regulators to crack down on pollution in some small tributaries.

Read more
Thermal Plume
9:56 am
Mon September 29, 2014

State Probing Millstone Water Dumped Into Long Island Sound

Millstone Power Plant.
Credit Northeast Utilities

State environmental officials are taking a closer look at the impact of more than two billion gallons of water discharged into Long Island Sound from Connecticut's nuclear plant.

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Bringing Back the Woolly Mammoth

Credit Funk Monk / Wikimedia Commons

Science writer Carl Zimmer names the Dodo and the Great Auk, the Thylacine and the Chinese River Dolphin, the Passenger Pigeon and the Imperial Woodpecker, the Bucardo and Stellar Sea Cow among the species that humankind has driven into extinction. What's notable about that list is that most of us would recognize maybe three or four of those names.

Think about that. We have obliterated entire species whose names we don't even know.

Read more
Zoning the Morning Star
5:38 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Developer Withdraws Request to Rezone "Satan's Kingdom"

A plan to turn a 60 acre plot in "Satan's Kingdom" into an industrial park hit a snag on Thursday, when the developer pulled the plug.
Wikimedia Commons

Allan Borghesi wanted to rezone about 60 acres in New Hartford and Canton from "residential" to "industrial" and, earlier this summer, it looked like the deal was a sure bet. New Hartford signed off on the proposal in June, but opposition in Canton grew in the interim -- organizing itself on Facebook and through petitions. Now, Borghesi has withdrawn his request.

Read more
Cleaning Up the Sound
12:13 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

New Plan Makes Climate Change Essential Factor in Long Island Sound Conservation

Long Island Sound.
GNY Creative Commons

Twenty years ago, public perceptions of Long Island Sound weren't good. Mark Tedesco is director of the EPA's LIS office, and during a recent public hearing, he recapped some editorial cartoons from that time.

Read more
Transportation
3:44 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

More Trains for Metro-North's Busy New Haven Line

Credit Jim Maurer / Creative Commons

Commuters on Metro-North's New Haven Line can expect more trains during the off-peak hours and on weekends. 

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue September 23, 2014

One for the Birds of Connecticut (Again)

Connecticut's state bird: the American robin.
Credit Ken Douglas / Creative Commons

It’s an hour for the birds! We are joined by bird lovers and experts to discuss the state of the bird population in our state and to answer your burning bird questions. We also check in with our environmental reporter Patrick Skahill about his recent bird-related reporting.

Read more
Capping Gas
8:11 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Senate Bill Looks to Regulate Atmospheric "Super Pollutants"

A new U.S. Senate bill is looking to establish more regulations for non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions.
why 137 Creative Commons

Last weekend's climate change march brought thousands of protesters to New York City. A new bill now making its way through the U.S. Senate is also aiming to reduce the impact of so-called atmospheric "super pollutants."

Read more
Bardarbunga!
1:39 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Massive Volcanic Eruption Is Making Iceland Grow

A plane flies over the Bardarbunga volcano as it spews lava and smoke in southeast Iceland on Sept. 14. The Bardarbunga volcano system has been rocked by hundreds of tremors a day since mid-August, prompting fears the volcano could explode.
Bernard Meric AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 1:29 pm

The tiny, island nation of Iceland is in the middle of a growth spurt. For the past month, the country's Bardarbunga volcano has been churning out lava at a prodigious rate. And the eruption shows no signs of abating.

Read more
Bridgeport
9:40 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Disclosure of Chemicals Sought After Bridgeport Factory Fire

The smoldering remains of the Rowayton Trading Company factory warehouse building at 2201-2215 Seaview Avenue in Bridgeport on September 12.
Ebong Udoma WSHU

Bridgeport officials are calling for more disclosure of industrial chemicals following the release of chemicals in a factory fire. 

Read more
Space
8:43 am
Mon September 22, 2014

NASA: MAVEN Spacecraft Safely Circling Mars

Artist concept of MAVEN spacecraft in orbit around Mars.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 10:44 am

NASA's MAVEN spacecraft conducted a 33-minute burn of its six main engines to ease into an orbit around Mars after a nearly yearlong, 442 million-mile voyage from Earth. The probe's mission is to study the red planet's atmosphere.

Read more
Space
8:02 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Mission To Study Mars' Climate Enters Red Planet's Orbit

In this artist concept provided by NASA, the MAVEN spacecraft approaches Mars on a mission to study its upper atmosphere.
AP

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 10:41 pm

This Sunday night, we headed back to Mars: NASA's MAVEN spacecraft fired its six main engines, slowing down enough so it could be captured by the gravity of the red planet and go into orbit.

MAVEN, which stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, is a distinctly un-sexy name for a project as cool as a sojourn to Mars. But whatever it's called, the probe is on a mission that should be of interest to everyone who likes living on Earth.

Read more
Climate March
8:46 am
Sun September 21, 2014

Large Protests In Hundreds Of Cities Vent Ire Over Climate Change

Demonstrators gather near Columbus Circle before the start of the People's Climate March in New York Sunday. Organizers are hoping 100,000 people worldwide might participate in the rally.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 8:07 am

Streets in New York City and other towns were taken over by marchers Sunday in what organizers called the largest climate change protest in history. The People's Climate March was timed to draw the notice of world leaders gathering for this week's U.N. Climate Summit.

Read more
Climate March
4:24 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Climate Marchers Hope to Pressure World Leaders to Combat Global Warming

Organizers say Sunday's People's Climate March in NYC will be the largest climate change protest in history.
peoplesclimate.org

Connecticut is expected to be well-represented at Sunday's People's Climate March in New York City.

Read more
Massachusetts
12:11 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Report Urges National Limits On Power Plant Emissions

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 9:36 pm

On the eve of the United Nations Climate Summit next week in New York, a Massachusetts environmental group called for aggressive limits on power plant emissions.

Read more
Space Travel
4:37 am
Fri September 19, 2014

How NASA's New Spaceships Stack Up

The new capsules are being built by Boeing and SpaceX. They look similar, but there are differences.
SpaceX, The Boeing Company

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 10:24 pm

Earlier this week NASA announced that two private companies will build spaceships to take astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA hopes that both models will eventually be used by space tourists to get into orbit. Which got us wondering, which one would we rather fly in?

Read more

Pages