Environment

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

The controversial Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline is now in the hands of the federal government.

Benjamin Chun flickr.com/photos/benchun / Creative Commons

The holidays are coming up quickly and as we entertain family and friends, it's great to have a colorful centerpiece for the table. While traditional cornucopias are nice, this year consider creating a living succulent centerpiece.

A Brattleboro nonprofit that promotes sustainable building design says green buildings should be able to prove that they can stand up to natural disasters, especially those associated with climate change.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Standing under the columns of the elevated portion of I-84 in Hartford, known as the viaduct, Governor Dannel Malloy announced on Tuesday that his office released an economic analysis examining the benefits of rebuilding the highway.

The analysis found that replacing the crumbling overpass could pay off almost double the lower estimates of potential replacement cost. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

When construction of I-84 viaduct in the 1960s plowed through neighborhoods and historic landmarks in Hartford, a modest brick building in the West End of the city was spared. 

The first batch of equipment for the Block Island Wind Farm towers will arrive by ship this week. The towers will be assembled at the Port of Providence.

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Governor Dannel Malloy's Council on Climate Change is expected to issue its first report in January. The panel has the goal of helping the state reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 2001 levels over the next 35 years. 

This week, the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs issued a new report examining how that goal could impact job creation in the state. 

The highest court in Massachusetts has effectively cleared the way for construction of a wood-burning power plant in Springfield. Plant opponents see their last hope in the hands of a local health board.

The state Supreme Judicial Court this month declined to take up an appeal of two lower court decisions that directed the city to issue a building permit for the proposed $150 million biomass plant on Springfield’s eastside.  The project had been tied up in litigation for more than five years.

University of Rhode Island scientists are turning to salt marshes to better understand the relationship between climate change and sea level rise.

Kathleen Waters Photography flickr.com/photos/kathleenwaters / Creative Commons

As we try to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills, laws now mandate the recycling of plastics, paper, and yard products such as leaves and grass clippings.

Composting is one the best ways to reuse grass clippings and leaves to benefit your plants. But we should also be composting food scraps from the kitchen as well.

Jiří Nedorost (Wikimedia Commons)

An effort to curb eastern Long Island's deer population through sterilization has angered animal lovers who say veterinarians are botching the surgeries.

The East Hampton Group for Wildlife filed a lawsuit on November 6 seeking to halt the sterilization program, according to Newsday.

Astronomers have spotted what they believe to be the most distant object ever seen in our solar system.

The dwarf planet, known for now simply as V774104, is more than 100 times farther from the sun than we are. Astronomers aren't sure what it's doing out there, but they're hoping follow-up studies of its orbit will teach them more.

Amtrak

Officials say an agreement has been reached to create a corporation to oversee plans to build a rail tunnel under the Hudson River. 

The highest court in Massachusetts may have dealt a fatal blow to opponents of a proposed wood-burning power plant in Springfield.

The state’s Supreme Judicial Court has refused to consider an appeal of two lower court rulings that directed the city to issue a building permit for the controversial project.

A spokesman for Palmer Renewable Energy said they looked forward to bringing the $150 million biomass energy project to fruition after  nearly 8 years of legal challenges. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

The state fire marshal and local police are investigating a blaze aboard a lobster boat at Stonington Town Dock. The fire is thought to have broken out in the early hours of Wednesday morning, and may have been burning for some time before the alarm was raised at about 4.30 am.

Adam Moss / Creative Commons

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said a Boston-bound Amtrak train has struck and killed a person on the tracks in Connecticut. 

Bill Dickinson / Flickr

A plan to transform the nation's busiest commuter rail line has reached a milestone.

MichaelTK (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Interstate fishing regulators are considering what to do about southern New England's collapsed lobster population, and fishermen fear new restrictions could land on them as a result.

jahansell / Creative Commons

Let's face it: in Connecticut, even the biggest farms are small. 

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Federal and state environmental officials are set to announce nearly two dozen grants worth $1.3 million to improve the environmental health of Long Island Sound.

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Officials said the mast of a sailboat struck part of the Connecticut River Railroad Bridge as it was closing, causing delays on Amtrak's Northeast Regional line.

Parker Knight / Flickr Creative Commons

The Green Revolution of the mid-twentieth century revolutionized the way the world fed itself.  It introduced new fertilizers, pesticides, and hybrid seeds. At the same time, it also placed an enormous burden on the world’s environmental and ecological systems.

Patrick / Creative Commons

A new section of a proposed multi-state bike and walking trail opened earlier this week in Manchester. The state Department of Transportation took the occasion to outline the governor's five-year strategy for Connecticut's trail system.

oakridgedairy.com

Connecticut has added the largest dairy farm in the state to its farmland preservation program.

slack12 / Creative Commons

A new federal plan for Long Island Sound aims to protect thousands of acres of open space and reduce beach closures caused by sewage leaks.

Vermonters are proud of many things: maple syrup, skiing, a presidential candidate and, of course, cheddar cheese.        

Yale University

Yale University has recently added 4,400 solar panels to the roof of a storage building on the school's West Campus, prompting officials to say it may be the largest solar installation in Connecticut at this time.

Neanderthals have long been recognized as humans’ closest relatives. They were highly intelligent, skilled hunters, with a rugged build, and a knack for toolmaking.

Eric Hunt flickr.com/photos/ericinsf/28907735 / Creative Commons

With the emphasis on pumpkins, apples, and chrysanthemums at this time of year, it's easy to forget those subtropical bulbs that have faded with the cold weather. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The I-84 viaduct in Hartford -- the “futureless freeway” that divided neighborhoods and demolished historic architecture when it was built in the 1960s -- will most likely meet its end in the next decade.

The state is exploring options for reconstruction, looking for feedback from communities in and around Hartford on whether they should replace or renovate the current structure, bring it to ground level, lower it in a trench, or bury the highway in a tunnel. One city resident has a vision for what he thinks would work. 

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