Monday, April 26, 2010

Vermont Environmental News, April 26, 2010

Wetlands return along LaPlatte River in Hinesburg | The Burlington Free Press
The ooze beneath her boots bodes well, says Andrea Morgante; the squelch of her Wellingtons signals the return of a wetland. So does the call of peepers and geese. For the past week, Morgante, a Hinesburg Selectboard member, and a gang of four tree-planters have worked to speed the return of water-loving flora and fauna on this riverside stretch of the old Bissonette Farm, south of Hinesburg Village.
New England to upgrade electric grid to cut bills -
Power companies in New England are beginning work on a nearly half-billion-dollar plan to upgrade the region's electric grid to make way for appliances that can shut down to reduce electric bills, improve energy conservation and connect to wind and solar energy.
Up to 200 Vermont dairy farms could fail soon, state says | The Burlington Free Press
As many as 200 Vermont dairy farms could be forced out of business by year’s end, the result of volatile milk prices that hammered farmers’ finances during the past year’s price collapse, the state Department of Agriculture has concluded.
Chittenden County communities object to costs, mandates in stormwater plan | The Burlington Free Press
The state of Vermont has a plan for restoring stormwater-damaged streams in Chittenden County: Make nine communities, two government agencies and the University of Vermont responsible for getting the job done within 10 years. Parts of the plan, embodied in a proposed stormwater permit, drew sharp protests last week from most of the communities, although none disputed the importance of reducing stormwater pollution. In comments filed with the Agency of Natural Resources, the cities and towns argued that the proposed permit would impose potentially large costs on residents and property owners, set unreasonable deadlines, and hand off to local government responsibilities and costs that rightly belong to the state.
VPR News: Mount Snow Plans 900 New Housing Units
The owners of Mount Snow say they plan to redesign the resort to look more like an authentic Vermont village. As VPR's Susan Keese reports, it's a trend in the ski industry.
Finally, Vermont gets a plan for e-waste: Times Argus Online
Do you have a basement, office or garage stuffed full of old televisions, computers, obsolete cell phones, PDAs and other electronic appliances? Starting next year it will be free – and environmentally safe — for many Vermonters to dispose of these unwanted items under a new law passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. James Douglas last week.
After 40 years, Act 250 still works - Brattleboro Reformer
Forty years ago this spring, Act 250, the landmark legislation created to control irresponsible development, became law in Vermont.
An update on acid rain in Vermont - WCAX.COM
Several decades have passed since acid rain became a common catch phrase in most American households. Scientists and environmental groups blamed Midwest power producers, claiming that sulfur from coal power plants was entering the atmosphere, polluting the air and falling in the form of acid rain over places like New England, polluting lakes and killing trees. More than 30 years later the battle has subsided but scientists say acid rain hasn't gone away
The Lake goes social, and Green gets a new award | The Burlington Free Press
ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center this week launched an online social media platform at in conjunction with The Burlington Free Press. ECHO and the Free Press also announced they would jointly sponsor a new annual recognition program for conservationists that will culminate in an awards ceremony every year on Earth Day starting in 2011. An advisory group of experts was asked to define the awards project.
For towns, energy issues prove vexing: Times Argus Online
Poultney's planning commission had a handful of issues it wanted to look at when a five-year rewrite of the town plan began earlier this month. One particular issue, though, was at the top of the list. "The first thing we're going to be talking about is energy," commission member Ernest DeMatties said. Poultney, a small town southwest of Rutland, has several potential turbine locations tied to a proposed wind farm, and the commission plans to pay careful attention to renewable energy issues in the new plan. DeMatties was careful to avoid taking a position for or against wind towers.