Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Vermont Environmental News, April 28, 2010

VPR News: Shelburne Farms Experiments With Biochar
An experiment at Shelburne Farms recently brought some visitors from Massachusetts to showcase a material called biochar. Biochar is made in a massive black cooker, complete with smokestack and temperatures reaching into the hundreds of degrees, wood is fed into the bottom of the machine and in the top, wood is superheated and baked into the black substance. Biochar can be made with any organic matter. In this case they're burning a waste pile of pine wood planks.

But what can you do with biochar? Some farmers swear by its use as a soil supplement and some UVM students are studying whether it can be used to clean up Lake Champlain. Biochar advocates told VPR's Mitch Wertlieb that the environmental benefits are numerous.
Vermont judge orders Berlin Pond protection | The Burlington Free Press
A Vermont judge is ordering the public to stay out of the pond that's used as the source of water for the city of Montpelier.

Washington County Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Crawford granted a request by the city of Montpelier that upholds long-standing restrictions on recreational uses of Berlin Pond.
VPR News: Hubbardton Forge To Get Pollution Prevention Award
Hubbardton Forge, a company that makes hand-forged lighting products in Castleton, is being honored by the state for its pollution prevention efforts.

The company is one of the nation's oldest and largest commercial forges. They'll get a Vermont Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention at a May 3 ceremony in Montpelier.

Hubbardton Forge was chosen for refining its mechanical tumbling processes in a way that led to a 97 percent reduction in water use and the elimination of hazardous waste.
Wildlife advocate wins environmental award - WCAX.COM
The first ever Meeri Zetterstrom environmental award was handed out Tuesday. Zetterstrom was known as Grandma Osprey for helping get the birds off the endangered species list. Zetterstrom died this year and Central Vermont Public Service created the award to recognize Vermonters helping the environment. The winner this year is Sally Laughlin.
Breaking: US Approves First Offshore Wind Farm : TreeHugger
After nine agonizing years of intense debate and political battles, the first offshore wind farm to be built in the United States has finally been approved. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar traveled to Cape Cod, Massachusetts to announce that, despite some fierce opposition (from the likes of the Kennedys and Mitt Romney, no less), the 450 megawatt, 130 turbine, $900 million Cape Wind project is becoming a reality.
Vermont attorney general announces plan to reduce lead hazards in Winooski | Vermont Business Magazine
Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell has announced that his office sent letters to owners of sixty five rental properties in Winooski requesting that they demonstrate compliance with the Vermont lead law at the properties. The landlords have been given 90 days to show that they are in compliance with the law.