Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Vermont Environmental News, May 18, 2010

Middlebury College buys into methane | Times Argus Online
Cows may soon join trees in heating up Middlebury College.

The college announced recently it was exploring buying bio-methane for heating from Montpelier-based Integrated Energy Solutions. The school has agreed to buy from the company for 10 years if IES finds financing to put production facilities on Addison County farms.

"It will allow us to shift more of our fuel money out of the global oil economy and into the local farm economy," said Jack Byrne, Middlebury's director of sustainability integration.
Green Mountain Power wins approval for Berlin solar project | The Burlington Free Press | Burlington, Vermont
Vermont's second-largest power company has won state approval to build a new solar power project in Berlin.

Green Mountain Power says the project will generate 200 kilowatt-hours of electricity from 952 solar panels installed on about an acre of land in Berlin.

The company says the project will move it closer to its goal — set 18 months ago — of having it or its customers install 10,000 solar panels in 1,000 days.
Local Dam May Be Hurting Fish Population | WPTZ Plattsburgh
The Swanton Dam, first wood, now concrete, has been around for more than a hundred years. But some say it's time to go.

"I believe that this is the biggest habitat restoration potential project that we have in the state of Vermont," said the commissioner of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, Wayne Laroche.

The commissioner said the dam hurts some fish in Lake Champlain, including endangered species like sturgeon.

"It blocks the passage of fish coming from Lake Champlain up to their historic spawning grounds up at Highgate Falls," Laroche said.
Farmers get settlement to stop runoff | Rutland Herald Online
Farmers in the southern Lake Champlain basin have $250,000 available to fight runoff, state officials said Monday.

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources said that the settlement of a multistate lawsuit against American Electric Power for violations of the federal Clean Air Act included $500,000 for programs benefiting Lake Champlain, to be done cooperatively with New York.

A statement released by ANR secretary Jonathan Wood said that the southernmost corner of the lake shows "profound effects" from phosphorous pollution and the money would help farmers keep phosphorous out of the lake.