Monday, May 3, 2010

Vermont Environmental News, May 3, 2010

EPA will reconsider Lake Champlain cleanup plan | The Burlington Free Press | by Candace Page
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency formally agreed this week to reconsider its 2002 approval of the Lake Champlain cleanup goals, an action that could lead eventually to tougher controls on lake pollution. The EPA’s decision came in response to a 2008 lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Burlington by the Conservation Law Foundation. CLF alleges the pollution-reduction goals set for the lake are deeply flawed, and the EPA erred in approving them.
VPR News: Advocates Say Vermont Lags In Wind Power
Renewable energy advocates say Vermont lags behind other New England states in supporting large-scale wind projects. They cite a recent decision by developers to postpone a controversial wind project in Ira as evidence that the state is an unfriendly place to do business. But those who question wind turbines on ridgelines say Vermont needs to maintain environmental standards for all development - including renewable energy. VPR's John Dillon reports.
Investing: Smart grid offers investment opportunity | The Burlington Free Press| by Ian Wyatt
Each summer rolling blackouts and disruptive power outages remind us that in spite of being the world's most developed country, the United States still faces the challenges of meeting increased energy demand with aging technology. There's a profit opportunity for astute investors to hop on board with what's known as "the smart grid" -- which is just a catchy way of saying upgrade our infrastructure.
House supports restrictions on BPA: Times Argus Online
The Vermont House has approved legislation that would restrict the use in the state of bisphenol A, a chemical used in plastic water bottles and other food containers. The bill phases out BPA in reusable food and beverage containers and in jars and cans that contain baby food and infant formula.
Trail Hit a Bump: Act 250 | Seven Days
For more than a decade, outdoor enthusiasts have gazed longingly at the former railroad line that runs between Swanton and St. Johnsbury, contemplating its enormous recreational potential. The 93.2-mile railbed, which is currently owned by the state, traverses scenic stretches of three counties and 20 municipalities in Vermont’s northern tier. It also intersects several existing recreational trails, including the 26-mile Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail at Sheldon Junction. Once completed, the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, as it’s called, would become New England’s longest year-round recreational trail and the “backbone” for a network of trails statewide.
Vermont State Parks announces renewable energy innovation challenge | Vermont Business Magazine
At the Sunward solar manufacturing facility in Winooski today, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) and Governor Jim Douglas kicked off a new initiative offering Vermont companies the opportunity to demonstrate their newest renewable energy and energy conservation products in the Vermont State Park system. The new initiative—dubbed the Vermont State Parks Innovation Challenge—is an opportunity for Vermont’s energy companies to connect with park visitors, and benefit from the Vermont State Parks brand, while making a contribution to an important state resource.
PSB visits Vermont Yankee Coalition: Entergy document gets simple physics wrong - Brattleboro Reformer
According to a document submitted by Entergy to the Vermont Public Service Board, cobalt-60 has a half-life of 5.3 years and decays to non-radioactive nickel-65. That's out and out wrong, said Paul Blanch, the New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution's newest technical consultant. "Either they're incompetent or they're hiding something," he said, adding "They're not smart enough to hide something."
Cyclists pedal a ride for green energy future: Times Argus Online
They may not be joining an energy-themed bike ride from the state's capitol to Burlington, but the five Democrats running for governor joined the send-off for dozens of college students hoping for a green energy future Friday. Calling themselves the Race to Replace, the college students have vowed to register 2,000 young Vermonters to vote this year with an eye to electing a new governor who would promise to replace all of Vermont Yankee's energy with green power.
Hydro plan in Pownal could face challenges - Bennington Banner
It remains unclear what challenges a proposed power generation facility at former Pownal Tanning Co.’s hydroelectric dam will face when it comes to getting state and federal permits. The dam, which once provided power to the tanning company, is owned by the town, which hopes to lease it. Recently, the Select Board signed a lease-option agreement with a Burlington company, Encore Redevelopment, which allowed the developer to get the project into a state program that subsidizes "green" and renewable energy projects.
Confessions of a newbie citizen scientist | The Burlington Free Press | by Candace Page
My inaugural run as a citizen scientist did not begin auspiciously. After years of writing about environmental research, it was time to step into the arena myself. I had signed up as a citizen scientist with the North American Amphibian Monitoring Project.
VPR News: Rutland Begins Construction Of Long-Awaited Bike Path
Burlington has one. Stowe has one. And in the coming years, Rutland will have one, too. As VPR's Nina Keck reports, construction has begun on Rutland's long-awaited bike and pedestrian path.