Friday, June 18, 2010

Vermont Environmental News, June 17, 2010

Biomass not dead in Vt., officials say: Times Argus Online
When Massachusetts environmental officials released a report last week proclaiming that biomass energy has a larger carbon footprint than burning coal, some proclaimed it as the death of the famed renewable energy source.

Chris Recchia worked on that report, released last Friday by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences. And as the executive director of the Montpelier-based Biomass Energy Resource Center, Recchia said the conclusion was incorrect.
Vermont nonprofits to share $1.7M in clean energy grants | The Burlington Free Press | Burlington, Vermont
Colleges, hospitals and other non-profits will share in $1.7 million in grants from a Vermont state fund designed to promote clean energy.

The Clean Energy Development fund announced on Wednesday will help institutions ranging from Middlebury College and Vermont Law School to North Country Hospital in Newport and the Brattleboro Retreat.
Oil and gas industry contributions to House panel | WCAX.COM
A look at how much members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee received in political contributions from oil and gas interests since the beginning of 2009. Contributions are from political action committees run by oil and gas companies and from individuals employed by those companies.
Vermont’s Green Front : The Green Mountain State Is Having Trouble Living Up to Its Image (By Brian Colleran)
Vermont is nationally regarded as a place of long bloodlines, socialist Senators, working landscapes, eco-conscious businesses and vast tracts of forest. This woodsy, roll-up-the-sleeves image of the state’s environment, politics and economy is a major part of what constitutes the Vermont “brand,” attracting residents and businesses, and giving Vermont products that certain cachet.

Historically, the state’s been able to flaunt its progressive legislation, such as the ban on billboards in 1968 and Act 250 in 1970, which required that large land development projects must meet a set of criteria to prevent local municipalities and ecosystems from being overwhelmed by poorly executed projects. The Agricultural and Managed Forest Land Use Value Program (or Current Use Program), passed in 1978, helped protect working forests. Due to these programs, Vermont has, in general, managed to maintain its rural flavor and unique character. But some are arguing that the state needs to step up to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Water Technology Online
Vermonters for a Clean Environment’s Executive Director Annette Smith and a member of People Concerned about Chloramine will be testifying at 10a on Thursday, June 17 before the Pennsylvania House Health and Human Services Committee. The committee is holding a public hearing on the use of chloramine as a disinfectant in water treatment.

Smith’s testimony is part of VCE’s support of legislation in Pennsylvania to place a moratorium on the further use of chloramine in the state.
Town of Charlotte, Vermont -- Draft Amendment to Allow Farm Caf├ęs in the Rural District
The Charlotte Planning Commission meets today to consider an amendment allowing farms to sell prepared food from their products on-site. Click above to learn more.