Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vermont Environmental News, July 20, 2010

Firm to pay more taxes for improper logging in Vt | Boston.com
The largest piece of privately owned land in Vermont has been removed from a program that offers landowners tax breaks. State officials cited the owner for improper logging.

Regulators said Plum Creek Timber Co. Inc. violated its forest management plan by cutting too many trees on 140 acres in Lemington. That's part of a 56,000-acre tract owned by the Maine-based company.
Heat blamed for Vermont fish kill | Boston.com
Fishery biologists are blaming the hot weather for the deaths of scores of fish in a Vermont lake.

Eighty-seven fish, mostly northern pike, were found dead in Lake St. Catherine in Wells a week ago.

Shawn Good of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, tells the Rutland Herald that the fish were killed after extreme heat caused water temperatures to rise to 90 degrees in the shallow "little lake" end of Lake St. Catherine.
Vt. company seeks to install solar power panels | Boston.com
A Springfield manufacturer of precision pumping equipment wants to install what it says would be the largest solar power project in the state of Vermont.

Mark Tanny of IVEK Corp. says that if all goes well, the solar panels will be operational by the end of the year.

The plan calls for 936 photovoltaic panels to be installed on IVEK property. It would have a capacity of 2.4 megawatts of power and be able to produce 90 percent of the company's electricity.
Public garden in Burlington, Vt., opposed | Boston.com
A plan for a community garden in Burlington, Vt., is drawing opposition from some neighbors.

The plan for the community garden at Calahan Park has been under discussion for more than six months and is in line to receive a community development block grant.

But some nearby residents say they only recently learned of the proposal and fear it would change the area.

The plan calls for a tool shed and 28 garden plots to be installed in raised beds in the park in Burlington's south end.
Lake Bomoseen Association drafts boat screening plan to stop invasives | Times Argus Online
Worried about invasive species getting into a key southern Vermont body of water, The Lake Bomoseen Association plans to start screening boats going into the lake next summer.

The organization has endorsed a proposal to work with the state to place “greeters” at boating access points to distribute information on invasive species and offer to check boats to see if there is anything that could be of concern.

Lake Bomoseen already has Eurasian milfoil, curly pond leaf and zebra mussels. Breda said there is a long list of other invasive species they hope to keep out.
Solarfest powers on for the 16th year | Times Argus Online
SolarFest entered its second day of revelry Saturday, despite weather reports that its namesake would be absent. Instead, the sun did shine, providing the festival not only with an enjoyably hot day, but also the power needed to run operations.

Solar energy arrays dotted the fields of Forget-Me-Not Farm, pushing green power to the myriad of vendor booths, food stations and musical stages set up for the 16th annual renewable energy festival.
Shelburne Farms develop solar orchard | Times Argus Online
A historic landmark Vermont farm is helping to lead the way toward the energy future with a new “solar orchard.”

Shelburne Farms in Shelburne is working with Colchester-based Green Mountain Power Corp. to develop an array of 770 solar panels on three-quarters of an acre at the farm.

GMP President and CEO Mary Powell says the project is expected to bring the utility very close to its goal set in November of 2008 to install 10,000 solar panels in its service territory within 1,000 days.
State shoots down Casella's landfill plans | WCAX.COM
The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is saying 'no' to a plan to expand Vermont's largest landfill.

Casella Waste Systems, through its local landfill operator New England Waste Services of Vermont, had wanted to clean out the Nadeau dump in Coventry and move the waste into a new landfill cell near Lake Memphremagog.

Now the state has rejected the plan, saying the company failed to demonstrate a need for the variance.

The proposal would have also encroached upon 30,000 square feet of wetlands. Those wetlands feed into Lake Memphremagog, which is the source of drinking water for upwards of 140,000 people.
The forgotten greenhouse gas: Nitrogen | Rutland Herald Online
You may know your carbon footprint, but do you know your nitrogen footprint? Nitrous oxide is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Nitrogen has been pegged as an over-looked cause of climate change and as a culprit in some of the most insidious forms of environmental pollution.

“Nitrogen’s role as a greenhouse gas is mostly as nitrous oxide,” said Jeff Merrell, environmental analyst for the Vermont Agency of Natural Resource’s Air Pollution Control Division.

Nitrous oxide is ranked as one of the leading causes of climate change. It’s one of six gases regulated by the Kyoto Protocol, an international climate change treaty. Nitrous oxide contributes to climate change by absorbing heat from the sun and holding it in the Earth’s atmosphere.