Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Vermont Environmental News, September 8, 2010

Vt. farms damaged by spring frost eligible for aid |
Vermont farms whose crops were damaged by spring frost and freezing are eligible for federal help.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday that it had designated Addison County as a natural disaster area because of the losses.

Farms in nearby Chittenden, Orange, Rutland, Washington and Windsor counties also qualify for natural disaster assistance because of the May 9-13 conditions.
VTC seeks $250,000 for new sustainability center | Times Argus Online
Vermont Technical College Tuesday announced a public campaign to raise $250,000 to renovate a building that will house the college's Center for Sustainable Practices. The money raised during the public campaign will be used to rehabilitate the structure to achieve LEED certification while adhering to the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of the Interior for the rehabilitation of historic structures. The Center for Sustainable Practices will document the entire rehabilitation process and use it as an educational tool for the benefit of others in Vermont and New England who are interested in making similar structures energy efficient while preserving their historic fabric.
Green group moving to Vermont | WCAX.COM
The Organic Trade Association is moving to Vermont. The member-based group promotes and protects the organic brand.

Sen. Patrick Leahy wrote the Organic Standards bill after talking with Vermont farmers about the need for one. Leahy sees the OTA's move to Vermont as coming full circle.

"Everybody said it would be such a niche form of agriculture. It's become a $25 billion part of agriculture and growing," said Leahy, D-Vermont. "Now to have the organization that keeps the standards not only for the United States but also for Canada have them come to Brattleboro and have them hire 20 to 25 people. For me it is a dream come true."
Court Rules Vermont Rec Trail Must Undergo Act 250 Review | Seven Days
Hikers, bikers, snowmobilers, and cross-country skiers won’t be hitting the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail (LVRT) anytime soon. An environmental-court judge has ruled that the proposed rail-trail project, a year-round recreational corridor that would extend from Swanton to St. Johnsbury, must first undergo an Act 250 review before any construction can begin.
Manchester Habitat for Humanity project given Act 250 permit | Rutland Herald Online
The state has granted an Act 250 permit for a long-term project that could see up to 22 units of affordable housing built by the Bennington Area Habitat for Humanity.

The permit, issued on Sept. 2, would allow Habitat for Humanity to start the project planned for the Jennifer Lane area in Manchester.

“This permit specifically authorizes (Habitat for Humanity) to subdivide 11.79 acres into 22 single family house lots and build affordable, approximately 1,100 (square-foot), houses on each lot; with central community septic system and public water supply. At this time, the only house approved is on Lot # 14. Subsequent houses must seek an amendment,” the permit said.