Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Vermont Environmental News, January 5, 2011

Top 10 Environmental Watch List released | WCAX.COM
Congress' failure to adopt climate change legislation, the Gulf oil spill and the nation's first greenhouse gas rules top a list from an environmental law school of the country's 10 most critical environmental and policy issues of 2010.

The list, released Monday by Vermont Law School, outlines regulatory, legislative and other issues of concern in 2010 and what might happen in 2011.
PSB approves CVPS rate hike | WCAX.COM
Electric bills are going up for customers of Vermont's largest utility.

The Vermont Public Service Board has approved a 7.46 percent rate hike for Central Vermont Public Service.

Average residential customers will see their monthly bills go up by about six dollars.
Vermont gets space guarantee in W. Texas nuke dump | The Burlington Free Press
A Texas commission will guarantee Vermont 20 percent capacity in a nuclear dump should it approve a plan to allow 36 states to bring low-level radioactive waste to a site in West Texas. The Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission approved the space for Vermont on Tuesday. The commission is expected to vote on the entire plan later in the day.
VPR News | Pownal Biomass Project Stalls
Plans for wood-fueled power plants in Fair Haven and Pownal have been put on hold.

That will give officials time to decide whether the projects need both a state development review permit and a license from utility regulators.
Science, bugs team up to fight hemlock-eating pest | The Burlington Free Press
For nearly 60 years, scientists have watched helplessly as a war of bug vs. hemlock played out from Georgia to Maine. Now they've got a new weapon in their arsenal — another bug — and say the tide is turning, at least in New England.

The hemlock woolly adelgid, native to Asia, was discovered in Virginia in 1951. Since then, it has spread to suck up the sap of the stately evergreens in at least 16 Eastern states, including in New England, which hasn't lost large numbers of trees yet.

A beetle that eats the adelgid (pronounced uh-DEL-jid) was found in Idaho and was introduced to forests in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and New York in 2007. Since then, entomologists have determined that the predator, which is able to withstand cold weather better than its cousins, is doing its job.