Friday, January 7, 2011

Vermont Environmental News, January 7, 2011

Vt. ski resort faces environmental fines | WCAX.COM
A Vermont ski resort has been hit with $80,000 in environmental fines.

The state attorney general's office says the Stratton Corporation and the fire district that provides water to the resort were responsible for two illegal discharges.

In 2004, 800,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater was accidentally released and in 2008, a sewer manhole overflowed, dumping raw sewage.
VY tritium extraction continues | Brattleboro Reformer
Extraction of tritiated water from the ground beneath Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon was restarted on Dec. 30.

The contaminated water is being extracted from two new wells close to the Connecticut River.

"The new wells are located where our hydrological analysis showed tritium was present and heading toward the river," said Larry Smith, Yankee's director of communications.

The extraction was restarted after then Gov.-elect Peter Shumlin toured the plant on Dec. 17 and requested that Entergy, which owns and operates the plant, continue to draw the tritiated water from out of the ground.
Smith announces energy efficiency effort; names House members to committees | Vtdigger.org
On the opening day of the 2011-12 legislative session, Representative Shap Smith, D-Morrisville, was re-elected unanimously as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Upon being sworn in, Speaker Smith outlined his priorities for the next biennium and announced assignments to the House Standing Committees. The Speaker outlined his vision for the greening of Vermont state buildings. As schools, businesses and families across the state deal with the financial burden of rising energy costs, Speaker Smith has directed the House Committee on Corrections and Institutions to work with the incoming administration to improve the energy efficiency of our state building stock by 20 percent.

“By taking action to make our state buildings more energy efficient, state government will show the way for Vermont households, schools and businesses,” said Speaker Smith. “The environmental benefit is huge, the budget savings will be significant and many Vermont jobs will be created. Plus, it is the right thing to do.”
Bald Eagle Recovery Plan in Vermont | Epoch Times
Vermont’s Fish and Wildlife Department recently announced the “adoption of a Bald Eagle Recovery Plan that will guide the restoration and management of bald eagles in the state in future years.”

The eagle, symbol and national bird of the United States, was once on the verge of extinction in the lower 48 states. The federal government declared it an endangered species in 1967 and a vigorous campaign for the restoration of our national bird ensued. The recovery effort was met with great success, and the bald eagle was officially taken off the national list of threatened and endangered species in 2007. Vermont, however, has been slower to reach the goal and the bird remains on the state’s endangered species list.
EPA: The Circ Highway Too Destructive of Vermont Wetlands | Conservation Law Foundation
In a boost for clean air and clean water, the mismanaged and ill-conceived Circ highway planned for Vermont’s Chittenden County faces a potentially fatal blow. The head of EPA in New England described the project as environmentally devastating.

“Even if the mitigation were fully implemented, the proposed project would cause or contribute to significant degradation of waters of the U.S. in violation” of federal law and should not be permitted, according to the EPA.