Thursday, February 3, 2011

Vermont Environmental News, February 3, 2011

Vt. scientists say add bats to endangered list |
Vermont's secretary of Natural Resources is being urged to add two species of once-common bats to the state's endangered species list.

On Tuesday Vermont's Endangered Species Committee recommended that little brown bats and northern long-eared bats be added to the list because their populations have been decimated by white nose syndrome. Being on the list will help protect the species.

Experts say the populations of little brown bats has declined 75 percent and some surveys failed to find any northern long-eared bats.
Vt. Guv orders new committee to oversee nuke plant | WCAX.COM
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is ordering the Department of Public Service to create a committee to oversee the operation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

In announcing the creation of the Vermont Yankee Reliability Oversight Committee, Shumlin cited the ongoing discovery of radioactive tritium in groundwater around the Vernon plant.
VPR News | Legislators Aim To Boost Incentives For Renewable Energy Projects
Legislative leaders are crafting a bill that would expand incentives for renewable energy projects.

The bill sets aggressive targets for clean energy development, and adds money to a fund that could help pay for the projects.

The bill broadens a program known as net metering. This allows utility customers to sell electricity back to their power companies if their home and business has its own renewable generating plant.
Plan to expand biomass plant | WCAX.COM
The city of Montpelier and the state hope to share and expand Vermont's biomass heating plant in the capital.

The state has used wood chips to supplement the oil-fired boilers since the early 1980s to provide heat to 18 state buildings and the capital.

An $8 million federal grant will help the city try to tap into those steam lines to heat its own buildings. It also hopes to create its own utility to provide heat and hot water to private buildings.