Friday, July 27, 2012

Vermont Environmental and Land Use Law, July 27, 2012


FEMA said backing away from Vt. funding promise, WCAX
Vermont officials are expressing frustration and alarm at the lack of certainty surrounding how much money the state will get from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help with recovery from Tropical Storm Irene.

Top Shumlin administration officials told lawmakers on Friday the state was expecting to get about 90% of $120 million it needs to replace the Vermont State Hospital and rebuild the state office complex in Waterbury. Both were flooded during the storm.

Deputy Administration Secretary Michael Clasen tells lawmakers new doubts are arising about how much money FEMA will provide, and the same problem appears to extend to FEMA funding for local recovery efforts. Bennington, where the Roaring Branch flooded the downtown during the storm, was told Thursday it won't get FEMA assistance.
Work set to begin on $11.8 million wastewater treatment facility refurbishment in Essex Junction,
Trumbull-Nelson Construction of Hanover, NH, and Montpelier, VT was recently awarded the Essex Junction Wastewater Treatment Facility Refurbishment Project contract for $11.8 million. The estimated year-long upgrade is set to begin immediately.

Trumbull-Nelson will be collaborating with the Project’s designer, Aldrich + Elliott, PC, Water Resource Engineers of Essex Junction to oversee the project’s successful completion.

Improvements to the Essex Junction Wastewater Treatment Facility will enable the plant to operate more effectively and to improve compliance with its State operating permit. Work will include the upgrade of primary and secondary clarifiers and aeration tanks, and provide new tertiary filters, sludge dewatering, chemical feed, refurbishment of the two existing digesters, and new grit collector system. Additionally, the scope includes new pumps, SCADA System work, associated mechanical and electrical requirements, and a geothermal well component.
Upsolar unveils 2.2 MW array in Sharon,
Upsolar, a leading international provider of solar PV modules, has completed the installation of a 2.2 megawatt solar power facility in Sharon. The Sharon project is composed of 9,562 UP-M230 polycrystalline modules, all backed by the Upsolar’s Reinforced Warranty. Featuring trigger points at years 3, 7, 12, 16, 20 and 25, the company’s Reinforced Warranty ensures its modules will maintain high levels of performance over the long term.

Representatives from Upsolar, Talmage Solar Engineering and Tigo Energy will be on hand for a project commissioning ceremony on August 11, 2012 to be held at 301 Commerce Park Drive, Sharon. Constructed by New England-based Talmage Solar Engineering, Inc, the system incorporates Tigo Energy’s Module Maximizer technology to feed optimized renewable energy directly into the local grid.
New REAP zone grants of $200,000 will rehab low-income homes in NEK for energy efficiency,
Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I) and Representative Peter Welch (D) Tuesday announced $200,000 in grants to housing agencies based in Lyndonville and Newport that will be used to rehabilitate homes owned by very low-income households, including boosting their energy efficiency for further savings for these families. The grants account for a third of all available grants made nationwide under the program.

The grants come from the Rural Development branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its Housing Preservation Grant program and were awarded through the Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) Program. The decade-old designation of the Northeast Kingdom as one of the nation’s relatively few REAP Zones makes these grants to the NEK possible.
Small wind turbine approved in Derby, Vt., WCAX
Vermont utility regulators have approved a small wind mill for a hilly field in the community of Derby.

The wind mill would become the fourth of its size in town, which is near Canada.

The Caledonian-Record reports ( the Vermont Public Service Board recently granted a certificate of public good for a 140-foot-tall windmill to Michele Judd in Derby. The small turbine with blades of 23 feet in diameter will go up not far from a similar one owned by her father. The turbine has the capacity to generate 10 kilowatts of electricity.

One neighbor opposed the project, raising concerns about noise and aesthetics. But the board found she did not raise "significant" issues about the turbine.
 photo by bobw235