Environment | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Environment

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

If you rent or can’t put solar panels on your roof but you want to support solar energy, you can subscribe to what’s called “shared solar” and get a credit to lower your electric bill. But regulators in Connecticut say the state’s two biggest electric utilities are dragging their feet on developing rules for the program.

Diliff / Wikimedia Commons

Listen Tuesday at 9:00 am.

Amid the constant discussion of Connecticut residents leaving the state, the shoreline may soon be home to five new residents: Beluga whales. 

Mystic Aquarium has petitioned the federal government for permission to import five captive belugas to join its wildlife on display. Mystic says the move would help research to aid conservation efforts. But critics say the proposal is not only hazardous for the whales but also against US law.

twojciac / Creative Commons

This year residents of Waterbury could be seeing a number of trees trimmed or removed. That’s because nearly 170 miles of city streets are slated to be targeted by tree trimming crews from Eversource, the state’s largest utility.

A scene from the 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show
The West End (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Indoor flower shows are a very unique American phenomena. It all started in Philadelphia when gardeners got tired of winter and began holding events to show off their prized indoor houseplants and flower arranging skills. What started as a simple get together among garden clubs has bloomed into a huge industry. The biggest show is the Philadelphia Flower Show, but I like the smaller local shows like the one in Connecticut.

In Connecticut, Low-Income Customers Will See Solar Savings Appear On Bills

Feb 18, 2020
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Utilities — not solar developers — will be tasked with signing up lower-income customers under final rules for a Connecticut shared solar program.

The model, recently adopted by state regulators, is meant to simplify the subscription process and better protect consumers while improving access to solar savings for low- to moderate-income households.

The Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut

Experts in the local maple syrup industry are concerned that mild winter weather could lead to a drop in production.

PFAS chemical contamination
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

The proposed budget adjustments announced earlier this month by Gov. Ned Lamont include the addition of nearly $1 million to address a growing environmental concern: per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

Connecticut Towns Want Permission To Buy Clean Power On Behalf Of Residents

Feb 15, 2020
Chion Wolf / WNPR

A growing list of Connecticut towns want to play a bigger role in procuring clean energy, but first they need state lawmakers to give them the authority.

Known as community choice aggregation, the model gives local governments the right to buy power on behalf of their residents, enabling them to focus on buying more renewable energy or lowering costs, or both.

Do you know where your roses came from?
Han N (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Valentine's Day is the traditional time to give and get cut flowers. But it might be good to be a discerning shopper when buying cut flowers. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

After months of negotiation, Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont said a deal to revitalize State Pier in New London is finalized. 

Updated at 11:00 p.m.

After more than a year and a half of mediation, the U.S. EPA New England office, General Electric and cities and towns along the Housatonic River have agreed to dispose some toxic PCB sediment at a site near the Lee-Lenox line, about 1,000 feet from the river. But not all participants in the mediated settlement agree with the decision. 

Mike Mozart / Flickr

How often do you buy new clothing?

Stores like H&M and Forever 21 sell new styles at low prices, making it easy to constantly update your wardrobe. But, this hour: the environmental and social costs of "fast fashion". 

From unsafe garment factories to pollution in rivers, we hear about impacts of the fashion industry from journalist Jasmin Malik Chua.

Charlie Nardozzi has some tips about planting and growing trees.
oatsy40 (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Americans are moving less. In 2019 less than 10 percent of the population changed homes and locations. That's the lowest level since 1947. For gardeners that means it's an opportunity to plant more longer lasting plants like trees.

veteran protests for environmental protection
Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

Holding colorful picket signs, wearing shirts reading “Frack No” and doing lots of chanting, protesters made their way from the headquarters of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in Hartford to the steps of the state Capitol Wednesday afternoon.

PFAS chemicals
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

State officials announced Tuesday that PFAS levels in a polluted portion of the Farmington River appear to be dropping. As a result, an earlier ban on eating fish taken from the river has been relaxed to one meal a month.  

ice climbing
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Paige Cox and I can relate. When it comes to climbing ice, we’re both freaked out. 

“It’s water and it melts. I’m terrified. But it’s going to be great,” Cox said.

Wood Thrush
Paul J. Fusco

Have you noticed fewer sparrows or warblers flitting about your backyard? Bird populations in North America have been declining for years, but in 2019, the data was particularly grim. Two-thirds of bird species are at risk of extinction due to climate change and urbanization, according to recent studies. What does that mean for Connecticut’s birds?

Houseplants.
F. D. Richards (Flickr) / Creative Commons

It seems everyone is growing houseplants. But with their popularity, comes problems. Not all houseplants are easy to grow and some are more prone to dry indoor conditions, lack of light, and insects. Here's are some solutions to your houseplant problems.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Wanjiku Gatheru is the daughter of Kenyan immigrants and a first-generation American. Now, the UConn senior has made university history as the school’s first-ever Rhodes Scholar.

The State of Connecticut

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act introduced a new initiative, the Opportunity Zones Program, to spur investment in the nation’s most distressed communities. The state of Connecticut is home to 72 Opportunity Zones. What efforts are being made to attract investors to these regions? This hour, we find out, and we also hear from you. Do you live in or near an Opportunity Zone? 

Credit Kenneth Catania

They might look like something out of science fiction, but star-nosed moles are real-life creatures that can be found along the East Coast, including in Connecticut. These small, furry mammals are a bit larger than a house mouse and live underground in wetlands, digging tunnels with their enormous claws.

But their most distinctive feature is their pink, star-shaped nose.

Rob Russell / Wikimedia Commons

Scientists estimate bush fires in Southeastern Australia have killed hundreds of millions of animals. This hour, we talk about the fires’ impact on biodiversity.

And we learn about how climate change is shaping wildfire patterns around the globe. Are severe natural disasters becoming the “new normal”?

You can help pollinators like butterflies, bees and other creatures.
oatsy40 (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Many gardeners are familiar with the plight of native butterflies, bees and birds. Pesticides, habitat loss and climate change have dramatically decreased wildlife populations worldwide. Often gardeners feel like there's little we can do to help these creatures. But garden enthusiasts in Connecticut have a plan and you can help!

Gloxinia.
Eric Hunt (Flickr) / Creative Commons

This common florist plant originated from Brazil. The original species featured large, bell-shaped, lavender-colored flowers on plants with big, hairy leaves. Through breeding there are now selections ranging in colors from pink to dark purple with single or double flowers. This potted plant can be grown as a summer annual and as a houseplant. It's the gloxinia.

Matt Henry photos / Creative Commons

The state’s commissioner of energy and environmental protection said Wednesday that Connecticut is being forced to invest in natural gas plants it doesn’t want or need.

NOAA / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

A federal appeals court has upheld the creation of the Atlantic Ocean’s first marine national monument. It’s the latest judicial validation for an Obama-era decision, which was praised by environmentalists.

Paddy Abramowicz

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted Friday in support of a bill to aggressively police a family of “forever” chemicals, but the bill faces an uphill battle to become law. 

vladdythephotogeek / Creative Commons

Connecticut and two other states have withdrawn a federal lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency. At issue was pollution from Pennsylvania and Virginia blowing into the Northeast.

These are specially designed wheelchair accessible garden beds.
Irene Scott / AusAID

Many gardeners are tired of bending, kneeling and squatting to garden. If you're looking for a better way to garden that's easier on your back and legs, try elevated raised beds.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The head of a trash-to-energy plant in Hartford says its ability to stay operational is “in doubt.” 

Pages