Environment | Connecticut Public Radio


From The DEP To The EPA

Oct 28, 2011
Chion Wolf

The federal EPA is under attack. From Republican lawmakers and some businesses who say their regulations choke off commerce...and from some environmentalists who think they haven’t been forceful enough in safeguarding our air, water and land.

Our recent program looked at several bills, passed in the House, that would weaken the EPA’s regulatory authority. Some Midwest states are challenging new rules going into effect in January that would force them to reduce harmful emissions that float downwind into our airspace.

Courtesy of Shedd Aquarium By Keith Pamper

Partnerships are common at zoos and aquariums for breeding programs but what does it take to transfer animals across the country safely?  Especially if the animal you're talking about is a 2100 pound beluga whale?

Kristine Magao, Supervisor of Belugas, at Mystic Aquarium spoke with WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil about the recent journey of Naluark, a male beluga whale who came to Mystic from Chicago's John G Shedd Aquarium.

Scenic Views and Walking Shoes

Oct 20, 2011
Emily Judd

The scenic views, the history and the activities that Wickham Park offers is an experience no one will soon forget. On a warm day in July, Park Director Jeff Maron showcased the non-profit park to the Media Lab beginning at the park’s newest addition, the Sensory Garden. The sights, sounds and smells of the year-old garden were unique and inclusive, making the experience accessible to all. The park took a creative license to include a sixth sense, imagination.

Examining Environmental Regulations

Oct 19, 2011
thoth, creative commons

The EPA has been criticized for being both “regulators gone wild” and “regulators gone missing.”

The Environmental Protection Agency has been the target of legislation passed in recent weeks by the Republican-led House.  The bills aim to gut existing regulations - while forcing the agency to examine the economic impact of the work it does.  This movement the heart of a new book by Richard Trzupek about how many Republicans think the EPA kills jobs.

Deb Heinrich

Oct 13, 2011
creative commons

Our recent conversation with Robert Egger, the social enterprise pioneer, got us thinking more about the role of non-profits in the state.  In fact, he thinks Connecticut has a leg up in the way it thinks about the non-profit sector, having appointed Deb Heinrich, a former state lawmaker, to the job as “liason” earlier this year.  We sat down earlier this week with Heinrich to talk about “social enterprise” and the scope of her work for Governor Malloy.

Yow Wray (Flickr Creative Commons)

Gone Fly Fishin'

Sep 23, 2011
Tucker Ives

Connecticut attracts people from all over the country for one of its natural resources: the Farmington River.

The reason people come to this river is for fly fishing.

Every day, you see them: The men and increasingly, the women, who stand - silently - in the middle of the river in their waders and vests, constantly casting in hopes of the perfect catch.

But what makes the Farmington River so ideal for anglers?

Vermont to Connecticut Tourists: We're Open for Business

Sep 22, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

Vermont is a big tourist destination for people in Connecticut who enjoy the outdoors.  As the foliage season begins Vermont’s Office of Tourism says most of the state has recovered from Tropical Storm Irene and is "open for business". WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

Ryan Wick (Flickr Creative Commons)

In a world where everything we do seems tied to science and technology, a quote like this is pretty scary:

Leon Botstein, the president of leading liberal arts college Bard, told the New York Times:

“The most terrifying problem in American university education is the profound lack of scientific literacy for the people we give diplomas to who are not scientists or engineers,”

Technical High School Builds Lab For Green Trades

Sep 21, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

Connecticut’s Technical High School System is building energy-efficient buildings that will serve as laboratories for students to learn about green technology. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports the first one opened this week

Nancy Eve Cohen

About three weeks after Irene hit people in some areas of Vermont have been living without phone service, impassable roads and a scarred landscape.  WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports some Vermont residents are worn out physically and emotionally.

The Rock River in South Newfane flows through the back yard of Maureen Albert-Piascik. She says when Irene hit the river started to crest and she evacuated.

"it just went up so fast. The river was just so high the next thing I knew my house was surrounded by water." 

Irene Took A Swipe At Hammonasset Beach State Park

Sep 14, 2011

The impact of Tropical Storm Irene is still being felt in some locations, including state parks. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports Hammonasset Beach State Park sustained a lot of damage.

The preliminary estimate for the cost of repairing damage at all of the state parks is about $10 million. $7 million of that is just at Hammonasset where some of the dunes were blown away and old cedar trees at the campground took a hit.  Environmental Deputy Commissioner Susan Frechette says the storm surge did the most damage at West Beach.

Nancy Eve Cohen

The U-S Environmental Protection Agency has decided to meet with biologists from the states of Connecticut and Massachusetts to discuss the clean up plan for the Housatonic River. As WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports the meetings will delay the release of EPA’s clean-up proposal.

Flooding Causes Sewage To Overflow

Sep 8, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

Heavy rains today have brought some flooding in urban areas across Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports in a few places the sewage system has been affected.

In Connecticut the ground is saturated and there’s still a lot of debris left over from Tropical Storm Irene, clogging up storm drains. That means there aren’t a lot of places for storm water to go. Dennis Greci with Connecticut’s environmental agency says in some cases flooded streets have drained into the sewage system and overflowed.

Courtesy of NASA Goddard Photo and Video

It's been a little more than a week since Tropical Storm Irene blew through Connecticut causing widespread damage and power outages. On Thursday, FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers will open across the state to respond to homeowners and businesses affected by the storm.

WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil spoke with Scott Divico of the State Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. He says it's important for residents and business owners to register first with FEMA. The number is 1-800-621-3362 or www.disasterassistance.gov

Flickr Creative Commons, Rhys Asplundh

So. Bought your generator yet? During the long power outage, everybody, it seemed, became a preparedness expert, if not an out and out survivalist. But it's a mentality you might find hard to hold on to. You have to buy food you're NOT going to eat right away.

Still Recovering From Irene

Sep 2, 2011
Chion Wolf

Five days ago, Tropical Storm Irene battered Connecticut and put nearly a million utility customers in the dark.

Still, Governor Dannel Malloy says the biggest issue facing the state is “power, power, power, power.”

Homes from Bristol to East Haven have been destroyed by flooding. Outages have pushed back school openings by more than a week in some districts.

Nancy Eve Cohen

In Connecticut losing power has been a big problem post Irene. In Vermont people have had a hard time getting around. About 65 roads are closed there and dozens of bridges are out . WNPR’s Nancy Cohen took a road trip in the southern part of the state and found some people are still stuck at home.

On route 112 in Halifax a stretch of road is missing. The asphalt has caved into the North River. A guard rail  is under water.  But  despite the conditions Brianna Inman is heading northwest to Whitingham

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

Vermont Town Devastated By Irene Is Moving Forward

Aug 31, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

In Wilmington Vermont the town is picking up after  the devastating floods of Tropical Storm Irene.  WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

Just outside of the village center the remains of an antique shop sit on the side of the road. Only the roof is left.

"It came all the way from around that corner about a quarter of a mile."

Steve Amidon and his crew from  Furlon Construction are taking the building apart.

“Oh this one’s pretty heavy! Just cleaning up the mess! That’s all we’ve been doing since the water went down.”

Malloy Tours Irene Ravaged Areas

Aug 30, 2011

Nearly half a million Connecticut residents and businesses are still without power after Hurricane Irene. Governor Dannel Malloy took a tour of storm affected parts of the state Tuesday.

Stopping at a hurricane ravaged beachfront community in Fairfield, Governor Malloy asked for patience in the face of continued outages.

"Energy is going be the big issue, and it's going to be the big issues for the next 7 days. That's a reality."

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

Lucy Nalpathanchil

Many expected Tropical Storm Irene to heavily damage Connecticut's coast, but the central part of the state also saw damage after rivers and streams flooded there. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports from Bristol where some residents had to be evacuated from their homes.

The Forestville neighborhood saw extensive flooding, it sits right above the Pequabuck River on the east side of Bristol.

Nancy Eve Cohen

Although some people may have found Irene’s punch to be weaker than they had expected, others say it was more than enough. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports on evacuations on the Westfield River in western Massachusetts.

About midday, officials in Chester heard of a possible breach at a dam upstream of town That was enough to evacuate about 50 people there who lived close to the Westfield River.  Further downstream, in Huntington and in Westfield more were evacuated.

Irene Breaks Records

Aug 29, 2011

Irene hit Connecticut as a strong tropical storm Sunday with torrential rains and gusty winds that destroyed coastal homes, toppled trees and left a record 800,000 customers without power, surpassing damage from Hurricane Gloria in 1985. More than eight inches of rain fell.

The storm reached New England weaker than expected as it failed to re-intensify after making initial landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane, but it still destroyed or damaged dozens of beachfront homes in East Haven and nearby communities and undermined sections of seawall, walkways and streets.

After Irene

Aug 29, 2011
Chion Wolf

Depending on where you live, this storm was either all hype - or a major disaster.

If you had power yesterday, and no trees came down in your backyard, you might have thought - “what’s all the fuss?”  

Governor Urges Citizens To Prepare For Irene Now

Aug 27, 2011

Governor Dannel Malloy is urging residents to prepare now for Hurricane Irene, rather than wait until it arrives. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports

Governor Malloy is asking citizens who are at risk of flooding and who live along the shore or close to rivers and streams to leave their homes soon.

Preparing For Irene

Aug 25, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

State emergency officials are actively preparing for Irene’s arrival. The hurricane is predicted to hit Connecticut late Sunday afternoon in Stamford. But the timing and location could change. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

Earthquake In Virginia Rocks Connecticut... And North

Aug 23, 2011
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

An earthquake that originated in Virginia this afternoon shook buildings in Connecticut forcing people to evacuate. The quake measured 5.9 on the Richter scale.

Just before 2:00 PM buildings rocked sending state workers out of the Capitol, the Department of Transportation and other state office buildings. The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection staff went to the state’s Emergency Operations Center, as a precaution.

Chion Wolf

A new study reports on the economic impact of shifting from gasoline --- to fuels with lower carbon emissions. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports the study focused on 11 Northeast and mid-Atlantic states