Patrick Skahill | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Patrick Skahill

Reporter

Patrick Skahill is a reporter at WNPR. He covers science and the environment. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. 

He can be reached by phone at 860-275-7297 or by email: pskahill@ctpublic.org.

reservoir
Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

The Metropolitan District Commission is slated to vote Monday night on a water proposal that would give a discount to its biggest customer, a bottled water company. 

solar panel
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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.” 

Jarrod Carruthers / Creative Commons

A major U.S. insurer headquartered in Connecticut said it will cut ties with certain fossil fuel companies. The Hartford said in December that it will no longer invest in or provide insurance coverage to companies that generate more than a quarter of their revenues from coal mining or the extraction of oil from tar sands.

Paddy Abramowicz

Federal officials have earmarked more than $250 million to address concerns related to PFAS chemical contamination. The money was set aside as part of a spending package approved by Congress earlier this month, but it’s unclear what impact the dollars will have locally.

UConn School of Engineering

In homes in which a family member has autism, day-to-day tasks can be challenging. One family is now trying to solve some of those issues, by pairing up with engineering students from the University of Connecticut.

UnconventionalEmma / Creative Commons

Richard Cowles said owning a Christmas tree farm is magical. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy says the NCAA is not prioritizing the health of student-athletes. In a report released Monday, Murphy cited the governing body of college sports for failing on issues like football concussions, brain injury, and policing coaches who put athletes at risk.

kateausburn / Creative Commons

After years of debate, a solar array spread over more than 130 acres in Simsbury is operational and producing power. Representatives for the Tobacco Valley Solar Farm notified the state Siting Council in a letter Tuesday. 

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

When we think about animals that inhabit the cold New England ocean, sharks, seals, or lobsters may spring to mind. But there’s another critter lurking in the deep off our coast, and it’s one that may hold valuable secrets that could help its tropical cousins.

And you may not have even known that it’s actually an animal: coral. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The city of Bridgeport is the big winner in the state’s latest offshore wind acquisition. “Park City Wind,” a proposal from developer Vineyard Wind, was selected by state officials Thursday and is being billed as the largest purchase of renewable energy in state history. 

Nicole Leonard

The town of Canton said water at Cherry Brook Primary School is safe to drink after a recent scare over chemical contamination.

Schools Superintendent Kevin Case said this week that testing indicates two wells that feed the school are not contaminated with a family of chemicals called per and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

Dave Sizer / Creative Commons

Delegates from almost 200 countries have begun a two-week international climate conference in Madrid that seeks to step up efforts to stop global warming.

The summit attracted country delegations, along with NGOs and nonprofits from around the world. More than a dozen students from UConn are also attending.

PFAS-filled aqueous film forming foam in the brook behind Paddy Abramowicz’s home in Windsor, Connecticut.
Paddy Abramowicz

After a B-17 plane crashed at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut, some of the PFAS in the firefighting foam washed out of the airport and into nearby communities.

A few days after the crash, Paddy Abramowicz, who lives a 5-minute drive from the airport, says she was walking by the brook in her backyard when she saw piles of firefighting foam more than 10 feet high.

"It looked like a washing machine had exploded,” says Abramowicz, “and it was coming over both banks of the brook.”

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Wayzaro Walton was released from federal detention Wednesday and will be reunited with her wife and daughter. 

vxla/Flickr

There are some things we claim to know about Thanksgiving and the arrival of the Pilgrims that are correct: the white settlers and Native Americans really did get together, have a feast and play games. But there are many facts we get completely wrong. For one, the Pilgrims were not called Pilgrims when they arrived. And sociologist James Loewen, author of “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong,” says they were not coming to the Americas for religious freedom.

Tony Webster / Creative Commons

The state’s top prosecutor said four so-far unissued reports on fatal police shootings in the Hartford Judicial District are “untimely.” But in a memo to the state’s Criminal Justice Commission, Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane said the delays “may be understandable,” and he doesn’t recommend that Hartford State’s Attorney Gail Hardy be fired.

Rosie O'Beirne / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness announced Thursday it will receive a $2.5 million grant from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Day 1 Families Fund. 

Jiri Nedorost / Creative Commons

Gun season for deer hunting in Connecticut begins Wednesday.

 

Over the past few years, the state has expanded its hunting seasons and relaxed deer hunting restrictions.

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

An invasive weed that’s toxic to livestock and resistant to herbicides has turned up in Connecticut. The state announced Thursday that Palmer amaranth, a type of pigweed, was discovered this fall in two pumpkin fields in East Windsor.

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