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environment

Courtesy: DEEP

Crews worked Thursday to contain a fire at a scrapyard in Waterbury, which environmental officials said impacted the Naugatuck River.

Pixabay

Preserving agriculture in our state is important. Farmers have the option to preserve their land as farmland in perpetuity. But this risks pushing potential new residents out of farming communities.

Apocalypse When?

Feb 19, 2021
Courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office / Wikipedia

The Doomsday Clock is a metaphor. It moves closer to midnight depending on how close we are to human-made global catastrophe through climate change, nuclear weapons, and pandemics fueled by misinformation and failed leadership. Y’know, the typical folly of humankind.

Find out what time it is from two members of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

Carbon Capture And Brews: Rhode Island Brewery Puts Emissions Back Into Beers

Feb 16, 2021
Grey Sail is the first craft brewery in Rhode Island to install carbon-capturing technology specially designed for microbreweries.
Grey Sail Brewing

After a decade of beer brewing in the beach town of Westerly, Rhode Island, Grey Sail Brewing has grown from a small operation brewing up batches of its signature Flagship Ale to a regional purveyor of more than half a dozen different beers.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Connecticut’s top environmental official said Wednesday she supports a proposal to prohibit the use of firefighting foam containing a family of toxic chemicals of the type that washed into the Farmington River in 2019.

Wood Heat Tax Credit Gives New England Industry ‘Something To Rally Around’

Feb 10, 2021
Proponents say burning wood for heat is more efficient than doing so for electricity.
Alex Lazaro / Creative Commons

Congress included the new tax credit in December’s COVID-19 stimulus bill, offering 26 percent off the cost of installing high-efficiency wood boilers.

New England’s wood heat industry is hoping a new tax credit and marketing campaign can convince more homeowners to buy a high-efficiency wood boiler.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

Gov. Ned Lamont said last week that he doesn’t want to build a proposed natural gas power plant in Killingly and that he is hamstrung by regional market obligations. But the head of a trade group representing virtually all of the power plants in New England said the state does have some control over whether to approve the project. 

Jim Henkens

We have a complicated relationship with our food. We need food to live; yet, we've become removed from the food we eat and how it's grown and processed.  Even with the best of intentions, today's ultra-processed foods make it hard for us to know exactly what we're eating or how the methods used to mass produce our food are affecting our environment and our health. And I haven't even touched on how food has led to war, famine, poverty, and enslavement.    

Adam Glanzman / Northeastern University

A professor from Northeastern University in Boston is bringing a “justice first” mindset to President Joe Biden’s Department of Energy. Shalanda Baker has been appointed deputy director for energy justice.

While COVID-19 and the state’s budget are likely to dominate the current legislative session, Speaker of the House Matt Ritter said Monday that environmental issues are also on his radar.

John Kees / Wikimedia Commons

During this pandemic, most of the day our eyes are glued to our screens as we continue to work from home. This hour, we challenge you to look outside as we talk about bird watching in our state! 

Sales of bird feeders and bird seed have skyrocketed this year. If you are one of the many people that have picked up birding, look out for cardinals and woodpeckers!

Jesse Costa / WBUR

Severe storms. Heat waves. Rising seas. New England is already seeing the impacts of climate change, and scientists project they will become more severe and deadly, shaping how we live and work in the northeastern U.S.

In a special ahead of Inauguration Day, the New England News Collaborative and America Amplified look at climate change in our region and how President-elect Joe Biden’s administration could affect future climate action. Biden has proposed the most ambitious climate platform of any incoming U.S. president in history.

Coronavirus Habits Disrupted Connecticut Piping Plovers

Dec 22, 2020

Piping plovers had their worst nesting season in over a decade due to impacts of the coronavirus, while other threatened birds were more productive than usual. That’s according to an annual report released by the Connecticut Audubon Society.

In a file photo, the Berlin train station at night.
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

COVID has changed the way we live, work, even move. This hour, we talk about the future of public transportation in Connecticut, with commuter advocate Jim Cameron. We also hear from the State Department of Transportation (DOT) public transit bureau chief.

Ridership has plummeted on rains and buses as many residents continue to work from home. This, even as Connecticut’s often-overlooked bus systems have been critical for many of the state’s essential workers to get to their jobs.

Will Connecticut’s mass transit system be able to recover from the economic toll of COVID?

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

State public health officials have removed a consumption advisory on fish taken from a portion of the Farmington River. That advisory had been in place since June 2019 after a spill at a nearby airport hangar washed thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals into the river.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public

The state’s top environmental official continued to thread an awkward policy needle this week as opponents of a proposed natural gas power plant in Killingly reaffirmed their call for the project’s termination. The commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said the project secured key go-aheads because of problems in broader regional energy markets.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Elected officials across Connecticut testified before state regulators Monday that electric utility Eversource repeatedly failed to provide critical updates on power restoration in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias, which knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of customers earlier this year.

The MIRA trash-to-energy plant in Hartford, which is now slated to shut down in 2022
Cloe Poisson / Connecticut Mirror

For years, Connecticut sent large portions of waste to the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA) trash-to-energy plant in Hartford. This, in spite of protests by Hartford residents, who say pollution from the plant has caused health problems. Now, the plant will close in 2022.

Today, we talk with Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes about the state's garbage.

The commissioner has said the state is facing a “waste crisis” in coming years. So what’s the solution?

Three coyote pups in the Bronx, captured in a camera trap image
Gotham Coyote Project

Have you spotted a coyote in your neighborhood? These carnivores can live just about everywhere, from Canada to Central America, from California to -- just recently -- Long Island.

This hour, we talk with two researchers that study coyotes. We learn about how coyotes have expanded their range over the last 200 years to cover much of North America.

As other species have struggled to survive amidst human habitat destruction, why has the scrappy coyote been able to thrive?  We want to hear from you, too. Do you have coyotes in your town or city?

Do you like seeing them or do you worry they will snag your cat for supper?

After decades of burning trash, the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA) will close its Hartford incinerator by July 2022. That means hundreds of thousands of tons of trash will be destined for out-of-state landfills, a costly reality that has state and municipal officials questioning how to quickly reduce trash volumes.

One solution? Recycling leftover food.

Cloe Poisson / Connecticut Mirror

For decades, millions of tons of trash have been put on a truck and shipped to the banks of the Connecticut River in Hartford.

There, inside an incinerator, trash from dozens of communities is burned and turned into power. But recent years brought problems to the plant, as age, mechanical failures and ever-changing energy market forces aligned to cause the plant’s operator to threaten permanent closure.

NOAA Permit #932-1905

The tension between protecting the environment and people’s livelihoods is on full display in the new documentary “Entangled,” a film that focuses on one of the world’s most endangered species – the North Atlantic right whale – and the lobster industry, which is the most valuable fishery in North America.

SCSU student Asma Rahimyar stands on the university campus
Southern Connecticut State University

Asma Rahimyar was the first person in her family to be born in the U.S. after her parents left Afghanistan fleeing conflict. This hour, the 20 year old Connecticut resident joins us to talk about another first. She’s Southern Connecticut State University’s first-ever Rhodes Scholar.

Leggings, slippers, t-shirts - it’s our at home office dress code! What are you wearing these days?

Courtesy: Sierra Club

A new study of natural gas infrastructure in Connecticut says harmful amounts of methane are leaking from aging underground gas pipes. The findings add to an emerging body of science demonstrating the scale of methane leaks in America.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

State Attorney General William Tong said Wednesday utilities Eversource and United Illuminating should immediately compensate ratepayers for food and medicine lost during Tropical Storm Isaias.

Tong’s remarks opened three days of scheduled public comment on how utilities prepared for and responded to Tropical Storm Isaias. But on Wednesday, only a handful of people joined the call to share their stories. 

Beef cattle standing in a field
Carmen Baskauf / WNPR

Do you worry about how you’re everyday actions contribute to climate change? You may think about the carbon gas-burning cars are putting into the atmosphere, or coal-powered electricity in your houses.

But what about the food you eat?

This hour we talk about the role of the livestock industry on putting carbon into the atmosphere. Are our carnivorous habits contributing to the climate crisis?

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

It took Rich Scalora and his crew four days to drive from Connecticut to the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation in northwest California. Normally they’d hop on a plane and be there in a day. But this year COVID-19 forced the 10-person crew onto the road, for a drive out West that contained hints of what they’d face in California. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Connecticut’s ban on utility shut-offs during the COVID-19 pandemic will expire at the end of the month, but state regulators said last week that utility companies haven’t done enough to educate customers about alternative payment programs. 

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, we listen back to a conversation about the environmental and social costs of "fast fashion". 

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