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environment

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.

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. 

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.

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?

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.

Tracking Types Of Terrain That Harbor Disease-Carrying Ticks

Jan 16, 2020
Christine Woodside / C-HIT

On a sunny, cool day as fall gave way to winter, a team of biologists and technicians dragged white cloths through the underbrush at Lord Creek Farm in Lyme. They were looking for blacklegged ticks, which carry Lyme disease and four other deadly illnesses.

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.

Cathy Malin / RiverQuest

They are one of our most recognizable national symbols, but have you ever seen a bald eagle in the wild? This hour we head out of the studio and into the field to see these birds of prey in their natural habitat--right here in Connecticut! We take you along with us on a Winter Wildlife Eagle Cruise down the Connecticut River to view these majestic birds, who nearly faced extinction in this state just a few decades ago.  

Diliff / Wikimedia Commons

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. 

And later: as oceans warm due to climate change, what will the future of marine life conservation look like?

As Conn. Debates, Mass. Sets New Limits On Toxic PFAS Chemicals

Dec 16, 2019
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has released new draft regulations to limit toxic PFAS chemicals in drinking water supplies. The regulations will set the combined limit for six PFAS chemicals at 20 parts per trillion.

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. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Salem, Massachusetts has long been a focal point in the history of early New England witch trials. But Windsor, Connecticut also has a place on this dark historical timeline: as the site of the nation's first witch hanging. This hour, author Beth Caruso joins us to shine light this little-known piece of Connecticut's past, and talk about how it inspired her novel One of Windsor.

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.

rbeard113 / Creative Commons

Private weather companies are cropping up to produce weather and climate models that have historically been provided by the government. Private weather forecasting is a $7 billion industry that threatens the dominance of the National Weather Service and could lead to a tiered system of access.

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.”

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