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environment

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

Politicians and environmentalists met on the banks of the Farmington River Monday to call for more federal action to regulate a band of toxic chemicals. The call comes following two-high profile accidents at Bradley International Airport.

Carmen Baskauf / Connecticut Public Radio

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?

Lydia Brown / Connecticut Public Radio

It’s a lethal hunter, marked by its tufted ears and focused gaze. It's a breathtaking sight, if you’re lucky enough to see one.

This hour: the bobcat.

This stealthy species has made a comeback in recent years. We talk to researchers who are working to better understand Connecticut’s only wild feline. 

Clownhouse III / Creative Commons

Financial auditors Wednesday cited the state Department of Agriculture for a “serious breakdown” in its accounting procedures. It’s a breakdown that included numerous uncashed checks that were left in a safe in a store room in Hartford. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Two members of New England’s congressional delegation are calling for a federal audit of PFAS chemicals in America’s food supply, with an eye toward understanding whether they can cause contamination. 

Thawt Hawthje / Creative Commons

New England experienced fewer days with unhealthy air quality this year compared to last year, but Connecticut fared the worst in the six-state region, according to federal environmental officials.

images of Giant ground sloth (Megatherium americanum), Moa (Megalapteryx didinus), Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
Ballista, George Edward Lodge, Michael L. Baird / Wikimedia Commons

What would it have been like to see a huge, elephant-like mastodon roaming our state? 

The earth has been home to some spectacularly large animals. A few of them still roam or swim our world today. This hour, we take a look at the biology of these giants. 

From chunky island-dwelling birds to the enormous blue whale, what do we know about why these creatures evolved to be so big? And why don’t we see more of them today? 

Plus, with a UN report warning that a million species are at risk of extinction in coming years, are we at risk of losing those big creatures we still have?

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

State health and environmental officials say Connecticut’s drinking water should undergo required testing for PFAS, a group of more than 4,000 synthetic chemicals. That’s according to a new report, which comes as the Department of Public Health issued a new PFAS-contamination alert following the crash of a vintage aircraft with 13 people onboard Wednesday morning.

Chris Fifield-Smith / Creative Commons

A third Connecticut resident has died from EEE, and another person has been diagnosed with the illness, state officials announced Tuesday.

Dr. Matthew Cartter, state epidemiologist of the Department of Public Health, said in a statement that a person from East Haddam between 60 and 69 years old died during the third week of September from the mosquito-borne illness.

Northeast Heating Oil Industry Looks To Biodiesel To Reduce Carbon Emissions

Oct 1, 2019
Joe Mabel / Creative Commons

The Northeast heating oil industry plans to begin pressing New England states to mandate certain standardized levels of biodiesel content in home heating oil.

At an industry summit in Rhode Island on Sept. 19, member companies of the New England Fuel Institute and related companies voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to work toward a 15% reduction in carbon emissions by 2023, 40% by 2030, and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Monday was the deadline for energy companies to submit plans to Connecticut officials for the development of offshore wind power in response to the first-ever RFP dedicated solely to the energy source.

Jesse Costa / WBUR

Trevor Allard stands in the sawmill's observation deck at Allard Lumber with his sales manager, looking down on a dusty expanse of grinding saw blades and conveyor belts.

Allard's father co-founded the company, in Brattleboro, Vermont, nearly 50 years ago. It's located where Trevor's grandfather once farmed the land. 

Doc Searls / Flickr

An epoch of our own making is one way to describe it. And as the Anthropocene is set to be formally recognized as a chrono-stratigraphic unit in the next couple of years, scientists, philosophers, engineers and many more are exploring unconventional ways of adapting to this new era.

Stephen Ausmus / U.S. Department of Agriculture

A second person in Connecticut has died from Eastern equine encephalitis, a virus passed on from mosquitos, said state officials Tuesday.

According to the state Department of Public Health, the victim was an adult resident of Old Lyme who became ill during the second week of September and later tested positive for the rare mosquito-borne illness.

Roxann Roche doesn’t expect to get rich farming. She and her husband both have other jobs. She's a gardner. He's a mechanic. And like many for the past few years, their small family farm in northwestern Connecticut operated at a loss. 

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

Teenagers and young children around the world are speaking up to call for immediate action to reverse global warming and decrease the use of fossil fuels. That movement, dubbed a “Global Climate Strike,” made its way to Hartford just outside the state Capitol Friday.

The Puritan tiger beetle used to be found up and down the Connecticut River, but climate change, dam construction, flooding, and other ecosystem changes have reduced its range to a few small patches of sandy soil.

For researchers, where those patches are is a well-guarded secret. That's because last fall, they planted hundreds of beetle larvae on a few of those beaches, with the hopes of finding adults this year. 

Rodger Gwiazdowski gently runs his hands through sand. Puritan tiger beetles burrow in sandy beach habitat found along the banks of the Connecticut River.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

This Friday, climate activists in Connecticut and around the world will take to the streets to urge their governments to adopt policies that will fight climate change. The Global Climate Strike has been largely organized by young people inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

Shona Na / Creative Commons

Connecticut has confirmed the first human case of Eastern equine encephalitis in the state since 2013, health officials announced Monday.

State Department of Public Health experts said that an adult from East Lyme tested positive for the virus, which is usually transmitted from infected mosquitoes. The resident became ill during the last week of August and remains hospitalized.

CT DEEP

SLAMM is one of those wonky acronyms that science types looking at the impacts of sea level rise from climate change like to use. It stands for Sea Level Affecting Marsh Migration.

Terry Gross / Wikimedia Commons

Fear of sharks spiked last summer after a great white fatally bit a 26-year-old surfer off the coast of Cape Cod. The fever still runs high as reports of great white sightings coincide with people heading to the beach.

Connecticut, Rhode Island Vie For Roles In Emerging Offshore Wind Industry

Sep 12, 2019
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

When Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed legislation last June authorizing up to 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind development, the new law signaled big ambitions.

“Connecticut should be the central hub of the offshore wind industry in New England,” Lamont proclaimed at the time. 

Neil Palmer/CIAT / CIFOR

As fires burn in the Amazon rainforest, we ask: To what extent is deforestation responsible for the flames? Coming up, we check in with climate scientist Dr. Carlos Nobre.

But first, we talk to Scott Wallace about his reporting on illegal logging in the Amazon. What impact does it have on the rainforest? And what is being done to stop it? 

Dying For A Photo

Sep 12, 2019
Sam Hawley / CreativeCommons.org

A photo of people inching their way up a snaking line to the peak of Mount Everest last month has drawn attention to a number of problems, one of which was the jostling at the top of the mountain to take social media-ready selfies and photos.

Naturegirl 78 / Creative Commons

Public health officials are warning Connecticut residents that they should take extra precautions to avoid the risk of contracting the eastern equine encephalitis virus from a mosquito bite.

The state Department of Public Health issued an advisory Wednesday urging people to limit their time outside between sunset and sunrise while the virus, also known as EEE, continues to pose a threat in the Northeast region of the country.

Stairway on path in Walnut Hill Park in New Britain, Connecticut
John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

When you head to New York, do you ever take a break from the city and get lost on a trail in Central Park? This hour, we take a look at the life of the man behind that beloved and iconic city park: Connecticut native Frederick Law Olmsted.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Governor Ned Lamont signed the third executive order of his administration Tuesday, setting an ambitious environmental goal, a zero carbon energy grid by 2040.

Wikimedia Commons

The early weeks of September provide some of the best times to watch migrating birds of prey, and over the years, there have been big changes to what you can see in Connecticut.

Jesse Steinmetz / New England News Collaborative

A new natural gas-fired power plant is slated to open in the Hudson Valley in 2020. The plant is only a few miles from the border with Connecticut, and from several schools. That has some residents in both states concerned.

Can The U.S. Offshore Wind Industry Survive Without A Federal Tax Credit?

Aug 26, 2019
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The Trump administration’s decision to delay the Vineyard Wind project will impact the offshore wind developer’s ability to take advantage of a big federal tax credit that expires in December.

Democratic lawmakers say the administration’s decision was a political move to stall the project and could endanger the future growth of the industry. Lawmakers are scrambling to pass legislation to get the tax credit extended.

But some industry observers say offshore wind may be able to survive just fine without it. 

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