John Herrick

John Herrick

John Herrick joined VTDigger in June 2013 as an intern working on the searchable campaign finance database and is now VTDigger's energy and environment reporter. He graduated from the University of Vermont’s with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in Spanish. He wrote for the Vermont Cynic, university’s student newspaper, before interning and later freelancing for the Burlington Free Press.

Email: [email protected]


    USDA chief announces $45 million to help farmers curb runoff

    U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced federal funding available for agricultural conservation practices at a news conference Thursday at ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visits state to tout program aimed at reducing phosphorus runoff into Lake Champlain. Nutrients from manure and fertilizer trigger annual blooms of toxic blue-green algae.

    Three years after Irene: Fish hatchery among the lingering scars

    Floodwaters remain at the Roxbury fish hatchery shortly after Tropical Storm Irene struck in August 2011. Photo courtesy of Vermont Fish and Wildlife

    The state’s Roxbury facility was heavily damaged when Tropical Storm Irene blew through in 2011. It will take $4.5 million to replace but FEMA is challenging the proposed design.

    GMP’s 2.46 percent rate decrease approved

    Green Mountain Power will reduce residential and commercial electricity prices by 2.46 percent starting Oct. 1. State regulators approved the rate decrease Monday. “Lowering electricity rates at a time when other costs continue to rise, is an important part of helping Vermont families and businesses,” GMP President and CEO Mary Powell said in a statement. […]

    Randolph settles with state over sewage discharge

    The state’s environmental enforcement agency and the town of Randolph reached a $56,350 settlement last week over the discharge of human waste and other sewage into the White River. Department of Environmental Conservation’s Compliance and Enforcement Division (CED) in 2012 responded to an anonymous complaint and found toilet paper, human waste and grease flowing from […]

    Herbicide spraying at campground violated state regulations

    The Winhall Brook Camping Area in South Londonderry. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo

    Company hired by Army Corps of Engineers sprayed Rodeo near occupied campsites at the Winhall Brook Camping Area. State weighs enforcement options.

    Feds to conduct environmental study of proposed underwater transmission line

    The Department of Energy will prepare an environmental impact statement for a proposed power line that will pass under Lake Champlain to connect power supplies in Canada to the Coolidge substation in Ludlow. TDI New England is proposing the 154-mile transmission line. It estimates the line would deliver 1,000 megawatts of hydro and wind power […]

    Shumlin to step in if Vermont Gas pursues eminent domain

    Vermont Gas Systems' South Burlington offices. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

    Governor says he will appoint a firm to assess the value of property that could be seized to make room for a natural gas pipeline extension. Cost would be billed back to Vermont Gas.

    Vermont Gas to pay VELCO $450,000 to use its right-of-way

    The state’s transmission utility has set a price for Vermont Gas to use its utility corridor as part of its natural gas pipeline extension through Addison County. Vermont Gas spokesman Steve Wark said Friday the company intends to pay $450,000 for about 51 acres within the utility corridor. The price includes access roads, he said. […]

    State to step up testing for toxic blue green algae in Lake Champlain

    A shot of algae-free waters of St. Albans Bay off Gould Susslin’s dock. Right: A 2006 blue-green algae bloom off the same dock. Photos courtesy of Gould Susslin

    The algae can cause symptoms ranging form short-term illness and allergic reactions to liver damage. Approximately 200,000 people drink water from Lake Champlain.

    Efficiency Vermont promotes solar hot water heaters

    The state efficiency utility is offering a limited time discount on solar hot water heaters. The total package offers $1,600 back to residents for systems installed before Nov. 30. Efficiency Vermont says the average U.S. household spends $600 per year on hot water heating. Solar hot water heaters can reduce this cost by 80 percent […]

    Vermont Gas needs federal waiver for Phase 2 of pipeline to New York

    Vermont Gas building

    The South Burlington natural gas utility must obtain a federal regulatory waiver before the state has the authority to approve the pipeline project that crosses state lines to the International Paper mill in Ticonderoga, New York.

    In rare cases, utility poles are a source of PCP contamination in drinking water

    Nearly all of the 600,000 utility poles in Vermont have been treated with the wood preservative PCP, which can cause a wide range of health problems to people exposed to it.  Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

    The state’s call for an investigation came shortly after natural gas pipeline opponents warned that construction of Vermont Gas’ 41-mile pipeline extension through Addison County could release the toxic chemical into nearby resident’s water supplies.

    Top ANR official calls for streamlined permit process

    Environmental Conservation Commissioner David Mears presented the state’s final proposal to clean up Lake Champlain on Thursday in the governor’s conference room. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

    David Mears, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, said there should be more public involvement in the early stages of a permit review process and an expedited appeal process for concerns raised after a permit decision is issued.

    Kingdom Community Wind meets noise standards, Green Mountain Power officials say

    Green Mountain Power’s 21-turbine wind project on Lowell Mountain. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

    The Lowell Mountains Group is pushing Green Mountain Power to adopt a sound monitoring plan to measure noise continuously rather than in two- to three-week periods. Schnure said Green Mountain Power supports a continuous noise monitoring program for one year.

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