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 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]


    State takes a last shot at hooking hatchery money from FEMA

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

    It’s a Catch 22: Tropical Storm Irene wiped out the state’s oldest fish hatchery in Roxbury but FEMA is balking at replacing it with a facility that meets EPA requirements.

    Member of Vermont Public Service Board sanctioned for private legal practice

    The Vermont Supreme Court chambers

    John Burke was publicly reprimanded in September by a panel that reviews complaints about attorneys’ professional conduct.

    Energy efficiency company finds niche market

    A conveyor belt at Norwich University's new $6.2 million heating plant carries wood chips up from a giant bin to two massive furnaces whose steam production provides 97 percent of the entire campus' heat and hot water needs. Photo by Andrew Nemethy

    Commons Energy, a subsidiary of the company that operates Efficiency Vermont, is providing technical and financial assistance for projects that reduce utility costs at public-purpose buildings.

    Marijuana, FairPoint strike up next at #VTDchat


    Join us at noon Tuesday for our second hour-long tweetchat. Topics will be legalizing marijuana in Vermont and the FairPoint Communications strike. Join us by using the hashtag #VTDchat

    Shumlin administration, task force make climate change mitigation recommendations

    Waitsfield's Great Eddy Covered Bridge was one of many damaged during Tropical Storm Irene. VTDigger file photo

    The authors of the report say they want to to eliminate “administrative obstacles” from FEMA that make it difficult for communities to adequately prepare for future storm events.

    Leach Farms fined for dumping manure in Bogue Brook in Enosburg Falls

    A dairy farm in Enosburg Falls agreed to pay a $40,000 civil penalty on Thursday for rinsing farm equipment in the Bogue Brook, which is a violation of the state’s water quality standards, state officials say.

    Vermont Gas protester found not guilty of trespassing

    A jury Thursday found Henry Harris not guilty of trespassing at Vermont Gas’ South Burlington headquarters at a protest in May. During the protest, the 36-year-old Plainfield man, dressed in a shirt and tie, entered the building and went up on the roof, where he dropped a 300-square-foot banner protesting the pipeline. He was arrested […]

    At Statehouse rally, FairPoint strikers told to ‘stay strong’

    Mike Spillane, business manager for IBEW Local 2326, spoke to a crowd of FairPoint Communications picketers at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Thursday. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

    As a strike against FairPoint Communications enters its fifth week, the two striking unions held a rally in Montpelier Thursday. The head of a national union appeared in person to urge the workers not to give in.

    Clif Bar, other food makers side with Vermont on GMO labeling

    Products containing genetically modified ingredients would have to disclose that information on the back of the package near the nutritional facts under Vermont’s bill. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

    Vermont’s GMO labeling law is being challenged by a coalition of food industry groups. But some food makers have taken the state’s side in federal court. Arguments in the case may be heard in December.

    Entergy to lay off 165 Vermont Yankee workers in January

    Entergy said Wednesday it will lay off 165 employees on Jan. 19, shortly after the company plans to shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon. The Louisiana-based company filed the notice with the Vermont Department of Labor and the Town of Vernon. There were 554 active employees working at the plant as […]

    EPA: State must reduce phosphorus pollution in Lake Champlain by 36 percent

    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

    Even if the state’s plan were fully implemented, projected phosphorus levels in South Lake A and B and Missisquoi Bay would still exceed phosphorus limits set by the EPA. These are sections of the lake where phosphorus levels already must be cut by more than 50 percent to meet the federal requirements, according to the EPA.

    State rejects petition for new agricultural regulations

    Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

    Manure and fertilizer runoff from farms is the leading cause of phosphorus pollution in Lake Champlain, but the state doesn’t yet have the resources to help farmers comply with new water quality regs.

    Trash counted on the shores of Lake Champlain

    Rachael Miller, co-founder and executive director of the Rozalia Project, picked up bits of marine trash at North Beach in Burlington. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

    The nonprofit Rozalia Project has been keeping a tally of shoreline trash since 2009. In a report released this month, the organization estimates there could be up to 7 billion pieces of marine debris weighing 51.5 tons in total along the lake’s edge.

    Administration suggests fees to fund Lake Champlain cleanup

    Clean water

    Governor proposes $100-$400 fee on development and a 1 percent increase in the state excise tax on fertilizer sales to raise money to improve water quality.

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