Environment

VTDigger publishes stories about Vermont environmental issues, including water quality, toxic waste, climate change and biodiversity. Our environmental reporter is Mike Polhamus. He can be reached at [email protected]

State: Vermont Gas likely won’t face fines for killing flowers

The Fish and Wildlife head envisions a settlement that would aid recovery of the endangered species. But the Public Service Board also could assess penalties for violating its permit to build a pipeline.

State wants to protect rare black gum swamp in Vernon

The swamp is worthy of Class 1 status, state officials say, in part because of unique black gum trees that may be more than 400 years old. It would be only the fourth Class 1 wetland in Vermont.

State tightens standards for lampricide

The state set a lower ceiling on TFM concentrations because there is a paucity of reliable research on potential adverse human health effects. Federal officials must comply with new standards.

Vermont Folklife Center Portraits in Action: Tom Boucher

This is the first in a series from the recent Vermont Folklife Center exhibit, Portraits in Action: Pioneers in Renewable Energy, Environmental Conservation, and Land Use Planning.

Rutland landowners go to court for a say in ponds’ future

The city is asking an engineering firm to propose changes to two bodies of water that local officials blame for the unhealthy state of Moon Brook. But neighbors don’t want to lose the ponds.

Sorrell calls $2 million defense of GMO labeling law worthwhile

“We will have a national GMOs labeling requirement, largely due to Vermont’s efforts to lead the nation in this endeavor,” the attorney general said. Congress pre-empted Vermont’s law after three weeks.

Judge rules for Air Force on F-35 environmental study

The impact study gave “thoughtful consideration” to the trade-offs between the Air Force’s mission and the community’s interest in limiting noise and other environmental impacts, the judge said.

Conservation plan approved for wind project in national forest

The Public Service Board has approved a conservation plan that will allow the Deerfield wind energy project to move forward in the Green Mountain National Forest in southern Vermont. The board’s order announced Friday amends a certificate of public good awarded to developer Iberdrola in 2009 to build 15 turbines on a ridge that divides […]

Deal would give Rutland five years to improve brook’s health

The city and the EPA have proposed a timeline for resolving their differences over how to rehabilitate Moon Brook. If a judge OKs the deal, the city would win time to lower temperatures in the brook. The EPA had sought expensive stormwater runoff measures.

Obama signs into law new federal food labeling requirements

The federal law immediately preempts Vermont’s GMO labeling statute, Act 120, which went into effect on July 1.

PFOA no-drink order in Pownal lifted

Editor’s note: This article by Edward Damon was first published in the Bennington Banner on July 29, 2016. POWNAL — Residents who drank bottled water for months after a potentially harmful chemical turned up in a municipal water system can again drink from the tap. Test results show a new filter is removing PFOA from […]

Blood tests find five times average level of PFOA, state says

The testing involved 477 people whose private drinking water has been contaminated with PFOA or who lived near or worked at the former Chemfab site in Bennington that is considered the source of the chemical.

Shaftsbury residents get update on PFOA found in landfill

A test showed that PFOA was present in the landfill at a concentration of 25 parts per trillion, just above the state limit of 20 ppt. The town is testing wells within one quarter mile of the landfill and providing bottled water to those homes.

State: Shaftsbury must pay costs to provide bottled water and well tests for some

Editor’s note: This article by Edward Damon first appeared in the Bennington Banner on July 23, 2016. SHAFTSBURY — The town will pay to provide bottled water and well tests for some residents after a potentially harmful chemical was found at the old landfill. The state says the town is responsible for responding to PFOA […]