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]

Environmental group taps chair of Natural Resources board

The Vermont Natural Resources Council, a nonprofit environmental group, has hired Jon Groveman, the chair of the Natural Resources Board. At the board, Groveman administered the state’s land use regulatory program, Act 250. He previously worked at VNRC as the organization’s general counsel and water program director. Groveman will direct VNRC’s Policy and Water Program. […]

Critics: Record on sewage overflow enforcement stinks

Rutland alone had more than 30 discharges of untreated wastewater last year, according to Lake Champlain International. But towns and the state say it’s no simple matter to make the expensive system upgrades that are needed.

Attorney general ends Smith probe, citing outdated case law

The renewable energy critic had been accused by a lawyer of practicing law without a license. But the attorney general’s office left room for the various forms of advocacy practiced today.

Energy critic Smith threatens suit to stop state probe of her work

Annette Smith’s lawyer argues that citizens can sue anyone acting in an official state capacity to deprive them of constitutional rights such as free speech. She is being investigated on suspicion of the unauthorized practice of law.

In reversal, state tightens rules on farmers to protect lake

Agency officials say the rules will force farmers in the Missisquoi Bay watershed to better manage manure to prevent runoff that has been tied to phosphorus pollution and toxic blue-green algae blooms in Lake Champlain.

Swarm of arguments greets pesticide ban proposal

The chemicals called neonicotinoids have been implicated in dramatic bee die-offs over recent decades as their use has increased. But defenders say the pesticides are better than the alternatives.

State launches battery recycling program

Household batteries can now be dropped off for free at more than 100 locations, thanks to a new law that puts recycling responsibility in the hands of manufacturers. Under Act 139, manufacturers that want to sell batteries in Vermont must create drop-off locations and outreach programs for consumers, and report back to the Agency of […]

Scientists say 60 percent of male Missisquoi fish bear eggs

Experts say agricultural practices in Franklin County are the likely cause of ‘intersex’ smallmouth bass fish.

Exit 4 mediation conducted in secrecy

The MOU asked the Act 250 commission to “consider whether to enter sanctions” against any party that might violate a confidentiality agreement. The commission flatly denied the request.

Feds said to be lowballing cost of clean water in Vermont

The EPA puts the figure at $30 million a year, but the state and environmental advocates say it’s really $156 million. Nor is there agreement on how much should come from businesses and how much from the public.

AG’s office investigating complaints against Annette Smith, anti-wind advocate

The attorney general’s office is investigating whether Smith practiced law without a license.

Debate over habitat protection invokes specter of spotted owl

The bill would give state authorities the power to extend protections currently reserved for threatened and endangered species to the habitat on which those species depend — or once did.

‘Ambitious’ plan unveiled for southern Vermont watersheds

The state’s new tactical basin plan for the West, Williams, Saxtons and lower Connecticut rivers includes a detailed assessment of the 700-square-mile area’s problems and a long list of solutions.

Panel rejects ATVs on state land

Lawmakers Thursday rejected proposed rules allowing ATVs on state-owned land.

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