Environment

VTDigger publishes stories about Vermont environmental issues, including water quality, toxic waste, climate change and biodiversity. John Herrick covers the environment for VTDigger. He can be reached at [email protected]

New Waterbury rules strive to protect from future floods

A bucket loader leaves a wake along Route 2 in Waterbury. VTD/Josh Larkin

Extensively damaged by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, Waterbury is crafting new rules aimed to minimize flooding but not impede development.

House GOP may offer changes in lake cleanup bill

Lake Champlain algae bloom

A bill to raise money for cleaning up the state’s polluted waterways hits the House floor next week, where Republicans may challenge a proposed increase in the property transfer tax.

Vermont, Quebec and N.Y. extend Lake Champlain agreement

Vermont, New York and Quebec renewed an agreement Monday that is designed to protect Lake Champlain. The two states and Canadian province agreed to continue sharing research and to protect the lake from pollution and aquatic invasive species. The memorandum of understanding includes a new provision to improve flood resilience. Gov. Peter Shumlin said in […]

Environmentalists say Shumlin is backing away from stringent water quality standards

Chris Kilian

The governor’s inaugural address highlighting water quality had environmentalists hopeful that farmers would be ordered to reduce manure runoff. But the ag agency has rejected a petition by the Conservation Law Foundation and opposed legislation that would require that.

Property transfer tax increase eyed for lake cleanup

Kim Greenwood Lauren Hierl

Water quality bill with funding will get final approval Thursday before it goes to the House Appropriations Committee.

Lawmakers drop bill allowing towns to regulate drinking water supplies

Berlin Pond is the source of the Capital City's drinking water. It's accessibility for recreational uses has caused a rift between the city and town. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

The bill received stiff opposition from the fishing and sporting community, as well as the Shumlin administration.

Lawmakers scrap plan to fund recycling law a nickel at a time

Creative Commons photo

Proposal to impose a 5 cent fee on plastic bags and to collect the nickel deposit on unredeemed containers to help haulers prepare for universal recycling is scuttled.

Rural areas seek exemptions from recycling law with little success

Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz. VTD/Josh Larkin

The state’s universal recycling law, set to take effect July 1, will have disproportionate costs for Vermont’s rural areas — but lawmakers are reluctant to make exceptions.

Supreme Court clears F-35 of legal challenge

Three F-35A test aircraft, AF-2, AF-3 and AF-4, fly in formation over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Lockheed Martin photo

The court upheld an earlier ruling that no land use and development permit will be needed in stationing F-35 fighter jets with the Vermont Air National Guard in Burlington.

Settlement reached in decade-long Jay Peak pollution claims

Jay Peak Resort co-owner Bill Stenger said that careful timing of their EB-5 funded construction projects creates full-time employment for the workers. Here, an empty ski slope in the background highlights Stenger's goal to turn the ski resort into a year-round destination. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger

Deal with the Vermont Natural Resources Council prevents the resort from developing new projects until streams recover, but exempts those about to get underway.

Bill would allow communities to control access to drinking water sources

Berlin Pond is the source of the Capital City's drinking water. It's accessibility for recreational uses has caused a rift between the city and town. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Legislation proposed in the wake of a state decision that allows the recreational use of Berlin Pond is unnecessary, state officials and sportsmen say.

Water quality bill passes without current use penalty

The beauty of mile-long Silver Lake has inspired the prose of writers and intense loyalty from the hikers and family who return there year after year to picnic, swim, or camp at tent sites hidden along the shore at left. Photo by M. Dickey Drysdale

The House Agriculture Committee voted out sweeping legislation to address water quality but pulled a section that would remove tax benefits for farmers who fail to address chronic pollution.

House Fish & Wildlife sends out tough water quality bill

David Deen

Bill would put in place new pollution control measures for farms, existing development and roads, but includes fees and taxes that face opposition.

Climate change may have economic potential for Vermont

climate summit

Gov. Shumlin and some 400 Vermonters attended the summit, discussing how large-scale innovations can help the state reap economic benefits that may come with climate change.

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