Environment

Senate passes GMO labeling bill

The Vermont Senate on Wednesday gave final approval to legislation that will require manufacturers to label foods with genetically engineered raw ingredients.

Diluted water cleanup bill gets preliminary approval in House

The Vilas Bridge over Bellows Falls gorge. Photo by Chris Bertelsen/Brattleboro Reformer

Environmentalists say the plan is too weak because it does not include money or regulatory authority to back up the proposed programs.

Federal budget cuts mean money for Lake Champlain cleanup could be scarce

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“On the level of bringing home the money, I came home a little sobered,” David Mears, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, said of his recent trip to Washington, D.C.

Senate and House tussle over lake shore development rules

Lake Champlain’s frosty shoreline in Charlotte. Photo by John Herrick/VTDiger

Environmental groups and Agency of Natural Resources officials support the Senate bill. State officials who have helped to shape the Senate version say weakening the legislation at this point will undermine the agency’s implementation efforts.

Growth bill would limit sprawl, promote downtown development

Noelle Mackay, commissioner of the Department of Housing and Community Affairs, testified before a panel of lawmakers Wednesday on a proposal to make changes in the state’s land use and development permit process. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Bill has support of administration and Vermont Natural Resources Council, but the Conservation Law Foundation is wary of expanded exemptions.

Legislature abandons effort to raise money for lake cleanup this session

Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains in New York as seen from the waterfront in Burlington. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

Rep. David Deen has been pushing for a policy to reduce phosphorus runoff into the state’s waterways, including money to support the plan, but time has expired, he says.

Consultant floats the idea of placing fee on makers of plastic packaging

Bottled water

Lawmakers told they could raise millions by requiring manufacturers to pay a fee on plastic packaging materials.

Environmental groups critical of state’s cleanup plan for Lake Champlain

Burlington Bay on Lake Champlain in Burlington. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

If we can’t get the governor to commit, it doesn’t matter if we had the perfect solution,” said Kim Greenwood, a staff scientist with the Vermont Natural Resources Defense Council.

House, Senate differ on Current Use penalty

Sen. Bobby Starr chaired the Senate's special committee to study Current Use. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger

Lawmakers want to discourage abuse of the Current Use land conservation program, but disagree on the best way to do it.

Vermont Land Trust ends work on conservation easement bill

A view of Mettowee Valley fields and surrounding hills from a hillside vantage point in Rupert. Photo by Tom Slayton

In a statement, the trust said it “learned that there is not widespread comfort with the current bill” over the last few weeks since it “paused” work on S.119.

State files updated Lake Champlain cleanup plan with EPA

A blue-green algae bloom in St. Albans Bay. Photo courtesy of Gould Susslin

Final commitment letter from the governor awaiting information from federal agency

Senate endorses bill to allow health department to regulate toxic chemicals

Sen. Anthony Pollina, P/D/W-Washington, advocated for the passage of a toxic chemicals regulation bill on Wednesday at a Statehouse news conference. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Firefighters join call to support the bill; business groups suggest the measure is too broad.

Casella opposes proposed increase in franchise fee

A bulldozer pushes sand over trash at the Moretown Landfill. Photo by Audrey Clark

$1 increase would be used to help small recycling operations prepare for stricter solid waste disposal rules.

Governor names top aide to lead Fish and Wildlife Department

Gov. Peter Shumlin on Monday appointed his Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs to become the new head of the Fish and Wildlife Department. Louis Porter, who worked with the Conservation Law Foundation to advocate for improving Lake Champlain’s water quality before serving with the administration, will replace Commissioner Patrick Berry, who will leave the […]

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