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]

Vermont Gas-owned wetland allegedly altered by former owner

The wetland in Colchester owned by Vermont Gas.

-+*Agency of Natural Resources investigating alleged dumping of clay soil and tree stumps by excavation company into wetland Vermont Gs had purchased to mitigate for wetlands lost during Addison pipeline construction.

Vermont joins international climate change pact

NYC Climate march, Sept. 21, 2014. Photo by Don Hooper

-+*Vermont joined 11 other states, cities and provinces Thursday to make an nonbinding commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent to 95 percent of 1990 levels by 2050.

Legislative Wrap: Water quality law gets mixed review from environmentalists

Only three young swimmers were using the St. Albans town beach on a sunny July  Friday. The beach used to be a state park, but was abandoned in the 1970s because of water pollution. The town took over the park but algae blooms and  weed growth continue to discourage swimmers. "Eeeew, I just stepped right in seaweed," Jack Messier (in red shirt), 10, of Jeffersonville, exclaims to his friends Bryce (left), 10, and Reed 7, Conger. Photo by Candace Page.

-+*The Agency of Agriculture still has the discretion to enforce water pollution laws, which is a fundamental concern for environmental groups that say the agency has been understaffed or unwilling to take action.

Water quality bill headed for governor’s signature

The White River as it passes through South Royalton. VTD/Josh Larkin

-+*Senate approves $7.5 million legislation funded in part by a 0.2 percent surcharge on the state property transfer tax. House expected to concur.

Senate OKs water quality bill that includes surcharge on property transfer tax

The U.S. Coast Guard building, center, and the Moran building, right, on the waterfront of Lake Champlain in Burlington. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

-+*Senate approves bill to clean up the state waterways that includes a 0.2 percent surcharge on the property transfer tax.

Water quality funding remains unclear

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

-+*Proposed ‘Statewide Water Quality fee’ looks like a property tax, say some House Democrats.

Deal struck on solar siting requirements

Solar panels on the McKnight Farm in East Montpelier make use of the state's net metering program. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

-+*Senate committee brokers compromise that would establish statewide setback and screening requirements for solar energy projects. Measure is part of comprehensive renewable energy bill.

New water quality funding proposals emerge in final weeks of session

Ginny Lyons

-+*House and Senate lawmakers are seeking a tax policy where more is paid based on the amount of pollution created.

State halts burn permits due to increased wildfire risks

-+*Dry conditions have prompted state officials to impose a two-week moratorium on burn permits, according to a news release from the governor’s office. A Red Flag warning was issued for Monday as 25 reports of wildfires were received by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. The ban on burn permits goes into effect […]

100 firefighters battle 50-acre blaze in Brattleboro

Brattleboro fire

-+*Fire departments from three states dispatched to remote site that 4-wheel drive vehicles cannot access. “So what is being done right now is being done with backpacks, rakes and by foot. No vehicles can get anywhere near it,” said Chief Mike Bucossi.

State and Hermitage Club reach agreement for $205,000 fine for environmental violations

-+*Editor’s note: This article is by Chris Mays, of the Brattleboro Reformer, in which it was first published April 27, 2015. WILMINGTON — It looks like the Hermitage Club could be paying the state $205,000 over six months. According to court documents, defendants Hermitage Inn Real Estate Holding Company, LLC, and Rushing Creek, LLC, were […]

Proposal would change environmental permit process

David Mears

-+*Provision would make it more difficult for opponents of certain projects to raise objections during appeal, but aims would to address objections earlier in process.

State report highlights shrinking forests

Michael Snyder

-+*Since 2007, the state has lost about 75,000 acres of forest. Housing development and rural sprawl are mostly to blame.

Senate Natural Resources approves water quality bill

Sen. Mark MacDonald, D-Orange, at a forum Tuesday in Randolph. Photo by Morgan True/VTDigger

-+*Plan raises $10.2 million for a new Clean Water Fund through permit and registration fees and a flat $25 annual tax on all property owners, known as a per parcel fee.

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