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]

Pollina, VSEA express concerns over DEC workers’ move from Barre

Shumlin announces the appointment of Deb Markowitz as secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources

Eight workers in the Department of Environmental Conservation are to be transferred from Barre to Montpelier to meet budget cuts. Union, Washington County senator want more discussion.

Solid waste law a statewide ‘reboot’ in recycling, Markowitz says

Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources Deb Markowitz discusses changes in the state's solid waste law that go into effect on July 1. Photo by Sarah Olsen/VTDigger

Trash haulers must offer curbside recycling pickup beginning July 1 as law aimed at reducing the amount of waste brought to landfills rolls out.

State begins work on rules for new water quality law

Gov. Peter Shumlin signs H.35, the Legislature's water quality improvement bill, Tuesday at the Burlington waterfront. Photo by Sarah Olsen/VTDigger

Agriculture officials to define small farms, among other things, as they implement bill to address water pollution.

Bill McKibben praises pope, prods Obama, Clinton

Bill McKibben

The Vermont author and activist is uplifted by the Catholic leader’s call to fight climate change but unhappy U.S. politicians aren’t following suit.

Shumlin signs water quality bill by the waterfront

Gov. Peter Shumlin signs H.35, the Legislature's water quality improvement bill, Tuesday at the Burlington waterfront. Photo by Sarah Olsen/VTDigger

The new law will raise funds for enforcing regulations, educating the public on pollution, and cleaning up the state’s waterways.

Heavy rains lead to increase in sewage discharges this spring

Montpelier No. 4 dam

High water challenges aging municipal infrastructure that Lake Champlain advocates say needs to be improved.

UVM biologist focuses on overabundance of certain species

A male gray seal. Wikimedia commons photo

Research conducted by a University of Vermont biologist shows that a surplus of some species is as detrimental as a decline in others.

Paddlers celebrate two of nation’s newest Wild and Scenic Rivers

Paddlers ease down the Missisquoi River on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Northern Forest Canoe Trail

The Missisquoi and Trout are the first two waterways in Vermont to win federal designation as National Wild and Scenic Rivers, but it wasn’t easy.

Special report: The war on weeds

Glyphosate Mike Eastman

In 2013, Vermont farmers and chemical applicators purchased five times more glyphosate than they did a decade ago. Many farmers say it is safer than alternatives, others say all chemicals should be avoided.

Some towns would rather toss ‘pay as you throw’

Trash and recycling containers take center stage at a Ludlow meeting on Vermont’s new Act 148 universal recycling law. Photo by Kevin O'Connor/for VTDigger

As of July 1, the state will require all Vermonters to pay for waste removal based on volume or weight. As a result, Ludlow is one of several localities that’s about to switch to a pricier system.

Tar sands could be headed by rail to Lake Champlain

Aaron Mair, national president of the Sierra Club, stands on the bank between the 130-mile railway and Lake Champlain.  Photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDigger

The heavy crude oil has 37 percent more carbon emissions than typical oil, environmental groups say, and, if spilled in a lake, would sink to the bottom, killing wildlife along the way.

Highgate farmers to pay $15,750 for manure overflow

Owners of a Highgate dairy farm will pay $15,750 to settle a lawsuit with the state over a manure pit that was overflowing into a tributary of Lake Champlain. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation announced in a news release Thursday that Vermont settled with the owners of Gagne Dairy Farm for burning garbage and […]

Scientists say nitrogen in lakes is as bad as phosphorus

Hans Paerl, professor of marine and environmental sciences at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Courtesy of Hans Paerl

Both nutrients contribute to annual blue-green algae blooms on Lake Champlain.

EPA zeroes in on phosphorus farm runoff for Lake Champlain cleanup

Photo by Chris Court/Creative Commons

For areas like South Lake A, where the EPA estimates that agriculture accounts for 89 percent of phosphorus flowing into lake, some farmers must go above current legal obligations to reduce runoff and erosion from their farms.

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