Lawmakers to revisit fossil fuel divestment

Sen. Anthony Pollina, file photo by Josh Larkin.

In 2014, a bid to divest state retirement funds from fossil fuel industries failed in the legislature. Activists plan a new push in the new year, and one state senator promises to reintroduce divestment legislation. State Treasurer Beth Pearce opposes the move, saying she prefers to have “a seat at the table” with the industry.

A call for action on Vermont endangered species

Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, gave the keynote address at the a symposium to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act at the ECHO Center in Burlington on Thursday. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

At a forum celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, experts said that some progress has been made, but new threats must be addressed. Chief among them are climate change and forest fragmentation.

State rejects ban on motors at Wolcott Pond

Boats with small motors can continue to use Wolcott Pond, the state's Department of Environmental Conservation ruled Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2014. Vermont Fish and Wildlife photo

Petitioners claim 5 mph speed limit was not being enforced, but the Department of Environmental Conservation elects to permit small motors and improve signage and enforcement.

EPA puts off Lake Champlain ruling till spring


Decisions gives Vermont more time to map out strategy, funding options for reducing phosphorus pollution in Lake Champlain.

Conservation group releases legislative scorecard

A Vermont environmental group released a scorecard on Wednesday that ranks lawmakers on environmental policy positions in the last legislative session. Vermont Conservation Voters tallied lawmakers’ positions on key environmental and energy issues last session, including new regulations for development on lake shorelines, toxic chemicals in children’s products and genetically modified ingredients in food products, […]

Lawmakers approve new water quality standards

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

A legislative panel has approved new standards for E. coli, phosphorus, toxic chemicals, and salt. The rules may have an impact on water treatment facilities, developers, and de-icing of roads and parking lots.

Waterbury Reservoir’s future could be at risk

The Waterbury Reservoir’s many swimming and boating possibilities drew 42,000 people this summer to the state park. Photo by Gordon Miller/Stowe Reporter

The reservoir’s future revolves around a new license for Green Mountain Power’s hydropower plant at the base of the flood-control dam.

Fish & Wildlife close to ban on drone-assisted hunting

A drone that flew over the Statehouse in Montpelier as part of the ACLU-VT’s presentation of their report on information-gathering programs in the Vermont on Tuesday. Photo by Kate Robinson/VTDigger

The idea that one might use a drone to scan a forest and pinpoint an animal’s location, or even corner the animal or lead it in a certain direction has many Vermont hunters up in arms.

Vermonters join 400,000 marchers in NYC climate march

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

More than 2,000 Vermonters participated, many riding the more than 20 full Saturday and Sunday buses from the Green Mountains.

PCB-contaminated site in Bennington named to federal Superfund list

The Jard Company site. EPA photo

In the 1970s and early 1980s, Jard Company Inc. built capacitors, a process which involved polychlorinated biphenyls. The PCB compounds bind themselves to other materials, such as sediment, and are known to cause cancer.

New groundwater discharge rules approved

When groundwater flows through springs or is pumped to the surface, it becomes surface water, which triggers a different regulatory framework than water stored underground. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger

Lawmakers approve an update of state regulations on injection wells. The new rules will omit many types of low-risk sites, but state officials say those sites have never effectively been regulated and the new rules will better reflect reality.

State biologists don’t expect major impact from spiny water flea

Biologists for the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife say the discovery of a new invasive species in Lake Champlain is unlikely to have a major impact. Scientists say the spiny water flea, a tiny crustacean, caused only minor concerns when it arrived in the Great Lakes. The department said in a news release that […]

Nutrient trading proposed as an option for reducing Lake Champlain pollution

Vermont Organics Reclamation cropped

Vermont Organics Reclamation buys on average 20 percent of a farm’s manure and pays farmers between $6 to $8 per cubic yard. The soils and fertilizer is sold to growers in cities.

USDA chief announces $45 million to help farmers curb runoff

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced federal funding available for agricultural conservation practices at a news conference Thursday at ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visits state to tout program aimed at reducing phosphorus runoff into Lake Champlain. Nutrients from manure and fertilizer trigger annual blooms of toxic blue-green algae.

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