Environment

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.

Three years after Irene: Fish hatchery among the lingering scars

Floodwaters remain at the Roxbury fish hatchery shortly after Tropical Storm Irene struck in August 2011. Photo courtesy of Vermont Fish and Wildlife

The state’s Roxbury facility was heavily damaged when Tropical Storm Irene blew through in 2011. It will take $4.5 million to replace but FEMA is challenging the proposed design.

Randolph settles with state over sewage discharge

The state’s environmental enforcement agency and the town of Randolph reached a $56,350 settlement last week over the discharge of human waste and other sewage into the White River. Department of Environmental Conservation’s Compliance and Enforcement Division (CED) in 2012 responded to an anonymous complaint and found toilet paper, human waste and grease flowing from […]

Herbicide spraying at campground violated state regulations

The Winhall Brook Camping Area in South Londonderry. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo

Company hired by Army Corps of Engineers sprayed Rodeo near occupied campsites at the Winhall Brook Camping Area. State weighs enforcement options.

State to step up testing for toxic blue green algae in Lake Champlain

A shot of algae-free waters of St. Albans Bay off Gould Susslin’s dock. Right: A 2006 blue-green algae bloom off the same dock. Photos courtesy of Gould Susslin

The algae can cause symptoms ranging form short-term illness and allergic reactions to liver damage. Approximately 200,000 people drink water from Lake Champlain.

In rare cases, utility poles are a source of PCP contamination in drinking water

Nearly all of the 600,000 utility poles in Vermont have been treated with the wood preservative PCP, which can cause a wide range of health problems to people exposed to it.  Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

The state’s call for an investigation came shortly after natural gas pipeline opponents warned that construction of Vermont Gas’ 41-mile pipeline extension through Addison County could release the toxic chemical into nearby resident’s water supplies.

Top ANR official calls for streamlined permit process

Environmental Conservation Commissioner David Mears presented the state’s final proposal to clean up Lake Champlain on Thursday in the governor’s conference room. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

David Mears, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, said there should be more public involvement in the early stages of a permit review process and an expedited appeal process for concerns raised after a permit decision is issued.

Montpelier officials unhappy with Berlin Pond ruling

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 state on Thursday banned motorized vehicles on the source of the city’s drinking water but allowed other recreational uses.

Burlington auto shop owner to pay $70,000 in hazardous waste settlement

Owners of a former auto shop near the Winooski River in Burlington agreed this week to pay $70,000 to settle claims that it violated state environmental regulations for hazardous waste disposal and storage. Members of Burlington’s Handy family admitted to violating 11 of the state’s hazardous waste management rules. A Washington Superior Court judge approved […]

Vermont’s land trusts see post-recession rebound

Johnson Farm map

With 613,971 conserved acres, Vermont is No. 8 in the nation for land protected through nonprofit land trusts.

Farmers say water quality rules are too onerous

Richard Longway of Swanton co-owns a dairy farm. He testified during a public hearing in St. Albans on a petition that would put in place new regulations on farm practices.  Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

New regulations would require buffers, cover crops and fencing.

State launches map of recycling, compost facilities

A map released by the Agency of Natural Resources on Thursday is designed to make recycling and composting easier under Vermont’s new mandatory recycling law. The map includes the locations of a wide range of facilities that process food waste, recyclables, compost and trash. The map was created to help residents and businesses coordinate services […]

FEMA won’t fund culvert plan for Vermont roads washed out by Irene

Floodwaters from Irene tore away sections of roadway on Route 100. such as this section in Lower Granville. VTD/Josh Larkin

State wants to use FEMA money to upgrade culverts and take other storm-damage prevention measures, but the change was not included in an early set of goals by the president.

Private nudist campground in Sheldon docked $28,750

A communal campground for nudists reached a $28,750 settlement with the state over environmental violations, the Agency of Natural Resources announced Monday. Maple Glen’s 300-acre campground in Sheldon includes an in-ground heated pool, a hot tub, RV hook-up sites with a water tap, sewer access, a communal fire pit, recreational courts, a golf course and […]

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