Environment

VTDigger publishes stories about Vermont environmental issues, including water quality, toxic waste, climate change and biodiversity. Our environmental reporter is Mike Polhamus. He can be reached at [email protected]

After dredging, once-popular Townshend swim spot to reopen

The project is designed to restore public recreation opportunities at Townshend Dam. But some say it’s a short-term solution due to chronic sedimentation that has drastically reduced water levels.

Booming caterpillar population munches through forests

The outbreak can kill trees, meaning some lost output for sugarmakers or reduced value for timber producers. However, “the forest will bounce back from this,” says a state expert.

Weyerhaeuser settles tax fight with state for $375,000 over forest clear cuts

Loggers cut more trees than allowed on a parcel where the company got a tax break meant to protect forestlands. The settlement avoids a court ruling that could have cost Weyerhaeuser much more.

Pond rule change could favor lawyer’s power boat over rowers

“We’re in constant conflict with them,” Sarah George, a state’s attorney, said of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center rowers and scullers she hopes to restrict on a pond she uses.

State: Settlement over $650,000 site cleanup falls through

A judge is now being asked to determine how much the owner of a once-contaminated property in Rutland owes for the cleanup the state did on an emergency basis.

Vote on otter season extension postponed

A legislative committee will meet again on July 20th to discuss extending the otter season by a month.

Pownal water district trying backup site to replace tainted well

The preferred site is on the Green Mountain Race Track property, but another parcel that had been considered an alternative has seen recent test well activity.

Vermont Railway salt shed prevails in U.S. District Court

A local trucking company is the lead partner in the salt distribution center, the town argued, and is therefore not eligible for federal pre-emption rules that would exempt the company from state and local permitting requirements. Judge William Sessions rejected that argument.

Putnam Block remediation plan up for public comment

The report suggests how to deal with trichloroethene, or TCE, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon contamination at the Bennington site where a $54 million revitalization project is proposed.

Burlington gets $2.9 million grant for lead paint remediation

BURLINGTON — A $2.9 million federal grant for residential lead paint remediation is expected to pay for work at 162 older homes in Burlington and neighboring Winooski, according to officials. The grant was awarded to Burlington’s Community and Economic Development Office, which will receive an additional $400,000 to leverage its lead program in order to […]

Leahy, approps committee grill Pruitt on EPA budget proposal

President Donald Trump has proposed a 31 percent cut to the EPA. State officials have not been informed about how the reduction will affect lake cleanup.

Neighbors fault state for lax quarry regulation

“I’m disappointed in the state of Vermont for not enforcing this. It makes me feel helpless,” says quarry neighbor Suzanne Smith.

Vermont leaders vow to step into breach on climate goals

With the U.S. out of the Paris accord, a coalition of businesses, nonprofits and government leaders is pledging to act.

Deal in works for state to recoup $650,000 on Rutland cleanup

The state cleaned up the property in 2014 after the owner failed to. Action needed to be taken, according to officials, to stop migration of a chemical toward a residential neighborhood.