Environment | New Hampshire Public Radio

Environment

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee will decide next week whether to reconsider its approval of a new power line on the Seacoast.

Opponents of the Eversource proposal, called the Seacoast Reliability Project, appealed the SEC's December ruling Monday.

File Photo

Two environmental groups have filed suit against the owners of a coal-fired power plant outside Concord.

The Conservation Law Foundation complaint says Merrimack Station in Bow is polluting the Merrimack River with excess hot water.

John K via FLICKR CC

Public hearings begin this week on the state's proposed drinking water regulations for toxic PFAS chemicals.

Regulators have devised standards for four types of PFAS. They would require all public water systems to regularly test and potentially treat for the chemicals.

 

Salem is considering a deal with Manchester Water Works to buy over a million gallons of water per day for residents in Salem and nearby towns.

The deal would be part of the proposed Southern New Hampshire Regional Water Interconnection Project, which would route water from Lake Massabesic, near Manchester, through a pipe that would be built with existing state money along Route 28.

Salem Selectman Robert Bryant says Salem's major local water source, Lake Canobie, has suffered from recent droughts and can't meet the demand of a growing population.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Manchester's Amoskeag Fishways, the state’s largest urban environmental education center, is scaling down its operations next week.

The center is located at Amoskeag dam along the Merrimack River. For nearly 25 years, New Hampshire Audabon has run it, offering free environmental and marine education to around 25,000 people each year.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to outdoor recreation opportunities. But some recreation groups and business leaders say the state isn’t doing enough to boost the recreation industry. They’re supporting legislative efforts to create an Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development.

EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency has settled with General Electric to pay for a completed clean-up at a Milford toxic waste site.

The Fletchers Paint Works site became a Superfund in the 1980s, after it was found to have contaminated local drinking water with toxic chemicals known as PCBs.

The EPA named GE as responsible for the pollution, and they worked together to remove and secure contaminated soil at the site. That work wrapped up in 2017.

Now, the EPA says GE has agreed to pay back $3.2 million to cover the government's clean-up costs.

Jerry and Marcy Monkman / Trust For Public Lands

Researchers want to draw attention to what they say is a surprising number of town-owned forests in New Hampshire. 

They've completed a first-ever inventory of those spaces, and found towns own nearly 4 percent of all the state's forests.  

UNH Extension Forester Karen Bennett says it might not seem like much - especially since about three-quarters of forest in the state is privately owned. 

NHPR

The state’s public water systems might have to pay millions of dollars to comply with new proposed limits on certain industrial chemicals in drinking water – even as advocates say the proposals aren’t strict enough.

Something Wild: Tested with Fire

Dec 21, 2018
Jeff Lougee / The Nature Conservancy

The diversity of New Hampshire’s habitats is staggering, as we’ve mentioned in the past there are more than 200 natural communities within our borders. This week, in another edition of New Hampshire’s Wild Neighborhoods Something Wild, again visits a rare habitat type.

Courtesy Jerry McFarland via Flickr/Creative Commons.

As we hunker down for the winter weather, we’re frequently too preoccupied with what is in our front yards that we tend not to notice what isn’t there. The snow and ice have muscled out the grass, and the chilly sounds of the north wind have blown away the dawn chorus that woke us this summer. And short of finding a postcard in your mailbox from a warm exotic location, signed by your friendly neighborhood phoebe, you probably haven’t thought much about the birds that flitted through your yard just months ago.

The Complicated History Of The Overpopulation Debate

Nov 27, 2018
Sara Plourde; NHPR

Population growth has been a concern for environmentalists, and other interest groups, for more than a century. But the anxiety over the loss of space, and resources, as a result of human growth and consumption, is not simple. We talk with Sam Evans-Brown, host of Outside/In, NHPR's podcast about the natural world and how we use it, about his two-part show on the history of the anxiety of overpopulation. 

Listen to the episodes of Outside/In on overpopulation here


Dan Tuohy for NHPR

Most of New Hampshire’s riverside mills and factories have closed. But they’ve left their mark - and in some cases, a lot of toxic waste.

For decades, Nashua has struggled with what to do with waste from the Mohawk Tannery, a factory that produced leather for sixty years. Now, the city is considering a private-public partnership to clean it up, but the details are still up for debate.

Something Wild: Winter of Scarcity

Nov 23, 2018
Courtesy Angus Veitch via Flickr/Creative Commons.

This weekend of plenty is a time to celebrate the abundant harvest. But for a lot of species in the New Hampshire wilds, this is likely the early days of a winter of discontent.

Winter is always the lean time of the year, but this winter especially, biologists are expecting scarcity for all sorts of forest dwellers: birds, rodents and larger mammals. And naturally, our colleague from the Forest Society will remind us that it’s all because of the trees. And this time he’ll meet no disagreement. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire’s largest solar company wants to train more electricians to fill jobs in renewable energy and other industries.

ReVision Energy is touting its new training center now, as part of National Apprenticeship Week. But the program already has 50 students enrolled.

For the next four years, those apprentices will earn full-time wages – up to $25 an hour – and log enough training hours to get their state electrician certification.

The company will also train electricians in Maine and, starting next year, Massachusetts.

New research from UNH says pay-as-you-throw trash programs are sharply reducing solid waste generation in New Hampshire towns.

Roughly 1 in 5 New Hampshire towns and cities use pay-as-you-throw. Usually, that means they only collect trash that's put in official municipal trash bags, which residents have to buy for a dollar or two a piece.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

The New England office of the EPA has awarded grants to Keene State College and the Nashua Regional Planning Commission for projects that aim to reduce kids' exposure to toxins.

Keene State College will use the $25,000 for a project that trains citizen scientists to monitor and reduce air pollution from wood smoke, which exacerbates childhood asthma.

 

Congressional 1st District candidates Eddie Edwards and Chris Pappas met last night at a debate in Manchester hosted by WMUR-TV

Despite toeing their party lines, the two candidates both said they were ready to work across the aisle and bring New Hampshire ideals to a broken system in Washington.

Some highlights of the debate include:

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Last Halloween was not a great one for Chelsie Lent. A bad storm blew across New Hampshire, flooding part of a campground she owns in Warren, along the Baker River.

The water swept away campfire rings, knocked picnic tables across the property, destroyed a road and bath house, and dropped all kinds of debris, she said.

It was symptomatic of a changing climate here. 

Laura Deming / NH Audubon

New England naturalists will be in New Hampshire this weekend to talk about new efforts to restore pollinating species and native plants. NHPR's Annie Ropeik has more about their first-ever pollinator symposium.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Durham residents are frustrated by what they call slow progress in fixing pollution at the state’s largest fish hatchery.

Something Wild: The Dangers of Hiking the Whites

Oct 26, 2018
Dave shares a few tips about hiking safely and conscientiously.

I rolled into the parking lot of the Mountain Wanderer Book Store in Lincoln, New Hampshire. I was there to meet two White Mountain hiking experts. Authors Mike Dickerman of Bond Cliff Books and Steve Smith, editor of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s White Mountain Hiking Guide. Steve also owns the Mountain Wanderer. From the bookstore, we drove to a nearby trail head for the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area in Lincoln.

Jason Moon / NHPR

Several climate science skeptics from around the world will join a controversial conference in Portsmouth over the next two days.

The event, known as the Portsmouth Conference, lost support from the city and the University of New Hampshire because of its roster of speakers.

wikimedia commons

The investigation into the Massachussetts gas explosions is ongoing. But opponents of this energy source are energized, and supporters are on the defense. We look at what the Bay State disaster says about existing regional infrastructure, and how it might affect current pipeline proposals.

AP

A viral video of a whale carcass falling from a front-loader and dumpster to the pavement in Rye this week highlights what's being called an "exceptional die-off" of Minke Whales off the coast of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

New England Aquarium spokesman Tony LaCasse says scientists do not yet know the source of these dead whales.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Nashua residents and officials are debating an EPA proposal to clean up the Mohawk Tannery, a 30-acre toxic waste site along the Nashua River.

The former leather tannery has been the focus of local environmental and health concerns since it closed in the 1980s.

The City of Manchester has reached a settlement with the EPA and the Department of Justice for failing to meet clean air standards for its sewage waste incinerator.

The incinerator, located near the Manchester Airport, processes sewage waste from the region.

The EPA found that Manchester violated federal rules requiring them to monitor and reduce pollutants released from the incinerator, including mercury, lead, and carbon monoxide.

The city will pay a fine of over $131,000 and invest in a new monitoring system which will cost an estimated $6 million.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The fight to overturn two energy bill vetoes will come to the State House today with a demonstration.

The timber industry and renewable energy supporters have teamed up to urge legislators to override Gov. Chris Sununu's vetoes. One would subsidize the biomass power industry, while the other would expand net metering in New Hampshire.

NHPR File Photo

Energy has become a focal point in the race to become New Hampshire's next governor.

The region’s high energy rates make it a key economic issue, and climate change make it a crucial environmental one.

Democrats Molly Kelly and Steve Marchand and Republican Governor Chris Sununu are all working to differentiate themselves on those challenges.

Marchand is a self-described energy wonk. He's gone all in on the details of what he calls "generational change."

Courtesy dimitrisokolenko via Creative Commons.

Labor Day weekend is often summer’s last hurrah – or at least our last chance to participate in those uniquely summer pastimes. So we thought we’d go out with some sun, surf and a nice breeze by exploring another of New Hampshire’s Wild Neighborhoods. And once again we take a tour of great place to visit, but a hard place to eke out a living.

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