Today’s Headlines

Feb 26th, 2008 | By | Category: Farm, Fuel Cell, LNG, Pollution, Recycling, Renewables, River, Solar, Stormwater Runoff, Water, Wildlife

BROADWATER

An op-ed in Newsday from Connecticut Atty. Gen. Richard Blumenthal: NY State must kill Broadwater to benefit public | Newsday.com: “…Broadwater can – and legally must – be avoided because there are much safer, less environmentally damaging proposals that would provide New York and New England with 10 times more natural gas than Broadwater.”

Scientists blast feds on LNG plan | NHRegister.com: “HARTFORD — Connecticut marine scientists from the University of New Haven and the University of Connecticut Monday harshly criticized a federal agency’s finding that a proposed liquefied natural gas plant for the middle of Long Island Sound would have no significant environmental impact.”

LOCAL

The Hour Online – $$$: “Sound cable replacement project nears completion Oil insulated environmentally unfriendly cables replaced”

Mattabassett plant superintendent resigns | MiddletownPress.com: CROMWELL — The Mattabassett District’s sewage treatment plant superintendent resigned two days prior to a 120,000-gallon spill at the plant, which processes sewage from New Britain, Berlin and Cromwell. The cause of the spill was attributed to “human error.”

State lobstermen fear another ‘die-out’ | NHRegister.com: “HARTFORD — Connecticut lobstermen and marine scientists are fearful that Long Island Sound may be suffering from another ‘die-out’ of the kind that wiped out 80 percent of the Sound’s lobsters in 1999. Nicholas Crismale, president of the Connecticut Commercial Lobstermen’s Association, said Monday he’s had reports of pockets of dead lobsters off the Thames River and as far south as the Darien shore.”

Black-legged adult tick infection at 60 percent: County Lyme disease study examines insects in Bethel, Newtown, Redding | NewsTimes.com: “More than half – ’60 percent’ – of the adult black-legged ticks in Fairfield County may be infected with Lyme disease bacteria – a much higher rate than customarily thought, a new study has found.”

A Courant editorial: Weaning Off Bottled Water | Courant.com: “State Rep. Beth Bye, a Democrat from West Hartford has a simple idea that promises to promote health, cut costs of state government, help the environment and reduce our thirst for petroleum: Encourage state workers to drink tap water instead of the bottled variety.”

Waterbury school board can’t override mayor’s veto on power plant protest | The Republican-American: “WATERBURY — The Board of Education will not send a letter to the state in opposition to a $120 million natural gas-fired power plant on Washington Avenue after a change of heart by one member.”

A letter to the editor of The Courant: Tap Water Is Wise Choice | Courant.com: “As a constituent of state Rep. Beth Bye, I support her efforts to stop the state’s practice of purchasing bottled water at taxpayer expense, and to encourage state employees to drink tap water instead [Other Opinion, Feb. 25, 'State Must Get Off the Bottle']. This makes a great deal of sense from both financial and environmental standpoints.” Carolyn J. Malon, of West Hartford is president of the Hartford Dental Society.

Old Engine Plant On Auction Block | Courant.com: “In its heyday, the Stratford Army Engine Plant employed more than 10,000 workers who manufactured engines for Abrams tanks and Army helicopters in its scenic facility bordering the Housatonic River.”

When it rains, it stinks | NewBritainHerald.com: “SOUTHINGTON — More than 100 people crowded into the Town Hall’s council chambers Monday night to express their opinions on the city extending sewer service into the neighborhood below Southington Reservoir.”

Candlewood: Court creates nightmare for local zoning officials | NewsTimes.com: “The region’s campaign to win federal respect for local opinions regarding Candlewood Lake and the Housatonic hydroelectric system has hit a brick wall. The Connecticut Supreme Court, ruling in a case involving Gerard’s Marina in New Milford, has unanimously decided that zoning authority around Candlewood resides with the federal government, under the Federal Water Power Act of 1920.”

A letter to the editor of The News Times: Amorossi is owed apology in Brookfield | NewsTimes.com: “It is with extreme disappointment in and pride for his decision that I learned of Ric Amorossi’s refusal to be reappointed to the Water Pollution Control Authority.”

Costco alters plans for new store | NewsTimes.com: “BROOKFIELD — Plans for a controversial new Costco store have been resubmitted to the town’s Inland Wetlands Commission.”

Harbor panel looks to prevent repeat of barge spill | The Advocate: “STAMFORD – When a barge capsized in the harbor in October, dumping 960 cubic yards of gravel into Long Island Sound, the state Department of Environmental Protection discovered that a state permit for the buoy to which it was tied had expired, according to records on file with the Stamford Harbor Management Commission … Commission members said they hope they will be able to prevent such accidents in the future.”

City to weigh $77M in improvements | Greenwich Time: “STAMFORD – Next year’s proposed capital budget calls for taxpayers to spend $47.4 million to improve city roads, sidewalks, parks and buildings.”

Mushinsky wants Cheshire mine study | NHRegister.com: “A member of the General Assembly’s Environment Committee says she favors conducting a thorough study of where abandoned mines are located around Cheshire before advancing legislation that would appropriate state money to fix problems associated with them.”

Commentary from Charles Walsh at The Connecticut Post: Rell not afraid to take on ‘M.’ billboard industry | The Connecticut Post Online: “… Unlike Vermont, which banned all billboards on its roads more than two score years ago (Maine, Hawaii and Alaska are also in the no billboards club),” The Post argues that “Connecticut’s outdoor advertising industry is so entrenched and the billboards so numerous, any idea of going back to a billboards-free state rests in the realm of fantasy.” Teh author, Charles Walsh, points out a great resource in the fight against billboard blight: the national nonprofit group Scenic America.

Designs for farm tract under way | The Connecticut Post Online: “DERBY — A development firm is moving ahead with a long-awaited project to develop one of the city’s few remaining tracts, drawing up final plans that will be submitted to land-use boards as early as next month.”

NRC Rebukes Dominion For Power Spike At Reactor | TheDay.com: “Waterford — Millstone owner Dominion is investigating the cause of a power surge last year at its Unit 3 reactor that resulted in federal regulators citing the company for not responding quickly enough to the situation.”

Redevelopment Agency Hopes To Manufacture Solution To Dispute Over Norwich Mill | TheDay.com: “Norwich — One city agency hopes to revitalize a vacant old mill building at 26 Shipping St., but another city department has asked to demolish the building.”

EVENTS

Danbury Science discussion set for tonight | NewsTimes.com: “Will LaRusso, president of Polyflon in Norwalk, a division of Crane Co., will discuss ‘Cleansing the Environment with Nanotechnology’ today at 7 p.m. in room 125 of the Science Building on Western Connecticut State University’s midtown campus, off Osborne Street.”

Town Officials To Decide Wednesday On Consultant For Hospital Site Plans | TheDay.com: “Preston — Town officials spent an hour Monday evening listening to a pitch from a man who said he may be able to answer the bulk of their questions about how two proposals for the former state hospital site will impact the town. The group will reconvene at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall.”

Hearing Tuesday On Highway Improvements | TheDay.com: “East Lyme — State lawmakers will convene an informational hearing on highway safety improvements at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall.”

NATIONAL

New Web Multimedia Portal Launched on EPA.gov | Newsroom | US EPA: “(Washington, D.C. – Monday, February 25, 2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today launched its new web multimedia portal: www.epa.gov/multimedia.The multimedia portal is EPA’s one-stop location for environmental video, audio/podcasts, and photography.”

Supreme Court to Hear Exxon Spill Case | Courant.com: “It’s been almost 19 years since the tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground at Alaska’s Bligh Reef, spurting 11 million gallons of crude into the rich fishing waters of Prince William Sound. In 1994, an Anchorage jury awarded victims $5 billion in punitive damages. That amount has since been cut in half by other courts on appeals by Exxon Mobil Corp. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday from Exxon on why the company should not have to pay punitive damages at all.”

Human Shadows on the Seas | New York Times: “A paper in the Feb. 15 issue of the journal Science is the first effort to map 17 kinds of human ocean impacts like organic pollution, including agricultural runoff and sewage; damage from bottom-scraping trawls; and intensive traditional fishing along coral reefs.”

Farms May Be Exempted From Emission Rules | washingtonpost.com: “Under pressure from agriculture industry lobbyists and lawmakers from agricultural states, the Environmental Protection Agency wants to drop requirements that factory farms report their emissions of toxic gases, despite findings by the agency’s scientists that the gases pose a health threat.”

'Doomsday' Seed Vault Opens in Arctic | Courant.com: “LONGYEARBYEN, Norway – A ‘doomsday’ seed vault built to protect millions of food crops from climate change, wars and natural disasters opened Tuesday deep within an Arctic mountain in the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.”

Photovoltaic Cells Are Still Very Green, Comparative Test Shows | New York Times: “Solar power generated by photovoltaic cells is among the greenest of energy options. The cells just sit there, basking in the sun and emitting nothing but electrons. But cells are manufactured, and the manufacturing process is not benign.”

Plug-in cars could actually increase air pollution | USATODAY.com: “The expected introduction of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles could cut U.S. gasoline use but could increase deadly air pollution in some areas, two reports say.”

Mercury leaks found as new bulbs break | The Boston Globe: “… Reports, issued by the state of Maine and the Vermont-based Mercury Policy Project, urged homeowners to keep using compact fluorescents because their energy-saving benefits far outweigh the risk posed by mercury released from a broken lamp.”

Major Institutions Make Plans to Go ‘Green’: New U.S. EPA Performance Track members include Frito-Lay, Toyota | US EPA: “SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has welcomed five new facilities in California and Nevada into the National Environmental Performance Track Program. Performance Track is a U.S. EPA partnership that recognizes top environmental performance among participating U.S. facilities of all types, sizes, and complexity.”

Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Receives Grant for Collaborating to Sustain the Planet | US EPA: “(Boston, Mass. – Feb. 25, 2008) – The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, of Bangor Maine is one of ten recipients of the Collaborative Science and Technology Network for Sustainability (CNS) research grant nationwide. Dartmouth College, of Hanover, NH, is another.”

Chinese Plastic Bag Maker Shuts Down | Newsday.com: “BEIJING – China’s largest producer of plastic bags said Tuesday it has closed more than a month after the government announced a high-profile ban on stores handing out free bags in an effort to clean up the environment.”

EXTRA

A Courant video: Recycling old TV's – tricky? | Courant.com: “A Denver company wants to become the leader in a national television recycling movement as the digital transition nears.”

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