Windmills on the horizon in Providence, Rhode Island. (photo: cjzurcher)

Top Story

Legislative Panel Approves Wind Turbine Regulations on 4th Try

A long-running dispute over how to regulate power-generating wind turbines in Connecticut ended Tuesday when a legislative committee finally approved new rules that will end a nearly three-year stalemate on the issue.

Wind energy businesses were fearful of more delays, warning failure to approve the regulations this time around could kill chances for moving ahead with wind turbines in this state.

Founded in 2007 for the state of Connecticut, Environmental Headlines is a collection of local and hyper-local environmental news coverage for communities in Connecticut and around the world. If you are interested in staying abreast of what is happening in Connecticut's environment, please sign up for our news feed, which is an easy way to receive a rundown of all the news updates via email. Please come back and visit the site to see who is sponsoring and, if you would like to support our efforts, please make a donation on the How to Support Us page. Thank you for your continued support!

Featured Story

A facility for storing fracking waste in Pennsylvania. (photo: riverkeeper.org)

Courant Editorial: Dangerous fracking waste needs to be kept out of Connecticut

The Environment Committee approved a House bill that would allow the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to regulate fracking waste. Along with the Judiciary Committee, it also moved forward a Senate bill that would “prohibit the storage or disposal in this state of materials produced as a by-product of fracking activities.”

Pollution is segregated, including in New Haven | Washington Post

Studies dating back to the 1970s have pointed to a consistent pattern in who lives near the kinds of hazards — toxic waste sites, landfills, congested highways — that few of us would willingly choose as neighbors. The invariable answer: poor people and communities of color.

rabbit

Connecticut is currently revising its Wildlife Action Plan

Participation by conservation partners, academic institutions, and the public is the key to making the revised Plan an effective tool for conserving Connecticut’s diversity of wildlife resources for future generations.

Long-Island-Sound-LIS-dolphin-futures

2014 Sound Futures Fund Grant Program Announced

The program, which was created by the Long Island Sound Study through its federal and state partners, is managed by NFWF. Further information, including the request for proposals, is available on NFWF’s Sound Futures Fund grant page. The deadline to apply is May 22.

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Connecticut’s nuclear plant can use warmer water

The Millstone 2 plant may use water as warm as 80 degrees Fahrenheit, up from 75 degrees, said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is considering a similar request for Millstone 3.

(photo: cjzurcher)

Register today for April 25 LIS Citizen’s Summit at a discount

Due to the difficulty in registering last Friday, there is still an opportunity to take advantage of the discounted price at this year’s Summit.

Flooding along River Road in Cromwell, Conn. (photo for Environmental Headlines: Ross Powell)

Connecticut River crests, floods local roads

If you live along the Connecticut River, green grass isn’t the only sign that spring has sprung.

long-live-earth

Celebrate Earth Day by participating in a local event or volunteer opportunity.

Celebrate Earth Day by participating in a local event or volunteer opportunity. Click here for the most complete list of local events in and around Connecticut.

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Environmental Headlines is, still, a free service. Our mission is to deliver Connecticut environmental news that creates real change. That means blogging today’s environmental headlines for everyone to read—for free.

Image: Wespionage (http://www.flickr.com/photos/wespionage/765209458/in/set-72157602153892507/)

Courant editorial: ‘Ban the import of fracking wastes’

Because there are few governmental responsibilities as profound as protecting the air and water that sustain life, until the system is safe beyond question, the state should ban the storage and disposal of fracking waste within Connecticut’s borders.

A dusting of frozen precipitation is seen in the foreground of this image of the great Connecticut River overflowing its banks in Cromwell, Conn., with the Arigoni Bridge in Middletown in the background. (photo: Ross Powell)

Flood Warning for Connecticut River

As heavy rain moved into western Massachusetts on Tuesday, the National Weather Service issued a Flood Warning for the Connecticut River in Northampton, Montague, and just over the state line in Thompsonville, Connecticut.

Connecticut River in Cromwell (photo: Ross Powell)

Flood warning for Conn. River issued

Melting snow from northern New England is causing the National Weather Service to issue a flood warning for the Connecticut River in Hartford and Middlesex Counties.

One of a nesting pair of Bald Eagles in Windsor Locks (Paul J. Fusco/CT DEEP)

Bald eagles returned to Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail to nest

A pair of bald eagles returned to Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail to nest for the fourth year in a row. To protect them, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has closed a portion of the trail until July 1.

gmo-label

House kills proposed GMO grass seed ban

In an unusual move that could have ripple effects for the rest of the legislative session, the state House killed a proposal favored by the Senate’s top lawmaker Thursday.

A 1936 photo of the site where the Steelpointe Harbor redevelopment is planned. Building is expected to begin this summer on the area's first anchor, a 150,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops. (photo: Bridgeport History Center, Bridgeport Public Library)

Steel Point Redevelopment Nears Launch in Bridgeport

Bridgeport officials now say the fortunes of Steel Point will turn this summer when building begins on the area’s first anchor, a 150,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops, which sells boats and outdoor supplies.

Water

Muddy sediment empties into Long Island Sound from the Connecticut River after Hurricane Irene in 2011. (NASA Earth Observatory)

Connecticut River Watershed Study Will Assess Impacts of Extreme Rain Events

A team of Yale researchers will lead a five-year, $3 million study to determine whether an increase in extreme rain events is affecting the transport of dissolved organic matter through the Connecticut River watershed, a phenomenon they say could alter the chemical composition and water quality of the watershed and Long Island Sound.

Greenwich Man Helps Eels Clear Byram River Dam

A Greenwich man is working to help baby eels making their annual migration from Long Island Sound to rivers across Connecticut, according to WNPR News.

pond-lily-dam-new-haven

Damn removal to take place this summer in New Haven — Release The Herring!

Pond Lily dam, which was built more than two centuries ago to power a textile mill, is slated to be taken apart this summer so that river herring will be free to swim upstream to spawn.

new-york-sewage-upgrades

Westchester County gets ‘B’ for protecting Long Island Sound

New Haven-based Long Island Sound advocacy group Save the Sound says Westchester’s sewage treatment plants are doing a good job removing nitrogen before discharging into the Sound but have to do more.

Land

farm-at-stratford

Stratford Delegation Applauds ‘America The Beautiful’ Grant For Stratford

“This grant will help continue our work of keeping what was the Pirhalla property as a working community farm,” said Rep. Terry Backer, who also serves as executive director and soundkeeper of Soundkeeper, Inc. “What was once a fallow tract of land now produces locally harvested food for Stratford residents.”

train-tracks-rail

Riding the rails through the ruin of Connecticut — Chris Powell

Reading the governor’s press releases, Connecticut might think that preservation of farmland and prevention of “suburban sprawl” are compelling issues. Riding the train from Greenwich to Hartford gives a contrary impression. Thanks to Amtrak, such a trip is still possible for those who can deal with the bumps, shuttered washrooms, and clogged toilets.

playground

Will West Haven’s Land Trust reject Sandy Hook playground?

It could happen — but people on all sides are trying to work things out so it doesn’t.

Deal preserves federal funding for Connecticut farmland preservations

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and federal officials Wednesday announced an agreement that allows the state to access more than $8 million in federal funds for farmland preservation. The agreement also will increase flexibility in use of federal money through the state’s Farmland Preservation Program. The deal was jointly announced by Malloy, Connecticut Department of Agriculture

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Energy

natural-gas-transmission

Expanding natural gas pipelines ‘key’: Malloy

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Wednesday that expanding natural gas pipelines to provide delivery to an additional 280,000 Connecticut customers over the next 10 years is key to controlling rising costs for power in the region.

Windmills on the horizon in Providence, Rhode Island. (photo: cjzurcher)

Legislative Panel Approves Wind Turbine Regulations on 4th Try

A long-running dispute over how to regulate power-generating wind turbines in Connecticut ended Tuesday when a legislative committee finally approved new rules that will end a nearly three-year stalemate on the issue.

Wind energy businesses were fearful of more delays, warning failure to approve the regulations this time around could kill chances for moving ahead with wind turbines in this state.

millstone_dep_picture-sml

Connecticut’s nuclear plant can use warmer water

The Millstone 2 plant may use water as warm as 80 degrees Fahrenheit, up from 75 degrees, said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is considering a similar request for Millstone 3.

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Committee Poised To Approve New Wind Turbine Regulations

Lawmakers and state officials are optimistic they have finally struck the right balance in deciding where wind turbines in the state should be located.

Business

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CL&P launches Home Energy Reports program

Beginning this week, more than 340,000 Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) customers will be automatically enrolled in a new, free energy-saving service called Home Energy Reports, an Energize Connecticut initiative.

Op-ed: For CT business leaders, every day is Earth Day

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his new Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee recognize that investing in energy efficiency is not only good for individual Connecticut businesses, it boosts economic growth for the state. Indeed, energy efficiency can be considered an economic driver. A 2009 economic analysis by Environment Northeast concluded that $1 invested in

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fuel-cell-energy-small

FuelCell Energy awarded $3M from energy department

According to a news release, “This project will enhance the performance, increase the lifespan, and decrease the cost of stationary fuel cells being used for distributed generation and combined heat and power applications.”

A 1936 photo of the site where the Steelpointe Harbor redevelopment is planned. Building is expected to begin this summer on the area's first anchor, a 150,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops. (photo: Bridgeport History Center, Bridgeport Public Library)

Steel Point Redevelopment Nears Launch in Bridgeport

Bridgeport officials now say the fortunes of Steel Point will turn this summer when building begins on the area’s first anchor, a 150,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops, which sells boats and outdoor supplies.

Transportation

Meetings planned to update public on Connecticut busway project

A series of meetings are planned to update the public about Connecticut’s first bus rapid transit system scheduled to begin operations early next year. For more on this story, visit: Meetings planned to update public on Connecticut busway project | The New Haven Register .

NB-Hartford-busway

Connecticut hopes to sell riders on bus-only route

The state is budgeting about $3 million, 80 percent of which comes from the federal government, for an 18- to 24-month marketing effort on radio, billboards, movie theater ads, and the Internet.

Route 34 hits political traffic | Yale Daily News

While New Haven’s Community Development Committee met last week to discuss a redevelopment plan for Route 34, New Haven bikers, car owners and environmental activists held their breaths.

transit-rail

Progress Made in Expanding I-91 Corridor Rail Service

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has announced what was described as “a significant milestone in progress to provide more robust commuter service on the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail line: the state will be seeking proposals from railroad companies to begin operating the service in 2016.”

Climate Change

hurricane-sandy-nasa

Climate Change: Climate change Affects State, But Legislative Answers Stalled

176 bills on climate change were introduced in the 113th Congress, including 108 that address global warming and other climate change factors. But 68 bills would “hinder climate action,” including 45 that would curb the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

A rain storm in 2012 prevented many commuters from finding a dry route to their homes after work. (photo: cjzurcher)

Forum: Climate change increasingly costly for Greater New Haven

The impacts of climate change are increasingly costly for the New Haven region and the world. In New Haven, we’ve recently seen Hurricane Irene and the 2011 Halloween nor’easter that dumped heavy snow; an August 2012 torrential rain that dumped 2.1 inches in less than an hour, then October “Super Storm” Sandy. And in 2013 Blizzard Nemo hit. Then, 2014 saw the arrival of arctic vortex that created a much harsher winter and drove up heating bills. UI just announced plans to spend $100 million to cut back trees in the area to prepare for future storms, both of which will cost residents more but are especially hard on those with fixed incomes.

While the challenge is daunting, there are many great very doable solutions available. We just need to move on them. Now.

Pay Now or Pay More Later

Economics is largely just organized common sense, and it doesn’t get much more common sense than benefit-cost analysis. Want to decide whether to buy that apple, make that investment or pass that clean air rule? Tally up the benefits. Tally up the costs. If benefits outweigh costs, do it.

flare-methane-oil-gas-climate

Huge Methane Leaks Add Doubt on Gas as ‘Bridge’ Fuel

The IPCC in its Working Group III report says natural gas as a bridge fuel will only be effective if few gases escape into the atmosphere during natural gas production and distribution.