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Important Changes at Environmental Headlines

Oct 20th, 2014 | By

Environmental Headlines will be seven years old soon. I love to publish The Headlines because it keeps me and all of my readers up-to-date on what’s going on in Connecticut’s environmental community. More than 5,000 people visit the site regularly.

Many readers generously contribute to The Headlines every year, and you know how much I appreciate you and how valuable your support has been in keeping Environmental Headlines going. I thank each and every one of you!

The time has come for readers to pay for access to Environmental Headlines.

Bridgeport Council passes resolution to retire coal plant. PSEG to donate and install solar panels

Oct 9th, 2014 | By

Monday night, in a 17-1 vote overseen by Mayor Bill Finch, the Bridgeport City Council approved a resolution calling for a responsible and managed retirement of the Bridgeport Harbor Station coal plant.

“This is a huge step toward healthier air and cleaner water in Bridgeport,” said Onté Johnson, Bridgeport organizing representative of the Sierra Club.

Thousands of Letters Delivered to EPA Leader on Banks of Connecticut River: Advocates Call For Stronger Protections for Local Rivers, Streams, and Wetlands

Oct 6th, 2014 | By

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Rep. John Larson, state Rep. Mary Mushinsky, New England Regional EPA head Curt Spalding and DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee, Clean Water Action, Rivers Alliance, Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment, Sierra Club, CT Coalition for Environmental Justice, Interreligious Eco-Justice Network and other groups stressed the need for improved water protections and to showcase the importance of clean water for everyone.

Hundreds? or thousands? from Conn. head to People’s Climate March?

Sep 22nd, 2014 | By
The view looking south along Central Park West during the People's Climate March in New York City Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. (photo: cjzurcher)

Was it hundreds from Conn? or Thousands? at the ?#?PeoplesClimateMarch?? The Associated Press, and therefore just about every newspaper in the state, ran the headline, courtesy of The AP, “Hundreds head from Conn. to NYC for climate march.” Other news organizations followed suit, like CBS reporting “Thousands to attend climate march.”

Having ridden the train with others, both going (on Saturday) and coming home Sunday, I think hundreds is a very low average estimate. Thousands of people from the state were in those trains. I spoke with people who boarded trains close to 7 a.m. Many others filled the trains later in the morning and day.

America’s Dirtiest Power Plants Report Released

Sep 19th, 2014 | By

Some conclusions include: The U.S. should cut overall emissions of global warming pollution by at least 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. This will require action at all levels of government.

The U.S. EPA should strengthen, finalize and implement the Clean Power Plan. Congress should also take action to drive down emissions and promote renewable energy, including by adopting a comprehensive national climate policy and passing a national renewable electricity standard.

Click on this Environmental Headline for more of this story.

A Hartford Eyesore Turned Solar Oasis

Sep 5th, 2014 | By
The solar array is on top of 10 million tons of capped-off waste in Hartford's north end. (photo: Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority)

A new $30M solar array in Hartford is the first solar-energy project to be built atop a closed landfill in the state. At peak capacity, it’s expected to power about 1,000 homes per day.

UBS Backs Away From Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

Aug 14th, 2014 | By
From left to right: Vic Lancia, Nick Katkevich, Carmen Cordero, April Scheller, Colin Bennett, Ben Martin, Dan Fischer, Anthony Sorge. (contributed)

UBS, the world’s third top funder of mountaintop removal in 2011, has taken steps demonstrating its commitment to significantly reduce financing of the mining practice.

In the summer of 2013, members of the campaign were arrested during a protest at UBS’s Knoxville, Tenn., office. Shortly afterwards, four members of the Connecticut-based group Capitalism vs. the Climate blocked the entrance to UBS’s North American headquarters in Stamford, Conn., and were arrested.

Habitat Change Threatens Connecticut’s Birds; Sound Conservation Management is Crucial to Recovery

Jul 29th, 2014 | By

Connecticut’s wide diversity of bird species is diminishing and is at risk of continued declines as habitats throughout the state suffer from neglect caused by a lack of conservation management. Connecticut Audubon Society has released its annual State of the Birds Report to serve as a guide, a warning, and a call to action.

The declining population of Bobolinks in Connecticut can be addressed with proper land management.

Old Saybrook referendum favors purchase of The Preserve

Jul 8th, 2014 | By

Old Saybrook residents voted overwhelmingly to provide $3 million in town funds towards purchase of the property, which was once slated to be turned into golf courses and a housing development. Connecticut Fund for the Environment and Trust for Public Land are challenged to permanently protect this coastal forest that shelters wildlife and migratory birds, filters drinking water, and contains miles of hiking trails. Click on this Environmental Headline for more from CFE and others as the story develops.

Old Saybrook residents to vote on The Preserve Tuesday, July 8

Jul 8th, 2014 | By
This view of the Preserve area is looking south east from Essex (Route 153 in the foreground), toward Saybrook Point and Long Island Sound in the distance. The mouth of the Connecticut River is at the top left, Connecticut Valley Railroad line visible center left, and the Pequot Swamp in The Preserve is at center right. (photo: © R. Lorenz)

Today, Old Saybrook residents have the opportunity to expand that impressive legacy when they vote on a plan to spend $3 million toward the purchase price of The Preserve, nearly 1,000 pristine acres on the shore of Long Island Sound and the mouth of the Connecticut River.

Governor Malloy Signs Fracking Waste Moratorium into Law

Jun 14th, 2014 | By

Citizens Campaign for the Environment is applauding Gov. Dannell P. Malloy for signing Public Act 14-200 into law, which enacts a three year moratorium on toxic fracking waste in Connecticut. The legislation was passed with strong bi-partisan support in the House and Senate, and saw an outpouring of grassroots support across the state. In total, activists generated over 7,850 signatures and more than 3,250 hand written letters from the public to elected officials in favor of a ban on fracking waste in 2014.

Carbon emissions down in Connecticut; More work to be done

Jun 8th, 2014 | By

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said that Connecticut is making significant progress in reducing statewide emissions of harmful greenhouse gases to meet requirements set in state law, citing a report issued by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection that details the state’s progress toward meeting the statutory mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 10% below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80% below 2001 levels by 2050.

The report demonstrates that Connecticut is clearly on a trajectory to meet the 2020 mandate much sooner than that date and is putting programs in place to meet the 2050 mandate.

Residents Oppose Spectra Energy’s Fracked Gas Project

May 30th, 2014 | By

Residents of Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island gathered outside the Democratic Governors Association Thursday, using a puppet performance to protest the governors’ support for the natural gas industry.

They called on the governors to withdraw their support for Spectra Energy’s gas pipeline expansion proposal. Called the “Algonquin Incremental Market” project, Spectra’s project would carry high volumes of methane gas through neighborhoods in Connecticut and other states and, most dangerously, in the vicinity of the Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York.

CEQ finds ‘positive trends’ in the environment and ‘lingering problems’

May 29th, 2014 | By

The Council on Environmental Quality has reviewed the state’s environmental data for 2013 and found clear positive trends and lingering problems. This year’s report also highlights the many ways in which global climate change is working against the state’s efforts to improve air and water quality.

The report notes that an extraordinary number (237) of notices were issued for violations of regulations pertaining to radioactive materials and x-ray devices.

Turtles and Roads Are a Deadly Combo: Assisting them in proper manner helps ensure survival of species

May 24th, 2014 | By

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) reminds residents to be on the lookout for turtles crossing roads. The months of May and June are the nesting season for many turtles and during this season egg-bearing aquatic turtles often cross roads in search of terrestrial nesting sites.

1,554 ICC volunteers cleaned 8,756 lbs of trash from 44 Connecticut beaches in fall of 2013

May 21st, 2014 | By

Save the Sound has released its 2013 coastal cleanup data, in conjunction with Ocean Conservancy’s release of worldwide data from the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup in the fall of 2013.

In 2013, 1,554 citizens participated in cleanups at 44 Connecticut beaches. They filled 453 bags with 8,756 pounds of trash, covering 68.95 miles of the state’s shores. Cleanups spanned the Connecticut coastline from Greenwich to Mystic, with groups including Friends of Parks, schools and religious organizations, rotary clubs, environmental and civic groups, scout troops, and more all participating.

West Antarctic ice melt is now ‘unstoppable’: NASA

May 13th, 2014 | By

Glaciers in western Antarctica are melting at an “unstoppable” rate that could cause worldwide sea levels to rise far quicker than previously thought, two groups of scientists said Monday.

Teams of researchers from NASA and the University of California said the ice sheets will continue to retreat for decades or even centuries to come, regardless of any human effort to reduce carbon emissions a primary cause of climate change ’ though warming temperatures could accelerate the process.

Green Party seeks alliance against proposed expansion of Algonquin gas pipeline

May 4th, 2014 | By

The Green Party of Rhode Island is seeking to create a five-state alliance of Green parties (MA-RI-CT-NY-NJ) to STOP the proposed Algonquin Pipeline expansion.

This $971 million project has moved into high gear, with a final application now on file at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. There’s been little public comment so far and the opposition, while growing, has been fragmented. Only the Green parties are positioned to quickly ramp up a coordinated, multi-state resistance.

See other posts under the energy section for more about this pipeline proposal.

Malloy announces plan to preserve coastal forest along Long Island Sound

Apr 27th, 2014 | By
This view of the Preserve area is looking south east from Essex (Route 153 in the foreground), toward Saybrook Point and Long Island Sound in the distance. The mouth of the Connecticut River is at the top left, Connecticut Valley Railroad line visible center left, and the Pequot Swamp in The Preserve is at center right. (photo: © R. Lorenz)

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has announced a plan for the state to play a major role in purchasing and protecting as open space a sometimes-contentious 1,000-acres along Long Island Sound ironically dubbed “The Preserve” by the wanna-be developers of a housing development and 18-hole golf course on the property that is in Essex, Westbrook and, mostly, Old Saybrook.

Legislative Panel Approves Wind Turbine Regulations on 4th Try

Apr 23rd, 2014 | By
Windmills on the horizon in Providence, Rhode Island. (photo: cjzurcher)

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.