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Environment

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission extends public comment period on gas pipeline to Oct. 16

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has extended the public comment period of its scoping process for Kinder Morgan’s proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline until Oct. 16. The decision comes amid criticism that Kinder Morgan’s release of nearly 6,500 pages of information related to the project in late July would not allow interested parties sufficient time to examine and analyze the documents before the original Aug. 31 deadline for comments. Communities …

Earth Talk: Verticle growing offers high-production, pest-free crops

Friday, September 4, 2015

Dear Earthtalk: What advantages do so-called “vertical farms” have over traditional gardens and farms? — Sylvia Pleasant, Washington, DC When Dickson Despommier’s book The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century was first published, there were no vertical farms. Now, it’s an exciting movement in U.S. food production, providing pesticide-free leafy …

Valley Views

Friday, September 4, 2015

Cowbirds Quabbin Reservoir, Belchertown Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely, South Hadley I seem to be seeing an abundance of brown-headed cowbirds this year, but maybe I’ve just never paid that much attention before. While driving through Quabbin Reservoir I captured these two sparring males from my car window using a hand …

Bird sightings

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A black-crowned night-heron has been seen for several days at Forest Park in Springfield. Two olive-sided flycatchers were reported in Belchertown and another two …

Loan from Common Good Finance boosts completion of Northeast Biodiesel plant in Greenfield

Friday, September 4, 2015

Long in the planning to ensure it is locally owned, the Northeast Biodiesel plant nearly ready at the Greenfield Industrial Park is getting a final boost from a 160-member, community-based nonprofit finance system. The $200,000, seven-year loan is provided by Ashfield-based Common Good Finance to Co-op Power, a …

Whately seeks bids for work stablizing banks of the Mill River

Thursday, September 3, 2015

WHATELY — Town officials are seeking bids from contractors to stabilize the banks of the Mill River before they collapse and contaminate two nearby wells that supply water to nearly half of the town’s residents. The town will accept bids until Sept. 16, and a mandatory prebid conference …

Obama heads north of Arctic Circle

Thursday, September 3, 2015

KOTZEBUE, Alaska — President Barack Obama crossed the Arctic Circle on Wednesday in a first by a sitting U.S. president, telling residents in a far-flung Alaska village that their plight should be the world’s wake-up call on global …

Earth’s tree count: 3 trillion

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

WASHINGTON — More than 3 trillion trees now grow on Earth, seven times more than scientists previously thought. But it’s also trillions fewer than there used to be, a new study concludes. A United Nations-affiliated youth group had a goal of planting one billion trees and Yale forestry …

Bears killed in Conn. after threats to people

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

BURLINGTON, Conn. — Wildlife staffers in Connecticut killed a bear in the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area of Burlington on Wednesday that was seen on video acting aggressively toward a female hiker, along with a second bear that charged employees Tuesday evening, the Department of Energy and Environmental …

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission still taking comments on pipeline’s environmental impact as deadline passes

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A flurry of comments about the Northeast Energy Direct project proposed by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. has turned in recent days to a veritable blizzard as the deadline passed Monday for posting comments on what should be …

Obama takes stock of melting Alaska glacier

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

SEWARD, Alaska — President Barack Obama stared down a melting glacier in Alaska on Tuesday in a dramatic use of his presidential pulpit to sound the alarm on climate change. From a distance, Exit Glacier appears as a …

Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approves long-term contracts for Tennessee Gas Pipeline project

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The state Department of Public Utilities on Monday approved long-term contracts for Berkshire Gas, Columbia Gas and National Grid to buy natural gas from the Northeast Energy Direct project proposed by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. The three 20-year contracts to buy gas from the nearly 420-mile pipeline …

Decision to kill ‘aggressive’ black bear draws deluge of protests

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

By Gregory B. Hladky The Hartford Courant (TNS) HARTFORD, Conn. — Despite a wave of protests, state wildlife experts Monday were still hunting a “bold and aggressive” black bear they plan to kill in response to a potentially dangerous encounter the animal had with a hiker in Burlington. …