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Environment

The Regulators: MassDEP enforcement notes, violations, fees, orders

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

IN THE NEWS Inspector general blasts Near Earth Objects program CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. NASA’s effort to identify potentially dangerous space rocks has taken a hit. On Monday, the space agency’s inspector general released a report blasting NASA’s Near Earth Objects program, which is meant to hunt and catalog comets, asteroids and relatively large fragments of these objects that pass within 28 million miles of Earth. The purpose is to protect …

Study shows leaky natural gas wells, not fracking, tainted groundwater in Pennsylvania and Texas

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WASHINGTON — The drilling procedure called fracking didn’t cause much-publicized cases of tainted groundwater in areas of Pennsylvania and Texas, a new study finds. Instead, it blames the contamination on problems in pipes and seals in natural gas wells. After looking at dozens of cases of suspected contamination, the scientists focused on eight …

Groundbreaking research in Arctic leads UMass professor Julie Brigham-Grette to head Polar Research Board

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

AMHERST — Studying glacial geology is a tantalizing mystery that can offer up a treasure trove of information if you know how and where to dig, believes University of Massachusetts Amherst professor Julie Brigham-Grette. “It’s like trying to put together a 1,000-piece puzzle and having only 300 pieces to work with,” Brigham-Grette said …

Northampton tree survey volunteer gets a lesson in identification skills

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Before volunteering in the Northampton tree surveying project last weekend, I would have guessed that a “London plane” was something that flew in and out of Heathrow Airport. Now, thanks to a group of dedicated arborists, …

earth matters An encounter with a doddering old friend

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A river, where not constrained by cliffs, tends to wander. Small irregularities in a bank eroded by river water are the beginnings of meanders in the river. Loops cut off from the river become oxbow lakes, and as …

‘Disruption’ documentary about climate change will be screened Tuesday; more than 1,000 people from Valley expected at People’s Climate March

Monday, September 15, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A documentary that traces the history of climate change and profiles the People’s Climate March in New York City on Sunday will be shown in Northampton Tuesday night. “Disruption” is being screened at 7 p.m. at Stoddard Hall auditorium on Elm Street across from the Art …

Connecticut River Watershed Council raises concerns about water discharge permit for Vermont Yankee

Saturday, September 13, 2014

VERNON, Vt. — The state’s Agency of Natural Resources is scheduled to issue a new water discharge permit later this month for the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, even though the plant will be a few months away from permanently shutting down by then. Still, the Connecticut River Watershed …

Scientists say ozone layer is recovering

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WASHINGTON — Earth’s protective but fragile ozone layer is beginning to recover, largely because of the phase-out since the 1980s of certain chemicals used in refrigerants and aerosol cans, a U.N. scientific panel reported Wednesday in a rare …

Kinder Morgan has 15 days to answer Deerfield Board of Health questions about proposed natural gas pipeline

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

DEERFIELD — Kinder Morgan has 15 days to respond to concerns raised by the town’s Board of Health before it meets to evaluate the safety of the company’s proposed natural gas pipeline and decide whether it should be allowed to pass through the town. During a public hearing …

CO2 pollution levels at record high in 2013

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

GENEVA — Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2013 as increasing levels of man-made pollution transform the planet, the U.N. weather agency said Tuesday. The heat-trapping gas blamed for the largest share of …

Deerfield Board of Health to hold hearing on Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

DEERFIELD — The Board of Health will hold a public hearing tonight to discuss whether the proposed Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline would present an “unacceptable health danger” to the town. The hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Frontier Regional School. Cristobal Bonifaz, a …

Global warming a threat to many birds’ habitats, Audubon reports

Monday, September 8, 2014

WASHINGTON — As the world gets warmer, the Baltimore oriole will no longer be found in Maryland. The Mississippi kite will move north, east and pretty much out of its namesake state. And the California gull will mostly …

Phoenix swamped by rainfall

Monday, September 8, 2014

PHOENIX — The remnants of Hurricane Norbert pushed into the desert Southwest and swamped Phoenix with record rainfall for a single day, turning freeways into small lakes and sending rescuers scrambling to get drivers out of inundated cars. …