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Environment

Berkshire Gas Co. spokesman tells Franklin County Chamber of Commerce of ‘critical need’ for Tennessee Gas Pipeline

Saturday, April 25, 2015

DEERFIELD — Berkshire Gas Co. spokesman Christopher Farrell made a case last week with the region’s business leaders for what he called the “critical need” for the Northeast Energy Direct project proposed by Tennessee Gas Pipeline. Farrell said it is needed not only to grow the economy, but to keep businesses from leaving. Having Tennessee Gas Pipeline as the only supplier for Berkshire Gas, with all service to Franklin, Hampshire …

Earth Matters: Birdwatching for a cause — but mostly for fun

Friday, April 24, 2015

There are many reasons to watch birds. Developing identification skills, appreciating ecological and evolutionary relationships, appreciating the beauty of birds, visiting interesting places, building lists of species one has seen and enjoying good company are among them. Once a year I have an additional reason to watch birds — supporting environmental education at …

Valley Views: Green Heron, Juvenile

Friday, April 24, 2015

Green Heron, Juvenile University of Massachusetts Campus Pond, Amherst Photograph and text by Georgette deFriesse, Belchertown Last summer, I wandered around the pond at the University of Massachusetts watching the antics of a juvenile green heron. The young ones are a lot of fun to watch because they’re kind of goofy. So are …

Bird sightings

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. An unprecedented spring fallout of ruddy ducks occurred at many locations over the weekend. A common tern and a long-tailed duck were found at …

Popular pesticide hurts wild bees in major field study

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

WASHINGTON — A common type of pesticide is dramatically harming wild bees, according to a new in-the-field study that outside experts say may help shift the way the U.S. government looks at a controversial class of chemicals. But …

Clean-water advocate swims at Superfund site

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) — A clean-water advocate took an Earth Day swim in the polluted Gowanus Canal, a federal Superfund site. “I’m going in!” yelled Christopher Swain, wearing a yellow-and-black protective suit and a green swim cap as …

Construction of new Hitchcock Center for Environment building will begin with groundbreaking May 1

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

AMHERST — Construction of the $5.8 million building that will house the Hitchcock Center for the Environment will begin with a ceremonial groundbreaking May 1 on the Hampshire College campus on West Street. The 9,000-square-foot building is expected to be New England’s first public environmental education facility to …

Earth Day’s 45th anniversary comes at a time when environmental consciousness heightened year-round

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Events throughout the region this week are commemorating the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, though organizers say that environmental consciousness is now heightened year-round. Officially taking place on Wednesday, Earth Day began in 1970 at a time when …

US agency wants to lift protection for humpbacks

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

HONOLULU — The federal government on Monday proposed removing most of the world’s humpback whales from the endangered species list, saying the massive mammals have rebounded after 45 years of protection and restoration efforts. National Oceanic and Atmospheric …

‘Bee weeks’ in Amherst, Northampton and Greenfield raise awareness about insect population decline

Friday, April 17, 2015

AMHERST — As the number of honeybees continues to decline, efforts are underway in Amherst, Northampton and Greenfield to promote bee habitats in meadows and to encourage residents and business owners to provide flowers that attract bees. All three communities are putting together “bee weeks” this spring. They …

Valley Views: Blue Heron Rookery

Friday, April 17, 2015

Blue Heron Rookery Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, Combs Road, Easthampton Marty Espinola, Northampton In mid-April I made my annual trek to the heron rookery on the Mass Audubon Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton. I stayed for over two hours …

Forums planned in Greenfield and Turners Falls on proposed Tennessee Gas pipeline

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Two forums on the Northeast Energy Direct project proposed by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. are scheduled in the coming weeks — one for the general public, the other specifically for potentially affected landowners and communities. To mark Earth Day, the Greenfield Community College Green Campus Committee will …

Demand debated for natural gas that would be delivered by Tennessee Gas pipeline

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The public statement by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. about demand “appears to be seriously overstated,” area opponents of the Northeast Energy Direct project told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week. Massachusetts Pipeline Action Network President Kathryn Eiseman, in a letter sent Wednesday to the Federal Energy …