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Environment

Federal regulators approve request by Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Project to increase winter capacity

Thursday, November 27, 2014

NORTHFIELD — Federal regulators on Wednesday granted last-minute approval for the Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Project to pump more water from the Connecticut River, boosting storage capacity at its mountaintop reservoir for four months beginning Monday. FirstLight Hydro Generating Co. will be able to add 22 feet of capacity to its 5-billion-gallon reservoir through March 31 to address winter electricity needs in New England. FirstLight’s application, filed with the Federal …

Thanksgiving travel ‘a little hairy’ across region

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — A sloppy mix of rain and snow rolled into the Northeast on Wednesday just as millions of Americans began the big Thanksgiving getaway, grounding hundreds of flights and turning highways hazardous along the congested Washington-to-Boston corridor. By early evening, more than 700 flights had been canceled, the bulk of …

Businesses invited to briefings in Hadley, Greenfield on Tennessee Gas Pipeline

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A statewide industrial group and local chambers of commerce have scheduled by-invitation-only meetings Tuesday in Hadley and Greenfield to brief businesses about the project proposed by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. Associated Industries of Massachusetts is the co-sponsor of the “business community energy briefing” sessions. The meeting in Hadley was organized with the Greater Northampton and Amherst Area chambers of commerce, but Dawn …

Buffalo snow onslaught not over

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Homeowners opened their front doors to find themselves sealed in by sheer walls of white. Shovelers turned walkways into head-high canyons. A woman gave birth in a firehouse after the snow prevented her from reaching …

Comments accepted through Tuesday on decommissioning, dismantling of Vermont Yankee nuclear plant

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — Two studies on the future of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant site are under review by the Vermont Public Service Department, which is accepting public comment through Tuesday. The Vermont Yankee Site Assessment Study, issued last month by plant owner Entergy, describes its plans for …

Forest owner raises concerns about potential alternate route to Tennesee Gas Pipeline

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

As Massachusetts environmental officials negotiate with Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. about alternatives to its main proposed route across Massachusetts, one private forest owner has raised concerns that a new alignment to avoid state-owned conservation land could jeopardize his own protected timber land. The recently announced “Article 97 Avoidance …

Environmental news in brief

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

EPA chief says not all greenhouse gas cuts from power plants WASHINGTON — The ambitious reductions to greenhouse gases that President Barack Obama pledged in China last week will not lead to deeper emissions cuts at power plants, according to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. At a …

River walks and paddle created by the Mill Ri er Greenway Initiative

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Here are the river walks and one paddle created by the Mill River Greenway Initiative. ■ Downtown Northampton I: Paradise Pond to Old South Street ■ Downtown Northampton II: Old South Street to Hockanum Road ■ Bay State Village: Paradise Pond to the Cutlery Building ■ Florence I: …

Waterborne virus may be cause of epidemic killing sea stars by the millions

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

SEATTLE — Grisly sea star deaths are continuing to litter the tidelands along the West Coast with decaying, ghostly goo, but scientists now believe they, at least, may have identified a potential culprit. New evidence suggests a mysterious …

Some question legacy of John Muir, patron saint of environmentalism, as centennial of his death nears

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

LOS ANGELES — John Muir is the patron saint of environmentalism, an epic figure whose writings of mystical enlightenment attained during lone treks in California’s wilderness glorified individualism, saved Yosemite and helped establish the national park system. As the first president of the Sierra Club, Muir shaped enduring …

Mill River Greenway Initiative helps protect watershed, preserve artifacts and improve ecological health

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

As rivers go, the 13.5-mile-long Mill River is relatively small, and it inconspicuously flows along often unnoticed except when it periodically floods. But this little river has some big stories to tell. The Mill River Greenway Initiative is …

Statewide quarantine on ash lumber, hardwood firewood seeks to contain emerald ash borer

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One little bug is causing big problems for trees and loggers in Massachusetts. A statewide quarantine on ash lumber and all hardwood firewood took effect Monday, in an effort by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation to …

Western Massachusetts Electric Co. seeks 29 percent increase in six-month supply rate

Friday, November 14, 2014

The other shoe dropped Friday for electricity customers in the Valley, with the Western Massachusetts Electric Co. seeking a 29 percent increase in its six-month supply rate. WMECo, citing a “dramatic” increase in the cost of electricity it provides for its 200,000 customers, filed Friday with the state …