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Environment

Millions of GMO insects could be released in Keys

Monday, January 26, 2015

KEY WEST, Fla. — Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases. Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood. “This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease,” said Michael Doyle, executive director of the Florida …

Obama seeks bigger Alaska refuge

Sunday, January 25, 2015

JUNEAU, Alaska — President Barack Obama is proposing to designate the vast majority of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a wilderness area, including its potentially oil-rich coastal plain, drawing an angry response from top state elected officials who see it as a land grab by the federal government. “They’ve decided that today …

Population centers prepare for worst as major storm descends

Sunday, January 25, 2015

NEW YORK — A “potentially historic” storm could dump 2 to 3 feet of snow from northern New Jersey to southern Maine starting Monday, crippling a region that has largely been spared so far this winter, the National Weather Service said. A blizzard warning was issued for a 250-mile stretch of the Northeast, …

ISO-New England president calls for increased capacity of natural gas pipelines

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Stopping short of endorsing the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. Northeast Energy Direct project, the head of New England’s electricity grid operator said Wednesday that even though a relatively mild winter has driven down energy costs for the region, there is a long-term need for more capacity to feed …

Stephen Kulik files legislation that would grant authority to attorney general for reviewing natural gas pipelines

Thursday, January 22, 2015

State Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, has filed legislation that would extend authority to the attorney general for reviewing natural gas pipelines. With new Attorney General Maura Healey succeeding Martha Coakley on Wednesday, the bill would grant a role in the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. Northeast Energy Direct …

New island erupts in Tonga

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A volcanic eruption in Tonga has created a new island — although one scientist said Wednesday it could soon disappear. The volcano has been erupting for a month in the ocean about 40 …

Mothers Out Front urges residents to consider ‘green energy’ options

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

AMHERST — As a person concerned about the future health of the planet, Alisa Pearson was worried that renting her home in Pelham would make it impossible to be a good environmental steward by investing in energy-efficiency upgrades or installing solar panels. So when Pearson learned last year …

Legislation filed that would compensate property owners for land taken by eminent domain during construction of pipeline if natural gas exported

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

DEERFIELD — Proposed legislation has been filed that would provide compensation for property owners whose land is taken by eminent domain during construction of a natural gas pipeline that carries any gas which is sold overseas. State Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, filed the bill (HD 3168) in the …

Yellowstone River oil spill fouls Mont. town’s water

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

More than 5,000 people in the rural Montana city of Glendive have been told not to use municipal water because elevated levels of cancer-causing benzene were found downstream from a weekend crude oil spill in the Yellowstone River. Officials said they were distributing fresh water that is being …

Northampton couple opens sanctuary for unwanted animals

Sunday, January 18, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Audrey is a snow white turkey, a watch bird so to speak, who is the first to greet visitors with her quick-throated exhortations at 55 North Loudville Road. Close by is Michael, a much larger dark-feathered …

Seven groups get $10 million federal grant to protect Connecticut River watershed

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The region has won a $10 million federal conservation grant to help a coalition of agencies and nonprofits protect natural resources. This two-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture focuses on improving the health of Long Island Sound by making changes along the Connecticut River valley. It …

Friday, January 16, 2015

Tussock Moth, Mill Valley Road, Belchertown Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely, South Hadley While photographing frogs at a small pond in Belchertown Oct. 12, I watched this little Tussock Moth caterpillar appear and begin crawling along …

Earth Matters: Nature’s clock: Studying the timing, life cycles of species

Friday, January 16, 2015

Isn’t that a lyric cicada calling? How recently did he emerge from his underground nymph stage? Here’s a patch of spring beauties; when did they start to bloom? When did that scarlet tanager arrive from his wintering grounds …