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State DPU allows utilities to sign long-term contracts with gas pipeline companies

Monday, October 5, 2015

To help reduce winter electricity price increases, the state’s utility regulators will allow power generators to sign long-term contracts with gas pipeline companies. But what seems like good news for consumers is being criticized by some as a potential backdoor benefit for those arguing for construction of new pipelines such as the one proposed through western Massachusetts. Six months after being asked by the Baker administration to review whether electric …

Judge won’t stop planned Florida bear hunt

Friday, October 2, 2015

By Gray Rohrer Orlando Sentinel (TNS) TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Licensed Floridians will still be able to bag a bear in Florida later this month after a state judge Thursday refused to stop the planned hunt. “The methodology that (Florida Fish and Wildlife officials) used in coming up with a rule is rational. It bears a relationship to the constitutional mandate,” Leon Circuit Judge …

Joaquin batters Bahamas

Thursday, October 1, 2015

ELEUTHERA, Bahamas (AP) — Hurricane Joaquin unleased heavy flooding as it roared through sparsely populated islands in the eastern Bahamas on Thursday as a Category 4 storm, with forecasters warning it could grow even stronger before carving a path that would take it near the U.S. East Coast. The storm battered trees and …

Bird sightings

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A buff-breasted sandpiper and a stilt sandpiper were seen in Longmeadow on separate days. A Connecticut warbler was found in Northampton. As many as …

Your Photos

Friday, September 11, 2015

Oran Kaufman of Leverett was kayaking at Barton’s Cove, Sept. 5, and spotted this eagle in a tree. He said he was able to take some shots of it before it flew off. When Kaufman later returned to …

Rosenberg hears strong concerns about pipeline in testimony he’ll deliver to FERC

Thursday, September 10, 2015

GREENFIELD — Local seventh-grader Rowan McKeon’s mother always told him that it’s not right to make a mess and expect others to clean up after him. Lately, he’s found himself concerned that that’s exactly the situation he and …

Study financed by Kinder Morgan concludes proposed gas pipeline would save billions for New England electric customers

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A new study done for Kinder Morgan has concluded that the construction of the proposed Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline could save electric customers in New England between $2 billion and $3 billion annually. The study by ICF International, a Fairfax, Virginia-based consulting firm was paid for …

Environmental news briefs

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

IN THE NEWS Watershed Council targets trash tires The Connecticut River Watershed Council’s 19th annual Source to Sea Cleanup on Sept. 25 and 26 will focus on cleaning up trash tires along rivers. The event occurs in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut, all in the 410-plus-mile Connecticut …

Wild and Scenic Westfield River Committee works to protect tributaries

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Environmental educators have long believed that people with a deep understanding of, and meaningful ties to, the area in which they live are more invested than others in protecting that environment. Proof that this “sense of place” concept …

Fired regulator testifies that California Gov. Jerry Brown pushed oilfield operations at expense of groundwater

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — California’s top oil and gas regulators repeatedly warned Gov. Jerry Brown’s senior aides in 2011 that the governor’s orders to override key safeguards in granting oil industry permits would violate state and federal laws protecting …

Study finds purified wastewater triggers release of arsenic within aquifer

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

When it comes to the science of transforming sewage into tap water — or potable reuse — engineers say there’s no question the product is clean enough to drink. The trouble is, researchers are now learning that this drinking water may be too clean to store underground without …

Unusual California algae bloom that can produce deadly toxins worries researchers

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

RIO VISTA, Calif. — On a sunny August afternoon, a team of federal researchers cut a circuitous path through the heart of California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta doing real-time monitoring of water quality. Again and again, they made the …

Survey finds dark, star-filled skies draw visitors to national parks

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What do you look for in a vacation — rest and relaxation? Gorgeous vistas? Cultural experiences? How about a view of the cosmos? A new study suggests that gazing upon a naturally dark sky that is unpolluted by artificial light plays a significant role in visitors’ enjoyment of …