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Environmental briefs

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

IN THE NEWS Quabbin renovation to cost $3.2 million BELCHERTOWN — The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority will spend $3.2 million on a 14-month project to upgrade electrical and security equipment at the Quabbin Reservoir. The Telegram & Gazette reports the project will replace existing power lines and enhance communications and security measures at Winsor Dam, Quabbin Tower and the Shaft 12 intake works. William Pula, regional director of the Quabbin …

Naila Moreira: Plastic bag ban in Northampton ‘necessary, but not sufficient’

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — A friend of mine recently forgot his reusable bags when he dropped in at Stop & Shop. To make matters worse, he’d also forgotten about Northampton’s new plastic bag ban, which started Jan. 1. Then the person in line behind him lectured him on the merits of the ban. “Don’t give …

Walk opposing pipeline, picketing of Berkshire Gas office planned in Greenfield on Presidents Day

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

GREENFIELD — Walkers who oppose the Kinder Morgan Northeast Energy Direct pipeline will walk on Monday, Presidents Day, from Greenfield Community College to the First Congregational Church at 43 Silver St. between 10 a.m. and noon, according to Hattie Nestel of the No NED Pipeline Affinity Group, which is sponsoring the event. The walk’s route will include a stop to picket with others …

Feds expand critical East Coast habitat for right whales

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The federal government is expanding its list of right whale habitat to include calving grounds off the Southeast coast and feeding grounds off New England, increasing the critical area by thousands of square nautical miles. …

Few US neighborhoods affordable with good schools

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

WASHINGTON — Few neighborhoods can match the perks of Adams Morgan in Washington, D.C. — a reality that reflects a broader problem for the U.S. housing market. Residents of Adams Morgan enjoy a bevy of bars, restaurants, exercise …

In NY village, trail of cancer leads to tap water

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. — After his factory worker father died a painful death from kidney cancer at age 68 in 2013, Michael Hickey made it his mission to find out why so many people in his hometown along …

Ex-prosecutor to head probe into Flint water

Monday, January 25, 2016

LANSING, Mich. — A former prosecutor and a retired head of the Detroit FBI will play key roles in an investigation into Flint’s lead-tainted water as part of the effort to seek answers while also preventing conflicts of …

Plan for new hut in White Mts. spurs debate

Sunday, January 24, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. — More than five decades since a backcountry hut for hikers was last built in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, a plan to put one less than 2 miles into the woods has stirred passions among some …

Elephants heading toward extinction at the hands of poachers

Friday, January 22, 2016

Dear EarthTalk: What is being done to save elephants around the world? I understand that these magnificent creatures are teetering on the brink of extinction. — Millie Vicente, San Jose, California In just one decade between 1979 and …

Valley Views

Friday, January 22, 2016

Reflections Rail Trail, Station Road, South Amherst Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely, South Hadley On one of my recent walks along the rail trail off of Station Road in South Amherst, some dead vegetation in the …

Newly discovered fungus killing salamanders in western Europe; concern about potential die-off here

Friday, January 22, 2016

Those bright, orange salamanders that hikers spot in summer or fall, especially after a rainstorm, might be in danger. A newly discovered fungus is killing salamanders in western Europe, and scientists are afraid the deadly disease may spread to the United States’ nearly 190 species of salamanders — …

Would Flint have suffered water crisis if it were wealthier, whiter?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

FLINT, Mich. — Ever since the full extent of the Flint water crisis emerged, one question has persisted: Would this have happened in a wealthier, whiter community? Residents in the former auto-making hub — a poor, largely minority …

Emails show Flint water as political hot potato

Thursday, January 21, 2016

LANSING, Mich. — A day after doctors reported high levels of lead in Flint children, Gov. Rick Snyder’s top aide told him the “real responsibility” for the city’s water issues rested with local government officials, emails released Wednesday …