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Environment

Timetable, cost unknown for US plan to reopen nuclear waste dump

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Energy Department has identified 7,000 steps needed to reopen its badly damaged nuclear waste dump in New Mexico but cannot say how long it will take or how much it will cost. The agency was expected to release a written recovery plan Thursday, but instead provided a few details about the plan, which awaits approval by the department. Outside experts said the dump will probably not reopen until well …

Massachusets environmental secretary raises concerns about path of proposed Tennessee Gas pipeline

Friday, September 19, 2014

The state’s top environmental official has written to the federal government calling for careful review of Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s proposed Northeast Direct Natural Gas Pipeline, arguing the route is a highly sensitive environmental area. A “preliminary, non-exhaustive” state review of the route shows that it would pass through about nine state wildlife management areas, four wildlife conservation easements, more than 19 miles of …

Film screening offered as alternative to climate march

Friday, September 19, 2014

Northampton ‘ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT OF WAR’ — For anyone who could not get to the People’s Climate March in New York City on Sunday, local activist Frances Crowe is hosting a screening of the film “Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War” at 2 p.m. Sunday in Bodman Lounge on the lower level of the Helen Hills Hills Chapel at Smith …

Great white shark may have attacked kayakers

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

PLYMOUTH (AP) — Authorities say two women in kayaks taking photographs of seals were attacked by what appears to be a great white shark off Plymouth. They were not injured. WCVB-TV reports the women, both in their 20s, were about 150 yards off White Horse Beach in Plymouth …

Halliburton to pay $1.1B settlement in 2010 gulf spill

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Halliburton has agreed to a $1.1 billion settlement stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion that spewed more than 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and killed 11 people, attorneys for the company and plaintiffs said Tuesday. The settlement seeks to put …

Sandy-hit village wrestles with keeping beach private

Monday, September 1, 2014

ASHAROKEN, N.Y. — On a tiny spit of land off Long Island, the wealthy village of Asharoken faces a dilemma borne of Superstorm Sandy. Either it accepts millions of dollars in federal aid to build a protective sand …

Groups: Monarch butterfly endangered

Monday, September 1, 2014

WASHINGTON — A coalition of environmental and food-safety groups is asking the Fish and Wildlife Service to grant endangered species protection to the monarch butterfly, whose U.S. population, the groups say, last year fell to 90 percent below …

Low-level tornado touches down in Worcester

Monday, September 1, 2014

WORCESTER (AP) — The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down briefly in Worcester. Forecasters said it was the lowest rating on the tornado scale, with winds at about 85 mph in a storm that swept through on Sunday night. The tornado began at about 8:10 …

Whale sightings increase off New Jersey coast

Sunday, August 31, 2014

HACKENSACK, N.J. — While it hasn’t become Cape Cod just yet, the number of whale sightings around New Jersey has increased substantially this year, suggesting that the state’s coastal waters are now clean enough to sustain humpbacks, finbacks and other species during their feeding season. Since April, dozens …

Plainfield joins with Ashfield and Buckland to offer Solarize Massachusetts program

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Plainfield, Ashfield and Buckland are forming a consortium and will apply for a grant that could save homeowners and businesses hundreds of dollars on the cost of solar-panel installations. The program is called Solarize Massachusetts, and the Clean Energy Center has announced two new rounds of funding grants, …

Bird Sightings

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A black tern and a greater scaup have been seen off the Winsor Dam at the south end of the Quabbin Reservoir. A black-crowned …

Valley Views Local photographers aim their cameras outdoors

Friday, August 29, 2014

TUFTED TITMOUSE Route 9, Belchertown Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely of South Hadley “Peter, Peter, Peter” would have been what I would have heard from this tufted titmouse, should it have decided to sing while perched …

Nature’s water purifiers: The “bugs” in wastewater treatment

Friday, August 29, 2014

Often in life we take the little things for granted. But microorganisms, which are among the world’s smallest creatures, are nature’s workhorses. Aquatic ecosystems rely on a diversity of organisms to consume organic matter and filter impurities from …