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Environment

Operator of region’s electricity grid supports request by Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage for increased winter capacity

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The operator of the region’s electricity grid is backing plans to pump more Connecticut River water through the Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage hydrogenerator this winter. Northfield Mountain’s owner, FirstLight Power, wants federal approval to boost the capacity of its generator station by 22 percent to augment the electricity supply available in the region when demand grows during the winter. The letter from ISO New England to the Federal Energy Regulatory …

Hampshire Power will supply Lowell with locally produced renewable energy in first-of-its-kind deal

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — In what its leaders believe is a first-of-its-kind agreement, the Hampshire Council of Governments has signed a deal to supply power to the city of Lowell solely through renewable energy produced in New England. The state’s fourth-largest city has signed a contract through which Hampshire Power will supply electricity to about 31,000 residential and 4,200 commercial ratepayers citywide. Hampshire Power is …

‘Ghost riders’ draw scrutiny for transit systems

Sunday, September 28, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Transit agencies across Pennsylvania are being scrutinized by the state over the subsidies they claim for transporting riders 65 and older, with at least four agencies being docked millions for inflating senior ridership numbers. Criminal charges are pending against two high-ranking employees of the transit agency in Wilkes-Barre, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has demanded it pay a $3.1 …

Conway residents question safety, contents of proposed Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline

Thursday, August 28, 2014

CONWAY — The safety of the community and questions about the contents of natural gas that will flow through a proposed Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline dominated a special Select Board meeting in Conway Thursday night. In a question-and-answer session that followed a brief presentation by parent company Kinder …

UN panel: Global warming human-caused, dangerous

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WASHINGTON — Global warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous — and it’s increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report says. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on … 1

Nuclear Regulatory Commission reopens petition from anti-nuclear groups seeking Entergy financial information

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently reopened a year-old petition from anti-nuclear groups concerned about the financial ability of Entergy Corp. to safely operate its nuclear plants, including Vermont Yankee. The original petition, filed before Entergy announced plans to shut the 620-megawatt reactor in Vernon, Vermont, at the end …

Crocodile attacks swimmers in Coral Gables canal

Monday, August 25, 2014

MIAMI — Coral Gables, Fla., authorities on Monday were combing a canal for a crocodile that went on the attack over the weekend. They’re also handing out warnings to area residents. Two people were bitten by the croc while swimming in a Coral Gables canal around 2 a.m. …

Hilltown Voices: Solar signups deemed success

Saturday, August 23, 2014

In the latest round of Solarize Massachusetts, Chesterfield and Williamsburg added a total of 58 households that will install solar electricity systems. Solar coaches in both communities said that the number of households to sign up to install solar panels on their homes far exceeded their expectations. “We …

Valley Views Local photographers aim their cameras outdoors

Friday, August 22, 2014

RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER Route 9, Belchertown Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely of South Hadley With a flat tray feeder most birds usually dive right in, hopping around and picking out the choicest morsels. But not the red-bellied …

Fuel cell cars, facing hurdles, slow to catch on

Friday, August 22, 2014

EarthTalk: Is it true that fuel cell cars aren’t really any greener than conventional gas-powered internal combustion cars? — Michelle Adamo, Portland, Oregon A decade ago cars powered by fuel cells seemed like the future of green automotive …

Bird Sightings

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. Two great egrets, a Virginia rail, two black vultures and a dickcissel were seen in Longmeadow. A little blue heron, a cliff swallow, a …

Local organizers encourage participation in People’s Climate March in New York City

Thursday, August 21, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Local organizers of the People’s Climate March in New York City are holding a meeting Monday seeking to spark interest in the Sept. 21 event. Susan Theberge, with the groups Climate Action NOW/350MA, said the main focus of the meeting will be on how social justice …

Study: Toothless ‘dragon’ pterosaurs once ruled skies

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ancient winged reptiles called pterosaurs were so successful that they ruled Earth’s skies for tens of millions of years, according to a study published in the journal ZooKeys. The fearsome fliers, part of a family of pterosaurs named Azhdarchidae, get their name from azdarha, the Persian word for …