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Environment

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2014, file photo, morning traffic makes its way toward downtown Los Angeles along the Hollywood Freeway, past an electronic sign warning of severe drought. Recent storms have eased California's decade-long drought somewhat, but state officials are worried that the rain will give people an excuse to abandon their already paltry conservation efforts. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

Rain could jeopardize Calif. water conservation

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO — After California’s driest three years on record, there have been few sounds as disturbing to water conservationists as the whisk-whisk-whisk of automatic lawn sprinklers kicking on directly behind TV reporters covering some of the state’s first heavy downpours in years. Recent storms eased the drought somewhat, but there’s a long way to go. And state officials are …

New coalition opposing Tennessee Gas Pipeline hires lawyer specializing in energy issues

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Franklin Land Trust and seven other environmental organizations in the region have formed a coalition to fight the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline, hiring a Boston regulatory attorney who specializes in energy issues. The new group, calling itself Northeast Energy Solutions, was created to analyze, advocate and work on public education about not just Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s proposed Northeast Energy Direct project, but …

Zoo death cuts northern white rhino numbers to 5

Monday, December 15, 2014

With the death at San Diego Zoo Safari Park of a northern white rhino, the species is five animals away from extinction. The death of Angalifu, a 44-year-old male northern white rhino, leaves an elderly female at the park, three in a Kenyan preserve and one at a Czech Republic zoo. There were …

Comments accepted through Tuesday on decommissioning, dismantling of Vermont Yankee nuclear plant

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — Two studies on the future of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant site are under review by the Vermont Public Service Department, which is accepting public comment through Tuesday. The Vermont Yankee Site Assessment Study, issued last month by plant owner Entergy, describes its plans for …

Forest owner raises concerns about potential alternate route to Tennesee Gas Pipeline

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

As Massachusetts environmental officials negotiate with Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. about alternatives to its main proposed route across Massachusetts, one private forest owner has raised concerns that a new alignment to avoid state-owned conservation land could jeopardize his own protected timber land. The recently announced “Article 97 Avoidance …

Environmental news in brief

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

EPA chief says not all greenhouse gas cuts from power plants WASHINGTON — The ambitious reductions to greenhouse gases that President Barack Obama pledged in China last week will not lead to deeper emissions cuts at power plants, according to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. At a …

River walks and paddle created by the Mill Ri er Greenway Initiative

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Here are the river walks and one paddle created by the Mill River Greenway Initiative. ■ Downtown Northampton I: Paradise Pond to Old South Street ■ Downtown Northampton II: Old South Street to Hockanum Road ■ Bay State Village: Paradise Pond to the Cutlery Building ■ Florence I: …

Waterborne virus may be cause of epidemic killing sea stars by the millions

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

SEATTLE — Grisly sea star deaths are continuing to litter the tidelands along the West Coast with decaying, ghostly goo, but scientists now believe they, at least, may have identified a potential culprit. New evidence suggests a mysterious …

Some question legacy of John Muir, patron saint of environmentalism, as centennial of his death nears

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

LOS ANGELES — John Muir is the patron saint of environmentalism, an epic figure whose writings of mystical enlightenment attained during lone treks in California’s wilderness glorified individualism, saved Yosemite and helped establish the national park system. As the first president of the Sierra Club, Muir shaped enduring …

Mill River Greenway Initiative helps protect watershed, preserve artifacts and improve ecological health

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

As rivers go, the 13.5-mile-long Mill River is relatively small, and it inconspicuously flows along often unnoticed except when it periodically floods. But this little river has some big stories to tell. The Mill River Greenway Initiative is …

Statewide quarantine on ash lumber, hardwood firewood seeks to contain emerald ash borer

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One little bug is causing big problems for trees and loggers in Massachusetts. A statewide quarantine on ash lumber and all hardwood firewood took effect Monday, in an effort by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation to …

Western Massachusetts Electric Co. seeks 29 percent increase in six-month supply rate

Friday, November 14, 2014

The other shoe dropped Friday for electricity customers in the Valley, with the Western Massachusetts Electric Co. seeking a 29 percent increase in its six-month supply rate. WMECo, citing a “dramatic” increase in the cost of electricity it provides for its 200,000 customers, filed Friday with the state …

Debate renewed over effect that falling world oil prices have on environmental matters

Friday, November 14, 2014

NEW YORK — Deepwater drilling rigs are sitting idle. Fracking plans are being scaled back. Enormous new projects to squeeze oil out of the tar sands of Canada are being shelved. Maybe low oil prices aren’t so bad …