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Environment

Smoke rises from a heat and power plant in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. European Union leaders meeting in Brussels to stamp their new, ambitious greenhouse gas emissions plan should prepare for unyielding opposition from coal-reliant Poland and some other East European countries who say their developing economies and electricity bills would suffer too much from the new target. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

EU reaches deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions

Friday, October 24, 2014

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Leaders agreed early Friday to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the 28-nation bloc to at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. The deal was aimed at countering climate change and setting an example for the rest of the world ahead of key international climate negotiations next year. A package agreed by leaders at an …

Massachusetts, other NE states tops for efficiency

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Four New England states have been ranked in the top 10 nationally for their energy efficiency efforts. Massachusetts led the way in the annual ranking by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, with Rhode Island and Vermont tied with Oregon in the No. 3 spot and Connecticut ranked No. 6. In the region, only New Hampshire and …

Tennessee Gas Pipeline schedules three December ‘open house’ meetings in Franklin County

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tennessee Gas Pipeline has scheduled three “open house” meetings Dec. 2, 3 and 10 in Franklin County to discuss its proposed Northeast Direct Natural Gas Pipeline project. The company on Tuesday submitted its schedule of a dozen meeting dates with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, including Dec. 2 at the Orange Innovation Center, Dec. 3 at Greenfield Community College and Dec. 10 at …

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 …

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 …

‘The Very Busy Spider’

Friday, September 19, 2014

Bird Sightings

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A short-billed dowitcher was found in the town of Washington. An upland sandpiper, a marsh wren, American pipits,and a Connecticut warbler were in Northampton. Over the last two days, more than 2,500 broad-winged hawks …

Heading Outdoors

Friday, September 19, 2014

∎■ Skinner State Park — Department of Conservation and Recreation sponsors free programs at Joseph Allen Skinner State Park, Route 47, Hadley: Sept. 20 and 21: 11:30 a.m., 1:30 and 3 p.m., Summit House Tour (meet at Summit House); Sept. 22: 10 a.m., Advanced Hike for Seniors (meet at …

Valley Views Local photographers aim their cameras outdoors

Friday, September 19, 2014

FEMALE WOOD DUCK Route 9, Belchertown Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely of South Hadley During breeding season the male wood duck is brightly colored, but the female is quite plain, with the exception of a bit …

Has ethanol lived up to its promise?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dear EarthTalk: I thought that putting ethanol in our gas tanks was going help fight climate change, but lately I’ve heard reports to the contrary. Can you enlighten? — Bill B., Hershey, Pennsylvania Ethanol and similar “biofuels” made …

Northfield Mountain hydroelectric plant seeks to boost storage capacity during winter

Thursday, September 18, 2014

NORTHFIELD —Owners of the Northfield Mountain hydroelectric project have sought permission to change its operating license temporarily this winter to boost storage capacity of its mountaintop reservoir so the region’s power supply can have additional capacity. The application filed last month by FirstLight Hydro Generating Co. to the …

The Regulators: MassDEP enforcement notes, violations, fees, orders

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

IN THE NEWS Inspector general blasts Near Earth Objects program CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. NASA’s effort to identify potentially dangerous space rocks has taken a hit. On Monday, the space agency’s inspector general released a report blasting NASA’s Near Earth Objects program, which is meant to hunt and catalog …

Study shows leaky natural gas wells, not fracking, tainted groundwater in Pennsylvania and Texas

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WASHINGTON — The drilling procedure called fracking didn’t cause much-publicized cases of tainted groundwater in areas of Pennsylvania and Texas, a new study finds. Instead, it blames the contamination on problems in pipes and seals in natural gas …