Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Sailors competing in the Volvo Ocean Race are attesting to the growing amount of trash found in the ocean. They’ve reported plastic debris getting stuck on their rudders and keels, slowing down their boats. That was the catalyst for a summit focused on ocean debris during the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Newport.

Sailor Dee Caffari, with Team SCA, has been sailing for 10 years, but she notes the trash has been most prominent along the new routes in this race around the world. What’s most heartbreaking, Caffari said, is witnessing the negative impact trash has on marine creatures.

thisisbossi / flickr

Hot days last summer triggered high levels of smog pollution across the state, especially in Providence. 

The city earned an F in this year’s State of the Air report, issued by the American Lung Association. Karina Holyoak Wood is the organization’s public policy director in Rhode Island. She said tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders have chronic lung problems, including asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.

John Bender / RIPR

The state of Rhode Island and a scrap metal recycler have reached an agreement through a court order to address pollution on the Providence waterfront. The state recently sued Rhode Island Recycled Metals for failing to comply with environmental rules. 

  David Chopy, chief of the Department of Environmental Management’s Office of Compliance and Inspection, said the state is concerned that the company doesn’t have enough money to do the required cleanup.

John Bender / RIPR

The state is suing a scrap metal yard on the Providence waterfront, at the upper Narragansett Bay, for alleged environmental violations.  This is not the first time the company has come under fire.

Back in 2012, the Department of Environmental Management, notified Rhode Island Recycled Metals, it was violating numerous rules on water pollution.  The state worked with the company on a plan to solve the issues.  But more than 2 years later, the DEM says the company still hasn’t cleaned up. DEM director Janet Coit says she’s taking them to court.

Wikimedia Commons

For your lungs, some good news and some let's-hope-it's-better-this-time news. 

Rhode Island is one of eight states that are petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency for protection from out-of-state polluters.

The multi-state action is directed at Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. 

The petition cites decades of inaction by these so-called ‘upwind’ states and asks the EPA to require them to join a compact of states committed to reducing pollution.

Brayton Power Point Set to Close

Oct 9, 2013

Environmentalists are hailing a decision to shut down the Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset, Massachusetts.  Owners of the coal-fired plant filed papers Monday indicating the plant will no longer provide power to the grid by 2017.

Federal regulators have called it the heaviest polluter in Massachusetts. Environmentalists have decried the carcinogens that pour from its smokestacks. Now, the Brayton Point Power Station on the Massachusetts/Rhode Island border is closing, according to papers filed by its owner, Energy Capital Partners.

DEM Looking into Narragansett Bay Pollution

Feb 27, 2013

Shell fishermen are banned from fishing in the Upper Narragansett Bay. The Department of Environmental Management has found high levels of bacteria in the water.

DEM’s Chief of Surface Water Protection, Angelo Liberti, says it’s due to a portion of the Bucklin Point Wastewater Treatment plant in East Providence being taken offline. "And with the last rain event, they had some trouble balancing their treatment flow through their system which resulted in the release of partially treated wastewater.”

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Feb 19, 2013

RI's former Attorney General is in Brazil helping law enforcement looking into a deadly nightclub fire.  RI and MA are working out how to best regulate centers which dispense  medical marijuana.  These stories and more on the RIPR Morning News Podcast.  Also a special interview by Ian Donnis with US Attorney Peter Neronha.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.  news@ripr.org

Warning for homes with well water

Feb 19, 2013

The Rhode Island Department of Health is reminding residents with private wells to take precautions. The melting snow could make the well water dangerous to drink.

The regional cap on carbon dioxide emissions could be lowered by nearly half next year.  New England’s regional greenhouse gas emissions are already lower than expected.