Environment

The city’s planning commission has approved a 21-megawatt solar farm, covering 60 acres. City planners say the solar panels will provide renewable energy. But some residents opposed the project. They say the solar farm will harm land that could be set aside for conservation. Douglas Doe, a neighbor of the property, said the project will harm visitors’ enjoyment of the nearby forests.  

“So anybody going to enjoy the conservation land that we paid for is going to be confronted by one chain link fence, a gravel road, and anywhere from 40-60,000 solar panels,” said Doe.

John Bender / RIPR

The Port of Providence operator has updated its expansion plans to address concerns flagged by environmental advocates at Save the Bay. 

Ambar

Hundreds of Burrillville residents welcomed Gov. Gina Raimondo Monday night at a community meeting, where the majority voiced steadfast opposition to a proposed power plant. 

Activists and protester have been marching since Saturday in opposition to the power plant and in anticipation of meeting with governor.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Protestors plan to march from the Statehouse to Burrillville this weekend as they continue to fight a proposed power plant. The state is still vetting the project, but it has support from top state officials, including the governor. Opponents of the power plant have concerns about the project’s transparency. 

RIPR FILE

  The Green Infrastructure Coalition led a tour this week showcasing projects designed to trap runoff, the leading cause of water quality problems in the state.

Artist Holly Ewald attended the tour. She’s a part of a group that worked with students at Reservoir Avenue Elementary School in Providence to transform a dirt patch into a rain garden. 

“They came up with an idea using clay and cardboard and straws,” said Ewald. “Then if you look at the final structure, you can see a total connection between what the kids’ design and ideas and the final structure that was built.”

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Nature enthusiasts around the state are monitoring butterflies for an annual survey taking place across North America. Many factors, including climate change and pesticides, are affecting butterflies,  hindering their ability to successfully breed and develop.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo has signed an $8.9 billion budget into law. It includes millions of dollars for environmental initiatives. Rhode Island Public Radio news director Elisabeth Harrison gets the details from our environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza. 

National GMO Labeling Bill Would Override State Labeling Laws

Jun 24, 2016
Kathleen Masterson / Vermont Public Radio

Leaders on the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee this week reached an agreement on legislation that would require the first mandatory, nationwide label for food products containing genetically engineered ingredients.

If the bill were to pass, it would override labeling laws in such states as Vermont, as well as legislation under consideration in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Vermont Public Radio's Kathleen Masterson reports.

RIPR FILE

A crackdown on impaired boating kicks off this weekend. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management will increase boat patrols in waterways starting Friday through Sunday.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island is the first state in the nation to join a national program aimed at using a standardized recycling label. Major corporations, such as Whole Foods and Disneyland, have already signed up.

Paul Goyette / Creative Commons

A new recycling program is driving an uptick in the recycling of mattresses and box springs, according to the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The bills aimed at giving Burrillville residents a say in a tax treaty between the local town council and Invenergy, the company proposing to build a power plant, died in a senate committee this week.

The company proposing to build a natural gas-fired power plant in Burrillville is billing the project as a solution to alleviate future energy shortages and rising energy costs in New England. But two experts testifying on behalf of the Conservation Law Foundation filed written testimonies with the state’s Public Utilities Commission disputing those statements.

Courtesy of Curt Guyette

As many as 100,000 people in Flint, Michigan were exposed to harmful concentrations of lead in the city’s drinking water.  In an attempt to save money, the city decided to disconnect from Detroit's water system and began to use water from the corrosive Flint River. 

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