Environment

The Narragansett Bay Estuary Program is the latest group to award grants that will support water quality projects in the state.

Eight projects that range from improving fish passages to restoring public access to the shoreline will benefit from more than $65,000 in grants. Tom Borden, director of the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, said the money comes mostly from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Rhode Island Natural History Survey.

grifo via Creative Commons License

The Rhode Island Department of Health did a comprehensive analysis to figure out which drinking water sources are most vulnerable to climate change to help water suppliers plan for the future. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza sat down with the June Swallow, chief of the Office of Drinking Water Quality at the state health department. She oversees the project called SafeWater Rhode Island

URI/RI Sea Grant

With more than 500 public drinking water suppliers in the state, the Rhode Island Department of Health is worried about how they will cope with climate-related changes like intense rains, rising seas, and warmer temperatures. For the next installment of our series, Battle With The Sea, environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza heads to Newport, home to one of the most vulnerable drinking water supplies in the state when it comes to climate change.

RIPR file photo

The push to phase out cesspools in Rhode Island continues. Many environmental advocates are testifying at a senate committee this late afternoon to support a bill that would require homeowners to remove their cesspools when they sell their homes.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island is more likely to lose than gain salt marshes due to the rate of rising sea levels. Those are the findings of a recent analysis by the Coastal Resources Management Council.

Photo Courtesy of Edouard Dupont-Madinier

An art academy in France, Domaine de Boisbuchet, now has a solar-powered building designed by students from Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Applied Sciences in Erfurt, Germany. The house was part of an international solar competition last year.

Newport Third Graders Lobby For Official State Insect

May 1, 2015
St. Michael's Country Day School

A group of third graders in Newport hope to convince lawmakers to name an official state insect.  The students at St. Michael’s Country Day School in Newport want to make the American Burying Beetle the Ocean State’s official bug.

Their teacher Linda Spinney says the students will make their case at the Statehouse Thursday before lawmakers.

“We’re taking the school bus up there today. It will be a late night for them but I think their parents want them to really see the process and where it takes you when your voices are heard.”

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.

Courtesy of Narragansett Bay Commission

The board of the Narragansett Bay Commission has voted to move forward with the final phase of a water quality project designed to overhaul its old sewer systems. The wastewater agency is struggling with how much it will cost to complete the project, aimed at further improving water quality in Narragansett Bay.

The Narragansett Bay Commission’s third and final phase of a multi-year water quality project will cost about $815 million, if state and federal regulators approve the plan. This final phase could bring the project's total cost to about $1.5 billion.

The project, known as the combined sewer overflow (CSO) project, involves installing a large tunnel that would run through Pawtucket, Central Falls and the northern part of East Providence. The tunnel would stop untreated sewage and stormwater from overflowing into Narragansett Bay during heavy rainstorms.

The board of the Narragansett Bay Commission will vote tomorrow on how to approach the third and final phase of the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) project. That project aims to reduce the amount of untreated sewage and polluted runoff entering Narragansett Bay and its tributaries. The board will discuss three options at a meeting tonight.

Five New England governors met yesterday in Hartford, Connecticut, to talk about increasing the region’s energy supply. No solutions are set in stone, but environmental advocates are concerned proposals rely too heavily on natural gas.

Gov. Gina Raimondo said this winter New England’s average wholesale electricity prices were significantly higher than neighboring regions. And those high prices are tough on consumers and businesses. Raimondo said at the regional meeting, the governors committed to provide relief.

meltedplastic via Creative Common License

A new pool of money is available for cities and towns looking to reduce their energy use and costs. The state is setting aside more than $500,000 to retrofit existing streetlights to more energy-efficient ones with light-emitting diode (LED) technology.

Marion Gold, commissioner at the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, said streetlights are one of the biggest expenses in a municipality’s energy budget.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

This story is part of our series “Rising Tide” about how – or whether - Rhode Islanders are emerging from the deepest economic recession since the 1930s. The question we’re asking is: Does a rising tide really lift all boats, or are some Rhode Islanders still being left behind?

RIPR File Photo

Gov. Gina Raimondo will meet with other New England governors in Hartford, Conn., tomorrow to discuss the region’s energy problems.

At a private roundtable, New England governors plan to explore solutions to a number of challenges: the rising prices of electricity, limited pipeline capacity, and the aging electricity grid.

Pages