Environment

Courtesy of SmartPower

A state program designed to make buying and installing solar panels affordable and easy is available for residents and small businesses in Providence through late June.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Lawmakers in the Rhode Island House of Representatives easily approved legislation related to the state’s Energy Facility Siting Board and to tax treaties with electricity-generating facilities in Burrillville. But some lawmakers in the state Senate were not as receptive to the bill.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Rhode Island House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to allow a voter referendum on a possible tax agreement between the Burrillville Town Council and Invenergy, a Chicago-based developer proposing to build a 1000-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant. 

Courtesy of Steve Dubois

The Westerly Town Council is considering buying a quarry that has been a source of complaints and lawsuits over the course of more than five years. As a first step, the Westerly Town Council votes Monday night on whether they will move forward hiring an appraiser to assess the quarry's property value. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

State Representative Cale Keable’s power plant bill took a step forward at the Statehouse yesterday. The House Environment & Natural Resources Committee voted 11-2 for the bill, which now moves to the house floor for consideration. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Four peregrine falcons hatched earlier this spring on top of the Superman Building in downtown Providence. Volunteers have now banded the birds so that biologists can keep track of them. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The House Environment and Natural Resources committee heard hours of testimony last night for a bill related to a proposed power plant in Burrillville. Opponents of the bill say it would set a bad precedent for other infrastructure project proposals in the state.

But State Rep. Cale Keable, the lead sponsor, said the bill aims to increase public input into the project’s approval process. 

Kate Ter Haar/Flickr

Newport could become the second municipality to ban plastic shopping bags in the Ocean State. An ordinance is working its way through the city council.

Newport Councilman John Florez introduced the measure Wednesday, which would phase out the use of plastic bags at grocery stores and other shops in the city.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Scientists are still working to understand all of the factors behind massive die-offs of honeybees in what’s known as “colony collapse disorder.”

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Two state lawmakers added their voice against a proposed power plant in Burrillville at a third public hearing for the project Monday.

State Sen. Paul Fogarty and Rep. Cale Keable were among more than 30 people who testified before the state board reviewing the power plant proposal. Two local residents yielded their time to speak to the lawmakers.   

Fogarty said in all his years as senator, he has never seen such opposition to a project from his constituents. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

For the first time in years, river herring are traveling up the Saugatucket River in Wakefield without the help of humans lifting them over a dam during the spring migration. 

River herring are an important source of food for other animals. This year the Saugatucket River in Wakefield has a new fish ladder that's easier for river herring to find and swim through. Bryan Sojkowski, an engineer with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said the new ladder replaces an old one that wasn't well designed. 

Courtesy of Holly Ewald / UPP Arts

More than 200 people danced and marched to music for a mile and a half around parks in the south side of Providence. They were part of the Urban Pond Procession, an annual event that promotes the health of urban ponds.

NOAA OKEANOS EXPLORER PROGRAM / 2013 NORTHEAST U.S. CANYONS EXPEDITION

More than 160,000 people have signed a petition asking President Obama to declare a marine national monument in New England waters. It’s an effort spearheaded by a coalition of environmental groups and scientists. But the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is asking the president to reject this proposal.

Cashes Ledge, about 80 miles off the coast of Gloucester, is home to vibrant corals and kelp forests. Farther than that, about 180 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, underwater canyons and mountains support a rich diversity of fish, plants and mammals.

RIPR File Photo

Providence is putting social and racial equity at the center of its planning for future climate threats. The city earned a $100,000 grant to help with that. 

Wikimedia Commons

Rhode Island won’t have many peaches on local fruit stands this summer. Cold temperatures in February killed most of the flowers on the state’s peach trees. University of Rhode Island plant scientist Heather Faubert said this year, the peach trees didn’t have time to adjust to the cold.

“The very cold temperatures came all of a sudden,” said Faubert. “Throughout November and December and January it was quite warm, and then we got to February and the temperatures dropped suddenly and that’s what killed the crop.”

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