Environment

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Burrillville Town Council unanimously approved a tax treaty with Invenergy, the company proposing to build a power plant in town.

Town Council President John Pacheco said: in no way does that mean the town endorses the project.

Elias Levy / Creative Commons License via Flickr

Fishing gear did not cause the death of a 12-foot great white shark that washed ashore on Cape Cod over the weekend, according to scientists who recently completed a necropsy and found no signs of physical trauma.

Greg Skomal from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries said the shark probably got stranded while looking for food too close to the beach.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota has asked for support from across the country in its fight against construction of a crude oil pipeline across tribal land. They’ve encouraged peaceful demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience against investors and other backers of the project. Rhode Island environmental activists and concerned residents have responded to their call, holding a third rally yesterday in Providence.

Nancy Eve Cohen / WFCR

Some Housatonic River advocates say they wish the EPA’s cleanup plan called for digging up more PCBs. PCBs are a man-made toxin, which was manufactured in the 1920s. This comes as the agency released its final plan to remove toxins from the river which runs through western Massachusetts and Connecticut. The $613 million plan calls for removing and capping PCBs from the river bottom and floodplain.

Michael Tsarion / Creative Commons License via Flickr

A decision by Connecticut energy officials could have a major impact on New England. The decision pulls the plug on plans to construct more natural gas pipelines in the state while boosting the use of renewable energy throughout the region. WBUR's Bruce Gellerman filed this story for the New England News Collaborative.

David Goehring / Creative Commons License via Flickr

A trio of New England states has selected projects that will add about 460 megawatts of renewable energy to the region’s market in the next few years. Bidding companies can start negotiating with utilities in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Has little Rhode Island become the center for offshore wind power in the United States? Sure seems like it. The nation’s first offshore wind farm will start operating off Block Island next month. The project drew interest from European visitors recently, and this week, Rhode Island hosted an offshore wind energy conference.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

At an annual conference by the American Wind Energy Association in Rhode Island, federal officials declared their commitment to speed up the deployment of more offshore wind energy projects.

From the coasts to the Great Lakes, different regions can tap into offshore wind, said Abby Hopper, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The nation’s total offshore wind energy potential is equal to about double its demand for electricity. Hopper said the time to pursue offshore wind is now.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The rare New England cottontail rabbit and other shrubland species are getting some new help from the U.S. Fish and wildlife Service. The agency is targeting 15,000 acres of land in six northeastern states, to be included in a new "Great Thickets National Wildlife Refuge."

Courtesy of The Nature Conservancy and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Conservationists have kicked off a project this week to shore up thirty acres of salt marsh at the John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge. It’s one of the larger projects underway to make the state’s salt marshes more resistant to climate change.

Ryan Caron King / New England News Collaborative

The largest gathering of offshore wind energy experts in the country began in Warwick Tuesday, as the American Wind Energy Association holds its annual offshore wind conference.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The nation’s first offshore wind farm off the coast of Block Island is in the middle of its testing phase. It’ll start producing electricity next month. Delegates from various federal Sea Grant programs around the country got a boat tour of the turbines to learn how the Ocean State got this project done. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Energy Facility Siting Board has temporarily suspended its review of energy developer Invenergy’s application to build a power plant in Burrillville. That decision has disappointed the town, residents and environmental groups.  

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

State officials worked over the weekend, collecting more water and shellfish samples to test for a toxin produced by algae blooms. Concerns about health risks associated with the toxin prompted an emergency shellfish harvesting closure that is still in effect for most of Narragansett Bay. Ernest Julian, the Health Department’s food safety chief, said the first set of results are in. 

"The good news is that all of the samples, but one, from throughout the bay and the salt ponds are negative for the toxin,” said Julian. “The one that is not negative is inconclusive.”

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island’s tool for managing and planning activities in state waters has become a case study for the European Union. A couple of EU delegates have concluded a two-week visit to Rhode Island, meeting with the Coastal Resources Management Council, the University of Rhode Island, and other stakeholders in the community and in private sectors.

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