Environment

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

A dozen local and state agencies have filed their advisory opinions for Invenergy's proposed power plant, the Clear River Energy Center.

Well, sort of. A few offices did not offer opinions because they have yet to receive pertinent information and/or permits from Invenergy.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Even with the boom in renewable power, New England still gets about half its energy from natural gas - that’s a huge jump from 15 percent in 2000. The fracking boom in the U.S. meant a big investment in gas-fired power plants. But many environmentalists are pushing back, 

All this week, we’ll bring you more stories from The Big Switch: New England’s Energy Moment. It comes from the New England News Collaborative, a name you may have heard on Rhode Island Public Radio over the past couple of months. You may be wondering what that is. Well, eight public radio stations, including Rhode Island Public Radio, are partnering up to cover some of the most pressing issues across New England. 

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With just a couple of weeks of summer left, the season for leaf peeping is fast approaching.

Angela Evancie / Vermont Public Radio File Photo

New England now gets nearly 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources - with more on the way. But that change is posing challenges for the region’s electric grid. The Big Switch: New England's Energy Moment looks at this transformative time for how the region powers itself.

Invenergy is scaling back the potential number of days it would run the proposed Burrillville power plant on oil as a backup.

This revised cap would reduce carbon emissions from the power plant by up to 30,000 tons each year, according to a company statement. Invenergy is amending its application with the state Energy Facility Siting Board.

State legislators received scores based on their voting record on issues like land and water conservation, renewable energy, and transportation. The Environmental Council of Rhode Island, a coalition of local environmental organizations, said there’s room for improvement.

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The lawsuit, over the use of a hazardous gasoline additive, names defendants including British Petroleum and Exxon Mobile.

RIPR File Photo

Across the country, a growing number of major corporations, like Google and Amazon, are buying their own renewable energy. They’re not waiting for utilities to make the shift away from fossil fuels. Here in the Ocean State, the Narragansett Bay Commission is also moving in that direction to save money and reduce carbon emissions.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Fishermen and industry advocates say there’s a real hunger among people to learn more about how fishermen do what they do. That’s why they’re planning to install interpretive signs around the fishing docks at Point Judith to answer people’s questions. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

A Connecticut-based company operating at a Westerly quarry embroiled in controversy since 2010 has been gone for nearly a year. But residents are still restless about the stockpiles of stone dust they left behind and the potential impacts to their health. The family that owns the quarry is now renting it to another company tasked with cleaning it up. Local, state and federal officials got a tour of the progress.

Stephen Depolo / Creative Commons License via Flickr

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is opposing National Grid’s proposal to build a natural gas liquefaction facility at Field’s Point in Providence.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling against a request by utilities to charge electricity users for expanding natural gas pipelines is already affecting a similar request in Rhode Island.

The Conservation Law Foundation filed a motion at the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission to dismiss National Grid’s proposal to secure gas contracts and recover costs for its Access Northeast Project.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Lawmakers from Burrillville are calling on the Department of Health to recommend withholding approvals for the proposed power plant in the area, until changes are made to mitigate any potential negative health effects.

In a letter sent to an environmental health risk assessment toxicologist at the Department of Health, Representative Cale Keable and Senator Paul Fogarty list their concerns over the proposed power plant project.

Those include impacts on local drinking water, noise pollution, and emissions.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

One of the early supporters of the proposed power plant in Burrillville has ended negotiations with the company that wants to build it. The Pascoag Utility District decided against supplying water to Invenergy's power plant.

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