The black poodle left in a car in Johnston is in good condition and recovering at the Rhode Island SPCA.

The dog’s owner is the first to be charged under a new law making it a misdemeanor to leave animals inside vehicles on extremely hot or cold days.  Owners caught leaving a pet in the car face up to a year in prison, $1,000 fine, or both.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Decades of development along floodplains and on wetlands in Johnston have made the town vulnerable to severe flood issues. Scientists say climate change may make these floods even worse, with more frequent and intense storms. A couple families that have long dealt with floods year after year will soon get relief, as federal money is available to buy out and demolish these properties in flood zones in the Pocasset River watershed.

With the shrinking capacity of the Central Landfill, the executive director of the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation wants recycling and composting food waste to become a priority, not just for the agency, but for the state.

Executive director Michael O’Connell said there’s no time to waste. The landfill’s gates will close in about 25 years at the current rate we’re sending trash to it. He wants people to feel a sense of urgency about the group effort it’s going to take to increase recycling and composting food waste.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

A property in Johnston is the latest target in the fight to save Rhode Island's farmland from development. It's an issue that pits the rights of property owners against concerns about preserving green space. In this case, the application to change the zoning ordinance on the farmland has come to a temporary halt, as the owner considers his options. He's in talks with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management about how to move forward. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza joined Elisabeth Harrison in the studio to share more details.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

The mayor of Johnston said the town was extremely lucky no one was hurt during an explosion and fire near a power plant at the Central Landfill Tuesday morning. The town has padlocked the plant for safety reasons.

The fire and explosion were reported at a generator that’s used to convert landfill gases into electricity. It’s operated by Broadrock Renewables – the same company that had a newer power station shut down last week due to concerns about odors. Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena said it appears to have been a sizeable blast.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

The town of Johnston has taken the unusual step of shutting down the company charged with drawing off gases from the state’s Central Landfill.  The reason is that persistent rotten egg smell that’s dogged the town for years.

Broadrock Renewables is supposed to siphon off gas from the landfill and turn it into energy. But lately the company has been allowing it to spew from pipes into the atmosphere, according to Johnston town officials.  Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena has issued a cease and desist order, requiring the company to suspend operations until the problem is fixed.