U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Ryan Caron King / NENC

 

By the end of the year, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce new limits on the amount of nitrogen that wastewater treatment plants in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire can release into the Connecticut River.

Courtesy of Stop & Shop


  Each year billions of pounds of food go to waste.

That means billions of dollars, too. The Environmental Protection Agency says more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other one material in our trash.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr/ Creative Commons License

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed announced he will vote against Scott Pruitt for head of the Environmental Protection Agency. The announcement comes as the Senate is scheduled to vote on Pruitt's nomination Friday.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed is set to host an environmental roundtable at the Save the Bay Center in Providence Monday. The forum ahead of an expected Senate vote for Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Emily Corwin / New Hampshire Public Radio

A new kind of water contamination has shown up all over the U.S., including New England.

This time it’s not lead, like in the Flint, Michigan water system -- but instead, it's a chemical used to manufacture Teflon pans, firefighting foam, and even microwave popcorn bags. It's forced some communities to hand out bottled water and shut down their water systems.

Although companies have stopped using this chemical because of health worries, a new replacement compound may be toxic, too.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Cumberland, Rhode Island popped up on a list of cities and towns that have unsafe levels of the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. It’s used to make Teflon. It turns out those levels have dropped significantly in the town over the past year.

John Bender / RIPR

Over the years, the state has slashed budgets across all government agencies, including the Department of Environmental Management. This agency, tasked with protecting the environment, has seen a decline in staffing. Environmental advocates say these cuts have weakened and slowed enforcing environmental laws and regulations.   

Earlier this year, residents packed a small room at the Statehouse for a hearing about a zoning bill. They complained to lawmakers about industrial pollution from a quarry in Westerly. Residents blame the DEM for poor monitoring and enforcement.

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.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Just this week, the U.S. Senate went on the record that climate change exists. Local and state officials in Rhode Island haven’t been waiting around to take the lead from Washington. They not only know climate change is real, but they’re also planning for its impacts. As part of our Battle With The Sea series, Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza went on a tour with the Environmental Protection Agency’s northeast director to see how plans are in place.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received four million comments for its trio of federal rules proposing to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. This is why the EPA will miss a deadline this month to finalize one of those plans. Now the agency will finalize those rules all at once in the mid-summer.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management submitted comments, encouraging the EPA to continue recognizing existing efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Nosotros tiramos un montón de comida durante los días festivos. Más de lo habitual. La comida que termina en la basura no sólo perjudica nuestros bolsillos, pero también llena los vertederos, o rellenos sanitarios, despidiendo gases nocivos.

El Consejo de Políticas Alimentarias de Rhode Island (en ingles: Rhode Island Food Policy Council) lanzó un programa piloto a principios de este año, enseñando a la gente a reducir la cantidad de comida que tiran. Nuestra reportera ambiental Ambar Espinoza ensayo con el programa y tiene esta historia.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

We throw away a lot of food over the holidays. More than usual. We generate about 25 percent more waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Food that ends up in the trash can not only hurts our wallets, but also fills up landfills, sending off noxious gases. The Rhode Island Food Policy Council launched a pilot program earlier this year, teaching people how to cut down the amount of food they throw away. Our environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza gave it a try and has this story.

Asthma rates in Rhode Island are above the national average, according to a Brown University professor who testified before a Senate subcommittee hearing focused on air quality standards. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza has more details.

The hearing focused on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to strengthen the air quality standard for ozone, the main pollutant in smog linked to asthma, heart disease, and premature death, from the present standard of 75 parts per million down to a range of 65 to 70 parts per million.  

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Last week, we brought you the story of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s visit to Rhode Island. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse brought the Democratic senator, a strong coal advocate, to witness how climate change is wearing away the landscape here. Manchin learned from fishermen what challenges they’re facing in a changing ocean. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza brings you the second part of this story, when Manchin sees the effects climate change is having on land. 

Pages