Environment

Environment
5:17 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Wood-Energy Group To Provide "Coaches" For Wood-Boiler Installs

Pellets being bulk delivered to a home with an automatic feed pellet boiler.
Credit Pellergy / Flickr CC

Thanks to a $250,000 dollar federal grant a new group is working to promote the burning of wood for heating in high-efficiency boilers in the Granite state

The New Hampshire Wood Energy Council consists of nearly fifty biomass supporters from state agencies, non-profit organizations, and industry representatives. Those representatives will serve as ambassadors for using wood-pellet and wood-chip boilers.

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Environment
5:30 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Has New Hampshire Become A 'Dumping Ground' For Wolf Dogs?

Tanner Brewer, manager of NEWARC, gives Emerald, a high-content wolf-dog hybrid, some scratches.
Credit Aubrey Nelson / NHPR

New Hampshire wildlife officials are wrestling with a proposal that would put them in charge of wolf-hybrids; those are wolves that have been bred with domesticated dogs. These sometimes dangerous animals are often abandoned because they can be unmanageable as pets.

And a population of abandoned wolf-dogs prompted New Hampshire officials to take another look at this animal that falls squarely in the grey area between wild and tame.

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Environment
4:33 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

A Glimpse At Your Future Electric Bill? N.H. Utility Experiments Encourage Conservation

Home Energy reports like this one are being sent out to as many as 25,000 customers as part of a PSNH pilot program.
Credit Opower

New Hampshire’s two largest electric utilities are piloting new billing programs, aimed at getting people to save electricity. These programs could be part of a sea change in the way we are billed for electricity, aimed at encouraging efficiency and conservation.  And while convincing Americans to use less energy has always been a bit of a slog, these two pilot programs in New Hampshire hope to change that. One uses the brunt force of economics and the other uses the subtle science of psychology.

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Environment
5:33 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

99 Percent Mortality Found In Some N.H. Caves Infected With White Nose

White nose is so-called because on most hibernating bats, the fungus is most easily seen on the nose, though it penetrates many of the bat's tissues
Credit USFWS Headquarters / Flikr Creative Commons

New Hampshire’s Bat Population is still sliding – fast – thanks to the invasive fungus, White Nose Syndrome.

White Nose syndrome has been present in Europe for a while, but it was first found in New Hampshire in 2009. It didn’t take long to start doing harm

“In 2010 we had some huge losses. It was really quite scary,” says Emily Preston, a biologist Fish and Game.

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Environment
2:35 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

INFOGRAPHIC: White Nose Syndrome - The Peculiar Plight Of Eastern Bat Species

Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

Check out the graphic below to find out what white-nose syndrome is, how far it is spreading, and why it is such a concern for animal conservationists.

Environment
5:30 am
Fri March 28, 2014

UNH Students' "Urine Diversion" Program Cleans Water, Fertilizes Farms

The UNH "Pee Bus" in all its glory. The bus will be active for four weekends, and the urine gathered will be pasteurized and redistributed to farmers as fertilizer.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

There are many challenges to a good town-gown relationship in college towns, but here’s one that doesn’t get a great deal of press: urine overloads.

On certain nights of the week, partying UNH students in Durham can overwhelm the town’s wastewater treatment plant, but a group of UNH students have teamed up with the town to get some of that nitrogen-rich urine out of the water. They plan to take that pee, and put it somewhere that it could do good.

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Environment
5:40 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Cold Weather To Boost PSNH Bid To Hang On To Power Plants

PSNH says Merrimack station has contributed to 2/3 of the $115 million the utility saved by running its own power plants.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

This winter’s cold weather has proven a boon to Public Service of New Hampshire and its customers. Spikes in the price of natural gas have lifted regional electric prices, making PSNH’s rates competitive again.

PSNH says during most of the winter it was able to more cheaply produce electricity using its fleet of power plants than buying it on the open market and this saved the company $115 million dollars, savings which will be passed on to customers.

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Environment
5:43 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

'Solarize' Effort Aims To Double Solar Power In Upper Valley Towns

Credit Rob_ / Flickr CC

There’s an experiment beginning in the Upper Valley: three communities are in the midst of a blitz attempting to double the number of solar panels in their towns. It’s called Solarize Upper Valley, and it’s being kicked off this week.

Plainfield and Cornish, combined, have fewer than 4,000 residents, but a pretty sizable number of them are considering forking over around eighteen grand to put solar panels on their roofs. The night of the kickoff event, the main street of Plainfield, was on lined both sides, for about as far as you could see.

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Environment
5:30 am
Thu March 13, 2014

N.H. Senate Set To Vote On Bevy of Energy Bills

Lawmakers in the Senate are scheduled to take up a series of much-anticipated energy bills today. There are four energy bills on the docket today, three of which are responses to controversial energy projects.

One would create state-owned rights of way for any new transmission line not needed to keep the lights on as determined by the regional grid operator. If passed developers would have to bury power lines, unless they could prove that isn’t feasible.

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Environment
12:47 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Newfound Area Voters Again Show Distaste For Wind Power At Town Meeting

Credit Donna Hiltz / NHPR

For the second year in a row, voters in the Newfound region have used town-meeting day to voice their disapproval of proposed wind development in the area. Ordinances and resolutions restricting wind development passed by wide margins. Alexandria, Danbury, Hebron and Ashland all passed wind related warrant articles by as much as five to one.

There were a wide variety of measures.

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Environment
5:49 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

RGGI Prices Climb As States Institute Tighter Carbon Cap

While the blue line is price, the red line is demand (how many bids vs. how much available supply)
Credit RGGI Inc / NHPR

The  price power plants will pay to emit a ton of carbon reached a new high in the latest Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative auction.

This quarter, it cost $4 to buy the right to emit a ton of carbon dioxide; previously, the highest price was $3.51, set in 2009.

In total New England power plant operators spent nearly $94 million to comply with  RGGI, funds which most states reinvest into energy efficiency programs.

The rising price is the result of a lower cap on carbon dioxide that the New England States enacted last year, and which took effect this auction.

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Environment
5:30 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Tension And Suspicion Between Wind Farm Host Towns And Neighbors

The view from Mario Rampino's driveway, which attracted the attention of local watchdogs.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

At town meeting this year, a handful of towns in the Newfound Lake region, and elsewhere, will take up questions related to wind farms. Many of these articles highlight the tensions between neighboring towns when one hosts a wind farm and its tax benefits, and the other just has to look at it. This dynamic often plays out in small town politics that may come to a head on town meeting day.

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Environment
9:43 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Cities, State "Hopeful" For Settlement On Great Bay Question

Credit Flikr Creative Commons / Rickpilot_2000

There is a hint of light at the end of a two-year-long legal battle over waste-water treatment plant upgrades on the Great Bay.

The towns of Portsmouth, Rochester and Dover have been arguing that regulators with the Department of Environmental Services and the EPA hadn’t proved that requiring millions of dollars of state-of-the-art wastewater plants would substantially improve water quality. But after a panel of independent scientists issued a sharp critique of the science used by the DES, a deal could be on the horizon.

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Environment
6:16 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Shaheen and Portman Reintroduce Stalled Energy Efficiency Bill

Credit NHPR Staff

  Thursday Senator Jeanne Shaheen reintroduced a wide-ranging energy bill that would promote energy efficiency buildings and appliances. But Shaheen and her co-sponsor, Ohio Republican Rob Portman, had to make some compromises to get the long-stalled legislation moving again.

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Environment
5:12 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Race To Conserve Belknap, Major Properties Heads Towards Finish

Arthur Richardson pushes toward the summit of Mount Major on a recent hike. He completed the climb twice this day
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

In the Southern Lakes Region of New Hampshire, a bid is underway to conserve about a thousand acres of forested valleys and peaks in the Belknap range.  The fundraising campaign to buy this land has focused on a popular and convenient hike, Mount Major, on the shores of Alton Bay. As the project heads toward the finish line, it illustrates the tension between preserving access while still protecting ecosystems.

Everyday, “Two or Three Times”

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