Environment

Recent Posts

Health, labor, environment bills revived in special session

Sen, Beth Bye, Appropriations Committee co-chair, in the Senate  chamber during Monday's special session

A wide range of legislative priorities that failed to clear both chambers of the General Assembly before the June 3 end of the regular session won final approval early Tuesday as part of a massive budget implementation bill. The 686-page everything-but-the-kitchen-sink bill also includes several controversial new provisions. Here's what's in it. Continue Reading →

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Session tally: Energy and environment hits, misses and almosts

A shared solar installation in Putney, VT.

For those pursuing energy and environmental initiatives, this legislative session was already heading toward half-a-loaf results before the budget impasse erupted. In the end there were big wins, big losses and everything in between. Continue Reading →

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Sunday bow-hunting passage ends a political saga

Robert Crook, with cane, watching the vote tally for Sunday hunting. He sought the bill for 20 years.

One of the Connecticut General Assembly’s epic lobbying campaigns, a 20-year story of close calls, colorful personalities and hardball politics, concluded Wednesday with final passage by the Senate of legislation allowing the bow hunting of deer on private property on Sundays. Continue Reading →

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CT to make a start on electric vehicle incentives

Charging an electric vehicle.

In the face of tight state finances, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is about to unveil financial incentives for electric vehicle purchases and leases using money from outside the state budget. Malloy will announce that $1 million from the Northeast Utilities/NSTAR merger settlement fund will be used to help jump-start a sluggish EV market in Connecticut. Continue Reading →

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Eversource and UI electric rates heading for big drop in July

Millstone nuclear power plant

Electric rates charged by Connecticut’s two utilities are headed for major reductions for the six months beginning July 1. Eversource Energy standard offer rates for residential customers will drop by more than one-third, and United Illuminating rates will drop nearly one-third. Continue Reading →

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Northeast Dems try to block Obama plan for drilling in Atlantic

Ocean Confidence is a semi-submersible deep-water drilling rig used in the Gulf of Mexico.

WASHINGTON — President Obama may soon break a key environmentalist commandment: Thou shalt not drill for oil in the Atlantic. But Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal and a long list of other East Coast senators want to stop him. Continue Reading →

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Flood insurance hikes arriving at a waterfront near you

The Dmochowskis' house after storm Sandy.

Just over a year after shoreline politicians along with a panicked real estate industry and homeowners fought successfully to roll back scheduled dramatic increases in National Flood Insurance Program rates, most of them are back in only slightly modified form. As policies renew, shoreline homeowners are likely to face a new round of sticker shock, their penalty for living in flood zones. Continue Reading →

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On conservation’s front lines, districts facing budget cuts

An aerial of the Laurel Marsh project in East Hartford and Manchester, which replaced invasive aquatic grasses with native species.

The five little-known Connecticut Conservation Districts help municipalities and the public with soil and water conservation problems and projects they can’t handle themselves. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's proposed budget would end all $300,000 in state funding for the districts — money they say is necessary to run their offices and leverage larger sums in the form of grants. Continue Reading →

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Shared solar tries again to light up Connecticut

A shared solar field in Rehoboth, Mass. Investment in the concept is heavy in that state.

For the second year in a row, legislation to allow shared-solar installations to be built in Connecticut is facing a rough road. While some want to go slowly with only a couple of pilot projects, others want to plunge right in based on the models and success shared solar is having around the country. The goal for advocates is to avoid last year’s result, which was nothing. Continue Reading →

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Connecticut looking for new ways to fund its parks

A crowded day at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison.

Faced with a $2 million dollar cut to the Connecticut parks budget, the legislature is considering a new funding model. With 140 state parks and forests, the state is poised to join a trend among states of cobbling together park funding from an array of sources. Continue Reading →

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