This Week on – February 23-27

Feb 27, 2015 at 4:30pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

February 27 – Fish Talk in the News – Friday, February 27 – In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, NOAA and Gloucester fishermen reached an agreement on the cod bargain deal; NEFMC submitted Framework Adjustment 53 to NOAA Fisheries; the nation’s fisheries scientists convened to discuss climate and ecosystem-based issues; it was another year of historic landings and value for Maine lobster; ocean acidification threatens coastal fisheries and communities; Sustaining Massachusetts Fisheries Summit will take place on March 2; Maine will begin closing scallop areas; and NOAA Fisheries will review sea scallop survey methods.

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Protecting Wetlands, Protecting Water Quality in Exeter

Feb 27, 2015 at 3:21pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Voters in Exeter, New Hampshire, have a choice to make on March 10. Article 8 of the town warrant proposes to roll back existing wetland buffer protections. If approved, the new ordinance would allow for development in areas where it has not been permitted previously. Wetlands are essential to clean water. They help filter pollutants and provide important wildlife benefits. As well, wetlands provide important flood control functions, something to keep in mind with increasing severe weather events and climate change. A group of citizens has formed to encourage a NO vote on March 10. The Exeter Conservation Commission also is opposed to the ordinance change. People in the community believe that the proposed wetland buffer changes are on the ballot prematurely – moved through the process without adequate citizen read more…

This Week on – February 16-20

Feb 20, 2015 at 5:56pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

February 20 – Fish Talk in the News – Friday, February 20 – In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, NOAA Fisheries may reconsider the cod bargain deal; GMRI wants college students to know their seafood source; Portland’s frozen harbor creates a challenge for fishing vessels; harsh winter weather is hard on Maine clam diggers; demand is up for Maine lobster during Chinese New Year; federal fishery disaster aid will be distributed next month; prices are high for “sample” shrimp; and feds proposed expanded critical habitat for endangered right whales.

Questions and Answers On CLF’s Supreme Court Filing

Feb 20, 2015 at 1:51pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

On February 19, I posted a blog about the fact that CLF had joined with several state consumer advocates and with other environmental organizations to file an amicus curiæ brief in the United States Supreme Court. CLF and the others are urging the Court to hear an appeal from a D.C. Circuit Court ruling about the legal authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to regulate Demand Response (DR) in wholesale electricity markets. Since that blog was posted, I have received a number of questions from environmental advocates, legislators, and others about the case. Here are some of the most interesting questions, along with answers. (In order to understand what I am discussing here, you will want to read the earlier post first.) Question: You said that CLF (and read more…

CLF Files Brief in U.S. Supreme Court

Feb 19, 2015 at 1:24pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

On February 17, 2015, CLF joined with several state consumer advocates and with other environmental organizations to file an amicus curiæ brief in the United States Supreme Court, urging the Court to accept a case on appeal.  The appeal is from a ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which had ruled that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has no legal jurisdiction (authority) to regulate Demand Response in wholesale electricity markets. You can see the Circuit Court decision here, CLF’s amicus brief here, and a press release about the case here. In this blog I want to help you understand four things: (1) What Demand Response is; (2) What FERC does to regulate Demand Response; (3) What the Circuit Court ruled (and why it is wrong); and (4) Why all of read more…

A Firsthand Account of the Ravages of Lead Poisoning

Feb 18, 2015 at 5:11pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

On February 17, New Hampshire’s Senate Health & Human Services Committee held a public hearing on SB 135, a bill designed to better protect New Hampshire kids from the continuing threat of lead poisoning. The Committee heard strong support for SB 135 from a broad range of interests. Joan Valk, a Family Support Specialist at Child Family Services, was the last person to testify. Because her firsthand observations of the problem of lead poisoning make such a compelling case for addressing the problem of childhood lead poisoning, I thought I’d share them here in full: According to the Centers for Disease Control, “No safe blood lead level in children has been identified,” and “lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body.” In my 14 years as a home read more…

Childhood Lead Poisoning: A Preventable Disease

Feb 18, 2015 at 8:25am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

In my last blog – the second in a series about childhood lead poisoning – I discussed the fact that not nearly enough kids in New Hampshire are being tested for lead in their blood. As discussed, screening is essential for determining if a child has been poisoned and, if he or she has been, for taking action to avoid further exposure. But what about preventing lead exposure in the first place? Not surprisingly, that’s a major recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In 2012, after affirming that no level of lead exposure is safe, and that even low levels of lead can have irreversible health impacts, the CDC determined that “primary prevention” must be pursued as an essential strategy. This means preventing exposures from happening in the first place, read more…

Public Hearing: TDI Transmission Project – Vermont

Feb 18, 2015 at 7:07am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

The Vermont Public Service Board will be holding a public hearing on a very large scale electric transmission project proposed in Vermont. TDI Transmission Project Tuesday evening, February 24, 2015 7:00 pm Fair Haven Union High School, (Band Room) 33 Mechanic Street, Fair Haven, Vermont The project proposed by TDI is planned to go underneath Lake Champlain from the Canadian Border through to Benson, Vermont, and will then connect with existing transmission facilities in Ludlow, Vermont, to serve customers in Southern New England. You can see the full project filing here. This is one of the largest transmission projects proposed for New England. The project is planned to carry more than 1,000 MW of power – more than is needed to power the entire state of Vermont. Compared with many other read more…

Growing Clean Energy

Feb 17, 2015 at 10:53am by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

The recent massive snow storms provide a stark reminder of why we need more clean energy. The more fossil fuels we burn, the more global warming we face.  Fiercer and more frequent storms continue to march across New England wreaking havoc with the daily lives and pocketbooks of so many. Thankfully there are many efforts to bring more clean energy to the region and begin to break our addiction to fossil fuels. In Vermont, Legislators are taking up a broad bill that would expand renewable energy opportunities. For electricity, the legislation would set the highest standard of any place in the region – 75% renewable by 2032. While much of that electricity would come from existing sources, including imported hydro power from Canada, it sets a new benchmark for what read more…

This Week on – February 9-13

Feb 13, 2015 at 3:42pm by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

February 11 – Recognizing the Threats to River Herring – While there’s been progress to improve habitat in rivers, the threat in the oceans remains. That’s why our friends at Earthjustice, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and a coalition of grass-roots fishing and watershed groups filed a complaint in U.S. District Court on Feb. 10, seeking to reverse a federal government decision not to put blueback herring on the nation’s list of threatened species. February 13 – Talking Corals – Corals are not just important for their own sake. They are important to the health of our ocean and the productivity of our fish populations. February 13 – Fish Talk in the News, Friday February 13 – In this week’s Fish Talk in the News, Boston is running out of room for snow; read more…

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