POLLUTION

New York and Connecticut have sued the Environmental Protection Agency for its failure to protect the two states from “downwind” ozone pollution from several Midwestern and Appalachian states.

The federal government's top fisheries experts say that three widely used pesticides — including the controversial insecticide chlorpyrifos — are jeopardizing the survival of many species of salmon, as well as orcas that feed on those salmon.

It's a fresh attack on a chemical that the Environmental Protection Agency was ready to take off the market a year ago — until the Trump administration changed course.

Protesters picket outside Kinder Morgan's Agawam, Mass. office.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Protestors demonstrated outside of the Agawam, Massachusetts, offices of gas pipeline company Kinder Morgan Wednesday. They are upset that more than 16,000 gallons of contaminated water were released improperly last fall.

A federal energy regulator has rejected a proposed rule that would have subsidized nuclear and coal plants, helping those fuel sources compete with cheaper natural gas and renewables.

The rule was described by the Department of Energy as a way to promote the resilience of the electric grid — that is, its ability to provide reliable energy in the face of disruptive events like bad weather.

The recent cold spell has spurred oil-fired power plants throughout New England into action. But the operator of the regional electricity grid says pollution control regulations could throttle supplies from those sources.

Over the last decade, relatively low-polluting natural gas has been New England’s dominant fuel for electricity generation. But in winter, demand for gas can skyrocket from consumers who need it to heat their homes, and that can limit supplies for electricity generation.

An aging trash incinerator located on Hartford’s riverfront will continue to burn garbage in the coming years. But a new developer chosen by the state said it will work to drastically reduce the amount of waste incinerated at the state’s largest trash plant.

Masslive / masslive.com

A contractor for a natural gas pipeline company improperly dumped thousands of gallons in Agawam, Massachusetts.

Septic system installation underway for a home on steep slopes.
Soil Science / flickr.com/photos/soilscience / Creative Commons

About half of New England’s households are on septic systems. That’s the highest proportion in the country. 

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which caps power plant carbon emissions in participating states, is expected to expand to New Jersey and Virginia. 


Boston is close to banning plastic bags after a unanimous city council vote Wednesday. Several Rhode Island municipalities have also banned the bags, but some advocates make the case for a statewide ban.


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