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Addison County Regional Planning Commission affirms support for Addison natural gas project

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 4:50pm -- tim

At a special meeting Wednesday evening, the Addison County Regional Planning Commission (ACRPC) voted again to support Vermont Gas’ Addison Natural Gas Project Phase 1. A statement by Vermont Gas said the 23-9 vote shows significant ongoing support for the project in Addison County. The project will bring the choice of natural gas to thousands of residents, businesses and institutions in Addison County.

Vermont specialty food producers take top honors at NYC Summer Fancy Food Show

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 4:33pm -- tim

Vermont specialty food producers took home gold at this week’s Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City.  The sofi Awards, which stands for “specialty outstanding food innovation,” are the most prestigious awards in the specialty food industry and represent the best of the best. Vermont’s winners were Big Picture Farm, Fat Toad Farm, and Vermont Creamery, along with Wozz! Creative Kitchens, a New Hampshire producer who makes their product at the Vermont Food Venture Center in Hardwick.

Vermont adds nine species to threatened and endangered list, Monarchs in decline

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 12:55pm -- tim

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources recently added nine species to the list of state threatened and endangered species. The listing included four plants, three bumble bees, one amphibian, and one bird. Three pollinators were listed - the rusty-patched bumble bee, yellow-banded bumble bee, and Ashton cuckoo bumble bee. Pollinators such as bees, moths, and butterflies are critically important to Vermont’s agriculture, but many are in decline nationwide. According to a survey by the U.S.

Funds awarded to combat deadly bat disease, white-nose syndrome

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 11:42am -- tim

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) Wednesday announced $35,645 in funding to help counter the spread of white-nose syndrome (WNS) in Vermont, a disease that has devastated bat populations, posing a significant ecological threat across New England and the country.

Leahy said: “White-nose syndrome has wiped out bat populations throughout much of the eastern United States.  In my home state of Vermont, some bat species have declined by as much as 90-95%.  We need continued efforts to combat WNS, and this is another step forward.”

Vermont Public Service Department takes on expanded broadband deployment role from VTA

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 11:35am -- tim

The Public Service Department, pursuant to Act 41 of 2015, has taken over the assets and responsibilities formerly held by the Vermont Telecommunication Authority (VTA), which was officially dissolved on June 30. Broadband deployment initiatives will be spearheaded by connectivity specialists within the newly reorganized Division of Telecommunications and Connectivity.  Division staff will oversee build-out and completion of federal and state-funded broadband projects, including the recent $963,350 Connectivity Initiative grants awarded by the Department in anticipation of this transition.

Solar panel additions unveiled at Burlington International Airport

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 11:26am -- tim

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger today joined the Burlington Electric Department (BED), Burlington International Airport (BTV), and Encore Redevelopment to formally unveil a 500 kW solar array atop the airport’s parking garage. This is the latest project in the City’s ongoing commitment to add more community solar to its portfolio and brings Burlington’s total installed solar photovoltaic to 81 projects, generating 1.8 megawatts of power for the City.

Vermont Environmental Excellence Awards recipients announced

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 5:47am -- tim

Recipients of the 2015 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence were announced and recognized at a ceremony at the State House Monday. Environmental excellence awards have been given since 1993 to recognize efforts and actions of Vermonters to conserve and protect natural resources, prevent pollution, and promote environmental sustainability.  To date, more than 200 efforts have been recognized. 

Waitsfield organic dairy farmer admits to burning agricultural plastic

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 5:00am -- tim

The Department of Environmental Conservation’s Compliance and Enforcement Division today announced that it has formally settled an illegal open burning violation with Waitsfield farmer Douglas H. Turner. Mr. Turner operates an organic dairy farm under the business name of “Simplicity Farm”. The settlement includes the payment of a $5,000 penalty.

Governor Shumlin declares July 2015 as Lakes Appreciation Month

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 4:22am -- tim

Governor Peter Shumlin today signed a proclamation declaring July 2015 as “Lakes Appreciation Month.”  The proclamation states that lakes and reservoirs are “critical to Vermont’s environment and quality of life, providing sources of recreation, scenic beauty, and habitat for wildlife” and that ”maintaining the health of our lakes, ponds, and reservoirs is the responsibility of every citizen.”

GMC Board approves new inpatient building at UVM Medical Center, sets financial conditions

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 1:55pm -- tim

Today, the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) approved The University of Vermont Medical Center’s Certificate of Need (CON) application to build a new building to replace aging inpatient facilities. The $187.3 million project will be on the west side of the Medical Center Campus above the existing Emergency Department parking lot. In approving the project, the board supported the need for the project, and noted the building will improve the quality of health care in the state and that single rooms will provide patients a better care experience.