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iSun wins five new solar projects valued at $5.1 million in Vermont

Thu, 03/30/2023 - 6:24am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine iSun, Inc (NASDAQ: ISUN), a leading solar energy and clean mobility infrastructure company with 50-years of experience accelerating the adoption of innovative electrical technologies, today announced that it had secured five contracts covering 6.5 MW and valued at $5.1 million in Vermont, to provide expanded solar energy capabilities at five industrial sites. Projects scheduled to begin in spring 2023 and are expected to be completed in 2023 and 2024.

EPA honors New England organizations as 2023 ENERGY STAR Partners of the Year

Thu, 03/30/2023 - 5:45am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The US Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 1 office and the US Department of Energy (DOE) are honoring 11 New England companies and organizations, including Efficiency Vermont, as ENERGY STAR partners for their outstanding leadership in promoting energy efficiency and tackling climate change. Efficiency Vermont (Winooski, Vermont), a state energy efficiency utility, increased incentives for low- and moderate-income households in the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program and rolled out a social media campaign that increased subscribers and Facebook followers. Efficiency Vermont has been a Sustained Excellence winner for 8 years.

Interstate wildlife violator compact helps deter poachers

Thu, 03/30/2023 - 4:33am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Anyone thinking of violating Vermont’s fish and wildlife laws needs to keep in mind that they cannot just hunt, fish or trap in another state if their licenses are revoked here.  Vermont is one of 48 states belonging to the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact (IWVC), which recognizes fish and wildlife related license suspensions of member states. Any person whose license privileges are suspended in one compact member state will have his or her licenses suspended in all other compact member states.  The IWVC assures that in participating states, nonresident violators will receive the same treatment as resident violators. 

Businesses for Climate Action Day: Bold call for big impact

Thu, 03/30/2023 - 4:17am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Dozens of VBSR CEOs and business leaders gathered in Montpelier on Thursday, March 16, to deliver a decisive call for climate action. The group advocated for the passage of key legislation this session, including the Renewable Energy Standard (H.320) – more commonly referred to as the “RES” bill – S.5, the Affordable Heat Act, and H.101, the Transportation Affordability Act. Through it all, they emphasized the need for a bold, comprehensive plan not just this session, but in every successive year. With the Golden Dome standing tall as the backdrop, VBSR business leaders used their community profiles to speak directly to the press about why the climate and the economy are inseparable.

DEC pauses construction projects in Vermont lakes during spring fish spawning season

Thu, 03/30/2023 - 3:52am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine During the spring fish spawning season, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) wants to remind Vermonters that permitted Lake Encroachment construction projects (like shoreline stabilization or projects that disturb the lakebed) in public lakes and ponds are typically not allowed from March 15 to July 1. Examples of Lake Encroachment construction projects that are not allowed during this period include adding fill in the water for shoreline stabilization (such as riprap or seawalls), boathouse reconstruction, or dredging. Examples of projects that can potentially move forward during this time frame include installing docks, floats, rafts, buoys, and regular repairs or maintenance to existing encroachments.

BSD released from DOJ settlement agreement

Wed, 03/29/2023 - 5:03pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Burlington School District (BSD) announced today that "following three years of hard work and a renewed focus on training in Hazing, Harassment, and Bullying (HHB) procedures," the District has been released from its 2019 settlement agreement with the United States Department of Justice. In a letter to the District, the DOJ noted, “We also recognized the efforts of the District's leadership to prioritize equity work and appreciate the District's commitment to continue its work in this area. In particular, we have observed that District employees' compliance with your policies and procedures regarding harassment has increased tremendously since our initial investigation.”

Health Department website gets a new look

Wed, 03/29/2023 - 4:53pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Department of Health has launched a newly designed website, which will help improve Vermonters’ ability to access important public health information. The web address will stay the same — — as will most content on the site, including current web pages and links. The new design makes the site more user-friendly, with a layout that is easier to read and find key resources. Visitors can now use a search bar and dropdown menu at the top of the site and browse new and current topics on the home page. The updated site has improved search function and works better for mobile devices and screen readers. It also helps Vermonters find information in languages other than English — with prominent links to professionally translated materials and to Google translate.

Scott 'concerned' by direction of Legislature as House passes budget

Wed, 03/29/2023 - 4:40pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine At his weekly press conference today, Governor Phil Scott and his Cabinet commented on the proposed House budget. Scott maintains that the proposed budget over-spends by tens of millions of dollars, eliminates most of his priorities and counts on surplus state funds continuing into the future, despite Vermont economists' warnings that tax revenues are likely to slow sooner rather than later. The budget coming out of House Appropriations cuts or removes almost every single initiative I just talked about. Not only that, but they also increased the State General Fund budget over last year by 12 percent. "Three initiatives alone could add a half a billion dollars in costs on Vermonters every single year."

Vermont Everyone Eats program comes to a close

Wed, 03/29/2023 - 3:53pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine After 32 months, seven program extensions, and over 3.6 million meals distributed, the Vermont Everyone Eats (VEE) pandemic relief program ends on March 31st. Between August 2020 and March 2023, VEE has benefited tens of thousands of Vermonters by providing economic stabilization for independent restaurants, strengthening their relationships with farmers and food producers, and contributing significantly to statewide anti-hunger efforts during a time when food insecurity hit record highs. With its unique cross-sector approach engaging local restaurants in providing prepared meals with Vermont ingredients for community members in need, the Vermont Everyone Eats program leveraged over $46 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding.

Hoffer audit finds DAIL’s efforts to protect LTC home residents lacking

Wed, 03/29/2023 - 12:59pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine State Auditor Doug Hoffer released a new audit today examining the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living’s performance inspecting long-term care homes housing vulnerable older Vermonters. The audit found that across seven years DAIL, as the department is called, was not performing annual facility inspections as required by law and rarely used enforcement tools to address the problems they found. Hoffer said: “To put it plainly, DAIL’s efforts to ensure Vermonters living in assisted living and residential care facilities are safe have not been good enough. Inspections may have been interrupted during the height of COVID, but our review found systemic problems going back years before that.”

Sanders questions Starbucks' Schultz in feisty HELP Committee hearing over 'union busting'

Wed, 03/29/2023 - 11:18am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, today led the committee in a hearing titled, “No Company Is Above the Law: The Need to End Illegal Union Busting at Starbucks.” Let me get to the point of this hearing. Today in America, over 60% of our people are living paycheck to paycheck, and millions are working for starvation wages. Unbelievably, despite an explosion in technology and increases in worker productivity, the average worker is making over $50 a week less today than he or she made 50 years ago – after adjusting for inflation. Unless we change the nature of our economy, it is likely that the younger generation will have a lower standard of living than their parents.

Welch introduces bipartisan OPIOIDS Act to combat fentanyl crisis

Wed, 03/29/2023 - 10:06am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senator Peter Welch (D-Vermont) joined Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) to introduce the bipartisan Overcoming Prevalent Inadequacies in Overdose Information Data Sets (OPIOIDS) Act, comprehensive new legislation to help law enforcement better identify, understand, and address opioid overdoses. In 2022, more than 230 Vermonters died from opioid-related overdoses, a ten percent increase from the prior year and the highest number on record. Overdoses can be prevented, but efforts to do so are hamstrung by inadequate data and limited resources. At present, data collection on overdoses is limited and often delayed. The OPIOIDS Act will support data collection at the state and local level, giving law enforcement, public health officials, and local government the tools they need to prevent and respond to overdoses.