Environment

Deepwater Wind has formalized plans to bury a transmission line underneath the town beach parking lot in Narragansett. The wind energy developer sent a revised plan to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Deepwater Wind in the Running for Off-Shore Wind Farm

Jun 6, 2013
Bradley Campbell / RIPR

The U.S. Department of Interior will auction off leases next month for the rights to build wind farms off the New England coast. One Rhode Island Company qualified to make a bid.

The auction will be for two areas in federal waters between Block Island and Martha’s Vineyard. Only nine companies made the cut to bid on leases to build wind farms on the outer continental shelf. Deepwater Wind is the lone Rhode Island business in the hunt. But its CEO, Jeff Grybowski is feeling confident about Deepwater’s chances.

The Rhode Island Clean Water Finance Agency will have its first new leader in the 19 years.

The Clean Water Finance Agency is essentially a loan agency. It’s a revolving fund that awards low interest loans to help municipalities improve their sewer and drinking water systems. For the last 19 years, its Executive Director has been Anthony Simeone. During his tenure, he grew the agency’s assets from $102 million to $1.3 billion dollars. But he said it’s time to go.

Rhode Island Weather: A Heat Wave?

May 31, 2013

If you’ve stepped outside today, you’ve most likely wanted to step back inside as the temperature in parts of Rhode Island is into the low 90’s.

The high temperatures are expected to extend through Sunday, with highs into the low 90’s and high 80’s.

Though the term “heat wave” has been thrown around, Allen Dunham, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, says there must be three consecutive days of 90 degree weather for a heat wave.

Environmental advocates gathered at the Statehouse Wednesday to protest legislation that would roll back restrictions that prevent schools from building on toxic sites.

How Frequent are Tornadoes in New England?

May 22, 2013

It’s hard not to be moved by the plight of Moore, Oklahoma which was hit by a catastrophic tornado Monday.  Hundreds of buildings were flattened and at least 24 people, including nine children, were killed.

Experts say New England is less likely to be hit by a tornado than anywhere else east of the Rocky Mountains.  New England averages eight tornadoes a year, but they tend to be weak events – on the scale of EF0 or EF1.  The storm that hit Moore, Oklahoma has been categorized an EF5.

Brown Divestment Group to Appear Before the Corporation

May 22, 2013
RIPR

A student-led protest group at Brown University will attend the Corporation’s annual meeting Thursday to answer questions about climate change.  The group wants the university to divest from fossil fuel companies.

Closed East Providence Recycling Facility to be Removed

May 16, 2013

A contentious recycling facility in East Providence will close.  The Department of Environmental Management will use bond money to pay the property owner to remove all construction and demolition debris from the site.

Portsmouth Desperately Seeking Private Wind Energy Partner

May 15, 2013
Ani Od Chai

In Portsmouth, the town council wants to see if a private firm could help fix and run its broken wind turbine.

Westerly Starts Spraying for Mosquitos

May 15, 2013

Westerly residents may be awakened to the sounds of helicopters overhead Thursday morning.  Continuing a practice begun in 1997, the town of Westerly is conducting aerial spraying against mosquitos.

The targeted areas are portions of Chapman Swamp and the swamp area adjacent to Hespar Drive.

The town uses Bti, a naturally occurring bacterium which prevents larval mosquitoes from developing into adults.  The state Department of Environmental Management says it safe to humans and the environment.

Spraying begins Thursday at 7:00am and continues through 2:00pm.

The state may once again help out residents looking to add wind or solar power to their homes.  The senate finance committee will look at a plan Wednesday to restore a renewable energy tax credit.

Portsmouth Stuggles To Deal With Broken Wind Turbine

May 13, 2013
Ani Od Chai

The Portsmouth town Council will get an update tonight on its broken wind turbine. The turbine has stood motionless for almost a year.

Narragansett Suspends Talks with Deepwater Wind

May 7, 2013
Bradley Campbell

The Narragansett Town Council Voted 5-0 to suspend talks with the offshore wind turbine developer, Deepwater Wind, until June.  The council felt its residents needed more time to vet a plan to run a transmission line through a popular beach.

Bradley Campbell

The Narragansett Town Council is holding a public meeting tonight that could be critical to the plans for an offshore wind project off the coast of Block Island.

The Block Island Wind farm would place five wind turbines off the southeast coast of Block Island. The company in charge of it is Deepwater Wind. It plans to connect the wind turbines and the Island to the power grid on the mainland with a 21 mile underwater cable. Deepwater Wind wants that cable to come ashore in Narragansett.

RISD Students Occupy President's Office

Apr 29, 2013
Bradley Campbell

Eleven students at the Rhode Island School of Design are occupying the office of President John Maeda. The students are asking him to support a divestment of all RISD’s investments in fossil fuels.

While the students camped out inside the president’s office …

… Almost one hundred other RISD students took a break from their year-end projects to protest the design school’s investments in fossil fuels.  The protesters gathered at RISD Beach and marched down College Hill to protest in front of RISD’s administration building.

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