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Comment Archives: Stories: News + Opinion: Environment

Re: “Muddied Waters: No Clear Solutions for Burlington's Wastewater Problem

It is beyond disheartening the low value the city places on water quality. "Last year, the city spent $734,000 on an "integrated wastewater plan" that isn't even real, only imagines what Burlington might be. And now, the city's hired a consultant? And the director of public works might float a bond at some point? Until the consultant has a plan to present, how about a moratorim on building in Burlington Mayor Weinberger. It is the only responsible course of action at this terrible juncture.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by saysme on 06/19/2018 at 7:59 PM

Re: “Muddied Waters: No Clear Solutions for Burlington's Wastewater Problem

Any way you look at it, the population of Vermont, the cities, the farms, the roads, are all going to add nutrients to our waters. But fortunately, if looked into, there are very excellent aeration systems that do a great job of of cleaning the waters, plus, increasing the fish population within streams and lakes. Here is but one example.
Brian Kling, PE
CLEAN-FLO International
610-431-1934 Ext. 101
www.clean-flo.com
Cleaning Water Biologically
This system can be regulated to meet whatever demands are placed on it, as conditions change, discharges occur, etc.. To greatly increase the fish population of the lakes would be great of the sports fishing and tourist industries, would increase commercial fishing, supplying restaurants, homes... and when enough fish grow, the phosphorus load decreases being used in the bones of fish. Enough fish and you can harvest them for fish meal and bone meal phosphorus rich fertilizers.
This is the way to go.

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by timothy price on 06/14/2018 at 10:41 AM

Re: “Burlington's 34-Year-Old District Energy Plan Is Gathering Steam

The McNeil Generating Facility was built in the 1980's to cut our reliance on petroleum based fuel, much of which came from overseas. Green House gas emissions weren't even on the radar mat that time. The planT is a major co2 emitter and its' wood fuel can only be considered renewable on a scale measured in generations not years.. it has little or no actual benefits when it comes to climate change. Unless there is a major investment in a technology that will clean up the emissions,, we would be better off closing McNeil or god forbid,, switching it to just natural gas,, or replacing it with a large solar array that could include the old landfill site. If McNeil cannot get its' emissions in line with 21st century realities, it should be closed.

3 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Steve Goodkind on 05/02/2018 at 3:44 PM

Re: “Burlington's 34-Year-Old District Energy Plan Is Gathering Steam

Oh God, this boondoggle again? I remember some of this from the 1990's NPA meetings.

Gouge a few big ditches thru the Old North End away from those poor people who are in the way of the Grand Gentrification so that our "vibrant" 1%er downtown/tourist trap can benefit. Of course, Sinex will benefit . There really seems to be no end to Miro's crass indifference to the poorest residents in the ONE. MIro appears to view poor residents in the ONE the same way Trump views Mexicans. Maybe it is because he knows that as a group we don't care for him? This Rube Goldberg District Heating idea just re-enforces why.

How about instead of piping this water 3.5 miles and letting Vermont Gas profit off of the pumping facilities we keep the heat local and use it to heat the Riverside apartments and heat greenhouses in the Intervale and grow fresh food all year round that can be used in our schools and given to the Food Shelf to give the neediest folks a better selection of healthier food? And of course, a portion can be served at the Farmhouse and other fine dining establishments so the Elites and Elect don't feel left out.

This really just looks like greenwashing so Burlington can admire itself in the mirror. If it really is about being Green then why isn't UVM and the hospital not covered in solar panels? They occupy the best spot for sun exposure in the city.

It makes me ask " What would Bernie do?"

7 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by NorthOldEnder on 05/02/2018 at 11:48 AM

Re: “Vermont Plans to Step Up Logging on Public Land Around Camel's Hump

The area of greatest concern within the forestry plan is the significant and glaring lack of maintenance planned for early successional habitat. I understand the difficulty of managing a parcel with so much elevation change and varied habitat, however, equally important is the critical nature of early successional habitat to the greatest number of our wildlife species. The plan, as written, prescribes a meager 1-2% of the harvestable lands to be maintained as early successional habitat. This is far too small a percentage. Habitat studies conducted by the Ruffed Grouse Society indicated with a great deal of clarity that a well-maintained forest with 15-20% kept in early successional habitat provided a great deal more benefit to wildlife than large tracts of older growth forests. While this may be a difficult challenge for the unit, it would be good for the stewardship team to reassess the proposed numbers, consider even-aged management in addition to uneven-aged management, and at least make an attempt to get them closer to a desirable percentage. It was suggested by a team member that the small percentage was an attempt to mimic natural processes. We must question why the team is willing to entertain that idea when we have information available which can improve the habitat and experience for both our wild populations and our citizens.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mike Covey on 04/15/2018 at 2:35 PM

Re: “Vermont Plans to Step Up Logging on Public Land Around Camel's Hump

Mother Nature destroyed the woods around my home in Stowe. Mostly 80 year old white pine uprooted and snapped mid-trunk by hurricane force winds last October. All those trees are coming down sooner or later. A well-managed forest presents a better prospect for long term health than an unmanaged one. This isnt about a money grab its about protecting a natural resource. Selective and active logging can be very beneficial to the long term heath of the forest.

15 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Night Kitchen on 04/14/2018 at 9:25 PM

Re: “Vermont Plans to Step Up Logging on Public Land Around Camel's Hump

The Nation Forests are managed tree farms, so harvesting trees is perfectly normal.

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Thomas Sperry on 04/14/2018 at 11:53 AM

Re: “Vermont Plans to Step Up Logging on Public Land Around Camel's Hump

We observe a huge mudslide scar on the eastern shoulder the mountain--with larger rain events, winter freeze-thaw cycles, and the plan to cut sensitive glades that out to be left alone, the plan should be moderated. Small patch cuts are one thing (and I am not opposed to cutting in some areas), but larger clear-cuts aren't smart. Wood prices are so low now as well--and little of the timber will be processed in-State for value add businesses. This mostly benefits loggers and foresters who need work! The cost of the impact isn't worth it compared to the benefits of maintaining stable tree cover in some areas. Battell also gave the mountain to the State on condition that it and the forests surrounding it remained in a pristine state. We also have no shortage of deer in the area.

3 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Melissa Hoffman on 04/14/2018 at 9:46 AM

Re: “Vermont Plans to Step Up Logging on Public Land Around Camel's Hump

Kudos to forester Matt Leonard for advancing quality forest management in a world of sometimes narrow minded folks trying to protect their vision of a perfect environmental utopia. His team has clearly utilized sound forest ecosystem principles and has demonstrated a localized track record of success. A lot of so called experts confuse leaving trees in place with the art and science of growing trees for multiple purpose, carbon sequestration and biodiversity included.

Good luck to Matt and team in managing public forest resources for future generations of people and wildlife!!!

33 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by forest lover on 04/12/2018 at 12:20 PM

Re: “Vermont Plans to Step Up Logging on Public Land Around Camel's Hump

Pretty poor, one sided article if you ask me. How about a little more input from the folks that love Camel's Hump and are devastated to see it destroyed. Or the folks who's lives will be turned upside down when their private roads become trucking routes. That would be one lane, steep curving roads that would not allow a car and logging truck to safely meet. And it might be a bit of a stretch to take credit for deer tracks cause you cut the forest down. The scale and scope of this logging project is just too big!

11 likes, 40 dislikes
Posted by Andrea McMahan on 04/11/2018 at 6:42 PM

Re: “Vermont Plans to Step Up Logging on Public Land Around Camel's Hump

The chainsaws are coming for Green Mountain National Forest too, with a vengeance.

In just this one plan, for an area that represents 15% of Green Mountain National Forest, the plan is for logging, including clearcutting, on 9360 acres within an area of 59,400 acres in a 5 to 7 year period! That is extremely aggressive, crazy even, and all of course to "help" nature. See page 13 here:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa…

In perfect Orwellian fashion, they are no longer cutting the forest, they are now making "vegetation treatments".

To see what that type of logging would look like, see recent similar type of cutting in White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire at this link below.

http://www.maforests.org/WMNF.pdf

Of course many other areas in Green Mountain National Forest will be on the cutting block also.

Wake up Vermont before it is too late, and protect your golden goose forests.

9 likes, 41 dislikes
Posted by Chris M on 04/11/2018 at 4:21 PM

Re: “Vermont Plans to Step Up Logging on Public Land Around Camel's Hump

Dont drink the Koolaid.

Governor Scott's Agency of Natural Resources (the ones blocking efforts to clean up Lake Champlain) do not propose more logging at Vermont State Parks to 'help" the forests, they do so to let private interests cash in on the exploitation of the public treasure.

Why is there even any commercial logging in a State Park? Isn't a park supposed to be a refuge from commercial pressures? Even West Virginia just blocked efforts to log its State parks.

Laughable claims by vested interests that more logging is done to help nature are the standard propaganda used by industry and their government lackeys to confuse the public. See:

http://www.maforests.org/Timberspeak-Timbe…

For more about the Camel's hump plan see:

http://www.vermontindependent.org/vermonts…

11 likes, 39 dislikes
Posted by Chris M on 04/11/2018 at 1:49 PM

Re: “Treading Water: Vermont's Pols Are Going Nowhere Fast on Clean Lakes

WE could make lemonade out of this lemon.

Am not supporting ANR water protection plans until I get some answers from the department.

ANR has invited no public input to the cleanup of Vermont water, so far as I know. They advertised "the Phosphorous Innovation Challenge! At this stage we are working with subject matter experts to craft the preliminary details of our "reverse pitch." Using this innovative method of identifying solutions to problems or challenges, we hope to identify one or more technologies that could help mitigate the impact of phosphorous in our watershed by preventing some cross section of new phosphorous from entering the soil."
However, 2 months later, "The group is still working on the reverse pitch. I have no new information to share".
Could it be that ANR really doesn't have the experience, the training, the expertise to understand the water problems and opportunities they present?
Aqua culture uses water bodies to raise fish and plants for useful purposes. Water is fertilized, aerated, and kept in good condition to produce healthy and bountiful crops. Vermont waters currently have the fertilizers, but not enough oxygen to maintain productive, healthy aquatic life. Rather than spending money to remove nutrients, the more sensible approach would seem to be, to aerate the waters where it is most needed. Yet, ANR has not, to my knowledge, ever seriously considered this. What's up with them?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_aerati
https://canadianpond.ca/air-bubble-curtain
https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-02-11-wor

With highly oxygenated water with nutrients in it, plants, microorganisms, shellfish, sports fishing species, would flourish like never before, They would consume nutrients, the phosphorus going into bone formation, and removed from the system. Fish caught for sport would take it away permanently.

Can we have a serious examination of this approach, please. The is a whole lot of data to support this.
thanks.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by timothy price on 03/29/2018 at 5:42 PM

Re: “Murky Waters: Who's Writing Vermont's Clean Water Regulations?

Am not supporting ANR water protection plans until I get some answers from the department.

ANR has invited no public input to the cleanup of Vermont water, so far as I know. They advertised "the Phosphorous Innovation Challenge! At this stage we are working with subject matter experts to craft the preliminary details of our "reverse pitch." Using this innovative method of identifying solutions to problems or challenges, we hope to identify one or more technologies that could help mitigate the impact of phosphorous in our watershed by preventing some cross section of new phosphorous from entering the soil."
However, 2 months later, "The group is still working on the reverse pitch. I have no new information to share".
Could it be that ANR really doesn't have the experience, the training, the expertise to understand the water problems and opportunities they present?
Aqua culture uses water bodies to raise fish and plants for useful purposes. Water is fertilized, aerated, and kept in good condition to produce healthy and bountiful crops. Vermont waters currently have the fertilizers, but not enough oxygen to maintain productive, healthy aquatic life. Rather than spending money to remove nutrients, the more sensible approach would seem to be, to aerate the waters where it is most needed. Yet, ANR has not, to my knowledge, ever seriously considered this. What's up with them?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_aerati…
https://canadianpond.ca/air-bubble-curtain…
https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-02-11-wor…

With highly oxygenated water with nutrients in it, plants, microorganisms, shellfish, sports fishing species, would flourish like never before, They would consume nutrients, the phosphorus going into bone formation, and removed from the system. Fish caught for sport would take it away permanently.

Can we have a serious examination of this approach, please. The is a whole lot of data to support this.
thanks.

Posted by timothy price on 03/29/2018 at 12:46 PM

Re: “Murky Waters: Who's Writing Vermont's Clean Water Regulations?

Maybe they can do an article on what New York and Canada is doing to help clean up the lake. All I hear about is Vermont legislation. Unless all parties that are connected to the lake do their part then we are just treading water.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ted Miles on 03/22/2018 at 12:35 PM

Re: “Murky Waters: Who's Writing Vermont's Clean Water Regulations?

A rational approach to addressing the pollution of Lake Champlain would be to identify the biggest polluter. The major polluter is not roof run-off or parking lot run-off. The largest pollution source is phosphorus emanating from farms. Why not devote an article to the agricultural run-off? When that problem has been successfully addressed, you can focus on lesser sources of pollution such as urban run-off.

10 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by John Dupee on 03/21/2018 at 6:08 PM

Re: “Treading Water: Vermont's Pols Are Going Nowhere Fast on Clean Lakes

In 1950 there were 14 thousand dairy farms in Vermont and state waters were pristine. Today there are only a couple hundred dairy farms remaining. Clearly dairy farms are not the major problem. People and housing developments are. Construction and development erode streambabks which annually unleash millions of tons of silt that suffocates stream and river biota and gets carried into Lake Chanplain. If you want to see where we are headed, go to Quebec or any state south of Vermont and look at their filthy murky muddy fishless lifeless rivers and streams. Failure to halt streamside construction and protect the integrity of riverbanks is a guaranteed ticket to disaster.

Posted by wahrheit on 02/15/2018 at 6:00 AM

Re: “Treading Water: Vermont's Pols Are Going Nowhere Fast on Clean Lakes

It doesn't take a genius to see that MAJOR gains in water quality are going to require MAJOR changes in the way Vermonters farm. 1) We're going to have to stop manuring in flood plains. Think about it. VT has big flooding events nearly every year that mobilize manure and nutrients. We've already had one this year on the Mississquoi. 2) The practice of rushing to dump manure on the fields right before (and during) freeze-up will have to end. Spring (and increasingly winter) melting and rainstorms carry a significant fraction of that manure into Vermont waterways. 3) Farmers are going to have to stop overloading spreaders and subsequently slopping some of the overload onto rural roads. Just drive down any dirt road in Vermont and you'll see what I mean. A large portion of that manure goes into the ditch and into nearby creeks. ***We can afford CLEAN AG because the benefits of having pristine waterways and lakes translate into economic benefits.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Tim Hogeboom on 02/08/2018 at 8:03 AM

Re: “Treading Water: Vermont's Pols Are Going Nowhere Fast on Clean Lakes

I agree with the sentiments above and am also frustrated with our governor. If we do nothing, the quality of our waterways will get worse. I agree, it's hard to clean up our environment in general, but it's important. Governor Scott's "no new taxes" initiative just means that along with cleanup efforts he's kicking the can down the road on financing what we're doing now so that we'll be paying for a larger clean up while also paying down bonds.

2 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Chelsea Rose Smiley on 02/08/2018 at 7:18 AM

Re: “Treading Water: Vermont's Pols Are Going Nowhere Fast on Clean Lakes

Hey, here's an idea. Stop issuing permits for more stormwater discharge, construction on wetlands and in wetlands buffers. Anyone who sees what goes on at ANR on a day to day basis where permitting is concerned knows the Agency is schizophrenic. The staff scientists are trying to do their jobs for the most part and then along come the higher ups who issue yet more permits to pollute. This has been going on for decades under both R and D governors. Very hard to support funding water clean-up initiatives while watching the hypocrisy taking place in the name of "environmental protection" at the Agency of Natural Resources. I'm tired, too, of watching the people in power talk about cleaning up our waters while permitting more pollution.

13 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by A. Smith on 02/07/2018 at 3:49 PM

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