Environment

Tax that dirty water

Tax that dirty water

Communities impose new stormwater fees to deal with pollution

LISA MURPHY DOESN’T have any control over how much rain or snow falls on her property in Milton, but she is nevertheless being charged a special fee for stormwater runoff. The fee is calculated based on the amount of impervious surface on her property—her paved driveway and patio as well as the footprint of her(...)

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What hospitals are doing for climate resiliency

What hospitals are doing for climate resiliency

Other businesses need to take similar steps

THIS MARCH, BRUTAL NOR’EASTERS have battered the region weekly, knocking out power to thousands and causing destructive flooding along the coastline. ‘Bomb cyclone’ and ‘polar vortex’ have become popular terms as extreme weather becomes more frequent and fierce. Climate change modeling predicts this, yet it appears to be happening faster than expected.  It’s time to(...)

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Walsh wants to hike parking fines

Walsh wants to hike parking fines

Boston mayor proposes increased penalties to raise $5 million for transportation needs

BOSTON MAYOR MARTY WALSH will unveil a $5 million plan to improve the city’s transportation system, ranging from repaving roads and sidewalks to creating dedicated bus lanes, and plans to hike parking violation fines to pay for the effort. Walsh plans to include the money in his fiscal 2019 budget to be unveiled Tuesday and(...)

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Severe storm effects are the new norm

Severe storm effects are the new norm

Rising sea levels and urban flooding will wreak havoc without immediate fixes

ONLY TWO MONTHS after surging tides and high winds flooded MBTA stations, knocked out power and sent three feet of water into the streets of Boston, it’s all happening again. The governor and the mayor call press conferences to lay out preparations, urge caution and call up the National Guard. Schools close. Businesses get out(...)

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Baker’s unkept promise

Baker’s unkept promise

The then-candidate pledged to bring environmental spending to 1 percent

IN THE SUMMER of 2014, then-candidate Charlie Baker made a pledge to the environmental community.  He walked into a large hall at Suffolk University Law School, filled with hundreds of voters interested in his position on the issues.  The audience shared one simple interest, adequate state funding for state agencies charged with environmental protection.  While(...)

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China says your recyclables don’t measure up

China says your recyclables don’t measure up

With processors running out of space, some items shipped to landfills

IT’S NOT APPARENT AT THE CURB yet, but recycling programs across Massachusetts are taking a big hit right now because of a new Chinese policy limiting the amount of contaminants the country will accept in shipments of waste paper and some other scrap materials. The new level, set at a half of a percent for(...)

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A question of access: Shifting the transportation conversation

A question of access: Shifting the transportation conversation

Equity, climate, and choice are keys to developing a workable plan for the future

TRANSPORTATION AND MOBILITY matters to everyone who commutes, travels, or runs errands on a daily basis, and these everyday trips create a sense that we are all experts on transportation. For creative problem solvers, every traffic jam, transit delay, confusing intersection, or missing bike lane connection provides an opportunity to brainstorm possible solutions. But what(...)

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How now cow power?

How now cow power?

Cows providing fuel for electricity

IN A RURAL valley south of Deerfield, power lines strung on new poles run along a stretch of muddy gravel between the main road and the interior of Bar-Way Farm, where hundreds of cows provide electricity along with their milk. Manure from the cows is pumped into a massive, red, airtight tank that acts like(...)

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More pipelines aren’t the answer

More pipelines aren’t the answer

The weather outside is frightful – and so is our over-reliance on natural gas

NEW ENGLAND IS in the clutches of a frigid winter. This is putting demands on our energy resources and driving up electricity prices during the few hours of the day when consumer electricity use is highest. Concerns over these temporary price spikes are warranted, particularly given their impacts on our most vulnerable. But year after(...)

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Businesses want stronger clean energy mandates

Businesses want stronger clean energy mandates

Corporations call on state to raise the renewable portfolio standard

FOR CENTURIES, MASSACHUSETTS has been a national hub for innovation. With cutting edge academic institutions, a superb health care sector, and a thriving real estate market, the commonwealth is an excellent place to do business. Massachusetts is also home to a rapidly growing clean energy sector, which has allowed commercial real estate service providers like(...)

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