News

Williamsburg City Council Concerned About Coal Plant

On Nov. 18, 2010,  Mayor Clyde Haulman signed and sent letters to the Army Corps of Engineers and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality expressing the city’s concerns about the ODEC proposal to build a coal fired electric utility plant 18 miles from Williamsburg and James City County.

By advising these regulatory agencies that the City of Williamsburg intends to monitor the application review process, the City has alerted these agencies and the Old Dominion Electric Cooperative that we are aware that their plans “will impact the natural environment in the City and the surrounding communities. Read more »

2010: An Untameable Spill, an Unpassable Bill

Courtesy of the New York Times
December 31, 2010, 6:00 pm

Fireboat crews battle the fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig.

United States Coast Guard, via Reuters Fireboat crews battled the fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig.

Top 10 lists are often relentlessly negative: the 10 most-polluting industrial plants, the 10 most befouled beaches, and so on.

The spirit of this list is slightly different: Good or bad, these are environmental moments in 2010 that are most likely to reverberate in the world of environmental news in 2011 and beyond.

How Green Is Your Artificial Christmas Tree? You Might Be Surprised

Courtesy of the New York Times

By JOHN COLLINS RUDOLF

Published: December 17, 2010

When it comes to Christmas trees, Americans increasingly prefer plastic pines over the real thing.

Tina Fineberg for The New York Times

Ronald Herrera went for a natural Christmas tree, purchased from a vendor at Union Square, and took it home by subway.

Sales of fake trees are expected to approach 13 million this year, a record, as quality improves and they get more convenient, with features like built-in lights and easy collapsibility. All told, well over 50 million artificial Christmas trees will grace living rooms and dens this season, according to the industry’s main trade group, compared to about 30 million real trees.

Your Home's Energy Use

December 17, 2010

Courtesy US Dept. of Energy

http://www.energysavers.gov/tips/home_energy.cfm

The first step to taking a whole-house energy efficiency approach is to find out which parts of your house use the most energy. A home energy audit will pinpoint those areas and suggest the most effective measures for cutting your energy costs. You can conduct a simple home energy audit yourself, contact your local utility, or call an independent energy auditor for a more comprehensive examination. For more information about home energy audits, including free tools and calculators, visit www.energysavers.gov or www.natresnet.org.

Graphic of a pie chart: space heating 31%, space cooling 12%, water heating 12%, lighting 11%, computers and electronics 9%, appliances 9%, refrigeration 8%, other 8%.

How We Use Energy in Our Homes

Heating accounts for the biggest chunk of a typical utility bill.

Source: 2007 Buildings Energy Data Book, Table 4.2.1., 2005 energy cost data.
 

Beach man wins conservation award

By Jane Bloodworth Rowe
Virginian-Pilot correspondent
© December 8, 2010

VIRGINIA BEACH - For a retiree, Nils Bahringer works a lot of hours.

Bahringer, who was recently recognized as Conservationist of the Year by the Back Bay Restoration Foundation, estimates he spends 600 hours a year volunteering on conservation projects.

Among his other activities, he serves as treasurer and tram driver for the foundation, and he is involved in phragmites removal at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and in oyster restoration projects on the Lynnhaven River. Read more »

Study: Land conservation can, should be used to save Bay

By Scott Harper
The Virginian-Pilot © December 14, 2010

Ten years ago, mid-Atlantic states hoping to restore the Chesapeake Bay pledged to conserve 20 percent of all land within the Bay watershed by 2010. Today, state leaders can say they did, with room to spare.

They set aside 1.2 million acres over the past decade, with Virginia preserving the most, and more than 7.2 million acres since the Bay cleanup began in the 1980s, according to government statistics. Read more »

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