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Will local control be lost? State climate bill likely to usurp authority over siting of clean energy infrastructure
06-20-2024 3:53 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

Regional planning groups and local municipalities remain wary of the looming implications on municipal jurisdiction, should the state’s massive climate bill move ahead in the coming weeks with promises to reform the slow process of siting and...

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Details emerge in state’s massive climate bill
06-16-2024 12:01 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — The base of a late-session climate bill that has been promised by top Democrats in both branches is being drafted by Gov. Maura Healey’s administration, which says that reform to the siting and permitting of clean energy infrastructure is...


Resilient Greenfield aims to unite community in face of climate change
05-17-2024 1:10 PM

By ABNER ROJAS

GREENFIELD — Whether it be wildfires or flooding, the effects of climate change can be felt across the country. Now, a new organization is asking what the people of Greenfield can do on the local level to be ready to combat those growing...


Extreme weather forces Pioneer Valley farmers to adapt
05-13-2024 5:08 PM

By TANISHA BHAT

Ben Clark, the owner of Clarkdale Fruit Farms in Deerfield, received $120,000 from the $20 million Natural Disaster Recovery Program created last year after he lost the entirety of his peach crop and 70% of his apples and pears due to sudden cold...


Spilka pledges ‘comprehensive climate bill’ in Senate
04-23-2024 11:49 AM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Signaling the potential for more change in the transportation and energy sectors, Senate President Karen Spilka revealed Monday that the Senate plans to tackle a major climate bill within the next three months.The Ashland Democrat said at a...


Ashfield considers seeking ‘Climate Leader’ designation
04-18-2024 2:25 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

ASHFIELD — About 35 people turned out to Town Hall on Wednesday for a forum about the possibility of getting Ashfield a “Climate Leader” designation from the state and what that would entail.The Energy Committee hosted Chris Mason from the state...


Climate expert to speak at All Souls Church in Greenfield
04-04-2024 12:58 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — William Moomaw is accustomed to giving lectures on the effects of climate change, but not from the pulpit of a place of worship.That is set to change on Sunday morning, when the retired Tufts University professor will visit Greenfield to...


Firefighters prep to meet ‘unique challenge’ as electrical vehicles gain popularity
03-29-2024 4:23 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

Take a drive down Routes 5 and 10 and count the number of electric or hybrid vehicles you see. Compare those numbers to what you saw two years, five years or 10 years ago and you’re likely looking at a significant increase.Data from the Massachusetts...


Pioneer Valley farmers spotlight agricultural drainage ditch troubles
03-27-2024 8:38 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — During a summer in which area farms dealt with significant rainfall and flooded fields, keeping agricultural drainage ditches cleared became essential to protecting crops by ensuring excess water could be removed.Often, though, farmers found...


State gripped by solar slowdown: Worst year in decade for installations
03-18-2024 5:35 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

Massachusetts’ solar development just had its worst year in more than a decade in terms of new installations, but Greenfield Solar partner Claire Chang says her firm that does jobs throughout the Pioneer Valley hasn’t experienced the same downturn.As...


Public comment sought on responsible clean energy development
03-13-2024 6:26 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

Residents have until Friday to submit their input regarding the process by which clean energy projects are permitted in Massachusetts.An online survey is soliciting public comment on how the state should protect health, safety and community livability...


$50K grant will fund geothermal heat study in South Deerfield
03-07-2024 5:38 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

DEERFIELD — With the help of a $50,000 grant, the town will explore the feasibility of a geothermal heating and cooling system for the proposed town campus project.Over the next year, Deerfield will explore the possibility of using the earth below...


Climate justice activist Flowers gives keynote at UMass for Black History Month
03-01-2024 6:25 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

AMHERST — Before acclaimed environmental activist Catherine Coleman Flowers said one word about herself at the outset of a talk at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Thursday night, she expressed gratitude to marginalized communities across...


Healey wants $1 billion each for life sciences, climate tech
03-01-2024 10:58 AM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

Filling in some blanks on her economic development plans, Gov. Maura Healey said Thursday she wants to reauthorize the life sciences initiative at $1 billion for the next decade, and launch a separate $1 billion, 10-year climate tech initiative that...


Management role: Forestry experts explain efforts to bolster forest health, climate resilience
02-22-2024 12:09 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

With the state dealing with catastrophic consequences of climate change, the debate around forest management continues to make headlines as Massachusetts policymakers discuss the best way to maximize carbon sequestration in forests.Trees and other...


Local artist seeks building facades to share pro-environmental message
02-16-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — A local artist hopes some Main Street building owners are willing to donate or rent their facades to exhibit a climate crisis tribute to Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.Joseph “JJ” White has crafted a 17½-foot-wide,...


A case for ditching natural gas: Mothers Out Front aims to send message to legislators, utilities
02-07-2024 5:21 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

The influential lobby group Mothers Out Front took aim at the natural gas industry this week, using its monthly climate action call to encourage people to push for a future without gas.Each month, the statewide group with local chapters in the Pioneer...


Balancing solar with farms and forestland: Experts tout middle way in picking sites
01-26-2024 4:46 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

AMHERST — As debate continues over how best to develop solar throughout the state to help meet an ambitious net-zero emissions goal, representatives from Mass Audubon and Harvard Forest are touting a recently completed report that details how solar...


Three UMass professors picked for state’s Climate Science Advisory Panel
01-21-2024 12:28 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

AMHERST — Three faculty members at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are joining the state’s new Climate Science Advisory Panel, a group of 21 experts who will attempt to bridge the communication and knowledge gap between policymakers and...


MEMA chief: Weather delivering more ‘gap disasters’
01-15-2024 10:28 AM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — The climate crisis is fueling a steady growth in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather, and Massachusetts cities and towns face an increasingly common conundrum trying to respond to those crises.Many of the disasters that have hit...


Massachusetts sees record-setting temperatures, precipitation in 2023
01-14-2024 10:01 AM

By CHRIS LARABEE

A trend of warm years further cemented itself in 2023, as Massachusetts experienced, on average, its warmest year on record, according to new data from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.The average temperature around Massachusetts for the year...

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