Energy and Environment

Recent Posts

Failed projects and weak oversight lead to loss of state’s wetlands

A 3.4 acre constructed wetland is thriving near the Alewife MBTA station. Most wetland construction efforts, however, fail, and the state is now evaluating new ways to save soggy places that filter pollution, host hundreds of species and control floodwaters.

Three decades ago, Massachusetts became a darling of the environmental movement for requiring developers to replace virtually every square foot of wetlands they destroyed to build houses, parking lots and shopping malls. The policy was designed to slow the destruction of one of nature’s most underappreciated resources: Swamps, marshes, seasonal ponds and other soggy places. Today, the state’s landscape is pocked with hundreds of examples of that policy’s failure. Continue Reading →

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Appeal filed for federal government to release addresses of vulnerable coastal homes

Saco, Maine, April 20, 2007 -- A home that succumbed to storm surge following the Patriots' Day Nor'easter. (FEMA/Marty Bahamonde- Wikimedia Commons)

The New England Center for Investigative Reporting earlier this year spent two months piecing together the story of a Scituate, Mass. house that collected taxpayer-financed flood claims at least nine times in the past 35 years. Its owner was in the process of applying for her second taxpayer-funded grant in a decade to elevate the $1.2 million home. But we don’t know if she got it. Continue Reading →

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Oceans of trouble for U.S. taxpayers

The photo above shows 48 Oceanside Drive in Scituate, Massachusetts. The house has repeatedly suffered flood damage from coastal storms, and the majority of repair costs are funded by a federal program. (Photo by Laura Owens)

Over and over again, the Atlantic has taken aim at 48 Oceanside Drive. Almost four decades ago, it slammed the house clear off its foundation. Thirteen years later, seawater poured through the roof during a nor’easter. So often has the sea catapulted grapefruit-sized rocks through the vacation home’s windows that a former owner installed bulletproof-glass. Continue Reading →

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