Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Monday, March 10, 2014, 11:30 AM

The five members of the Delaware River Basin Commission, long at odds over regulations that would govern natural gas drilling in the watershed, have agreed on one thing: A new executive director.

Here's the press release from the commission. Look for a short story in Tuesday's Inquirer.

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POSTED: Monday, March 3, 2014, 5:34 PM
Take it with a drain of salt Since there were no bags of salt left, Chuck Ruot lifts a 50-pound bag of sand at the Lowes on Columbus Boulevard, in South Philly, as yet another snowstorm approaches the area.(MICHAEL BRYANT / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

Even before this big storm, PennDOT's southeastern office had surpassed its record.

So far this year, salt trucks have spread 159,450 tons of salt on highways in the five-county area.

The previous record – for the winter of 2009-2010 – was 142,450 tons, spokesman Charles Metzer told me.

POSTED: Thursday, February 27, 2014, 1:44 PM

This story ran in the Inquirer today. Congrats to the recipients.

In Port Richmond, residents are exposed to air pollution from oceangoing vessels, factories, and heavy traffic along I-95.

In Overbrook, toxic chemicals in area waterways and water quality overall are issues.

POSTED: Thursday, February 20, 2014, 6:03 PM
Willett Kempton, professor in the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, will oversee the electric vehicle charging station project. (Photo by (Evan Krape)

Good thing Delaware is small! What other state could announce that it's going to install a network of electric vehicle charging stations, none of them more than 50 miles apart, and not face astronomical costs?

But Delaware is also home to alternative energy expert and electric car advocate Willett Kempton, a University of Delaware professor who will oversee the project.

To get the kind of coverage the state wants -- making a station within the battery range of the least expensive cars on the market today -- will require only $80,000 and five or six stations, officials said in announcing the project.

POSTED: Monday, February 17, 2014, 1:12 PM
An American Robin searches for food on a frozen tree. (AP Photo/Kennebec Journal, Andy Molloy)

Several people have mentioned to me recently that they saw huge flocks of robins in the snow.

Huh? The popular image of a robin is that it shows up when the ground has thawed so it can find -- and eat -- tasty worms that emerge.

Not so, says Audubon Pennsylvania's Keith Russell. I asked him about the huge flocks, and here's what he wrote:

POSTED: Monday, February 3, 2014, 5:51 PM
B95 (center, with orange leg band) recently in Argentina. (Photo by Luis Benegas)

The last we heard of a red knot known as B95 -- after his tag -- he was in Canada. It was August, and he was on his way south.

As usual, scientists studying red knots figured it might be their last sighting of him. No bird lives forever, they keep telling themselves.

But recently, he's been spotted -- several times! -- on wintering grounds at Rio Grande, at the southern tip of Argentina.

POSTED: Monday, February 3, 2014, 4:37 PM

A significant new study on the link between bisphenol and cancer wasn’t released in time for Sunday’s GreenSpace column about the ubiquitous chemical, also referred to as BPA.

This morning, the University of Michigan School of Public Health announced the completion of “one of the first studies to show a significant association between BPA and cancer development.”

They found liver tumors in mice exposed to BPA via their mothers during gestation and nursing.

POSTED: Thursday, January 30, 2014, 5:36 PM
Monarch butterflies cover only 1.65 acres of the forests west of Mexico City, a new report says - compared with 2.93 acres last year and more than 44.5 acres at their recorded peak in 1996. (MARCO UGARTE / AP)

After finishing Tuesday's story about the extinction of the passenger pigeon -- the species left the planet forever 100 years ago this September -- it was disheartening to learn of yet another creature's precipitous decline.

Yesterday, the World Wildlife Fund and the Mexican government announced that the population of wintering monarchs in Mexico declined to their lowest level since scientists started keeping records in 1993 -- 20 years ago.

Officials said that while the monarch is not in danger of extinction at the moment, its migration is. 

About this blog

GreenSpace is about environmental issues and green living. Bauers also writes a biweekly GreenSpace column about environmental health issues for the Inquirer’s Sunday “Health” section.

Sandy Bauers is the environment reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she has worked for more than 20 years as a reporter and editor. She lives in northern Chester County with her husband, two cats, a large vegetable garden and a flock of pet chickens.

Reach Sandy at sbauers@phillynews.com.

Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
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