Why does Gov. Charlie Baker, who has proposed further cuts in environmental spending, want the state to take on even more water oversight from the federal government?
Massachusetts has made deep cuts to environmental agency budgets in recent years, leaving many state parks unstaffed and much of its surface water untested for bacteria.
Massachusetts is the only state on the East Coast that does not specifically mention striped bass in its fish consumption advisories. While some states issue broad blanket advisories, especially for pregnant women and children, others offer warnings not to eat too much of striped bass from specific water bodies.
Around the country, in towns as small as Grafton and as large as Philadelphia and Chicago, communities are beginning to ask the same question as the domestic energy boom makes the expansion of railway infrastructure — to host trains carrying crude oil, propane and ethanol — a profitable venture indeed.
A close examination reveals policies that discourage upgrades to help structures withstand larger floods; favor flood control using pipes and pumps, instead of systems that mimic nature; or provide aid to communities damaged by floods after wildfires only if each flood has been declared a national disaster.
Despite the agency’s attempts to account for bigger storms, its outdated rules leave communities unprepared for disaster.
Mercury emissions from major Massachusetts sources have declined by 90 percent over the past two decades, but mercury levels in the state’s freshwater fish hold stubbornly high, with many species too contaminated for pregnant women and children to eat. Meanwhile, languid summer days and the lure of Massachusetts’ 3,000 freshwater bodies – from the Berkshire's Lake Pontoosuc to Boston's Jamaica Pond – send many anglers casting for a good fish dinner.
A train run by the Grafton and Upton Railroad derailed in the town of Grafton, Mass. on Tuesday night while crossing through the town’s center. The derailment came just minutes before a town meeting in which the railroad’s owner, Jon Delli Priscoli, was scheduled to address a public audience over concerns related to the expansion in recent years of the railroad’s activity. No one was injured, the train remained fully upright and Doug Pizzi, a spokesman for the railroad, says the incident was a minor one and caused no damage to the track. (It did damage at least some public roadway). But the incident loomed much larger than its component facts for many of Grafton’s residents.