Where Does Your Garbage Go?

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Where Does Your Garbage Go?

As a young man I used to bring my worst trash to Charlie Nadeau’s Dump in Coventry in northern Orleans County.   The 13 acre unlined dump was located on the edge of an extensive wetland and the Black River which form the headwaters of Lake Memphremagog flowing north into Quebec.  I would return home thinking, “I am helping to poison a river.”  I was part of the problem.    

Fast-forward fifty years. We have become a throw-away society. The waste stream is larger, and carries new compounds of toxic chemicals, harmful to human health, which persist in our environment, unable to break down. Plastics are ubiquitious. Our understanding of how to handle and recycle waste has also changed.  What has not changed in Vermont is the location of the Coventry site which has morphed into a 78 acre mega-landfill operated by Casella Waste Systems, Inc. Continue reading

Posted in Act 250, ANR, Coventry Landfill, Water, Wetlands | Leave a comment

Vermont Commission on Act 250 Meeting Videos and Audio

Click on the date to watch the video. All links go to video except where audio is noted.

Vermont Leg. Commission on Act 250 Mtg re Public Process, 6 15 18, 2:03:23

Commission on Act 250 meeting, 10 11 2018, morning. 2:44:33

Commission on Act 250 meeting, 10 11 2018, afternoon session, 2:12:47

Excerpt:Act 250 Commission meeting hearing 10 11 2018 Bruce Post, Public Comment, 5:54

Vermont Commission on Act 250, 10 26 2018, morning portion, 2:27:48

Vt. Commission on Act 250, 10 26 2018, afternoon portion, 2:01:51

Excerpt: Vermont Commission on Act 250, Bruce Post, 10 26 2018, 30:51

Vermont Legislative Commission on Act 250 11 8 2018, morning, 2:21:20

Vermont Legislative Commission on Act 250, 11 8 2018, afternoon, 2:02:36

AUDIO: Commission on Act 250 11.15.2018 01.mp3, 3:43:40

Commission on Act 250 11.15.2018 02.mp3, 31:36

Legislative Commission on Act 250, Nov. 30, 2018, 4:30,39

Act 250 Commission 12 7 2018, morning, 2:13:53

Act 250 Commission 12 7 2018, afternoon, 3:03:43

Act 250 Commission 12 14 2018, morning, 1:56:19

Act 250 Commission 12 14 2018, afternoon, 3:13:42





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Recharging the Debate on Large Hydro: Northeast Megadams Resistance

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Recharging the Debate on Large Hydro: Northeast Megadams Resistance

by Alexis Lathem

One of the longest rivers in Quebec, the incomparably beautiful Romaine River wound its way through unbroken boreal forests and wetlands teeming with life, plummeting over countless rapids in torrents of white water – among them the spectacular 90-foot Grandes Chutes – before emptying into the St. Lawrence near the Mingan Archipelago National Park. The Romaine was one of the last free-flowing Atlantic salmon rivers on the north shore of the St Lawrence. That was until Hydro Quebec began construction on its 8 billion dollar, 1,500 MW Romaine project in 2010 – the same year that Vermont renewed its long-term contract with Hydro Quebec. Intended entirely for export, Hydro Quebec’s only contract for this power is with Vermont.

But who in Vermont has even heard of the Romaine? Continue reading

Posted in Energy Planning, Hydro-Quebec | Leave a comment

The State Of Slate: Why Reopened Vermont Quarries Are Causing Concern


The State Of Slate: Why Reopened Vermont Quarries Are Causing Concern


Vermont Edition

Vermont is the country’s top slate producer. But re-opening and expanding old quarries has caused worry in neighboring communities.

Live call-in discussion: From a tiny area along the New York border called the Slate Valley, Vermont is the leading producer of slate in the country. And as old quarries are reopened or expanded, the rub between quarry owners and neighboring homeowners has gotten tense. We’ll take a look at today’s slate industry in Vermont.

Joining us to discuss the issues surrounding slate mining and the industry’s Act 250 exemption are:

Broadcast live on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.


Poultney, Wells, NY Slate April 20, 2014

Slate Quarries, Aerial Flyover, July 12, 2014

Slate Quarries in Vermont, Oct. 2, 2014

Slate Quarry Flyover, July 12, 2014

VCE Presentation on Slate Quarries, Vermont House Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources Committee, April 29, 2015, https://vimeo.com/126458374 or https://youtu.be/p4AKea1fBO0

POWERPOINT PRESENTATION to HFWW (without videos), April 29, 2015

Poultney couple sues quarry companies, Jan. 29, 2018

Poultney family settles quarry lawsuit, Oct. 26, 2018 https://www.rutlandherald.c…

Act 250 exemption key in quarry-homeowner disputes, oct. 31, 2018 https://www.rutlandherald.c…

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VCE’s Public Comment in Response to Anonymous Letter to PUC

November 27, 2018

Cases No. 18-0974-TF, 18-2850-TF, 18-3160-PET, 18-1633-PET

Public Comment in Response to Anonymous Letter to PUC

Vermonters for a Clean Environment submits this public comment in four cases related to Green Mountain Power’s rates and regulation plans. VCE appreciates that the PUC posted the letter and set a deadline for parties to comment by the end of business today. VCE is not a party to any of the four cases.

VCE also received the anonymous letter in the mail.[1] If the PUC had not posted it and asked for comments from parties, it was our intention to post it as a public comment in GMP’s rate and regulation cases and offer our comments. Though the letter was sent anonymously and the author is unknown, the information it contains is worthy of public discussion. Continue reading

Posted in DPS, Energy Planning, Green Mountain Power, PUC, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Comment on Green Mountain Power’s Rate Cases and How They Are Being Handled by the Vermont Department of Public Service

Vermont’s Public Utility Commission has asked for comments by Nov. 27 on the anonymous information, below, which was sent to the PUC, four media outlets, and VCE.  Submit your comments as “Public Comment” in any of the following cases via ePUC:

Case No. 18-2850, 18-1633, 18-3160, 18-0974




On November 19, 2018, the Vermont Public Utility Commission received an anonymous public comment relating to this proceeding. The parties may respond to this public comment by no later than November 27, 2018. The Commission recognizes that it may be difficult to respond to the public comment without knowing the identity of the author.


Posted in DPS, Energy Planning, Green Mountain Power, PUC, VCE | 2 Comments

Plan V-TV/60: Annette Smith of Vermonters for a Clean Environment on Vermont’s Energy Future

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Join “Vermont Independent” publisher Rob Williams for a conversation with Annette Smith, executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment (VCE), on citizen activism, challenging corporate power in our Green Mountains, and Vermont’s energy challenges and possible futures. Find out more and support her work at vce.org.

Find out more about our 2VR at vermontindependent.NET. Questions? Comments? Ideas? Wish to join the nonpartisan 2VR open source network? Email publisher AT vermontindependent.NET.

Thanks for watching Plan V-TV. Long live the 2nd Vermont Republic.


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Vermont Public Utility Commission, Public Beware

Vt. PUC Hearing Officer Threatens Citizens’ Attorney with Removal from Hearing Room, Sept. 20, 2018

This first of three 2+ minute videos is 8 minutes into the hearing on the record on the morning of the first day of the two-day hearing.  It set the tone for the rest of the day and the following day.  

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This exchange between the Hearing Officer and the citizens’ attorney occurred in the afternoon after lunch.  

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Later, the pro bono attorney representing pro se parties (Vermont citizens who participated without an attorney except for the two days of this hearing) is reprimanded by the Hearing Officer for “interrupting” the witness.  The attorney had to keep interrupting because the witness was behaving like a hostile witness and wasn’t answering the questions.  The Hearing Officer should have directed him to answer the questions.  Instead, he reprimanded the citizen’s attorney.  A while later the Hearing Officer finally directed the witness to answer the question he was asked, not the question he wished he was asked.

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No Vermonter who participates at the Public Utility Commission should be exposed to this kind of treatment.  The state had five attorneys in the room who never asked any questions.  Aside from the Petitioner’s attorney, the only one asking questions was the attorney representing Vermont citizens who the Hearing Officer threatened to remove within the first 10 minutes of the start of the hearing.

Video of the full hearings:


Posted in PSB, PUC, Solar | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Annette Smith: An examination of Vermont’s energy policies


Mar 18 2018

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Annette Smith, who is the executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment Inc. http://www.vce.org/ She is a member of the Rutland Regional Planning Commission, where she currently chairs the ad hoc energy committee. She has lived off grid in Danby for 30 years, and was named he 2016 Burlington Free Press Vermonter of the Year.

Most Vermonters accept the reality of climate change and support shifting our energy needs towards renewables. But in my conversations with Vermonters I have found that almost no one fully understands the mechanisms that have been put in place to achieve the state’s renewable energy goals. In fact, our energy policies are so complicated and convoluted that even Vermont legislators – many of whom consistently vote in favor of bills purporting to bring the state closer to a goal of 90 percent renewables by 2050 – don’t really understand them.

To help citizens and policymakers make more informed decisions, Vermonters for a Clean Environment has just released a report, Understanding Vermont’s Energy Policies. The report gives an overview of Vermont’s renewable energy policies, and provides context about our place in the regional electric grid. Continue reading

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VCE’s Energy Policy Report on the Dave Gram Show, March 14, 2018



Radio Vermont

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:46:34 — 97.6MB) | Embed

In the first hour, Annette Smith executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, talks about a report released by her group Monday saying Vermont has been going about the development of renewable energy in all the wrong ways. Then we hear from Austin Davis of Renewable Energy Vermont, who thinks the state is largely on the right track.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment