Thursday, May 1, 2014

WVTK Local & State News May 1, 2014

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin will sign the GMO bill into law next week. A press release says the bill requires the labeling of foods that contain GMOs. There will be a bill signing ceremony at the Statehouse next Thursday at 2:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend the bill signing.

The Vermont Health Department to award $1.5 million in grants to help prevent chronic illness across the state. A press release says the grants will be used to support smoke-free parks and housing, safe places to be physically active, better access to healthy foods, and programs to prevent alcohol and drug abuse. The grants will be distributed over the course of three years to 18 community organizations.

Vermont Gas Systems has purchased 53 acres of land in Monkton. In addition to this land purchase, Vermont Gas has also bought easements to lay a natural gas pipeline across at least a quarter of the Monkton properties slated to host Phase I of the Addison-Rutland Natural Gas Project. Vermont Gas has not disclosed what the land in this resent purchase will be used for.

Lake Champlain really ranks up there as a fishing lake. That's the opinion of Bassmaster Magazine's 2014 "Top 100 Best Bass Lakes" in the U-S. Lake Champlain came in at number 27. Another Vermont waterway, Lake Memphremagog also made the top 100, ranked as 44th. The number one lake for bass fishing? According to Bassmaster, it's Lake Michigan's Sturgeon Bay.

The cleanest air in the country can be found in Bangor, Maine and a few other communities, but Vermont isn't far behind. A new report released Wednesday by the American Lung Association gave the 50 states a report card on the air, looking at ozone levels and more, revealing nearly half of all Americans live in counties with dirty air. Two Vermont counties were included in the survey, with Chittenden getting an "A" and Bennington getting a "B". The areas with the worst air can be found in Los Angeles, and the Fresno-Madera region of California.

The Vermont Public Service Board will hold the first of two public hearings on Vermont Gas Systems’ “Phase II” pipeline project that would carry natural gas from Middlebury to the International Paper mill in Ticonderoga. The meeting will take place next Wednesday, May 7, at the Shoreham School.