Yellow Canary

News & Features


While this section is about the environment and sustainable living issues, one way for you to have an impact on the news, is to write letters to the editor of your local newspaper, favorite magazine - or - to your elected officials. Below you'll find a few resources to help you write an effective letter. If you have other hints, tips or resources you tink we should add, drop us a line harbinger at

Help finding your local newspaper or radio station in Connecticut or the major US newspaper near you.

Tips on how to write your own Opinion Editorial or Letter to the Editor and get it published! ~ cite:

Write a Letter to the Editor: Ten things to Know ~ cite:

Writing to elected officials: Become an Activist! Write a Powerful Letter. Also How to call or email elected officials~ cite:

Writing a Member of Congress. ~ cite:

Contacting Congress (& Other US Policymakers): Making Your Voice Heard by US Federal Legislators, the White House, State Legislators and Governors. ~ cite:

The Right to Write: Suggestions on Writing to Your Representatives in Congress by Morris K. Udall, Member, U.S. Congress. ~ cite:

The Environment in the News

EPA Addressing Mercury Contamination

April 4, 2007: EPA Continues to Address Mercury Contamination on Putnam Road in Killingly CT: EPA response workers continue to work closely with the CT Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), CT Dept. of Public Health (DPH) and the Northeast District Dept. of Health to address mercury contamination discovered on Putnam Road in Killingly.

Over the weekend, EPA completed a preliminary investigation of the site which included drilling test holes into the pavement and surrounding soil to determine whether the mercury contaminated soils were limited to those in the immediate vicinity of the area initially addressed by DEP. EPA also conducted additional air monitoring at homes located near the site. The residential home monitoring did not indicate the presence of mercury.

EPA's investigation of Putnam Road has focused on the area immediately surrounding the 8 x 1 foot area where the mercury pool had been spotted. Investigations revealed that the impacted area is limited to the immediate vicinity; however, the source of the spill has not been identified. Over the next several days, EPA will pull up the roadway in sections and use a small excavator to carefully scrape the soil from the ground beneath the road. Approximately 15 yards of contaminated soil will be removed and transported off-site for disposal. [Rest of the Article]
Contact Information: David Deegan: (617) 918-1017

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Global Warming Case

The case in question stretches back to 1999, when environmentalists filed a petition calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set motor vehicle emission standards for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

June 26 2006: The Supreme Court plunged on Monday into the acrimonious debate over global warming and whether the government should regulate "greenhouse" gases, especially carbon dioxide from cars. The ruling could be one of the court's most important ever on the environment.

The ruling could be one of the court's most important yet on the environment, suggests a CNN report. Spurred by states in a pollution battle with the Bush administration, the court said it would decide whether the Environmental Protection Agency is required under the federal clean air law to treat carbon dioxide from automobiles as a pollutant harmful to health. The decision, notes the report, could determine how the nation addresses global warming. A ruling is expected by November.
cite: Associated Press & CNN

World Energy Consumption Could Be Cut by Half If Clean Technology Applied

June 23 2006: Oil and electricity consumption across the world could easily be cut by half, with major benefits for the environment, if clean energy technologies that are currently available were applied, an international watchdog said.

"A sustainable energy future is possible, but only if we act urgently and decisively to promote, develop and deploy a full mix of energy technologies . . . We have the means, now we need the will," said Claude Mandil, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

He was presenting an IEA report written in response to a call last year from G8 leaders who asked the agency to develop and advise on alternative scenarios and strategies for a clean, clever and competitive energy future. [full article]
cite: by Rory Mulholland, Agence France Presse

Return of the Toxic Algae

June 19 2006: A new report says the Great Lakes are being threatened by toxic algae growth. The blue-green algae is reappearing despite efforts in the 1970's to combat the problem. The GLRC's Laleah Fernandez reports: Environmental groups say phosphorus pollution is causing the growth of blue-green algae, which can kill fish and plants in the lakes. Phosphorus gets in the lakes when lawn or farm fertilizers run off into waterways and because dishwashing detergent still contains phosphates.

Hugh McDiarmid is with the Michigan Environmental Council, which released the report. He says invasive species, such as zebra mussels, also promote the growth of the toxic algae: "They filter the water and make it clearer, which would seem on the surface to be a good thing, but allows sunlight to reach deeper into the water column and allows algae, therefore, to grow much deeper in the water than it had before the mussels arrived."

McDiarmid says shallow lakes such as Lakes Erie and St. Clair are especially vulnerable because the algae on the bottom of the lakes is closer to sunlight.
cite: Laleah Fernandez, Great Lakes Radio