A lead pipe, left, a corroded steel pipe, center, and a lead pipe treated with orthophosphate. Orthophosphate bonds to lead in pipes and acts as a barrier against corrosion. (EPA)

A lead pipe, left, a corroded steel pipe, center, and a lead pipe treated with orthophosphate. Orthophosphate bonds to lead in pipes and acts as a barrier against corrosion. (EPA)

The use of lead solder for drinking-water pipes was banned three decades ago, but there is no law that requires these pipes to be replaced. Providence, like many other southern New England cities, has old housing stock with plenty of lead plumbing. It’s a serious problem.

Woody Biomass, Landfill Gas Dominate R.I.'s Renewable-Energy Portfolio

A third of the 'renewable' electricity in Rhode Island's electric grid comes from power plants that burn wood, often from virgin forest. (istock)

A third of the 'renewable' electricity in Rhode Island's electric grid comes from power plants that burn wood, often from virgin forest. (istock)

Landfill gas accounts for 45 percent of Rhode Island's renewable energy. Biomass is second at 34 percent, followed by hydropower at 8.6 percent, wind at 7.7 percent and solar at 3.7 percent.


Gov. Raimondo Says She Supports a R.I. Carbon Tax

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Eight states, including Massachusetts and Connecticut, and the District of Columbia are considering carbon-tax programs. A statewide fee in Rhode Island, however, is opposed by business advocacy groups such as affiliates of the Chamber of Commerce.


Rarely Seen Seabirds Washing Ashore Dead on N.E. Beaches

Hundreds of great shearwaters have turned up dead on beaches on Long Island and southern New England this summer, and no one seems to know why. In addition to the birds on Block Island, birders and biologists have reported dead shearwaters on Rhode Island beaches in Tiverton and Charlestown.

Students install a floating wetland at a pond to test its effectiveness at removing pollutants. (URI)

Students install a floating wetland at a pond to test its effectiveness at removing pollutants. (URI)

The latest advisory report from the Department of Environmental Management avoids declaring whether the power plant should be approved or denied. (ecoRI News)

The latest advisory report from the Department of Environmental Management avoids declaring whether the power plant should be approved or denied. (ecoRI News)

Hard coral off the shores of southern New England could play a vital role in determining the size and depth of the world’s plastic footprint. (Frank Carini/ecoRI News)

Hard coral off the shores of southern New England could play a vital role in determining the size and depth of the world’s plastic footprint. (Frank Carini/ecoRI News)


URI to Establish Center to Study Pollutants in Water

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. — Nonstick cookware and firefighting foam share one disquieting characteristic in common: Both products are made with chemicals that could be contaminating drinking water.


Politicians, Advocacy Groups Turn Up Heat on LNG Project

PROVIDENCE — General Assembly members, a City Council member and six environmental groups signed off on a letter opposing National Grid’s proposed natural-gas project.