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Vermont among first states to join national climate registry

MONTPELIER — Vermont will become on the first states to take part in the Climate Registry, a national effort to track and manage greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“In Vermont, every day is Earth Day, as we all recognize the vital importance of our natural environment, and the role it plays in our way of life,” said Gov. Jim Douglas. “Vermont’s actions will continue to lead the rest of the region and the country toward more responsible stewardship of our natural resources.”

The registry is designed to give member states the ability to track and manage their greenhouse gas emissions, and better equip them to collectively take action on climate change. The governor’s decision to join the registry came just two days before the 37th annual celebration of Earth Day.

“Vermont has been committed to a host of other cooperative efforts to address climate change with our neighbors, such as the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers Climate Change Action Plan, and the Regional Green House Gas Initiative,” Douglas said. “Now, I’m very pleased to lend my support as a founding member to this most recent cooperative effort that will define a common standard for tracking and measuring greenhouse gas emissions and facilitate future greenhouse gas emissions reduction activities among participants.”

Douglas also proclaimed this entire week to be Vermont Earth Week.

As part of the weeklong celebration of the planet’s environment, scores of Agency of Natural Resources employees — including agency Secretary George Crombie — will teach classes in Vermont schools.

“By explaining to the next generation of Vermonters the importance of the environment, we can create a sense of excitement about and ownership of the state’s natural resources,” said Crombie. “I know Gov. Douglas shares the deep concern for the environment that agency employees demonstrate every single day.”

The climate registry has emerged from the cooperative efforts of a group of more than 30 states and several tribes to standardize best practices in GHG data reporting and management.

The registry will also provide an accurate, complete, consistent, transparent, and verified set of greenhouse gas emissions data from reporting entities, supported by a robust accounting and verification infrastructure.

As a member of the registry, Vermont will:

• Work with the registry to establish and endorse a voluntary entity-wide GHG emissions reporting and verification system and will encourage entities, both public and private, in Vermont to voluntarily report their emissions to the registry;
• Work with the registry to identify a set of GHG emissions minimum data quantification standards to be recognized by member states and tribes in reporting and emissions reduction programs; and,
• Work to incorporate these minimum data quantification standards into other GHG reporting and emissions reduction programs.

PBS station vows to replace toppled tower

PLATTSBURGH, NY — Mountain Lake PBS continues to deal with the aftermath from the April 18 collapse of its 400-foot transmission tower on a remote mountain in Saranac.

The tower collapsed completely, and partially damaged the transmitter building at its base. The full extent of the damage to the operating equipment situated on the tower, and within the transmitter building itself, is still unknown.

It is believed that an increase in ice and snow build-up due to the nor’easter storm that passed through the region on Sunday and Monday is the primary cause for the destruction. However, forensic engineers have yet to draw any conclusions as to what the actual cause may have been, station officials said.

Mountain Lake has insurance to cover a portion of the replacement value for the tower, but because the location on Lyon Mountain is so remote, the public television station is anticipating hefty extraneous costs to make the long-term replacements. Typically a tower of that size costs more than $1 million to build, and does not include other expenses. In the last year, the public television station spent $1.5 million to upgrade to digital, as well as reinforce the tower’s construction. Recently, the station received two reviews certifying the tower’s structure as being sound.

In addition to affecting Mountain Lake’s broadcasting abilities, the station leased tower space to at least a dozen emergency services and communications companies, who are also affected by the devastation. The station is working with the tenants to retain equipment and help establish temporary fixes.

Mountain Lake PBS does plan to rebuild. Replacing the transmission tower is expected to take place this summer, as the weather becomes more adequate on the mountain. Mountain Lake PBS is working to enact several temporary solutions to reestablish their broadcast to viewers throughout the region. One such solution may be implemented over the weekend, and would return viewing to the Montreal and Burlington areas.

The catastrophe could not have come at a worse time for the station, as its biggest fundraising event of the year, the Arts Auction, is scheduled to take place April 27- April 29.

Mountain Lake PBS broadcasts educational and informational programming 24 hours a day on analog Channel 57 and digital Channel 38. The viewers affected by the damages include:

Adelphia Cable 14 (Tri-Lakes, NY)
Time-Warner 12 (Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Port Henry, NY)
Time-Warner 10 (Champlain/Chazy area, NY)
Time-Warner 8 (Malone/Massena/Potsdam area, NY)
Small Cities Cable 7 (Shelburne/Vergennes area in VT)
Comcast Cable 14 (Burlington area, VT) TCI Cable 8 (St. Albans area, VT)
Videotron 24/46 (Montreal, Quebec) 20 (Quebec City, Quebec)
Transvision 14 (Granby, Quebec)
Rogers Cogeco 19 (Hawkesbury Ontario)
Translator Channel 25 (Tupperlake, NY)
Translator Channel 67 (Willsboro, NY)
Translator Channel 25 (Monkton, VT)
Translator Channel 60 (Addison, VT)

Mountain Lake continues to deliver programming over Charter Communications cable system (Cable 7), servicing the Clinton County, NY area.

Posted April 23, 2007

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