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State $2.5 Million in Grants Commercial Refrigeration Program
10:22AM / Sunday, September 25, 2022
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BOSTON, Mass. — In recognition of Massachusetts Climate Week, the Baker-Polito Administration has announced that $2.5 million is available through the Commercial Refrigeration Grant Program to support the use of more climate-friendly and low global-warming-potential (GWP) refrigerants in commercial refrigeration equipment in Massachusetts. 

Many commercial refrigeration systems use hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are potent greenhouse gases (GHGs), with GWPs that are up to thousands of times that of carbon dioxide (CO2). These harmful refrigerants leak into the atmosphere over time, contributing to climate change. While technologies using more climate-friendly

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Pittsfield, Dalton Hosting Hazardous Waste Collection Oct. 15
08:17AM / Saturday, September 24, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A household hazardous waste collection, organized by the city of Pittsfield in conjunction with the town of Dalton, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15.   The collection will be held at the city’s Highway Facility, 81 Hawthorne Ave.; please enter through the rear entrance. A wide range of unwanted household products with labels indicating the need for special handling or disposal will be accepted, as well as rechargeable button, other non-alkaline batteries and mercury-bearing thermostats and thermometers.   Online pre-registration is required by midnight on Oct. 12 and can be accessed here: https://tinyurl.com/2022HazDaySignup, along with a

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Pittsfield Eying Chicken Keeping Ordinance
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
02:18PM / Friday, September 23, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Ordinances and Rules Subcommittee is looking at a process to make the keeping of chickens more affordable.   The councilors heard a petition on Monday from Councilor at Large Karen Kalinowsky requesting to amend the city ordinance for keeping chickens. City Solicitor Stephen Pagnotta and Director of Community Development Justine Dodds were asked to weigh in.   Resident Melissa Corbett contacted Kalinowsky and proposed a permitting process for the raising of six chickens that goes through the Board of Health instead of the Zoning Board of Appeals and has an initial fee of $25.     The current application fee, legal announcement fee, and

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'I Am Water' Billboard Exhibit Speaks to Environmental Issue
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:22PM / Saturday, September 10, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — H20-themed billboards across the city — and one in North Adams — aim to start a conversation about water issues.

As a part of the "I Am Water" exhibition by ecoartspace and Our Humanity Matters, five billboards featuring artwork that speaks to the power of water will be featured in Berkshire County and one over the state border in New Lebanon, N.Y. 

The works address water conservation, quality, flooding, and scarcity.

It is an appropriate time for the narrative, as the state and county has been in a drought this summer and, last month, the city of Pittsfield implemented mandatory water restrictions.

"'I Am Water' is the

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BRTA Gets $3M for Hybrid Buses, HVAC
12:34PM / Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority has been awarded $2,457,328 in federal funding for low-emission buses and ventilation systems, with a 20 percent match in state funding bringing the total cost of $3,071,660 for the project.

The funds will go towards the purchase of three hybrid electric 35-foot heavy duty transit buses, replacing three 2014 buses; one 28-foot cutaway bus replacing one 2013 bus and the replacement of the 20-year-old HVAC system at the Intermodal Transportation Center.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration announced this week $1.66 billion in grants to transit agencies, territories, and states across the

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Biologists to Speak at Pittsfield Green Drinks
10:50AM / Saturday, August 13, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. Conservation biologists Linda Merry and Mara Silvers will speak at the August Pittsfield Green Drinks event. On Tuesday, August 16th, Pittsfield Green Drinks will start at 5:15 PM at Thistle & Mirth, 44 West Street, Pittsfield. Merry and Silvers will speak at 6:00 PM. 

Merry and Silvers will discuss their research on Cliff Swallow nesting, the causes of the species’ decline, the current conservation status, and measures to conserve the populations. 

Being aerial insectivores (birds that feed exclusively on insects while flying), Cliff Swallows and other swallows have seen some of the greatest declines in the Northeastern U.S. and Eastern Canada since

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RPI Interns Join Berkshire Innovation Center's SolaBlock
08:14AM / Sunday, August 07, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute graduates Rachel Soto-Garcia and Abdullah Abid have joined clean-and-construction technology company SolaBlock, a member of the Berkshire Innovaction Center, through Rensselaer's "Invent@Rensselaer Startup Immersion" program.

"This internship gives me an opportunity to understand and appreciate the renewable energy industry in a new light. I want to help places that are still developing and help the world for a better tomorrow," Soto-Garcia said, adding her parents experienced frequent power outages from rain in their home country of Guatemala.

They will create a depository of all blueprints for the company,

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Family Forest Carbon Program Expands to Berkshire County
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
05:31PM / Saturday, July 30, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Small forest owners in Berkshire County — and beyond — can now receive annual payments to implement climate-friendly practices on their land.  

Earlier this month it was announced that the Family Forest Carbon Program is available to small woodland owners with as little as 30 acres in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester counties.

The program, developed by the American Forest Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, allows family forest owners to access carbon markets so that they can address climate change while getting paid. This kind of market trades carbon emission allowances in an effort to lower them.

Because trees and

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Activists Demand Climate Legislation 'In the 11th Hour'
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
08:06PM / Monday, July 11, 2022
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Their are four bills in the Legislature addressing air quality, energy facilities, jobs and clean energy. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Local activists are pushing for the state Legislature to adopt a series of strong climate bills, saying we are in the "11th hour" for such initiatives.

These include an act to improve outdoor and indoor air quality for communities burdened by transportation pollution; an act relative to energy facilities siting reform to address environmental justice, climate, and public health; an act for building justice with jobs; and an act transiting the state to clean electricity, heating, and transportation.

Berkshire Environmental Action Team, in

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Berkshire Taconic Grant Funds BEAT Youth Program
08:00AM / Monday, July 04, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Crane Family Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation awarded $2,200 to Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) in support of connecting kids with nature through programs in parks in the Westside of Pittsfield.    The grant will allow BEAT to purchase materials and plan programs that will give kids the opportunity to collect insects. the program will teach them how to collect in a safe and mindful way that is beneficial to themselves and the insects.    It will also allow teaching opportunities on pollination, biodiversity, and the importance of insects to the global ecosystem.     

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