Measuring the Carbon Footprint of New Development

<p>A 2,300-unit development near a Maine lake is facing an environmental test to determine its carbon footprint. Environmentalists say the impact is too great, but developers dispute the analysis.</p>
January 22, 2008, 1pm PST | Nate Berg
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"A plan to build thousands of new homes next to a lake in Maine's north woods faces an environmental test that may one day challenge developers nationwide: What's the carbon footprint of a new subdivision or land development?"

"At hearings last month, Maine environmentalists unveiled for state regulators what is being called a first-in-the-nation study of the greenhouse-gas emissions expected from a huge development planned for Maine's Moosehead Lake. Some observers call it a new front in an emerging battle between environmentalists and developers that started in California two years ago."

"So how much carbon does a development emit? Environment Northeast estimates that the plan to clear 14,000 acres of forest to build about 2,300 apartment units and homes could generate up to 500,000 metric tons of carbon-dioxide emissions over 50 years, if emissions of vehicles traveling to the distant site are included. The US emits some 12,000 times that amount in a single year."

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Published on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 in The Christian Science Monitor
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