Archive for May, 2017

Many listeners will recall the negative news associated with Volkswagen vehicles and U.S. emissions testing. In case you missed it, in 2016 Volkswagen was found guilty of installing  emissions software on diesel vehicles sold in the U.S. that enables the vehicles to sense an active emissions control test, turn on certain emissions control devices during the tests, and render them inactive during normal use. In other words, Volkswagen was found guilty of mass producing vehicles that autonomously cheat on emissions tests.

In 2016, Volkswagen was court ordered to provide billions of dollars to create trust funds to offset the damage caused by the emissions that exceeded EPA standards. As part of the settlement, Volkswagen is funding the $2.9 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust. The Environmental Mitigation Trust is divided between states based on the number of affected vehicles registered in the state. Idaho is set to receive $17.3 from the Environmental Trust and will soon be finalizing the plan for how to use the funds to improve air quality in the Gem State. Volkswagen also funded two other trusts as part of the ongoing settlement –

  • Buyback, Lease Termination, Vehicle Modification, and Emissions Compliant Recall Program
  • National Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Investment Plan

Our guests Michael  Brown with the Idaho DEQ and Beth Baird with the Treasure Valley Clean Cities Coalition give our listeners an overview of the issue and a look at how the funds are likely to be applied in Idaho. To learn more about the status of the funding in Idaho and provide your ideas for how to make use of the settlement funds, visit the Idaho DEQ Volkswagen Diesel Settlement website.

Michael Brown Idaho DEQ Airshed and Diesel Emissions Project Manager

VW Court ordered to fund billions in response to emissions falsification.








Tune into the show every Tuesday at 3pm on Radio Boise at 89.9 FM or 93.5 FM in the Treasure Valley. Or stream us online at http://www.radioboise.org.

Got an idea for a show? We’d love to hear about it! Contact us at buildingagreeneridaho@gmail.com

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rialin_2016Today I talk with Rialin Flores, the Legislative Associate for Conservation Voters for Idaho, about air quality issues, effective grassroots political engagement, holding elected leaders accountable, and electing people who care about things like clean air and water.

With all of the excitement around politics these days it’s a timely conversation to have about how policy and politics are being played here in Idaho around conservation issues. Air quality is our theme this month, but Rialin and I will also touch on CVI’s broader work and insights around Idaho’s political process. Speaking of the political process… democracy is at work today and you should participate. The Greater Boise Auditorium District election is today so get your VOTE on! Find details and polling locations for Ada County

Pre-show quiz (no cheating by googling it): What is Coal Rolling and did the Idaho Legislature address it in the 2017 session? Tune in to find out!

weppner clan climate march

Got an idea for a show? We’d love to hear about it! Contact us at buildingagreeneridaho@gmail.com

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Photo: Snake River Alliance

It’s clean air month on Building a Greener Idaho and today I speak with Chad Worth with the Snake River Alliance and Beau Husfloen from Bluebird Solar and Light about the Solarize the Valley program. What does clean energy have to do with clean air? C’mon, our listeners (YOU) know the answer to that question!

Solarize the Valley 2.0 just kicked off for a second year with a goal of installing 250 kilowatts of clean solar energy on rooftops of homes and businesses across the valley. Chad and Beau will discuss the details of the program including why it’s a great time to go solar and how participants will get the best pricing, warranties and service as they invest in our collective clean energy future.

Got an idea for a show? We’d love to hear about it! Contact us at buildingagreeneridaho@gmail.com

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Clean Water Cowabunga

The Boise River has been through various phases in recent human history. Not too long ago, the river was “utilitarian”. In other words, it was a trash dump that fed the irrigation canals. But things began looking up for the river as recreationists and conservationists made it known that there was value in a clean and healthy river corridor.

In 1962, the City of Boise hired a consultant group to create the City’s first comprehensive plan. The plan included the idea of a Boise River Greenbelt and suggested a greenbelt path along the river corridor. The rest as they say, is history. Since that time, the Boise River from Lucky Peak dam to Eagle has seen a dramatic transformation. The river front properties shifted from industrial, to parks, university campus, commercial, dining and entertainment. Fly fishing in the heart of downtown Boise is common. Bikers, runners and walkers can travel more than 30 car free miles along the river banks. The Boise River was maturing into an amenity.

These were all great accomplishments that added to the experience of the Boise area, but there were still issues for the people that enjoy boating the river. Pour over damns and diversion features created dangerous currents that sometimes took lives. Trash still found its way into the river. Fortunately, some of the river enthusiasts in the community knew that the next phase of the Boise River included on the water recreation as well as the pathways that flank the shores. They took it on themselves to make it happen.

Our guest this week is Dr. Paul Collins. Paul was instrumental in the organizing and fund raising efforts that helped create the Boise River Park. The Boise River Park includes one of the premier inland surf waves in the world. Formed by an adjustable feature built into the river, the park is capable of producing a consistent standing wave in a variety of river flow rates. The river park is a place where people can surf their kayaks and boards far from the ocean while enjoying the most recent advancement in the evolution of the Boise River. In addition to recreational opportunities, the Boise River Park contributes to a culture that values clean water and healthy rivers. The activity at the park has also spawned vibrant economic development both near the park, and in the industries that serve the water sports.

Dr. Collins put his effort into the development of the park because of his interests in white water kayaking. If you had asked him 8 years ago if a river board surfing scene would become a part of Boise’s fabric thanks to the park, he would not have seen it coming. But as with many pioneers and change agents, Paul embraces the unknown. He now revels in the fact that a whole new group of citizens has found a way to enjoy the Boise River, and learn the value of Clean Water Cowabunga.


A busy day at the Boise River Park. Photo Credit – Jessica Murri, Boise Weekly.


Listen to our interview below to learn more about the amazing transformation of the Boise River.



Tune into the show weekly at 3pm on Radio Boise at 89.9 FM or 93.5 FM in the Treasure Valley. Or stream us online at http://www.radioboise.org.

Got an idea for a show? We’d love to hear about it! Contact us at buildingagreeneridaho@gmail.com

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