Whetstone Brook

Last updated
Whetstone Brook as it runs under the Main Street Bridge in downtown Brattleboro, VT Main St Bridge Brattleboro VT.JPG
Whetstone Brook as it runs under the Main Street Bridge in downtown Brattleboro, VT

Whetstone Brook is a tributary of the Connecticut River that runs through the heart of Brattleboro, Vermont, in the United States. It flows into the Connecticut at an elevation of 250 feet (76 m) above sea level. [1] The headwater for the brook is at Hidden Lake, which is 1,500 feet (460 m) above sea level in the town of Marlboro. [1] Of the 28-square-mile (73 km2) watershed, over two thirds is contained within Brattleboro, while another 30 percent is in Marlboro. The remaining 2% is within the town of Dummerston. [1] The brook is crossed by Creamery Covered Bridge in West Brattleboro, which was built in 1879. [2]

Connecticut River river in the New England region of the United States

The Connecticut River is the longest river in the New England region of the United States, flowing roughly southward for 406 miles (653 km) through four states. It rises at the U.S. border with Quebec, Canada, and discharges at Long Island Sound. Its watershed encompasses five U.S. states and one Canadian province, 11,260 square miles (29,200 km2) via 148 tributaries, 38 of which are major rivers. It produces 70% of Long Island Sound's fresh water, discharging at 19,600 cubic feet (560 m3) per second.

Brattleboro, Vermont Town in Vermont, United States

Brattleboro, originally Brattleborough, is a town in Windham County, Vermont, United States. The most populous municipality abutting Vermont's eastern border with New Hampshire, which is the Connecticut River, Brattleboro is located about 10 miles (16 km) north of the Massachusetts state line, at the confluence of Vermont's West River and the Connecticut. In 2014, Brattleboro's population was estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau to be 11,765.

Marlboro, Vermont Town in Vermont, United States

Marlboro is a town in Windham County, Vermont, United States. The population was 978 at the 2000 census. The town is home to both the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum and Marlboro College, which hosts the Marlboro Music School and Festival each summer.

Contents

History

Whetstone Falls in 1907 near the connection with the Connecticut River. The falls and creek provided a supply of energy for mills in Brattleboro. Whetstone Falls, Brattleboro, VT.jpg
Whetstone Falls in 1907 near the connection with the Connecticut River. The falls and creek provided a supply of energy for mills in Brattleboro.

Whetstone Brook was an important part of the economic development of the town of Brattleboro, providing power for mills and factories along the shore of the brook. The first gristmill was established in the area by Governor Wentworth of New Hampshire in 1762, while the region was still under disputed claims between the colonies of New York and New Hampshire. [3] By 1773, the road near Whetstone Brook contained several sawmills, as well as housing from new settlers to the area. [3]

Gristmill mill; grinds grain into flour

A gristmill grinds cereal grain into flour and middlings. The term can refer to both the grinding mechanism and the building that holds it.

Benning Wentworth Colonial governor of New Hampshire

Benning Wentworth was the colonial governor of New Hampshire from 1741 to 1766.

Province of New York English, from 1707, British, possession in North America between 1664 and 1776

The Province of New York (1664–1776) was a British proprietary colony and later royal colony on the northeast coast of North America. As one of the Thirteen Colonies, New York achieved independence and worked with the others to found the United States.

Whetstone Brook, Brattleboro, VT, circa 1869-1890 Whetstone Brook, Brattleboro, Vt, by D. A. Henry.png
Whetstone Brook, Brattleboro, VT, circa 1869-1890

Environmental issues

The Whetstone has a long history of contamination from the surrounding community of Brattleboro. In 1907, a local newspaper editorial described the brook becoming "an open sewer". [4]

In 1990, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation identified oil leakage from an underground storage tank; the subsequent cleanup effort removed nearly 4,000 gallons of petroleum from the waterway and nearby soil, costing $440,000. [5] The EPA uses the situation as a case study cleanup effort, for local-national cooperation in oil spill cleanup. [5] As of 2007, the lower 2.5 miles (4.0 km) of the brook, along which there is significant development, is contaminated by E. coli and other bacteria. [1] In 2011, a sewer interceptor pipe was ruptured during the landfall of Hurricane Irene, and nearly spilled sewage from the town of Brattleboro into the creek. [6]

Underground storage tank

An underground storage tank (UST) is, according to United States federal regulations, a storage tank, not including any underground piping connected to the tank, that has at least 10 percent of its volume underground.

Hurricane Irene Category 3 Atlantic hurricane in 2011

Hurricane Irene was a large and destructive tropical cyclone which affected much of the Caribbean and East Coast of the United States during late August 2011. The ninth named storm, first hurricane, and first major hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, Irene originated from a well-defined Atlantic tropical wave that began showing signs of organization east of the Lesser Antilles. Due to development of atmospheric convection and a closed center of circulation, the system was designated as Tropical Storm Irene on August 20, 2011. After intensifying, Irene made landfall in St. Croix as a strong tropical storm later that day. Early on August 21, the storm made a second landfall in Puerto Rico. While crossing the island, Irene strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane. The storm paralleled offshore of Hispaniola, continuing to slowly intensify in the process. Shortly before making four landfalls in the Bahamas, Irene peaked as a 120 mph (190 km/h) Category 3 hurricane.

See also

Related Research Articles

Marlboro College

Marlboro College is a small, private liberal-arts college in Marlboro, Vermont. Students at Marlboro create an individualized course of study in collaboration with faculty members and participate in a self-governed (self-run) community. Students pursue a self-designed, often inter-disciplinary thesis, the Plan of Concentration, based on their academic interests that culminates in a major body of scholarship. Students can use the college's organic farm, solar greenhouse, nature forestland preserve, and aviary. Weekly "town meetings" are held to vote for and change the college's bylaws.

Windham County, Vermont County in the United States

Windham County is a county located in the U.S. state of Vermont. As of the 2010 census, the population was 44,513. The county's shire town (seat) is Newfane, and the largest municipality is the town of Brattleboro.

Oil spill Release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment, especially marine areas, due to human activity

An oil spill is the release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment, especially the marine ecosystem, due to human activity, and is a form of pollution. The term is usually given to marine oil spills, where oil is released into the ocean or coastal waters, but spills may also occur on land. Oil spills may be due to releases of crude oil from tankers, offshore platforms, drilling rigs and wells, as well as spills of refined petroleum products and their by-products, heavier fuels used by large ships such as bunker fuel, or the spill of any oily refuse or waste oil.

Hinsdale, New Hampshire Town in New Hampshire, United States

Hinsdale is a town in Cheshire County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 4,046 at the 2010 census. Hinsdale is home to part of Pisgah State Park in the northeast, and part of Wantastiquet Mountain State Forest in the northwest.

Kalamazoo River river in Michigan

The Kalamazoo River is a river in the U.S. state of Michigan. The river is 130 miles (210 km) long from the junction of its North and South branches to its mouth at Lake Michigan, with a total length extending to 178 miles (286 km) when one includes the South Branch. The river's watershed drains an area of approximately 2,020 square miles (5,200 km2) and drains portions of eight counties in southwest Michigan: Allegan, Barry, Eaton, Van Buren, Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Jackson, Hillsdale, Kent and Ottawa. The river has a median flow of 1,863 cubic feet per second (52.8 m3/s) at New Richmond, upstream from its mouth at Saugatuck.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Principal federal law in the United States governing the disposal of solid waste and hazardous waste

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), enacted in 1976, is the principal federal law in the United States governing the disposal of solid waste and hazardous waste.

Saxtons River river in the United States of America

The Saxtons River is a 22.9-mile-long (36.9 km) river in the U.S. state of Vermont, a tributary of the Connecticut River. Its watershed covers 78 square miles (200 km2) and a range in altitude of 1,800 feet (550 m); land use is about 80% forested and 3% agricultural, and the upper river supports wild brook trout and brown trout, while Atlantic salmon occur but are usually limited to the area below Twin Falls on the lower river.

The Brattleboro Reformer is the third-largest daily newspaper in the U.S. state of Vermont. With a weekday circulation of just over 10,000, it is behind the Burlington Free Press and the Rutland Herald, respectively. It publishes six days a week, Monday through Saturday, with its Weekend Reformer having the largest readership; the offices of the paper are in Brattleboro, Vermont and it has a market penetration of 62.8 in its home zip code.

Conservation Law Foundation Non-profit organisation in the USA

Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) is an environmental advocacy organization based in New England. Since 1966, CLF's mission has been to advocate on behalf of the region's environment and its communities. CLF's advocacy work takes place in four program areas: Clean Energy & Climate Change, Clean Water & Healthy Forests, Healthy Oceans and Smart Growth. CLF works to promote renewable energy and fight air and water pollution; build healthy fishing communities and protect marine habitat; fight sprawl, promote public transit and defend public health. Conservation Law Foundation is a nonprofit, member-supported organization with offices in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

William K. Reilly American government official

William Kane Reilly was Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George H. W. Bush. He has served as president of World Wildlife Fund, as a founder or advisor to several business ventures, and on many boards of directors. In 2010, he was appointed by President Barack Obama co-chair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling to investigate the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Plains All American Pipeline

Plains All American Pipeline is a publicly traded Master limited partnership in the oil pipeline transportation, marketing, and storage business in the United States, liquefied petroleum gas business in Canada, and natural gas storage business in Michigan and Louisiana. It owns about 37 million barrels of terminal and storage capacity and 15,000 miles (25,000 km) of crude oil pipelines.

Vermont Route 9

Vermont Route 9 is a state highway in the U.S. state of Vermont. The highway runs 46.957 miles (75.570 km) from the New York state line in Bennington, where it continues west as New York Route 7, to the New Hampshire state line at the Connecticut River in Brattleboro, where the highway continues as New Hampshire Route 9. VT 9 is the primary east–west highway of Bennington and Windham counties in southern Vermont. The highway connects Southern Vermont's primary towns of Bennington and Brattleboro via its crossing of the Green Mountains. VT 9 also connects those towns with Troy, New York, and Keene, New Hampshire, via the connecting highways in those states. The highway also intersects three major north–south routes: U.S. Route 7 in Bennington and Interstate 91 (I-91) and US 5 in Brattleboro.

Omega Metal Processing

Omega Metal Processing is an abandoned chemical processing plant in Monson, Massachusetts on Bliss Street. The two story brick building was built around 1850 for wool storage and sorting and was located on a 2.5 acre property. Starting in 1980, it was leased and operated by the Omega Processing Co. In an April 20, 1989 chemical spill, 2,800 gallons of cadmium cyanide were released into the Chicopee Brook, resulting in fish kills in the brook and the downstream Quaboag River. The plant closed as a result of the heavy costs and penalties incurred because of the spill, and was abandoned prior to the removal of hazardous material. The site was assessed under the Targeted Brownfields Assessment program of the EPA and cleared in 2005.

The Greenpoint oil spill is one of the largest oil spills ever recorded in the United States. Located around Newtown Creek in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City, between 17 and 30 million US gallons of oil and petroleum products have leaked into the soil from crude oil processing facilities over a period of several decades.

Imperial Oil is a current Superfund site located off Orchard Place near Route 79 in Morganville, Marlboro Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey. This site is one of 114 Superfund sites in New Jersey. It is in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 Superfund area of control and organization. The 15-acre (61,000 m2) Imperial Oil Co./Champion Chemicals site consisted of six production, storage, and maintenance buildings and 56 above-ground storage tanks.

Green River (Deerfield River tributary) tributary of the Deerfield River in Vermont and Massachusetts, United States

The Green River is a tributary of the Deerfield River in southern Vermont and northwestern Massachusetts in the United States.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Whetstone Brook" (PDF). Watershed Management Division, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.
  2. "Escape into the past". PN - Paraplegia News. 65 (5): 49–53. 2011. Retrieved December 12, 2015 via General OneFile.
  3. 1 2 "Brattleboro in 1748-1790". Vermont Phoenix. Brattleboro, Vermont. 31 Oct 1890 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  4. "Dr. Tucker's Paper on Sanitation—Whetstone Brook Becoming an Open Sewer". Vermont Phoenix. Brattleboro, Vermont. 18 Jan 1907 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  5. 1 2 "Vermont: Whetstone Brook, Cleanup of Leaked Petroleum Restores Brook". EPA. March 6, 2012. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  6. "The Rescue of the Whetstone Brook". Brattleboro Community TV. October 20, 2014.|first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)

Further reading

Digital object identifier Character string used as a permanent identifier for a digital object, in a format controlled by the International DOI Foundation

In computing, a Digital Object Identifier or DOI is a persistent identifier or handle used to identify objects uniquely, standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). An implementation of the Handle System, DOIs are in wide use mainly to identify academic, professional, and government information, such as journal articles, research reports and data sets, and official publications though they also have been used to identify other types of information resources, such as commercial videos.

Coordinates: 42°51′06″N72°33′24″W / 42.85176°N 72.55658°W / 42.85176; -72.55658

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.