Erica Peterson

Environment Reporter

Erica reports on environment and energy issues for WFPL, which run the gamut from stories about the region’s biodiversity to coal mine safety and pollution issues. In the name of journalism, she’s gone spelunking, tagged mussels and taste-tested bourbon. Erica moved to Louisville in June 2011 from Charleston, West Virginia, where she worked for the state’s public radio and television affiliate. Besides Kentucky and West Virginia, she’s lived in New Jersey, Minnesota and Illinois. She lives with her husband and son in Louisville.

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Environment
1:10 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

There Are Only 11,600 Coal Miners Left in Kentucky

Credit Frankie Steele / KYCIR

Overall coal production in Kentucky remained steady between the second and third quarters of 2014, but that’s because losses in the eastern part of the state were offset by gains in the west.

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Environment
2:36 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

LG&E Plans to Ask For Rate Increase, Partly to Pay for Cane Run Gas Plant

Credit Erica Peterson / WFPL

Louisville Gas and Electric officials plan to file documents with the Public Service Commission later this month asking for a rate increase.

If approved, the proposed rate increase will raise the average residential customer’s electric bill by $2.74 a month, and increase the average gas bill by $2.60 a month.

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Environment
5:08 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Indoor Air Sampling Begins at Homes Near Lees Lane Landfill

Credit Erica Peterson / WFPL

Federal government officials are in Louisville this week to take air samples in eight homes near the Lees Lane Landfill. The crawl spaces of 31 houses were tested earlier this summer, and levels of toxic gases were high enough in eight of them to warrant further testing.

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Environment
1:48 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

New Downtown Louisville Tree Wells Designed to Absorb More Water

A newly-installed porous tree well.
Credit Ken Herndon / Louisville Downtown Partnership

Some of the tree wells in Louisville’s downtown got a makeover last week. Rather than installing the iron grates with holes that ring most downtown trees, the Louisville Downtown Partnership and Metro Public Works filled in more than 50 wells with a new porous material.

Louisville Downtown Partnership Director of Operations Ken Herndon said there are a number of benefits to using the new material, which is made of recycled tires, small gravel and rubber resin.

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Environment
4:24 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Louisville Company Was Cited Repeatedly for Improper Tire Storage Before Monday's Fire

Credit Louisville EMA/MetroSafe

The tire company off Dixie Highway where a fire raged Monday hasn’t been in compliance with Kentucky’s tire storage laws since June 6. And in an unfortunate coincidence, state inspectors arrived at the site this morning for a follow-up inspection just as the fire started.

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Environment
2:36 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Louisvillians Vote for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors on Tuesday. What's That?

Credit Jefferson County Clerk's Office

This year’s election ballot is long and intimidating for Louisville residents. There’s the marquee race: McConnell vs. Grimes. Voters will choose a candidate for Louisville mayor and third district congressman. There’s at least a page of judges—district, appellate, circuit and family court—and some districts will vote for school board. And then, there’s this one other category: Soil and Water Conservation District.

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Environment
8:00 am
Mon November 3, 2014

'Hack2o' Invites Innovators to Tackle Clean Water Technology

An event next weekend asks Louisville-area hackers and tinkerers to turn their energy toward clean water innovations.

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Politics
11:22 am
Fri October 31, 2014

McConnell Takes Five Point Lead in Latest Bluegrass Poll

Credit Kentucky Secretary of State/U.S. Senate

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has a five point lead over Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, according to the latest and final Bluegrass Poll.

Forty-eight percent of likely voters polled say they plan to vote for McConnell, while forty-three percent say they support Grimes. Libertarian David Patterson gets three percent, and six percent of voters are still undecided.

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Environment
7:00 am
Thu October 30, 2014

USDA Launches Website to Help Landowners Manage Climate Change Risk

Credit http://www.wlfarm.org

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched a new website designed to provide practical information to farmers, ranchers and landowners dealing with the effects of climate change across the country.

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Environment
12:50 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

In Louisville, Yellow Hybrid Taxis Hit the Streets

Credit Rachel Bledsoe / RunSwitch PR

One of Louisville’s largest taxi companies is adding hybrid vehicles to its fleet.

Procarent operates Yellow Cab of Louisville. President Steve Coston said starting today, the company’s fleet will include eight Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles. That’s a small amount for a fleet of about 220 taxicabs at any given time, but Coston said this will likely be the beginning of a larger switch to hybrids.

“I think in general from a sedan standpoint we’re going to look at this as more as the beginning of the rollout, versus a true trial,” he said.

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