Erica Peterson

Erica is WFPL's Environment Reporter and a Managing Editor. Her work focuses on the federal, state and local energy policy decisions that affect Kentuckians, as well as the environmental consequences. Since moving to Louisville in 2011, Erica has reported from caves, boats, airplanes, coal mines and rivers and won several local, state and national awards. A previous resident of West Virginia, New Jersey, Minnesota and Illinois, Erica has a bachelor's degree from Carleton College, and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University. She lives with her husband and son in Louisville.

Northern_long-eared_bat_with_visible_symptoms_of_WNS_(8384023282)

Bat Species Put on ‘Threatened’ List Due to White Nose Syndrome

April 1, 2015

White nose syndrome is caused by a white fungus, and it's deadly to bats. Since 2006, it’s killed nearly 6 million bats in five Canadian provinces and 25 states, including Kentucky. Read Story

Mill Creek

Mitch McConnell to Rest of World: ‘Proceed With Caution’ on Climate Deal

March 31, 2015

The U.S. has submitted its carbon emissions reduction plan to the United Nations, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is already warning the rest of the world that America may not follow through on it. Read Story

smokestacks_cropped

Residents Argue LG&E Rate Increase Would Burden the Poor, Stifle Energy Efficiency

March 31, 2015

The Public Service Commission held a public meeting last night to take comments; about 50 people showed up, and unsurprisingly, no one testified in favor of the rate increase. Read Story

smokestacks_cropped

Regulators to Hear Public Comments Tonight on Proposed LG&E Rate Increase

March 30, 2015

Louisville Gas and Electric is asking the PSC to approve the rate increase to help the company recoup the costs associated with several projects, including constructing a new natural gas-fired power plant at the site of the Cane Run coal plant. The new gas plant is expected to be in service in May, and the coal units will be retired. Read Story

msdpix2-e1423860742361-1170x400

MSD Board OKs Changes to Agency’s Surplus Land Sales Policy

March 25, 2015

Louisville’s Metropolitan Sewer District Board has voted to change the way the agency disposes of surplus property. The board voted unanimously to adopt the modifications to MSD’s policies on Monday. Read Story

PlantedTrees

Louisville is Losing 54,000 Trees Each Year, Report Says

March 25, 2015

Louisville’s shrinking tree canopy has finally been quantified. Read Story

ash_landfill

Regulators Seek Public Input on LG&E Plan to Cap Cane Run Coal Ash Pond

March 15, 2015

Louisville Gas and Electric is still on track to open the company’s natural gas-fired power plant in Louisville in May, as it retires the current Cane Run coal power plant. The new power plant won’t produce coal ash, but 60 years worth of old ash will remain on site. Read Story

Tennessee Gas Pipeline

Company Files Federal Application to Convert Pipeline to Carry Natural Gas Liquids

March 14, 2015

The company that is considering repurposing a natural gas pipeline across Kentucky to carry a different product has filed a federal application for the conversion. Read Story

Mill Creek

Kentucky’s Gubernatorial Candidates Mostly Agree—State Shouldn’t Submit Plan For EPA Carbon Rules

March 13, 2015

Kentucky’s Republican gubernatorial candidates are lining up behind Sen. Mitch McConnell, agreeing with the senator’s recent recommendations that Kentucky should hold off on developing a state plan to comply with upcoming federal carbon dioxide regulations. Read Story

Former Mine Inspector to Plead Guilty to Bribery Charge

March 10, 2015

A former state mine inspector plans to plead guilty to bribery charges in federal court next week. Read Story

msdpix2-e1423860742361-1170x400

MSD Considers Changes to Property Sales After Questions About Cabel Street Lot

March 10, 2015

The Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District is considering changing the way it markets and sells surplus properties after WFPL reports raised questions about the transparency of its process. Read Story

coal

Kentucky Releases Hour-Long Documentary About Electricity, Energy Transition

March 9, 2015

Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet has released an hour-long documentary about the commonwealth’s changing energy landscape, and the challenges posed by diversifying the state’s energy portfolio and keeping electricity rates competitive as Kentucky utilities retire coal-fired power plants. Read Story

msdpix3

Louisville Sewer District’s Unusual Land Sale Had Outside Influence, Documents Suggest

March 9, 2015

When Louisville’s Metropolitan Sewer District sought to sell a five-acre lot in the Butchertown neighborhood last year, documents suggest that both the agency and a Metro Government official had a buyer in mind, as well as a unique procurement process. Read Story

Mill Creek

McConnell Calls for States to Ignore EPA Air Rules; Kentucky Says It Will Still Make a Plan

March 6, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is urging states to delay creating their own plans to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed greenhouse gas regulations, in hopes legal action will force the EPA to jettison the rules. Read Story

Mill Creek

Kentucky Environment Cabinet Secretary’s Compliments for EPA Draw Praise and Criticism

March 2, 2015

As quoted in Politico, Len Peters told conference attendees that he was impressed with the way the Environmental Protection Agency had provided outreach and guidance to states crafting plans to comply with upcoming federal greenhouse gas regulations. Read Story