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 in Louisville.

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Environment
11:00 am
Thu May 9, 2013

GOP Senators Boycott Committee Vote on EPA Nominee

EPA

President Obama's choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency was scheduled for a vote today in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. That was supposed to happen at 9:15 this morning, but was derailed by absence of the committee's eight Republican members.

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Environment
3:38 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Poll: Majority of Small Business Owners Support EPA Nominee, Clean Energy Policies

Gina McCarthy
EPA

A Senate committee is scheduled to vote tomorrow on President Obama’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. And according to a poll released today, nominee Gina McCarthy is supported by a narrow majority of small business owners.

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Environment
4:41 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Groups Petition EPA to Limit Water Pollution from Coal Mines

Gabe Bullard WFPL

Environmental groups are petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency to change the way it measures water quality in six Appalachian states, including Kentucky.

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Environment
11:26 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Mitch McConnell's Office Promotes Op-Ed Attacking Potential Challenger Tom FitzGerald

U.S. Senate

In an opinion piece published in the Richmond Register this week, Bluegrass Institute acting president Jim Waters heaps praise on the legislation recently introduced by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to force the Environmental Protection Agency’s hand in approving or denying coal mine permits.

McConnell’s office tweeted a link to the op-ed twice (today and yesterday), which makes sense because it’s an article about the legislation the GOP leader introduced to expedite the EPA’s regulatory timeline. But it’s also an article attacking environmental attorney Tom FitzGerald, who has said he’s flirting with the idea of challenging McConnell as a Democrat in next year’s election.

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Environment
5:20 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Regulators Investigating Second Fish Kill in Two Weeks in Harlan County Creek

For the second time in two weeks, fish have been found dead in an eastern Kentucky creek, and state regulators aren’t sure what factors are to blame for the fish kill.

This time, hundreds of dead fish were found in Catrons Creek, in Harlan County. The dead fish range from more than a foot long to minnows.

But no one knows what caused the fish kill yet. People living near the creek reported seeing black water, and the culprit could be some kind of discharge of chemicals upstream from a coal mine or other industry.

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Environment
3:24 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

LG&E's Falcon Chicks Are Growing Up

It's only been a little more than a week since I was down at Mill Creek, watching several fluffy white peregrine falcon chicks being banded. But already, visible on the live webcam, you can see that those fluffy feathers are nearly gone and the chicks are getting ready to learn to fly.

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Environment
7:00 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Analysis Shows CO2 Reductions if Current Energy Laws Stay in Place

Energy Information Administration

Tax credits for renewable energy are set to expire, but a new study shows that current energy policies, if they're kept in place, would reduce carbon dioxide emissions over the next thirty years.

The Energy Information Administration is an arm of the federal government, but is policy neutral. This means they don’t advocate for certain policies; they just crunch the numbers.

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Environment
12:58 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

MSD Reports 24,000 Gallons of Sewage Released into Beargrass Creek During Malfunction

Credit Google Maps

About 24,000 gallons of untreated sewage was released this morning into the South Fork of Beargrass Creek.

The Metropolitan Sewer District reported a blockage in the sewer line around 11:00am. The waste would normally been diverted to the treatment plant, but the obstruction allowed the sewage to back up and rise over the dam around where Beargrass Creek crosses Lexington Road and Baxter Avenue.

The problem was fixed after about an hour and a half, but it’s recommended that the public avoid contact with the water for the next 48 hours.

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Environment
4:35 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Five Takeaways From a Conversation Between Michael Pollan and Wendell Berry

Flickr user: geoffandsherry

Kentucky farmer and writer Wendell Berry interviewed food journalist Michael Pollan last night in Louisville. (Pollan stopped by the WFPL studios earlier in the day for an interview as well). Over the course of the evening, they discussed Pollan's new book "Cooked" and the bigger issues it raises. Here are five takeaways from the interview:

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Environment
5:31 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Listen: Michael Pollan Visits WFPL to Talk Food and Cooking

Gabe Bullard

Food journalist Michael Pollan says we should cook. That's the thesis he outlines in his latest book--the appropriately titled Cooked. Pollan visited the WFPL studios earlier today for a news special.

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