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
2:04 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

American Electric Power Agrees to Stop Burning Coal at Coal-Fired Units in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio

Credit Erica Peterson/WFPL

American Electric Power has agreed to stop burning coal at several coal-fired units in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. The company reached a settlement today with a coalition of environmental groups, several states and the Environmental Protection Agency.

From the Sierra Club:

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Environment
8:18 am
Mon February 25, 2013

LG&E's Plan to Close Ash Pond Could Be Replicated at Other Plants

Erica Peterson WFPL

Louisville Gas and Electric’s plan to put a cap made of coal ash on top of a coal ash pond at the Cane Run Power Plant in southwest Louisville has neighborhood residents concerned. But the head of the state’s solid waste branch says the plan is innovative, and he thinks it can be replicated at other power plants.

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Environment
5:31 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Kentucky Officials Hopes to Thin Out Carp Population With Carp Madness Tournament

Fg2 Wikimedia Commons

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife is tackling the state’s growing problem with Asian carp in a new way: pitting fishermen against each other in a contest to catch the most of the invasive species.

It’s called Carp Madness. For two days next month, teams of commercial fishermen will descend on two Western Kentucky lakes and fill their boats with pounds of Asian Carp. First prize for the most pounds of carp is $10,000.

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Environment
9:20 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

In Public Meeting, Some Say Louisville's Draft Sustainability Plan Doesn't Go Far Enough

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s sustainability plan was both praised and panned at a public meeting tonight. Many people thought the plan needed to be bolder, while others applauded the attainable goals that were set.

Fischer released the plan last month. It sets an agenda for the next several decades in categories including energy, transportation and the environment.

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Environment
5:22 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Coal Without Emissions? A Breakthrough in Chemical Combustion Technology

Decumanus Wikimedia Commons

Researchers at Ohio State University have developed a way to extract energy from coal without burning it, eliminating the greenhouse gases which are usually emitted from the process.

From OSU:

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Environment
8:16 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Public Forum on Louisville's Sustainability Plan is Tonight

Local residents will have their chance to offer comments on a draft version of the city’s sustainability plan at a meeting tonight.

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Environment
3:33 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

New Deal Will Send Parks Department's Wood Waste to Rubbertown Biomass Boiler

A woodland biomass crop in England.
David Wright Wikimedia Commons

Metro Government will start selling landscaping debris gathered from Louisville parks to a Rubbertown facility that will burn it for energy.

Last fall, a company called Recast Energy took control of a boiler in Rubbertown that supplies steam to the Lubrizol and Zeon Chemical plants. The boiler used to be coal-fired, but Recast engineered it to run on biomass.

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Environment
11:33 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Rep. Whitfield: EPA Will Have 'a Big Battle on Their Hands' With Greenhouse Gas Rules

Kentucky Congressman Ed Whitfield was on Platts Energy Week this weekend, responding to the energy and climate change issues President Obama mentioned in his State of the Union address. Whitfield, a Republican, is the chairman of the House Energy and Power subcommittee, and the interview can be summed up like this:

  • Congressional action on climate change and greenhouse gas emissions is preferable than EPA action;
  • ...but it will be hard to pass any sort of market-based approach through Congress.
  • And really, is it necessary to regulate greenhouse gases?
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Environment
5:10 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Section of Louisville Loop Near Cane Run Closed for Two Weeks

A section of the Louisville Loop will be closed for two weeks, starting on Monday.

The Louisville Loop is the partially-finished bicycle path around the city. When it's finished, it will be about 100 miles, but right now it's only continuous along the Ohio River near downtown and into Southwest Louisville.

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Environment
11:03 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Fatal Bat Disease Found in Two Kentucky State Parks

Marvin Moriarty USFWS

White Nose Syndrome has been found in two Kentucky state parks. State officials announced today that infected bats have turned up in caves at Carter Cave State Resort Park in Carter County and the Kingdom Come State Park Nature Preserve in Letcher County.

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