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
12:35 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Here are the 19 Goals of Louisville's Sustainability Plan

Twitter.com

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is releasing the 19 goals of the city's draft sustainability plan on Twitter this afternoon. Here's a list of the goals, as they're released:

Goal #1: Decrease energy use citywide per capita by 25% by 2025.

Goal #2: Decrease energy use in city-owned buildings by 30% by 2025.

Goal #3: Mitigate the risk of climate change impacts by implementing city adaption and resilience strategies by 2018.

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Environment
11:55 am
Thu January 31, 2013

This Week in Asian Coal News: China Burns More, India Needs More

Harry Schaefer U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Two related stories about coal in Asia broke earlier this week: that India just doesn’t have enough coal to meet the country’s demands, and that China burns nearly as much coal as the whole rest of the world.

The news about China was released by the Energy Information Administration on Tuesday, and Brian Walsh of TIME summed it up with his headline: “The Scariest Environmental Fact in the World.”

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Environment
11:26 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Mayor Greg Fischer to Release Draft Sustainability Plan Today, 140 Characters at a Time

Credit Twitter.com

Updated: Mayor Greg Fischer says he'll release a draft version of the city's sustainability plan this afternoon. But before the whole report is sent out, he'll be teasing the plan's highlights on his Twitter account. Citizens will have the month of February to read the plan and provide comments.

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Environment
3:03 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Environmental Groups Ask for Summary Judgment in Suit Over Coal Mining's Health Effects

Gabe Bullard WFPL

Environmental groups have filed a new document in a case against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over a surface mine in eastern Kentucky.

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Environment
12:23 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Waterfront Park Named Finalist for Urban Design Award

Courtesy Waterfront Development Corporation

Louisville’s Waterfront Park is up for a major urban development award. The park is one of five finalists for the Rudy Bruner Award, which describes itself as a “search for examples of the often overlooked excellence [in urban areas].”

Waterfront Development Corporation President David Karem says just being a finalist is great news for the park and for Louisville.

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Environment
12:01 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Louisville's Demand for Local Food Outpaces Supply, Study Says

Vassil Wikimedia Commons

A new study says that Louisville businesses, food distributors and residents are going out of their way to eat local food, and would eat more if they could.

The study was commissioned by non-profit Seed Capital Kentucky and conducted by a consultant in New York. It use both quantitative and qualitative methods to survey residents, restaurants, grocery stores and food distributors.

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Environment
3:09 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Report Shows Effect of Waste Heat on Urban Temperatures

A new study says the heat that’s released from buildings and transportation in major urban areas can affect the temperature in cities far away.

The study was published Sunday in Nature Climate Change, and is the first to look at the effects of waste heat on temperature changes. The researchers found that the heat that’s released from buildings and cars in urban areas in the northern hemisphere can raise the temperature by about one degree Celsius.

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Environment
8:00 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Retooled Louisville Tree App Focuses on Ash Trees

A few months ago, I reported that a new Metro Government app to encourage citizens to participate in cataloging the city’s tree canopy was available on iTunes. Now, the city’s tree commission has revamped the app, and changed its focus to ash trees.

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Environment
2:46 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

New Filing in Bridges Lawsuit Says Greenhouse Gases Should Be Considered

Ohio River Bridges Project

A Louisville non-profit has filed to amend its pending lawsuit against the Ohio River Bridges Project, arguing the federal government should have taken greenhouse gases into consideration.

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Environment
11:08 am
Mon January 28, 2013

U of L Energy-Saving Efforts Surpassing Original Goals

The University of Louisville’s energy-saving efforts are going even better than expected.

U of L is in the middle of a long-term project to cut the university’s energy consumption and carbon footprint. The effort was launched in 2009, and since then, workers have been updating lighting, heating and cooling systems, and reducing water consumption.

Now, the university is reporting that a progress report shows significant savings already. From U of L:

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