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
4:02 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

State Settles With Former Mine Permit Director Over Wrongful Termination Suit

Governor Steve Beshear’s administration has settled with a former official in the state’s Energy and Environment cabinet over claims that he was wrongly fired in 2009.

Ron Mills was the head of the cabinet’s Division of Mine Permits, which is a politically-appointed position. The lawsuit he filed against the state alleges he was fired in 2009 for refusing to issue illegal mining permits.

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Environment
12:20 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Using Trash to Create Energy

An operating landfill in Australia.
Ashley Felton Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to trash, you can stick it in a landfill. But using it to create energy is an increasingly popular option.

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Environment
8:00 am
Sun November 25, 2012

Deadline is Fast-Approaching on Wind Energy Tax Credit

Harvey McDaniel Wikimedia Commons

Over the next few weeks, Congress will decide whether to extend a key tax credit to the wind industry. The wind production tax credit—or PTC—subsidizes wind production at 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour, and without action it will expire at the end of the year.

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Environment
7:00 am
Fri November 23, 2012

New Yew Dell Greenhouse Incorporates Passive Design

De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop

Work has begun on a new greenhouse for Yew Dell Gardens—one that incorporates renewable energy and other sustainable elements. But the structure’s architects say the most important elements are the simplest.

Yew Dell’s new greenhouse is meant to be a demonstration structure of different ways to build “green.” It’s powered by solar panels, and heated by geothermal energy.

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Environment
4:00 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Tossing Turkey Bones and Recycling Wrapping Paper: Louisville’s Holiday Garbage Collection Schedule

Want to know how the three upcoming holidays are going to wreak havoc with your garbage and recycling pick-up? Check out the handy schedule below from Metro Government.

Thanksgiving Day 2012

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Environment
9:00 am
Wed November 21, 2012

UK Reports $2.4 Million in Annual Energy Savings

The University of Kentucky recently spent $25 million in energy savings projects, and that work is already showing results.

The Herald-Leader reports that costs have been cut by $2.4 million a year. $2.2 million of those savings will go toward the $25 million bond, while the remaining $200,000 will be set aside for future energy projects. And the projects have also reduced UK's carbon dioxide emissions by 23,291 tons a year.

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Environment
9:11 am
Tue November 20, 2012

The Dust Bowl: Ken Burns Chronicles an Environmental Disaster

Courtesty of the Associated Press

Last night, the second part of Ken Burns' latest documentary premiered on PBS. "The Dust Bowl" tells the story of the people who farmed the Great Plains in the 1920s and 1930s; many stayed on once the ground dried up and dust storms became commonplace, while others moved west to find work.

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Environment
11:03 am
Mon November 19, 2012

World Bank Calls for Action on Climate Change

A report commissioned by the World Bank says the Earth is on a path to a climate that is 4 degrees Celsius warmer by the end of the century. In order to slow this down, world leaders will have to do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than they're currently doing.

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Environment
9:21 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Public Invited to Comment On Proposed LG&E Rate Increase

The Public Service Commission will hold a hearing tomorrow evening to let the public weigh in on a proposed utility rate increase.

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Environment
3:55 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Report Quantifies Uneven Effects of Coal Plants on Minority, Low-Income Communities

The Rockport Generating Station in Rockport, Indiana.
Erica Peterson WFPL

The NAACP and several other groups released a report yesterday that chronicles the undue burden low-income and minority communities bear from coal-fired power plants.

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