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
8:45 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Obama, Romney Offer Differing Facts on Energy Production

Decumanus Wikimedia Commons

Much like the first presidential debate, there was no mention of climate change in the second match-up between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. But there was more talk about energy than during the first debate.

And, predictably, there was lots of work to be done by fact-checkers in the day following.

One of the most intense exchanges of the night was over oil and gas production on federal lands. Romney said production of oil on government land is down 14 percent, and production of gas is down nine percent.

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Environment
10:30 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Public Works Rolls Out Bigger Recycling Carts in Two Neighborhoods

Metro Public Works

Two Louisville neighborhoods have been selected to participate in a pilot program designed to encourage recycling.

Residents of Louisville’s Cloverleaf and Portland neighborhoods are getting bigger recycling bins. The two neighborhoods are part of a pilot program made possible through a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Metro Public Works spokeswoman Lindsay English says the goal is to see if 95-gallon wheeled bins that are similar to the city’s trash cans will make people more likely to recycle.

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Environment
8:30 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Cyclist Says Louisville's Bicycle Infrastructure is Inadequate

Roland45 Wikimedia Commons

Events like last weekend's CycLOUvia are great for cyclists, but what about people who commute on their bicycles every day?

I got an email from Craig Lee yesterday morning. He commutes (or used to commute) from Deer Park in the Highlands to Jeffersontown several times a week. Lee says:

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Environment
5:34 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Louisville Wins Grant to Pursue LEED Certification for NuLu

Louisville’s Downtown Development Corporation has been awarded a grant to pursue formal LEED designation for the city’s East Market—or NuLu—neighborhood.

LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,” and the certification is usually given to buildings that incorporate various energy efficient and sustainable features. But there’s also a LEED neighborhood designation, and now the LDDC has been awarded $25,000 to pursue that certification.

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Environment
3:08 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

CycLOUvia Organizers Hope to Hold Event Again

A group stops to chat in the middle of Bardstown Road during CycLOUvia on October 14, 2012.
Erica Peterson WFPL

The organizers of Louisville’s first-ever CycLOUvia say the event in the Highlands was a success, and they’d definitely like to do it again.

A two-mile stretch of Bardstown Road and Baxter Avenue was closed to vehicles Sunday to encourage walking and biking. Hundreds of people turned out.

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Environment
1:24 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

LG&E to Shut Down Coal-Fired Cane Run Plant Eight Months Early

The smokestacks at LG&E's coal-fired Cane Run power plant.
Erica Peterson WFPL

Louisville Gas and Electric announced today that the company's coal-fired Cane Run Power Plant will be shut down eight months earlier than planned.

The company announced plans to convert the power plant to natural gas last year, and construction on the new facility is going faster than expected. The coal-fired plant should be shut down by May 2015.

Here's what LG&E had to say in a news release:

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Environment
10:48 am
Mon October 15, 2012

PHOTOS: Louisville's First-Ever CycLOUvia

Gabe Bullard WFPL

A two-mile stretch of road was closed to vehicles yesterday afternoon for Louisville's first CycLOUvia. The event was inspired by a similar one called Ciclovia in Bogota, Colombia, where streets are closed to traffic every Sunday to encourage walking and biking.

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Environment
4:35 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Environmental Attorney, State Spar Over Secretary's Comments on Clean Air Act

A local environmental attorney is challenging the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet over statements officials made earlier this week at a conference.

The contentious point revolves around a comment Energy and Environment Secretary Len Peters made during a session at the cabinet’s annual conference earlier this week. Here’s how his comments were summarized in a story by Jim Bruggers of the Courier-Journal.

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Environment
1:00 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Washington Post Editorial Urges Politicians to Stop Telling Coalfields 'Fairy Tales'

Decumanus Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this week, the Washington Post published an editorial for residents of coal country.

The newspaper’s editorial board is left-leaning, and begins the piece by criticizing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for “pandering” to coalfields residents, promising them a resurgence of the industry if he’s elected.

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Environment
8:00 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Revealing a City's Greenhouse Gas Emissions...One Building at a Time

A new project by researchers at Arizona State University has succeeded in creating visualizations of a city’s greenhouse gas emissions. The first test case of the new technology is Indianapolis.

Here's the video the team made to showcase the technology:

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