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
9:00 am
Mon September 24, 2012

NASA Scientist Discusses Climate Change, Effect on Kentucky

In increasing numbers, scientists are in agreement that the earth’s climate is changing, and human carbon dioxide emissions are contributing to those changes. A NASA climate scientist was in Louisville this weekend to talk about the growing evidence.

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Environment
8:24 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Artificial Cave May Help Researchers Study Deadly Bat Disease

Marvin Moriarty USFWS

Researchers in Tennessee hope the creation of an artificial cave will help stop the progress of a deadly bat disease.

White Nose Syndrome was discovered in 2006 in upstate New York, and now it has spread to four Canadian provinces and 19 states, including Kentucky. The disease is caused by a white fungus, and so far scientists aren’t really sure how to control it.

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Environment
3:37 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Bellarmine Climate Change Symposium is Tomorrow

Tomorrow is Bellarmine University's climate change symposium.

The day-long event (9 am to 3 pm) will feature a presentation by University of Louisville climatologist Keith Mountain, who will talk about his research on receeding glaciers. The keynote speaker is Gavin Schmidt, who's a climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. There's also a workshop for K-12 educators, an interactive teleconference from the NASA JetPropulsion Laboratory’s Center for Climate Sciences, and a panel discussion on the biological effects of climate change.

The event is free and open to the public.

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Environment
10:26 am
Fri September 21, 2012

First "CycLOUvia" Will Close Part of Bardstown Road to Vehicles Oct. 14

Ciclovia in Bogota.
MacAllenBrothers Wikimedia Commons

Louisville will block off parts of Bardstown Road and Baxter Avenue from Broadway to the Douglass Loop on one Sunday in October to encourage walking and biking.

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Environment
8:01 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Do We Have Enough Water for Our Energy?

Cooling towers at the coal-fired Gavin Plant in Ohio.
Analogue Kid Wikimedia Commons

A new report out from Boston-based Synapse Energy Economics raises a question that doesn't seem to come up enough when talking about energy: what about water?

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Environment
5:59 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Kentucky Close to Settling With Coal Company Over Water Pollution Violations

A lawsuit filed by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet against a coal company for water pollution is close to being settled.

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Environment
4:32 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Study Says Demand for Local Food Outpaces Supply in Louisville

Vassil Wikimedia Commons

A new survey suggests demand for local food in Louisville exceeds the current supply.

The preliminary results of a study commissioned by local nonprofit and food advocate Seed Capital Kentucky show that Jefferson County residents are already knowingly buying local food—and would buy even more if given the chance.

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Environment
4:14 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

CEO Says Proposed Innovation Center Could Make Louisville International Center of Water Research

One of the models for the Water Innovation Center, designed by architecture students at UK's College of Design.
Louisville Water Company

Louisville Water Company officials say they’d like to build an international water innovation center in Louisville. The idea was presented today as part of a pre-Idea Festival conference focusing on water.

Louisville Water Company CEO Greg Heitzman says the idea makes sense in a place like Louisville.

“Essentially what it will do is bring water to the people,” he said. “So what we’re going to be doing is taking what we do inside of our water company box and opening that up to the public.”

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Environment
4:10 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Water Conference Presenter Advocates for Restoration of Falls of the Ohio

A consultant says Louisville should restore the Falls of the Ohio to its natural state, which would spur tourism. The presentation was part of today’s pre-Idea Festival conference about water.

The Falls of the Ohio are technically still there, but most of the falls have been covered by flooding from the McAlpine dam. Steven Greseth says the dam should be relocated, and the historic falls should be restored.

Greseth says restoring the falls would give Kentucky and Indiana residents a tie to their history to be proud of, and could also boost tourism in the area.

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Environment
1:46 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Small Ammonia Leak in Butchertown Leads to Plant Evacuation

According to Louisville Emergency Management, there's been a "very small" ammonia leak at a Stir the Pot, a Butchertown food manufacturing plant. A Code Red alert was sent out to the plant's neighbors, but the Louisville Fire Department says there's no danger to the public. Plant employees were evacuated.

Stir the Pot is  located at 1057 E. Washington Street.

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