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
4:46 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Liquor Company Cited by Air Pollution District for Whiskey Odors, Fungus

Roger Griffith Wikimedia Commons

Louisville’s air pollution regulators say a company that stores whiskey in the city has violated its air permits. The Air Pollution Control District sent the notices of violation to Diageo late last week.

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Environment
3:26 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

U of L Conference to Explore Green Infrastructure Possibilities

The University of Louisville will hold a conference on green infrastructure later this week. It’s meant to explore innovative ways to manage stormwater.  

Stormwater experts are usually quick to point out there are two ways to manage water runoff and prevent floods—with concrete infrastructure like collecting basins and pipes, or with green infrastructure like rain gardens and green roofs.

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Environment
9:16 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Air Pollution District Fines Diageo for Whiskey Fungus, Odor

Roger Griffith Wikimedia Commons

Louisville's Air Pollution Control District has sent a Notice of Violation to liquor giant Diageo, alleging the company violated the conditions of its permit.

The violations laid out include several odor complaints near Diageo's whiskey aging warehouse at 2359 Millers Lane. But perhaps more interesting is another violation for the sooty-mold that has been seen on properties near the warehouse.

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Environment
4:41 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Metro Initiative Adds 250 Bike Parking Spots to Public Garages

Lindsay English Metro Public Works

An additional 250 bike parking spaces have been created in downtown parking garages.

This bike parking was initially announced two years ago, when then-Mayor Jerry Abramson’s administration released a proposal to add more than 300 new bicycle parking spaces to downtown garages. A contract was supposed to be finalized within several months, but took two years to come to fruition.

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Environment
11:49 am
Mon September 10, 2012

West Virginia Environmental Activist Larry Gibson Dies

Larry Gibson on Kayford Mountain.
Vivian Stockman Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

News started rolling in via blogs and Twitter last night that prominent anti-mountaintop removal activist Larry Gibson was dead at age 66.

Gibson returned to his family's home on Kayford Mountain in Kanawha County, West Virginia in 1986, and spent the next quarter-century fighting the mountaintop removal operations that were slowly surrounding his land.

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Environment
8:30 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Louisville Zoo Works to Educate Visitors About Climate Change

Qannik the polar bear is part of the zoo's Glacier Run exhibit.
Erica Peterson WFPL

American zoos and aquariums are trying to decide how—and whether—to address weighty scientific topics like climate change in their exhibits. A recent New York Times article says some are afraid of alienating their visitors, and they avoid the issue.

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Environment
8:00 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Kentucky Works to Encourage Groundwater Protection

The Kentucky Division of Water and the Kentucky Geological Survey are putting an emphasis on groundwater protection as part of a national observance tomorrow: the annual Protect Your Groundwater Day.

Groundwater is exactly what it sounds like…it’s the water that’s on the ground, in rock crevices, or that flows into streams or rivers. It’s also essential to the drinking water for many communities, whether through wells or springs.

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Environment
8:00 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Natural Gas Vehicles Ever More Feasible for Fleets

One of Waste Management's new natural gas-powered garbage trucks.
Erica Peterson WFPL

Natural gas is becoming increasingly popular as a source of electricity, and in many places—including Louisville—it’s replacing coal. But natural gas is also becoming more prevalent as fuel for vehicles.

In Waste Management’s facility off of Fern Valley Road, there’s a garbage truck parked after its daily route. On one side, so large it’s hard to miss, is a sign that says “Think Green, Think Clean”—a reference to the fact that this truck burns cleaner natural gas.

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Environment
7:45 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Indian Newspaper Reports Huge Kentucky-India Coal Deal May Be in Jeopardy

Harry Schaefer U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

The Hindustan Times is reporting that a government investigation in India could put the huge Kentucky-India coal deal in question. This is the $7 billion trade deal that was announced last month to much fanfare.

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Environment
3:00 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Green Roof Unveiled on Housing Authority Building

Metro Housing Authority

One of the Louisville Metro Housing Authority’s administrative buildings is the city’s newest recipient of a green roof.

There are more than 1,200 plants covering the nearly 17,000 square foot roof on top of the building on Vine Street.

Housing Authority Director Tim Barry says a green roof was a natural choice for the building.

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