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
1:11 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Air Quality Alert Called For Today, Tomorrow

Louisville's Air Pollution Control District says the potential exists for unsafe ozone levels today and tomorrow in the metro area.

The Air Quality Index is forecast to be 109 today, and 129 tomorrow. These levels are unhealthy for sensitive groups, including the elderly, the young and people with heart or lung conditions.

For hourly air quality updates, call 574-3319.

Environment
9:42 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Chemical Reaction Stabilized at Zeon Plant

UPDATE 3:22 p.m.: Diane Bagby of Emergency Management says Code Red alerts went out twice this morning. But they only went to people living within one mile of the plant who were signed up to receive "general alerts," and not just weather. She says the first alert went out at 8:36 a.m. to 198 people, and the second follow up to 10:59 a.m. to 201 people, and it was just meant to alert people who might be close enough to hear sirens that there was no immediate danger.

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Environment
9:37 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Ozone Levels Were Unexpectedly High Yesterday

There was no air quality alert in effect yesterday, but air quality monitors show that ozone levels were at unhealthy levels in at least two areas.

The Cannons Lane monitor recorded levels at 83 parts per billion, which translates to an Air Quality Index of 119. At Watson Lane Elementary, levels were at 90 parts per billion, which is an AQI of 137. Levels between 101 and 150 are considered unhealthy for sensitive groups.

This was the 17th day with an ozone exceedance so far this year.

Environment
8:00 am
Mon July 23, 2012

New Report Looks at Links Between Diseases, Chemicals

A new report out today provides new information about the connections between commonly-used chemicals and the prevalence of diseases. Groups that advocate for safer chemicals are using the data to lobby for updates to federal legislation.

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Environment
7:00 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Fourth Floyds Fork Meeting Tomorrow

The Environmental Protection Agency will update residents tomorrow evening on the efforts to develop new pollution limits for the Floyds Fork watershed.

Floyds Fork has been designated as “impaired,” which means its waterway can’t fulfill its designated functions. The state Division of Water has asked the EPA to help determine the maximum amount of pollution that can be discharged into the watershed without exceeding the state water quality standard.

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Environment
11:00 am
Fri July 20, 2012

MSHA Releases Mid-Year Fatality Report; 19 Miners Died in First 6 Months of 2012

Nineteen miners died in the first half of 2012, according to the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration’s mid-year summary.

Ten of those deaths were in coal mines (the rest were in metal or nonmetal mines). And five of them were in Kentucky—four of them in coal mines, and one in a limestone mine.

According to the release from MSHA:

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Environment
11:34 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

At Community Meeting, EPA Lays Out Next Steps for Lees Lane Landfill

Federal Environmental Protection Agency officials say there’s still work to be done at the Lees Lane Landfill site in southwest Louisville, though they don’t believe the site is currently a danger to nearby residents.

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Environment
5:08 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Report Finds Surface Coal Exports Rising, Argues Destruction is Harder to Justify

Gabe Bullard WFPL

According to a new analysis by U.S. House Democrats, an increasing percentage of coal from mountaintop removal mines is being exported overseas. The report was released this morning, as the House Natural Resources committee held a hearing on a proposed stream buffer rule to protect Appalachian streams from coal mine pollution.

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