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
4:54 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Kentucky's Annual Drinking Water Report Shows Fewer Violations Than Previous Year

The Kentucky Division of Water has compiled its annual report of public drinking water systems throughout the state.

The federal Safe Drinking Water Act requires Kentucky to compile an annual list of all the violations incurred by the state’s 461 public water systems. This year’s report shows violations dropped by 257 from the previous year.

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Environment
5:07 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

EPA Will Answer Questions About Black Leaf Contamination Tomorrow

A sign on the former Black Leaf Chemical site's property.
Erica Peterson WFPL

Residents living near the former Black Leaf Chemical site in Louisville’s Park Hill neighborhood may be able to get some answers about contamination near their homes at a community forum tomorrow.

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency released results of soil testing in the neighborhood. All fifty of the homes adjacent to the former Black Leaf Chemical site were contaminated—some with heavy metals, and some with traces of pesticides.

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Environment
5:28 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Concerns About Coal Ash Raised During LG&E Air Permit Hearing

Turnout was small at a hearing this afternoon to take public comments on a pending air pollution permit.

Louisville Gas and Electric is seeking permits to install advanced pollution controls at its Mill Creek power plant in southwest Louisville. The company is taking the steps to comply with upcoming federal regulations that will limit the amount of pollution power plants can emit.

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Environment
5:46 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Public Hearing Tomorrow on Pending Permits for Mill Creek Power Plant

Louisville's Air Pollution Control District will hold a public hearing tomorrow to let residents weigh in on two pending air pollution permits.

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Environment
5:36 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Grassroots Website Launches to Update Bowman Field Residents About Tree Proposal

According to Plea for the Trees, these massive oaks along Valletta Road in Seneca Gardens are threatened by the Bowman Field Proposal.
Michael Hayman Plea for the Trees

Residents living near Bowman Field have launched a new website to relay information about a proposal to trim or remove some of the area’s largest trees.

Last year, the Regional Airport Authority announced a plan to trim or remove some of the largest trees near Bowman Field to comply with new federal aviation regulations. Neighborhoods like Seneca Gardens and Kingsley have lots of old trees, and residents were concerned about what the trimming would do to the value of their property —as well as on air and noise pollution.

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Environment
6:55 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Candidate for Energy Co-Op Board Says Bylaws are Unfair

Members of an electric cooperative in Shelby, Henry, Trimble and Carroll counties will vote soon in the co-op's first ever contested election for board members. But one of the candidates has encountered problems in every step of the process.

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Environment
2:25 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Alpha Natural Resources Will Close Four Mines in Eastern Kentucky

One of the nation’s largest coal companies has announced it will be closing several mines and preparation plants in Eastern Kentucky.

Alpha Natural Resources will stop mining coal at four mines in Martin and Pike counties and idle two preparation plants. The company has enough jobs at other locations to reassign 286 employees, but about 150 will lose their jobs.

Alpha spokesman Ted Pile says the move is necessary.

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Environment
11:13 am
Fri June 8, 2012

LG&E Seeks Rate Increase, Citing Infrastructure Investments

Erica Peterson WFPL

Louisville Gas and Electric will request a rate increase later this month from the Kentucky Public Service Commission.

The company is proposing an increase of about seven percent for both electric and gas base rates. If it’s approved, it will raise the typical residential customer’s bill by about $10.65 per month beginning next year.

LG&E spokeswoman Chris Whelan says the rate increase is necessary for the company to recover money it has invested in the system.

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Environment
5:28 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Report Ranks Three Kentucky Power Plants Among Nation's Biggest Polluters

Erica Peterson WFPL

Three Kentucky coal-fired power plants are named among the biggest polluters in the nation in a new report.

The Environmental Integrity Project analyzed the fifty-one U.S. power plants that emit the highest levels of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, which have been linked to premature deaths from heart and lung disease.

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Environment
4:49 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

High Ozone Levels, Unhealthy Air Predicted Friday

The Air Pollution Control District has issued an Air Quality Alert for tomorrow. Ozone levels are forecasted to be high, and unhealthy for sensitive groups including the elderly, the young, and anyone with heart or lung ailments.

This is the fifth air quality alert Metro Government has called this year, but so far none of the alerts have actually resulted in a day of unhealthy air. Spokesman Tom Nord says the Air Pollution Control District tends to err on the side of caution.

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