coal

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
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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Environment
1:43 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

New Report Shows Mountaintop Removal Coal is Increasingly Exported

A mountaintop removal site in Eastern Kentucky.
Gabe Bullard WFPL

A report released today from the Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee analyzed coal export data and found that mountaintop removal mines are sending an increased percentage of coal produced oversees.

The report used data from the Energy Information Administration, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and data self-reported by the mines. Here's a summary of what they found:

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Environment
4:00 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

A Primer on Sulfur Dioxide and the Latest Sierra Club Report

A new report from by the Sierra Club estimates how much sulfur dioxide is emitted from nine Kentucky power plants and it finds that all nine of them—including the Mill Creek and Cane Run power plants in Louisville—are violating the national air quality standards.

Sulfur dioxide has been linked to health issues like pulmonary inflammation, asthma, emphysema and other lung conditions.

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Environment
2:43 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

New Studies Look Closer at Mountaintop Removal's Effect on Health

A mountaintop removal site in Eastern Kentucky.
Gabe Bullard WFPL

Three new studies have added more scientific evidence to support ill health effects from mountaintop removal coal mining.

Over the past few years, several studies have presented evidence supporting links between health problems—like cancer and birth defects—that are more prevalent in communities with mountaintop removal mines. But these new studies attempt to pinpoint specific pollutants that could be causing those health problems.

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Environment
12:08 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

GOP Seeks to Block Funding for New Measures to Reduce Black Lung Disease

GOP members on the U.S. House Appropriations committee have inserted language into a bill to block a new Mine Safety and Health Department initiative to reduce occurrences of black lung disease--or coal workers' pneumoconiosis.

NPR's Howard Berkes reported on the new language this morning on NPR's news blog The Two Way:

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Environment
6:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Pretrial Conference Set for Today in Frasure Creek Pollution Case

The state Energy and Environment Cabinet is in court this morning, along with lawyers representing two coal companies and environmental groups. The parties disagree about the amount of money the coal companies should pay for water pollution.

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Environment
1:47 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

California Congressman Says Federal Government Needs More Tools for Mine Safety

The leading Democrat on the U.S. House Committee on Education and Workforce says the federal government doesn’t have enough tools to keep coal miners safe.

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Environment
12:50 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

State Uses Helicopters to Watch Mines

State government inspectors have been using aerial surveillance to watch coal operators in central Appalachia.

Helicopter flights have cost The Kentucky Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement more than $477,000 over the past four years, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

News of the flyovers surprised mining industry leaders, including Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett, who protested the covert nature of the inspections and questioned their effectiveness.

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