6:45 am
Tue June 24, 2014

EPA Gets A Win From Supreme Court On Global Warming Emissions — Mostly

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 8:07 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court gave the Environmental Protection Agency the green light to regulate greenhouse gases that are emitted from new and modified utility plants and factories on Monday.

Greenhouse gases are blamed for global warming, and the court's 7-2 decision gave the EPA most of what it wanted. But in a separate 5-4 vote, the justices rejected the agency's broad assertion of regulatory power under one section of the Clean Air Act.

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3:55 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Louisvillians Will Be Fined For Using Plastic Bags For Yard Waste After Jan. 1

Paper bags for yard waste used in Lexington, Ky.
Credit www.lexingtonky.gov

Using plastic bags for yard waste removal will no longer be permitted in Louisville at the start of 2015.

The Solid Waste Management board of directors voted Tuesday night to approve a ban on the bags.

Residents who ignore the ban after Jan. 1 could receive a $50 fine for putting yard waste in bags that are not compostable, said Harold Adams, a spokesperson for Louisville Metro Works.

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8:09 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Public Meetings Are Coming Up This Week to Discuss Lees Land Landfill

A sign on the Lees Lane Landfill warns trespassers the site may be dangerous.
Credit Erica Peterson/WFPL News

A pair of community meetings with environment officials are coming up this week to discuss cleanup efforts at the old Lees Lane Landfill in southwest Louisville.

The long-contaminated site was closed down in 1975 and was declared a toxic Superfund site after 400 drums of hazardous materials were found near the Ohio River. Clean-up efforts have been ongoing, but residents have expressed concerned about contamination and health risks. 

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2:47 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Nobody Has Seen the Louisville Cave Beetle Since 1994, But It May Make the Endangered Species List

Credit Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

Scientists believe a beetle that has only be found in two caves near the south fork of Beargrass Creek may soon be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

And even though the Louisville Cave Beetlethe scientific name is Pseudanophthalmus troglodytes—hasn’t been seen since 1994, scientists say they have reason to believe it still exists.

"I have no reason to believe it doesn't exist," said Michael Floyd, an entomologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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7:07 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Native Kentucky Plant To Get Protection Under Endangered Species Act

Credit USFWS

A small, lilac-colored wildflower found only in parts of Jefferson and Bullitt counties will soon be considered a threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The Kentucky Glade Cress is dwindling in the wild due in large part to sprawling residential and commercial development.

A plot of more than 2,000 acres in southeastern Jefferson and northeastern Bullitt Counties is considered a critical habitat for the plant and will be preserved.

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6:55 am
Tue April 29, 2014

What's Next With the Bluegrass Pipeline?

Opponents of the Bluegrass Pipeline protested in Frankfort last year.
Credit Erica Peterson / WFPL

Monday morning, one of the companies behind the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline announced that it was suspending capital investment in the project.

The company, Williams, has not returned a telephone message. But the company did issue a Q&A that addressed several lingering issues.

Among them, Williams said the suspension of investment into the proposed natural gas liquids pipeline didn't come about because of opposition from landowners or environmental groups.

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9:52 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Company Suspends Capital Investment in Bluegrass Pipeline

Proposed route of the Bluegrass Pipeline.
Credit Williams

A partner in the controversial proposed Bluegrass Pipeline has suspended investment in the project.

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11:12 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Alison Lundergan Grimes Wants the Keystone Pipeline OK'd

Alison Lundergan Grimes

FRANKFORT — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is calling on President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, joining 11 incumbent Democrats as the party tries to keep control of the Senate this November.

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1:01 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Would the Eastern Kentucky Biomass Plant be Good for the Environment?

A concrete slab indicates the site of a projected biomass power plant.
Credit Frankie Steele/Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

This story is part of a series from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting and WFPL.  Read the other stories here.  

For decades, Eastern Kentucky has been coal country. Coal provided work for thousands, while severance taxes contributed to county budgets. And while the industry has been in a steep decline over the past few years, coal still powers almost all of the electricity for the region and the state.

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1:00 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

How Politics, Misinformation and Money Fueled a Power Plant in Kentucky's Coal Country

View from site of projected ecoPower plant, with evidence of strip mining in the distance.
Credit Frankie Steele/Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

HAZARD, Ky.—Up a steep dirt road, atop a former strip-mine, sits a concrete slab roughly 30 feet square. It’s the only visible sign that a wood-burning, electricity-generating plant could someday occupy this remote industrial park.

Supporters say the biomass plant, 11 miles northwest of Hazard, would be an economic godsend for Perry County, creating hundreds of jobs and pumping millions of dollars into the heart of poverty-plagued Appalachian Kentucky.

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