Environment

Environment
5:39 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Metro Goverment Installs New Pollution Filters on Some Diesel Equipment

This John Deere tractor was retrofitted with the grant.
Erica Peterson WFPL

Some vehicles in Louisville Metro Government’s diesel fleet are now equipped with new pollution controls. 

With more than $1.6 million in federal and state grants, Louisville Metro has retrofitted 90 pieces of diesel equipment. Air Pollution Control District director Lauren Anderson says the new pollution controls will greatly reduce the amount of pollution the equipment releases into the air.

“Diesel particulate filters can filter out 90 percent of the harmful particulate from diesel emissions,” she said. “Ninety percent.”

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Environment
5:20 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Drought, High Temperatues Could Affect Kentucky Vineyards

 The high heat and lack of consistent rainfall is creating possible hardships for crops in Kentucky.  And that includes one of the more recent additions to the state’s agriculture industry: grapes.

There are about 120 grape growers spread out across Kentucky, mostly in the central, northern, and western regions. Patsy Wilson is the extension specialist for viticulture at the University of Kentucky—viticulture is the science, production and study of grapes. She says temperatures above 90 degrees can start to affect photosynthesis.

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Environment
12:57 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Four Days of Bad Air Quality Forecasted for Louisville Metro

Louisville's Air Pollution Control District has issued air quality alerts for Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The heat wave is exacerbating pollution problems, and ozone levels each day are expected to be unhealthy for sensitive groups. Ozone levels today are forecasted to be unhealthy for everybody. 

From the APCD:  

Here are Air Quality Index forecasts:   

Friday, June 29--156 (unhealthy for everyone)

Saturday, June 30 – 150 (unhealthy for sensitive groups)

Sunday, July 1 – 150 (unhealthy for sensitive groups)

Environment
9:00 am
Fri June 29, 2012

6th Annual Sustainable Living Fair is Tonight

At the Frankfort Avenue Trolley Hop tonight, there’s an extra event.

Clifton Universalist Unitarian Church is sponsoring the 6th Annual Louisville Sustainable Living Fair. Terry Malone is one of the event’s organizers, and says sustainable living is a core part of the church’s mission.

“It doesn’t have to be difficult and it doesn’t have to be expensive,” he said. “There are a lot of little things that we all can do every day that collectively as a group, as a community, if we do those little things, they add up to a lot.”

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Environment
4:59 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Drought Worsening In Kentucky, Indiana

File photo from National Drought Mitigation Center

With information from Kentucky Public Radio's Stu Johnson and the Associated Press

Kentucky officials say drought conditions exist in three-fourths of the state and the dry spell has become severe in parts of western Kentucky, where farmers are at risk of low yields or no crops at all.   

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Environment
9:00 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Coalfields Newspaper Editorial: Stop Pointing Fingers, Start Working on Economic Diversification

An editorial published yesterday in the Hazard Herald of Perry County lays out a cogent view of where the economy of Eastern Kentucky is headed, as the coal industry shrinks and utilities begin transitions to cheaper natural gas.  The editors of the Ha

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Environment
5:50 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Court Rules EPA Can Regulate Greenhouse Gases

The smokestacks at LG&E's coal-fired Cane Run power plant.
Erica Peterson WFPL

A federal court of appeals has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency can regulate carbon emissions from vehicles and power plants.

A coalition of energy companies, manufacturers and individual states—including Kentucky and Indiana—challenged the rules in court. They argued that a core provision—the finding that greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide are pollutants and pose a danger to human health—wasn’t based on science. And without that finding, they argued the federal government couldn’t set standards for vehicle and power plant carbon dioxide emissions.

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Environment
4:45 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

New Louisville Plant Equips Vehicles to Run on Natural Gas

A worker at the Westport plant installs a fuel system on a Ford truck.
Erica Peterson WFPL

Natural gas provides an increasingly large share of the country’s electricity. And now, the fuel is growing in popularity as an alternative to gasoline. A new Louisville plant is betting that natural gas as a vehicle fuel is a technology that will be around for decades or longer.

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Environment
3:08 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Kentucky Coal Company Ordered to Pay $1.6 Million for Safety Violations

An eastern Kentucky coal mining company has been ordered to pay $1.67 million after failing to respond to a lawsuit brought by the federal government.

U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove issued the order today after D&C Mining Corp. of Harlan failed to answer allegations that it owed fines on 1,244 citations.

Environment
2:50 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

ORSANCO: West Virginia Plant Can Release More Mercury Into Ohio River…Maybe

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Committee has made a preliminary decision to allow a West Virginia plant to release more mercury than allowed by law into the Ohio River.

I covered this story in December, when ORSANCO was still accepting public comments on the waiver.

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