Environmental Protection Agency

12:27 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

EPA Will Assess Some Flame Retardant Chemicals for Potential Human Health Effects

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to assess 23 commonly-used chemicals—including 20 flame retardants—for their potential effects on human health and the environment.

The study will also include an analysis of how several of those flame retardants behave in the environment…like whether they bioaccumulate in humans or can be absorbed into the body with a certain type of exposure.

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8:00 am
Wed February 6, 2013

New Greenhouse Gas Data Shows Little Change in Jefferson County Emissions

Erica Peterson WFPL

The Environmental Protection Agency has released the second year of data of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions, which it's congressionally-mandated to report.

Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, and are thought to be one of the primary drivers of climate change. The EPA has successfully argued that the gases are pollutants and pose a danger to human health.

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6:13 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Despite Fluctuations, Data Shows LG&E Released More Pollution in 2011 Than 2000

This graph shows data from the EPA's Toxic Release Inventory of the three largest industries that reported emissions in Jefferson County, plus the total on- and off-site emissions.
Erica Peterson WFPL

Every year, the federal government releases data about the toxic releases companies emit into the air or dispose of on land or in water. In the data from 2011 that was just released, the overall emissions for Kentucky continue a general downward trend. But in Jefferson County the most recent data shows that toxic pollution is still about as high as it was in 2004.

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3:21 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Kentucky Utilities to Pay Millions For Alleged Clean Air Act Violations

Erica Peterson/WFPL

Kentucky Utilities will spend $57 million to install updated pollution control equipment and pay civil penalties under the terms of a proposed consent decree.

The money will go to installing a sulfuric acid mist emission control system at the company’s Ghent power plant, replace a coal-fired boiler and pay $300,000 in fines to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Here’s what the EPA said about the settlement in a news release:

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10:22 am
Thu December 27, 2012

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Resigns

Lisa P. Jackson
Credit Environmental Protection Agency

WASHINGTON — Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson says she's stepping down after nearly four years on the job.

Jackson announced her departure in a statement Thursday. She gave no particular reason for leaving but said she was ready for new challenges, time with her family and new opportunities to make a difference.

Jackson's tenure was marked by high-profile brawls with industry and congressional Republicans over such issues a global warming pollution, the Keystone XL oil pipeline and new controls on coal-fired plants.

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3:20 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

EPA Tightens Soot Standard; Estimates Cleaner Air Will Save Billions in Health Costs

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

The federal government has strengthened the national air quality standard for soot and fine particle pollution.

The new standard is 20 percent more stringent than the current standard, which was set in 1997. It will require communities to make sure fine particle pollution is limited to 12 micrograms per cubic meter annually (the current limit is 15).

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7:00 am
Thu October 18, 2012

EPA Official, Environmental Activists Reflect on 40 Years of the Clean Water Act

One of the country's most effective environmental laws-- the Clean Water Act--turns 40 today.

The act has been setting water quality standards and regulating pollution for the nation's streams, lakes and wetlands since being signed by a bipartisan Congress in 1972.

“Before 1972, this nation approached water quality as ‘the dilution is the solution to pollution,” said Hank Graddy of Kentucky Watershed Watch, in a breakout session at the Healthy Farms, Local Foods Conference last weekend.

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5:00 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Frankfort, Indianapolis Chosen by EPA For Sustainable Design Assistance

The capitals of Kentucky and Indiana are among five cities chosen to receive assistance in green design from the Environmental Protection Agency through the agency’s Greening America’s Capitals program.

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3:31 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Federal Government Unveils New Stricter Fuel Standards for Cars, Small Trucks

The Ford Escape, which is manufactured in Louisville.

The Obama Administration has announced new fuel economy standards for cars and small trucks that will go into effect in five years.

Starting in 2017, cars and light trucks will have to be more fuel efficient than they are now. By 2025, the average car’s fuel economy will be 54.5 miles per gallon.

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3:00 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

Pollution Controls at Power Plants Create Greater Demand for Limestone

Hillside Basic's quarry in Battletown, Ky.
Erica Peterson WFPL

The need for more sophisticated pollution controls at power plants as led to an increased demand for limestone. And a quarry in Meade County has installed new equipment to meet that demand.

Power plants have to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions, and one popular way of doing that is running it through layers of crushed limestone mixed with water. The sulfur dioxide bubbles through the high-calcium limestone, and doesn’t go out the smokestack.

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