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Environment
2:45 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Regulators Reach Landmark Deal to Reclaim Eastern Kentucky Surface Mines

Credit Gabe Bullard / WFPL

State regulators have reached a comprehensive settlement with an out-of-state coal operator to reclaim former mines in eight Eastern Kentucky counties.

Billionaire Jim Justice—who also owns the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia—has been cited by the state more than 400 times in the last two years for not taking appropriate measures to reclaim his coal mines. Under the terms of the agreement, Justice will pay $1.5 million in fines, and post $10.5 million in bonds.

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Environment
3:03 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Louisville's Air District, Union, Nearing Settlement on Reorganization

Louisville skyline
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Louisville’s Air Pollution Control District is close to reaching a settlement with the union that represents 19 current employees over the agency’s reorganization.

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Environment
1:15 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Louisville's Urban Heat Islands are Among Most Intense, Fastest-Growing in the U.S., Report Says

A satellite image showing surface temperatures in Louisville.
Credit Climate Central

A report released Wednesday by a climate change nonprofit has ranked Louisville among the top 10 U.S. cities with a serious urban heat island effect.

Urban heat islands are areas where cities are substantially hotter than surrounding rural areas. This is exacerbated by factors such as large swathes of paved surfaces and declining tree canopies.

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Environment
6:57 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Can a Kentucky Politician Win By Being Candid About Coal's Decline?

Credit Harry Schaefer / U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Here’s an essential Kentucky political truth: politics and the state’s coal industry are intertwined.

That’s one of the reasons both of Kentucky’s Senate candidates—Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes—have been nearly indistinguishable on the subject.

But coal’s fortunes in Kentucky have been declining for decades. 

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Environment
11:06 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Spill Near Cincinnati Dumps 5,000 Gallons of Oil Into Ohio River

The Cincinnati skyline from Kentucky across the Ohio Rier.
Credit Creative Commons

A spill at a power plant near Cincinnati dumped thousands of gallons of oil into the Ohio River late Monday night, but Louisville Water Company officials say they don’t think it’ll pose a risk to Louisville's water supply.

The spill at Duke Energy’s W.C. Beckjord Station spilled 5,000 gallons of fuel oil during a routine transfer. The Beckjord station, built in 1952, is an older power plant that burns both fuel oil and coal.

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Environment
12:47 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Bluegrass Pipeline's Developer Is Appealing the Eminent Domain Ruling

Credit Erica Peterson / WFPL

Despite the fact that the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline has been suspended, the companies behind the project are appealing a circuit court decision that found they don’t have the right of eminent domain.

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Environment
7:00 am
Fri August 15, 2014

It's Taking Kentucky Miners Longer to Extract Coal

Credit Decumanus / Wikimedia Commons

As was noted last week, employment in Kentucky’s coalfields has been declining for decades—not just during President Obama’s administration. But there’s another way that statisticians and data wranglers have developed to evaluate the industry: productivity.

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Environment
7:00 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Poll: Carbon Regulations Have Support Among Kentucky Women, African-Americans, Younger Voters

File photo
Credit Erica Peterson/WFPL

Public Policy Polling's survey results released Wednesday had some interesting findings on Kentuckians' attitudes on carbon pollution.

Overall, registered voters were split on their opinion of whether power plants should have to cut carbon dioxide emissions—but women, African-Americans and younger voters overwhelmingly support the limits.

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Environment
7:00 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Report: Coal Ash is Harmful to Your Health

The coal ash landfill at LG&E's Cane Run power plant.
Credit Erica Peterson / WFPL

A new report from two environmental non-profits looks at the effects of coal ash on human health.

And it may sound obvious, but the report found that breathing coal ash can have serious health consequences.

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Environment
8:34 am
Sat August 9, 2014

Coal Workers at Small Mines More Likely to Get Black Lung Disease, Study Finds

In 1974, a miner at the black lung laboratory in the Appalachian Regional Hospital in Beckley, West Virginia, was having his lung capacity tested to determine whether he has the disease.
Credit Jack Corn / Environmental Protection Agency

A new study by the federal government has confirmed what’s been known anecdotally for years: coal miners working in small mines are more likely to get black lung disease. The data underscores the fact that current dust control measures aren’t adequate to protect coal miners.

The study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health—or NIOSH—analyzed data from more than 3700 coal miners between 2005 and 2012.

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