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Environment
8:00 am
Mon September 2, 2013

For the First Time, Several Parcels from City's Land Bank Will Go to a Market Garden

Vassil Wikimedia Commons

There will soon be a new market garden in Louisville’s Portland neighborhood, made possible by the purchase of property bought from the city’s Land Bank Authority. This is the first time this land has been sold for the sole purpose of growing food commercially in the city.

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Environment
7:00 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Growing Food in Cities Brings Benefits Other Than Healthy Eating

Valerie Magnuson of Louisville Grows
Erica Peterson WFPL

In Louisville, the movement to grow more of the city’s food in urban areas is small, but growing. Creating pockets of agriculture in areas that are often contaminated is a new puzzle for policymakers to solve. But putting this puzzle together will do more than just feed the community…it’ll have environmental benefits, too.

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Environment
3:55 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

High Ozone Levels Possible on Friday

So far, Louisville's air has been fairly healthy this summer: there haven't been any ozone exceedences.

But the first one could come on Friday. The Louisville Air Pollution Control District has issued the third air quality alert of 2013. The Air Quality Index is forecast to be 133, which is unhealthy for sensitive groups. 

These sensitive groups include the elderly, the young, and anyone with heart or lung ailments.

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Environment
7:00 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Could Local Food and Urban Agriculture Shrink Food Deserts?

Volunteers at the Fresh Stop in Shawnee
Erica Peterson WFPL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food deserts as places characterized both by a low-income population and a dearth of fresh food within a mile radius. And a large part of the Louisville Metro area falls under that definition: from most of the West End to Shively, Newburg and parts of Southern Indiana.

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Environment
5:23 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Study Finds 2007 Eastern Kentucky Fish Kill Likely Caused By Natural Gas Fracking Fluid

Blackside dace minnows
U.S. Fish and Wildlife

A joint study by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is pointing to natural gas fracking as the cause of widespread death of fish in an Eastern Kentucky stream.

The report found that hydraulic fracturing fluids—which are used to help extract the gas from the ground—spilled from a natural gas well site near Acorn Fork in 2007. After that, scientists saw a sharp decline in aquatic life in the stream. One of the species affected—the Blackside dace—is federally threatened.

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Environment
7:00 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Within Louisville City Limits, Farm Seeks to Introduce Teens to Agriculture

Fiona Grant WFPL

Across rows of plant and grasses, in the midst of bright, skipping finches, three huddled pairs of teenagers are bent at the waist, up to their elbows in leafy green bean plants. They snap the beans from their stems and toss them into baskets.

But just beyond this pastoral scene are the golf courses of a country club.  It’s hidden from the fields by a barrier of trees, but I-64 rumbles in the background.  This thin strip of farm—green and buzzing with summer life—is inside the Louisville city limits.

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Environment
2:51 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Report: Soil Conservation Could Help Reduce Climate Change-Related Crop Losses

A new report says farmers are relying too much on crop insurance to manage the risks of farming, and soil conservation would be a better long-term solution.

From 2001 to 2010, the Federal Crop Insurance Program averaged about $4 billion a year in payouts to farmers for lost crops. Last year, that amount was a record-breaking $17.3 billion to farmers across the country…nearly all for crops lost because of drought, heat and hot wind. More than $1.5 billion of that money went to farmers in Kentucky and Indiana.

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Environment
7:00 am
Tue August 27, 2013

In Louisville, Urban Agriculture Could Satisfy Hunger for Local Food

Pam Faulkner
Fiona Grant WFPL

Louisville likes local food. And according to a study that was released earlier this year, Louisvillians are willing to buy more local food than is currently available.

But when people talk about local food, they usually mean crops grown in nearby rural counties...but there's also an untapped agricultural potential in Louisville’s urban core.

Pam Faulkner is on her knees in the middle of her garden.

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Environment
10:30 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on the Air District's Audit: 'We'll Take Any Action' Necessary

File photo

Last week, several members of the Air Pollution Control District Board expressed their support for the district’s staff in the wake of a state audit that found serious flaws with the city’s air monitoring program. But in a WFPL News special, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer didn’t echo that unequivocal support.

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Environment
6:33 am
Mon August 26, 2013

EPA Has Yet to Weigh in on Kentucky's Proposed Selenium Standard

Gabe Bullard WFPL

The Environmental Protection Agency has yet to approve or reject Kentucky’s proposed water quality standard for selenium, but over the past few months there’s been lobbying on both sides of the issue.

Earlier this month, representatives from several environmental groups went to visit EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C. They want the EPA to reject the standard. The executive director of the Sierra Club also sent the EPA a letter to that effect last week. Meanwhile, state environmental regulators worked with their federal counterparts to craft the new standard. The Kentucky Coal Association has also been involved, expressing support for the new standard to state and federal regulators.

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