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Environment
4:28 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

The Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster, Three Years Later

Courtesy of Sam Petsonk

Today is the third anniversary of the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster, where 29 coal miners were killed in Montcoal, West Virginia. On April 5, 2010—a Monday, the day after Easter—the Massey Energy-owned mine exploded.

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Environment
7:00 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Thinking About Burning A Couch if the Louisville Cardinals Win? Don't.

Couch burning in Morgantown, W.Va.
Credit Creative Commons

The University of Louisville’s men’s basketball team will play Saturday in the Final Four, and Metro Police are warning fans to celebrate without lighting couches on fire, as fans are sometimes wont to do.

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Environment
5:37 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Kentucky Releases Revised Selenium Proposal, With Minimal Tweaks

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and environmental groups are still at odds over proposed changes to Kentucky’s water quality standard for a substance called selenium. The state released its revised proposal today.

Selenium is a naturally occurring element that is released into waterways during mountaintop removal mining.  Studies have found it's toxic to aquatic life, and high-level exposure has been linked to health problems in humans.

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Environment
6:34 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Watch: The Peregrine Falcons at LG&E's Power Plant Are Hatching

That's a baby falcon.
Credit LG&E

The eggs are hatching! Last week, I reported that there were peregrine falcons nesting in a box on the cooling tower of Louisville Gas & Electric's Mill Creek power plant.  The female laid five eggs in February, and those eggs were expected to hatch last week. 

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Environment
5:08 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Eastern Kentucky Coal Production Hits Lowest Level Since 1965

Decumanus Wikimedia Commons

New data from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet shows that coal production is down in Eastern Kentucky from previous years, and the region’s workforce is suffering.

Coal production dropped more than 27 percent from 2011 to 2012 in Eastern Kentucky. This is the lowest production has been in the region since 1965. And as expected, coal mine employment fell in Eastern Kentucky too, by nearly 30 percent from the 2011 levels.

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Environment
5:34 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

The Kentucky Legislative Session Wasn't Awful for the Environment, Lobbyist Says

An aluminum smelting plant, photographed in 1973
Environmental Protection Agency

This year’s legislative session is officially over, and one environmental lobbyist says it was a relative success.

This year, there were about 50 bills that were loosely categorized as having something to do with the environment or energy (including ones that were tagged “natural gas,” “coal,” “pollution” and “nuclear”). Twelve of them passed the General Assembly, and have either been signed by Governor Beshear or are waiting on his signature. On the face, that’s a 24 percent success rate.

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Environment
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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Environment
4:28 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Business Owner Plans Produce Truck to Serve Louisville Food Deserts

Vassil Wikimedia Commons

The owner of a store that sells local fruits and vegetables in Louisville is raising money to bring his products to areas of the city that don’t have easy access to fresh produce.

Root Cellar owner Ron Smith launched his campaign on the crowd-funding site Kickstarter. He already owns stores in Old Louisville and Germantown, but now he has plans for a mobile store.

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Environment
12:05 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

A Little More Gas, A Little Less Coal: Analyst Explains the U.S. Annual Energy Outlook

EIA Annual Energy Outlook

America’s energy mix in 2040 won’t be drastically different from what it is today: a little less coal and oil, a little more natural gas and renewable energy. That’s according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook.

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Environment
7:10 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Wendell Berry Conference Will Explore Challenges, Potential in Rural America

Wendell Berry. By Photographer/original uploader: David Marshall/w:User:brtom1 [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
David Marshall Wikimedia Commons

Writers, environmentalists and farmers will gather in Louisville next weekend for the first-ever conference organized by the Berry Center, which address land use, agriculture and food.

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