smokestack

Environment
11:40 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Artificial vs. Natural Christmas Trees: Not Much Difference, Environmentally

Credit DR04 / Wikimedia Commons

If you're an environmentally-conscious Christmas celebrator, this is the time of year when the question of the sustainability of the holiday season comes up. And for the centerpiece of the holiday--the Christmas tree--is it more environmentally-friendly to buy a real or an artificial one?

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Environment
8:30 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Second Sandhill Crane Hunting Season Begins in Kentucky

Kentucky’s second sandhill crane hunting season is underway.

When the Kentucky Division of Fish and Wildlife first proposed a sandhill crane hunting season, it met with opposition from groups that argued the birds weren’t overpopulated or causing an environmental burden. There was also a worry that hunters could mistakenly kill an endangered whooping crane.

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Environment
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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Environment
2:08 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Old Factories and Olfactory: How the Subjective Sense of Smell Steers Citations

Dori Wikimedia Commons

Parts of every city are smelly, occasionally. And in Louisville, several neighborhoods in particular have routinely complained about odors...like some areas of Butchertown near the JBS Swift slaughterhouse, and neighborhoods bordering chemical plants and factories in Rubbertown.

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Environment
3:19 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

New Agreement Will Help Protect Endangered Bat Habitats

Indiana Bat
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A new agreement between federal and state governments aims to protect endangered Indiana Bats that spend part of the year in Kentucky's forests.

In the agreement, the Kentucky Division of Forestry will take the Indiana Bat into account when it manages the more than 43,000 acres of state forest land.

Indiana Bats have been on the nation’s endangered species list since 1967. In recent years, they’ve become increasingly vulnerable due to White Nose Syndrome—a fungal disease that’s fatal to bats.

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Environment
1:47 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Louisville Adds 166 New Trees to Downtown, Replacing Some Lost to Wind, Drought

Workers from Action Landscape plant one of the new trees outside the Brown Hotel on Fourth Street.
Erica Peterson WFPL

Work has begun on replacing some of the dead trees and empty tree wells in Louisville’s downtown area.

There are more than 300 dead trees or vacant tree wells in downtown Louisville. Some of the trees fell victim to ice storms, some to strong winds, and some to drought. With money from Metropolitan Sewer District, Metro Government, the Louisville Downtown Management District and a donation from Tree Commission co-chair Henry Heuser Jr., 166 new trees will be planted over the next few weeks.

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Environment
9:00 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Data Shows Gas is Catching Up to Coal, Even in the Southeast

Credit Erica Peterson / WFPL

A new analysis by the federal government shows that coal-fired electricity is losing ground in a former stronghold: the Southeast.

Coal's share of the nation's electricity generation has been slipping over the past few years; in July, preliminary data suggested for the first time, natural gas and coal both provided the same amount (32 percent) of the U.S.'s electricity. But coal usage has typically been higher in the Southeast.

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Environment
9:05 am
Mon December 10, 2012

No Bats Yet in Artificial Tennessee Cave

Marvin Moriarty USFWS

So far there are no bats hibernating in an artificial cave built in Tennessee to help protect the animals from a deadly fungus. But the project’s sponsors are holding out hope for next year.

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Environment
6:10 am
Mon December 10, 2012

New Sheppard Square Will Incorporate Green Features

Officials will break ground this morning on the new Sheppard Square housing development, and the project will be one of Louisville’s greenest.

The old Sheppard Square housing project was anything but green: it was 70 years old, with old boilers, window air conditioning units and single-pane windows. But the new $167 million development—which includes $22 million in federal funds—will utilize the most sustainable materials available.

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Environment
1:00 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Ex-Massey CEO Blankenship Gives to Kentucky Democratic Party

Brianhayden1980 Wikimedia Commons

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship made news just last week when he told the Wall Street Journal that he doesn't plan to return to mining, and also doesn't have political aspirations. But as Tom Loftus of the Courier-Journal reports, Blankenship also just contributed $10,000 to the Kentucky Democratic Party.

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