Smokestack

WFPL's Erica Peterson has been reporting on pollution and energy in Louisville since 2011.

These issues are more important than ever as the city, state and region continue to grapple with the ramifications of fossil fuel use, rising temperatures and urban sprawl.

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Environment
4:13 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

'Breathless and Burdened' Series Details Challenges Faced by Coal Miners Filing Black Lung Claims

A miner at the black lung laboratory in the Appalachian Regional Hospital in Beckley, West Virginia, is having his lung capacity tested to determine whether he has the disease in 1970.
Jack Corn Environmental Protection Agency

For coal miners who believe they have debilitating black lung disease, filing a claim is a lengthy process. It’s one that’s also often futile. Only about 14 percent of claims led to an award during the 2012 fiscal year, and after appeals, that number is likely even lower.

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Environment
4:16 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Coast Guard Considers Allowing Barges to Transport Wastewater From Natural Gas Fracking

Dirk Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Coast Guard is considering a proposal that would allow natural gas drilling companies to transport wastewater from the process via barge. If the rule is approved, it could send these hazardous materials down the Ohio River.

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Environment
5:00 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Kentucky Regulators Want Flexibility in Carbon Rules for Existing Power Plants

Erica Peterson WFPL

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions—like carbon dioxide –from existing power plants next June. But Kentucky regulators are preemptively trying to influence the agency’s decision-making.

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Environment
3:00 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

What's Next for Energy in Kentucky and Beyond? A Conversation with Consultant James Clad.

James Clad

James Clad has a lot of opinions on the global energy industry. These days, he’s an international political risk consultant for the energy industry. He’s also a senior advisor for the Center for Naval Analyses and at Jane’s Defence and Cambridge Energy Research Associates. From 2002-2010, he was the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asia.

Clad was in Louisville last month to address the Louisville Committee on Foreign Relations.

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Environment
7:00 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Black Carbon Series: How Traffic Exhaust Affects Climate Change and Louisville's Health

Credit Creative Commons

Black carbon is linked to cardiac and respiratory problems. It contributes to climate change. And a primary source in Louisville and other cities is traffic exhaust.

This week, WFPL took an in-depth look at black carbon—where it's found and how it affects Louisville and beyond. In a project that took months of preparation, environment reporter Erica Peterson relied on air monitors and interviews with experts and community members. 

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Environment
6:34 am
Fri November 1, 2013

In Black Carbon, Scientists Find a Major Source Behind Climate Change

Qannik, a polar bear at the Louisville Zoo.
Credit Kyle Shepherd/Louisville Zoo

Climate change is mainly caused by greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide. And the gases mainly come from sources like power plants and vehicle emissions. But scientists have found another major threat to the climate: black carbon particles from wood fires, diesel engines and practically everything else that's burned.

Carbon dioxide has long been the villain behind climate change. That's still the case, but new research suggests CO2 has a sidekick—black carbon.

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Environment
6:43 am
Thu October 31, 2013

What Walks Through Louisville Reveal About Black Carbon Exposure

Interstate traffic in downtown Louisville.
Credit Creative Commons

In Louisville, a city bisected and ringed by interstate highways and in the midst of expanding its concrete infrastructure, it’s hard to get away from traffic pollution. Every day, cars and trucks belch out cocktails of gases and chemicals, such as arsenic, nitrogen dioxide and fine particles.

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Environment
4:24 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Report Says Most of the U.S.'s Coal Won't Be Profitable to Mine

Decumanus Wikimedia Commons

A new report says the amount of coal that’s economically recoverable in the United States has been vastly overblown. The report’s authors say public data shows that the supply has peaked in most of the country’s coal-producing states, including Kentucky.

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Environment
6:33 am
Wed October 30, 2013

What Louisville Neighborhoods Are Affected by Traffic Exhaust? All of Them.

The Glaabs: Geoff, Charlotte, Cailin and Crystal.
Credit Erica Peterson/WFPL News

Louisville has always struggled with air pollution—from industrial parks and from the traffic-clogged highways. But while Metro Government's network of air monitors tests the air around the city, it’s harder to tell what residents are actually exposed to in their homes.

In the Portland neighborhood, I-64 rumbles past rows of shotgun houses, many with siding made grimy by the traffic exhaust. The highway is loud and dirty, but its pollution isn’t the primary concern for many residents.

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Environment
8:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Louisville Trucking Company Plans Switch to Natural Gas Vehicles

A Louisville-based trucking company is planning to replace its entire fleet with natural gas-powered vehicles.

M&M Cartage—a trucking company that has most of its fleet in Louisville—has already begun switching its trucks from diesel to compressed natural gas. In four years, the company will have replaced all 120 of its older vehicles with CNG trucks.

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