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
6:34 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Tar Sands Mining to Begin This Summer in Logan County, Kentucky

A tar sands operation in Alberta, Canada
Howlcollective Flickr

Later this summer, a company plans to open a surface mine in southern Kentucky. But the operation won’t be mining for coal. Instead, they’re seeking to extract a new natural resource in the commonwealth: tar sands.

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Environment
3:52 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Federal, State Regulators Plan Cleanup For Contaminated Homes Near Black Leaf Site

Erica Peterson WFPL

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection plan to remediate all 69 of the contaminated residential sites near the former Black Leaf Chemical Plant.

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Environment
1:53 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

More on the Emerald Ash Borer, and Personal Responsibility

Jacob Trader of Limbwalker getting ready to treat an ash tree in Cherokee Park.
Erica Peterson WFPL

Last week, I wrote about emerald ash borers in Louisville, and the toll the pest could take on the city’s tree canopy. So, if you have an ash tree in your yard, what can you do?

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Environment
11:07 am
Tue June 11, 2013

International Energy Agency Warns Planet is Warming Quickly, Offers Policy Solutions

Erica Peterson WFPL

For the past few years, climatologists have been telling people three things: yes, the world is warming. Yes, human-contributed carbon dioxide is contributing to this warming. And the best-case scenario is an average increase of 2 degrees Celsius, which might not sound like a lot, but has the potential to wreak havoc on some ecosystems.

But now, the International Energy Agency is warning that a 2 degree increase is too optimistic, and the world’s current path is more likely to result in an increase of 3.6 and 5.3 degrees Celsius. The agency is recommending governments adopt four new policies to try to slow the warming, and hold it to 2 degrees Celsius. They’re calling this the “4-for-2°C scenario,” and say it would lower emissions with proven technologies without harming economic growth.

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Environment
4:44 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Work Continues to Neutralize Chemical After Spill at DuPont Plant

Work is still ongoing to neutralize hundreds of thousands of gallons of a dangerous chemical at DuPont Louisville’s plant, after an equipment malfunction led to a leak yesterday.

DuPont officials say it seems a faulty flange on a 500,000 gallon tank of hydrochloric acid caused the leak. About 1500 pounds of the chemical was released into the air and onto the ground, and those living within a mile of the plant were told to shelter-in-place yesterday evening. Now, crews are working to neutralize the chemical and remove it, a process that could take up to two days.

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Environment
12:05 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Emerald Ash Borer Still a Threat to Louisville's Trees, But City Response is Piecemeal

Jacob Trader of Limbwalker getting ready to treat an ash tree in Cherokee Park.
Erica Peterson WFPL

As Louisville begins to confront an urban tree canopy decimated by drought and storms, another hazard is poised to do even more damage. Emerald ash borers are invasive beetles that attack ash trees; if the trees aren’t treated, the pest could wipe out most or all of Louisville’s ash trees. But the city still lacks a comprehensive plan to combat the insect.

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Environment
8:58 am
Fri June 7, 2013

LG&E Fined for Coal Ash Violations at Cane Run...Again

Erica Peterson WFPL

Louisville Gas and Electric has been fined once again by the Air Pollution Control District for coal ash violations at the Cane Run Power Plant in Southwest Louisville, and the district cites scientific testing that shows coal ash is leaving the company's property.

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Environment
12:36 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

AEP Will Invest in Wind Power, Energy Efficiency Under Proposed Agreement in Big Sandy Rate Case

By Flickr user CM195902: http://bit.ly/KhOtGU

Under the terms of a tentative agreement, Kentucky Power will invest heavily in energy efficiency improvements in Eastern Kentucky, and convert half of its Big Sandy Power Plant to natural gas.

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Environment
1:17 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Will the EPA's Proposed Greenhouse Gas Rules 'Ban' New Coal Plants?

Erica Peterson/WFPL

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to rethink proposed regulations on greenhouse gases emitted from power plants.

Beshear sent a letter to acting EPA administrator Bob Perciasepe last week. In the letter, Beshear says the agency’s proposed rules to limit emissions would effectively ban new coal-burning plants and raise electricity rates. He wrote:

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Environment
12:01 am
Wed June 5, 2013

For Second Year, Louisville's Parks Rank Poorly on National List

Tyler Park.
Wikimedia Commons

Louisville is at the bottom of a list ranking American cities based on their parks for the second year in a row.

The city was ranked 49th out of 50 in this year’s ParkScore ranking from the Trust for Public Lands. The ranking pits the nation’s 50 biggest cities against each other, using metrics like per capita park spending, park size and park access.

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