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
3:09 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Report Shows Effect of Waste Heat on Urban Temperatures

A new study says the heat that’s released from buildings and transportation in major urban areas can affect the temperature in cities far away.

The study was published Sunday in Nature Climate Change, and is the first to look at the effects of waste heat on temperature changes. The researchers found that the heat that’s released from buildings and cars in urban areas in the northern hemisphere can raise the temperature by about one degree Celsius.

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Environment
8:00 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Retooled Louisville Tree App Focuses on Ash Trees

A few months ago, I reported that a new Metro Government app to encourage citizens to participate in cataloging the city’s tree canopy was available on iTunes. Now, the city’s tree commission has revamped the app, and changed its focus to ash trees.

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Environment
2:46 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

New Filing in Bridges Lawsuit Says Greenhouse Gases Should Be Considered

Ohio River Bridges Project

A Louisville non-profit has filed to amend its pending lawsuit against the Ohio River Bridges Project, arguing the federal government should have taken greenhouse gases into consideration.

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Environment
11:08 am
Mon January 28, 2013

U of L Energy-Saving Efforts Surpassing Original Goals

The University of Louisville’s energy-saving efforts are going even better than expected.

U of L is in the middle of a long-term project to cut the university’s energy consumption and carbon footprint. The effort was launched in 2009, and since then, workers have been updating lighting, heating and cooling systems, and reducing water consumption.

Now, the university is reporting that a progress report shows significant savings already. From U of L:

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Environment
8:08 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Environmental Group Concerned About Indiana Legislation

An environmental group in Indiana is concerned about pending legislation and executive orders it says could reduce the state’s ability to protect the environment and public health.

Jesse Kharbanda is the executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council.

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Environment
7:00 am
Sun January 27, 2013

Rubbertown and Health: The Whole Series

During the month of January, WFPL aired nine features on the issues posed in regulating toxic air emissions in Rubbertown—and the past, present and potential health concerns of residents. Here's a collection of those stories.

Louisville's Air Program Marks Successes, But Health Concerns Linger

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Environment
2:26 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Appeals Court Won't Reconsider Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

Erica Peterson WFPL

A federal appeals court has rejected a request from the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its August decision to vacate a major air pollution rule.

The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule is designed to reduce the amount of pollution that blows across state lines. It places limits on the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides produced in 28 states, including Kentucky.

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Environment
6:30 am
Fri January 25, 2013

No End in Sight for Clash Between Residents, Rubbertown Industry

Rail cars filled with the toxic chemical butadiene cross the road near Rubbertown.
Erica Peterson WFPL

Eboni Cochran says there’s a lot to like about her neighborhood in Louisville’s West End.

“You make a right and you will hit lots of green space, beautiful parkway with beautiful tall trees, with nice houses,” she says.

Cochran is a leader with a volunteer group called REACT: Rubbertown Emergency ACTion.

"But then to the left, you are going to run into lots of railroad tracks, you’re going to see railcars that are parked behind trees throughout your little route. And on the right you’re going to start seeing the beginnings of Rubbertown, chemical plants.”

And there’s the ‘but.’ Pretty much everyone I spoke with for this series—from Park DuValle to Riverside Gardens—said they like living where they live. But the health and safety problems—past, present and potential—seriously affect their quality of life.

So, what’s the answer? Do you kick out the industry? Move the people? Or find some middle ground where everyone can coexist? And for people who have spent their lives worried about toxic emissions from Rubbertown, is it even possible to coexist?

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Environment
4:54 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Researcher Says Carbon Dioxide Could Stop Spread of Asian Carp

Tdk Wikimedia Commons

A researcher at the University of Illinois has found a new way to possibly stop the spread of Asian carp throughout the country's waterways: carbon dioxide.

Here's the story from the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences:

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Environment
3:34 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Kentucky, Indiana Join 15 Other States in Splitting from Air Pollution Group

Chalk air pollution regulators up as the latest group to splinter because of increasingly divisive partisanship in Washington, D.C. Regulators from 17 states—including Kentucky and Indiana—are forming a new association to assist states with air pollution policies.

Right now, 43 states are members of a group called the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, or NACAA. The group has been around for 32 years, and is a non-partisan member organization that represents state and local air regulators.

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