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
3:00 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

Give Your Christmas Tree a Second Life as a Fish Habitat

There are lots of ways to dispose of your Christmas tree this year. If you leave it on your curb and live in the Urban Services District, Metro Government will pick it up. If you bring it to one of several different locations, you can watch it be recycled into mulch. Or, you can drive it to one of 20 drop-off locations around the state and donate your tree to be used for a fish habitat.

Yes, a fish habitat.

The Kentucky Division of Fish and Wildlife is collecting the used trees to deposit in lakes. Joseph Zimmerman is an environmental biologist with the division.

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Environment
9:00 am
Mon December 24, 2012

TVA Settlement Funds 13 Energy Efficiency Projects

Thirteen Kentucky organizations will receive grant funding next year under a settlement between the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.

The TVA settlement money is meant to go to environmental mitigation projects in the TVA service area.

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Environment
5:23 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Kentucky Accepts Settlement in LG&E Rate Case

The Kentucky Public Service Commission has accepted a settlement agreed to by all the parties in a rate increase case filed by Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities.

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Environment
1:06 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

AEP Announces Plans to Retire Coal-Burning Plant in Eastern Kentucky

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

A coal-fired power plant in eastern Kentucky will be retired in the next several years.

Originally, American Electric Power subsidiary Kentucky Power planned to spend nearly a billion dollars to install pollution controls on the Big Sandy Power plant in Louisa so it could continue burning coal under upcoming federal pollution regulations.

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Environment
4:47 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Whistleblower Faces State Penalty for Working in Unsafe Conditions He Reported

Mackie Bailey in the P-1 Mine. The ATRS' are visible in the foreground of the photo; law requires they be held against the roof.
Courtesy of Mackie Bailey

An eastern Kentucky coal miner who reported unsafe work conditions is now facing sanctions by the state.

Mackie Bailey is a longtime roof bolting machine operator who worked at Manalapan Mining’s P-1 mine in Harlan County. For several weeks, Bailey says he and other miners had been working without a required safety device called the Automated Temporary Roof Support (ATRS), which is supposed to brace against the roof of the mine and protect miners from a potential roof collapse.

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Environment
1:09 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Energy Agency Predicts Coal's Short-Term Prospects Are Bright Internationally

Decumanus Wikimedia Commons

In the United States, recent data has shown that coal is losing ground, and is now neck in neck with natural gas in terms of the percentage of electricity generation the country gets from each fuel. Coal use is even diminishing in the southeast, a region that's typically relied on coal-fired power.

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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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