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
1:48 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

LG&E Breaks Ground on New Pollution Controls, Officials Praise Results of EPA Regulations

Mill Creek
Erica Peterson WFPL

Louisville Gas and Electric has broken ground on nearly a billion dollars worth of new pollution controls at the company’s Mill Creek Power Plant in southwest Louisville. It’s a two-year process that the company estimates could create up to 700 new construction jobs.

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Environment
9:01 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Former Coal CEO Blankenship Tells WSJ He Doesn't Plan to Return to Mining

Brianhayden1980 Wikimedia Commons

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship tells the Wall Street Journal that despite incorporating several companies in Kentucky, he doesn't have plans to return to the coal business.

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Environment
5:17 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Kentucky Mine Flagged by MSHA, Placed on Special Status

The federal government has given four mines—including one in Kentucky—a warning that if they don’t make strides in health and safety, they could be put on a “pattern of violations” status.

Once a mine is marked as having a pattern of violations, any significant and substantial violations that are found by regulators would require that section of the mine to be temporarily shut down.

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Environment
11:58 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Study: More Than Half of Couches Tested Contain Toxic Chemicals

Ranjith Siji Wikimedia Commons

Anyone who watched television footage of Lexington during last year’s Final Four knows that if you try hard enough, couches can burn. But because of a California state law requiring the inclusion of flame retardants, most are made with some chemicals designed to slow burning down. And a new analysis of couch cushions from around the country shows that several toxic or carcinogenic chemicals are still common ingredients in most couches.

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Environment
10:12 am
Wed November 28, 2012

With New Contract, Coal Company Expands Production

The smokestacks at LG&E's coal-fired Cane Run power plant.
Erica Peterson WFPL

Southern Coal is recalling several hundred laid off workers and plans to hire 650 more, thanks to a new contract from American Electric Power.

From the Williamson (WV) Daily News:

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Environment
1:38 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

NYT Looks at Whether Climate Change Could Have a "Silver Lining" for Cities

Census Data Wikimedia Commons

As some degree of climate change is already evident, scientists are beginning to look at whether slightly warmer temperatures in American cities could have some indirectly positive benefits.

Obviously, most of the events associated with climate change are anything but positive: ie. flooding and hotter summers. But along with studying how to mitigate those factors, scientists are looking at ways cities could use those warmer temperatures to fight climate change.

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Environment
4:02 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

State Settles With Former Mine Permit Director Over Wrongful Termination Suit

Governor Steve Beshear’s administration has settled with a former official in the state’s Energy and Environment cabinet over claims that he was wrongly fired in 2009.

Ron Mills was the head of the cabinet’s Division of Mine Permits, which is a politically-appointed position. The lawsuit he filed against the state alleges he was fired in 2009 for refusing to issue illegal mining permits.

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Environment
12:20 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Using Trash to Create Energy

An operating landfill in Australia.
Ashley Felton Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to trash, you can stick it in a landfill. But using it to create energy is an increasingly popular option.

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Environment
8:00 am
Sun November 25, 2012

Deadline is Fast-Approaching on Wind Energy Tax Credit

Harvey McDaniel Wikimedia Commons

Over the next few weeks, Congress will decide whether to extend a key tax credit to the wind industry. The wind production tax credit—or PTC—subsidizes wind production at 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour, and without action it will expire at the end of the year.

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Environment
7:00 am
Fri November 23, 2012

New Yew Dell Greenhouse Incorporates Passive Design

De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop

Work has begun on a new greenhouse for Yew Dell Gardens—one that incorporates renewable energy and other sustainable elements. But the structure’s architects say the most important elements are the simplest.

Yew Dell’s new greenhouse is meant to be a demonstration structure of different ways to build “green.” It’s powered by solar panels, and heated by geothermal energy.

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