Erica Peterson

Erica reports on environment and energy issues for WFPL, which run the gamut from stories about the regionââââ

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Environment
2:08 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Policy Group Asks FTC to Review 'Misleading' Green Claims About Biomass

A concrete slab indicates the site of the proposed ecoPower biomass plant in Hazard, Kentucky.

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 8:33 am

A policy group is asking the Federal Trade Commission to scrutinize advertising claims by biomass plants that the energy produced is environmentally friendly and “green.”

Biomass energy is produced when wood products are burned in a power plant. There aren’t any large-scale biomass plants in Kentucky yet, but a company called ecoPower is building one in Eastern Kentucky.

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Environment
4:31 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Kentuckians From Both Sides Plan Trip To Atlanta For EPA Hearing on Coal

Coal-fired power plant in Drakesboro

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 12:49 pm

The Environmental Protection Agency will hold hearings this week on proposed regulations to limit the carbon dioxide coal-fired power plants can emit. Environmental activists and coal industry supporters are both traveling from Kentucky to Atlanta this week for the federal hearing.

The EPA’s rule would cut carbon dioxide emissions nationwide. The proposal sets emissions goals for each state, and leaves it up to individual states to decide how to achieve those goals.  But before the rule is finalized, there are months of public comment. People can submit comments in writing, or make public statements at one of the four hearings happening this week. But Bill Bissett of the Kentucky Coal Association says it’s worth it to many to make the trek.

“I think the difference is, you can send a letter, you can send an email, but I think it’s important, one, that the people on the other side of this issue hear what we have to say as people who support coal,” said Bissett.  “But I think also, we need to hear what they have to say. To me, it’s a very democratic principle of this country, to be heard publicly."

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Environment
10:46 am
Mon July 21, 2014

New Carbon Capture System at Kentucky Plant Could Be 'Game-Changer'

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:32 am

Kentucky has long been known for coal. But a new project unveiled today has the potential to let the commonwealth also be known for coal technology.

A bevy of scientists and elected officials are in Harrodsburg this morning to cut the ribbon on a new carbon capture pilot project. The project was developed by scientists at the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research, and is being installed at Kentucky Utilities’ E.W. Brown power plant.

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Environment
9:25 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Be Advised: Kentucky's Waterways May Carry E.Coli

Signage warns people not to swim, fish or wade in Beargrass Creek near Beargrass Road and Alta Vista.

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:02 am

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet is warning swimmers and boaters to stay away from several streams and tributaries in Eastern Kentucky.

The waterways are contaminated with E.coli bacteria, which comes from human and animal waste.

The problem is so extensive that the swimming advisories have been expanded to include all of Kentucky’s lakes and rivers after heavy rainfall.

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Politics
9:48 am
Sat July 12, 2014

Does McConnell and Grimes' Focus on Coal Distract From Economic Diversification?

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 7:02 am

 Despite the fact that Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes made clear their unqualified support of Kentucky's coal industry, coal continues to play a role in this year's Senate election.

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Environment
10:26 am
Tue April 15, 2014

What Kentucky's New Law on Carbon Dioxide Emissions Actually Means

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:47 pm

Ignoring words of caution from his own administration, Governor Steve Beshear signed a bill directing the state’s Energy and Environment Cabinet to create a Kentucky-specific plan for regulating carbon dioxide emissions into law earlier this month.

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Environment
7:51 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Middle Mississippi River Makes List of 'Most Endangered Rivers' for Flood Control Project

A paddler on the Mississippi River
Ted Heisel American Rivers

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 11:02 pm

The stretch of the Mississippi River that touches Kentucky and Missouri is on one environmental group’s list of the most endangered rivers in the country. American Rivers says the wildlife of the Middle Mississippi River is threatened by a proposed flood control project.

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Environment
6:07 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Judge Rules Bluegrass Pipeline Companies Don't Have Power of Eminent Domain

Erica Peterson WFPL

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 3:13 pm

A Franklin County judge has ruled in favor of Kentucky residents who challenged whether companies have the power to invoke eminent domain to build a controversial natural gas liquids pipeline across the state.

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Environment
11:15 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Beshear Administration Warns Senate Budget Could Be Devastating to Coal Mine Safety

Decumanus Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 10:40 am

The Kentucky Senate has passed its version of the budget, and the state’s Energy and Environment Cabinet is warning it could have dire consequences for coal mine safety.

The Senate’s version of the budget cuts the amount of money the state’s Office of Mine Safety and Licensing to $2,643,200. That’s a 65 percent cut from the amount of money Governor Steve Beshear recommended in his budget, and a 50 percent cut from the House’s version of the bill.

In a statement, Energy and Environment Cabinet officials said the change would hurt the state’s coal industry.

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Environment
10:34 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Using Hidden Camera Evidence, Environmental Groups Plan to Sue LG&E for Discharges into Ohio River

LG
Erica Peterson WFPL

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 3:52 pm

Update 1:25 p.m.: Comments from Division of Water and Louisville Gas & Electric.

After collecting a year's worth of images of what they say are illegal discharges from one of Louisville Gas & Electric's coal ash ponds into the Ohio River, environmental groups say they plan to sue the company.

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