Erica Peterson (KPR)

Kentucky Public Radio Correspondent

Erica Peterson is a reporter and Kentucky Public Radio correspondent based out of WFPL in Louisville, Kentucky.

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After being name checked in two of President Donald Trump’s recent speeches, a new coal mine opened in Pennsylvania last week. But, while the new mine may be cause for local celebration and useful for political rhetoric, it isn’t a harbinger of what’s to come in Kentucky.

Erica Peterson | wfpl.org

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet has agreed to hold off on letting electric utilities transition to the state’s new, relaxed coal ash rules until litigation is complete, except under special circumstances.

Erica Peterson | wfpl.org

At several power plants around Kentucky, coal ash is mixed with water and stored in gigantic ponds. These ponds typically hold millions of gallons of sludge that contains dangerous contaminants like mercury, cadmium and arsenic. They sit in and around residential neighborhoods. And as WFPL’s Erica Peterson reports, many people living near the plants are still in the dark about what would happen in the event of an emergency.  

WKMS File Photo

A board that was ostensibly responsible for reviewing coal miners’ training and reviewing all proposed coal mine safety regulations will hold its last meeting next week.

Whitney Jones, WKMS

The University of Louisville’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy is planting more hemp this year at the school’s Belknap Campus.

Erica Peterson, WFPL News

After years of coal industry decline, Kentucky has fallen from the nation’s third largest coal producer to the fifth. Federal data released last month shows the 42 million tons of coal the commonwealth produced in 2016 was eclipsed by Pennsylvania and Illinois. Wyoming and West Virginia have long been above Kentucky in coal production.

WFPL News

A Kentucky environmental attorney has filed a lawsuit challenging the commonwealth’s controversial new coal ash regulations. The standards are set to go into effect on Friday.

Courtesy Berkeley Energy Group, via WFPL

In the first project of its kind, a Kentucky coal company is partnering with a global renewable energy giant to explore putting a major solar installation on a former mountaintop removal coal mine.

Erica Peterson | wfpl.org

The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection is moving forward with new regulations that weaken the state’s prior review of coal ash landfills. If they are enacted, there will be no comprehensive permitting process for the large-scale landfills that hold coal combustion waste near power plants.

Erica Peterson, WFPL News

Monday night at his rally in Louisville, President Donald Trump repeated a campaign promise, telling the crowd he would revive Kentucky’s beleaguered coal industry.

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