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
10:14 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Tar Sands Mining to Begin This Summer in Logan County, Kentucky

Howlcollective Flickr

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 5:34 am

Later this summer, a company plans to open a surface mine in southern Kentucky. But the operation won’t be mining for coal. Instead, they’re seeking to extract a new natural resource in the commonwealth: tar sands.

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Environment
1:50 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Study: Illness More Likely in Eastern Kentucky Coal County Than Non-Coal Counties

A new health study in Eastern Kentucky has found that residents in a county where surface mining is prevalent have a higher instance of illness than residents in two control counties.

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Environment
3:07 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

EPA Tightens Soot Standard; Estimates Cleaner Air Will Save Billions in Health Costs

Erica Peterson WFPL

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 2:20 pm

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
4:04 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Court Strikes Down EPA Rule to Limit Cross-State Air Pollution

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

A three-judge panel has voted two to one to strike down a new rule from the Environmental Protection Agency that would require some states to reduce pollution that travels across state lines. This puts the EPA in a difficult position.

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Business
2:08 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Keith Hall and KY's Coal Deal with India

The involvement of a state representative in a major coal deal in Kentucky is raising some eyebrows.  The $7 billion contract signed yesterday creates a 25-year standing order to ship 9 million tons of Kentucky coal annually to India. Pike County Representative Keith Hall was instrumental in brokering the deal—but he also has several coal-related businesses. He also sits on the board of FJS Energy—the New Jersey-based company that signed the contract. Hall says his involvement in the deal was both as a state lawmaker and a businessman.

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Environment
2:36 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Kentucky Ranks First in Toxic Air Pollution from Power Plants

Erica Peterson WFPL

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 12:07 pm

Kentucky is number one on a list of the states with the most toxic air pollution from power plants.

The Natural Resources Defense Council analyzed the data self-reported by industries in the Toxic Release Inventory, which is managed by the federal government. The most recent data is from 2010, and that year, Kentucky’s power plants emitted more than 40 million pounds of toxic air pollution. This gives the state the dubious honor of being ranked number one in the nation.

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Environment
3:28 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

20,000 expected at coal rally

A rally in support of coal is scheduled for this weekend in southeast Kentucky. It stemmed from a Facebook post, but now Bell County resident and business owner Joe Harris says he expects more than 20,000 people to line a county road Saturday in support of coal. Harris says the event—dubbed “Hands of Coal Across Bell County” isn’t a protest, but just a show of support for the coal industry. Coal is still a major employer in Bell County, but as reduced demand leads to layoffs, Harris says other residents and businesses are suffering.

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Environment
2:48 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Environmental Groups File Suit to Expand EPA Air Pollution Rules

Environmental groups have filed suit in federal court in an effort to get the Environmental Protection Agency to stiffen rules regulating air pollution. The EPA finalized the Cross-State Air Pollution rule last summer, to crack down on several states—including Kentucky—that both send pollution across state lines and are affected by pollution from other states. That rule has been challenged by several states and industry groups, and is held up in court.

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Environment
2:02 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

What Does the Recent EPA Ruling Really Mean for Kentucky Coal Mines?

iStockPhoto

Kentucky politicians have been lining up to praise a judge’s decision earlier this week to overturn the new way the Environmental Protection Agency has been evaluating coal mining permits. The EPA was sued by the National Mining Association and several individual states, including Kentucky. But the ruling could have few practical implications for the coal industry.

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Environment
8:03 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Kentucky to Receive Federal Grant to Continue Studying Fatal Bat Disease

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 2:58 pm

Kentucky is among 30 states that will receive federal funds to boost monitoring for a deadly bat disease.

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