Erica Peterson

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

Sen. Mitch McConnell was formally sworn in Tuesday as the Senate’s majority leader, and for the first time in eight years Republicans control both houses of Congress.

Erica Peterson

 

  The federal government has released the nation’s first-ever rules on how to handle, store and dispose of waste from coal-fired power plants. The final iteration of the regulations has largely disappointed environmental groups—who hoped for more stringent rules. Industry groups were more optimistic, but largely said they would have preferred the Environmental Protection Agency not finalize the rules at all and leave the matter up to Congress. The EPA was choosing between two options, and chose to regulate coal ash as akin to household garbage, rather than hazardous waste.

Last month, a joint project by NPR and Mine Safety and Health News revealed that many of the nation's mines—coal and otherwise—operate despite owing large sums of money to the federal government for health and safety violations.

Four-and-a-half years after they were first announced, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to finalize the nation’s first federal rules on the handling of coal ash this month.

High ozone levels aren’t healthy for people, especially the very young, elderly or sick. But the pollution is bad for plants, too, and researchers at Mammoth Cave National Park are trying to determine its effects on the park’s flora.

A settlement between the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and a coal company won’t be allowed to go forward after a Franklin County Circuit judge’s rejected the proposal Monday.

The world’s two biggest emitters of carbon dioxide have reached an agreement on emissions reductions. The United States and China announced the deal yesterday, in a move that’s already being praised by environmental groups and panned by Congressional Republicans.

Overall coal production in Kentucky remained steady between the second and third quarters of 2014, but that’s because losses in the eastern part of the state were offset by gains in the west.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has a five point lead over Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, according to the latest and final Bluegrass Poll.

Forty-eight percent of likely voters polled say they plan to vote for McConnell, while forty-three percent say they support Grimes. Libertarian David Patterson gets three percent, and six percent of voters are still undecided.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched a new website designed to provide practical information to farmers, ranchers and landowners dealing with the effects of climate change across the country.

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