Erica Peterson

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

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.

Election Day is a week away, and Republicans are holding out hope that their party can gain control of the Senate and keep control of the House. If that happens, it will give Republicans like current Minority Leader Mitch McConnell more leverage to take action on the Obama Administration’s environmental policies. These policies include proposed limits on greenhouse gases from new and existing power plants, and many others that McConnell has railed against over the past six years.

An energy policy non-profit today released its annual ranking of states by energy efficiency programs.

Though Kentucky is still in the bottom half of the list, it was recognized as one of the “most-improved” states.

Indiana, on the other hand, fell the furthest and is currently ranked 40th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia.

A new epidemiological study adds to the growing body of scientific evidence that mountaintop removal coal mining is harmful to the health of nearby residents.

The study published last week in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science and Technology used dust samples from homes near a mountaintop removal site in West Virginia, as well as a control site far from mining in the eastern part of the state.