Environmental Watchdog


The Environmental Protection Agency’s final draft of the Clean Power Plan includes stricter regulations than originally proposed. 

J. Tyler Franklin / Louisville Public Media

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway says he’ll again sue the Environmental Protection Agency over new federal carbon dioxide rules. 


Climate change will begin to have a demonstrative effect on Kentucky’s economy within five years.

They beat the EPA on coal, and now a group of state attorneys general hopes to score a similar victory on farming.


More than a thousand people are expected at the Kentucky Horse Park tomorrow morning for the 17th Reforest the Bluegrass event.  John Saylor, a senior arborist in Lexington, says there will be streamside tree plantings.  "We've had a lot of rain this week, so a lot of standing water, a lot of flooding pooled up in certain spots out there in the placing area.  Basically those trees will absorb that water and you won't have as much runoff going right into the channel," said Saylor.

Firefighters Still Tending to GE Appliance Park Fire

Apr 6, 2015

A reduced crew of firefighters remains on site at the fire that broke out Friday at General Electric’s Appliance Park in Louisville.


A new analysis of products purchased at dollar stores around the country show that most included significant amounts of at least one hazardous chemical. 


Kentucky’s coal production and employment dropped only slightly in 2014, but sharper declines are likely in the future.


Kentucky communities can apply for grant money to help clean up brownfield sites.

Many Kentucky Homes Remain Untested for Radon

Jan 5, 2015

January is National Radon Action Month. Kentucky is recognized for having high levels of the colorless and odorless gas. Barrett Schoeck is an Environmental Specialist with the Fayette County Health Department.  Schoeck warns that radon levels can change due to home renovations.  "Some homes might test low and say, you put a bathroom or something in your basement, you then could potentially increase your radon levels because you're creating holes in your foundation," said Schoeck.


A central Kentucky organization is expanding its workshop opportunities. Lexington based Greensource this week is launching its GreenForce program.  Volunteer Coordinator Ashley Bryant-Chaney says the first training session is set for this weekend.  "So, we hope to train the people, so that they can go out into the community, whether that be at an outreach event or a school and actually spread information about environmental education and about things like recycling and litter and water quality and energy conservation," said Bryant-Chaney.


The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources says the federally protected whooping crane has been showing up in Kentucky and warns hunters the species is off-limits.

Green Summit Looks at Environmental Collaboration

Oct 30, 2014
Stu Johnson / WEKU News

A group of about 60 people gathered Friday in Lexington in an effort to coordinate sustainability measures of many different organizations.  Bobby Clark, coordinator of the first Bluegrass Forever Green Sustainability Summit, says energy saving measures are often doable for individual residents or businesses.  "Use energy star type appliances, change what they are doing because most people predict that energy costs are gonna double over the next ten years.  Can you imagine your electric bill doubling at your home or your business?  It's an economic development issue," said Clark.

Fernando Thomas/Wikimedia Commons

A partnership between the local utility and state and federal government will build Kentucky’s largest solar array at Fort Campbell.

Erica Peterson / Kentucky Public Radio

Despite the fact that the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline has been suspended, the company behind the project is appealing a circuit court decision that found the company doesn’t have the right of eminent domain.

Chemical Spill Shuts Down Portion of I-75 for Five Hours

Jul 15, 2014

A chemical spill following a truck accident off Interstate 75 in Rockcastle County earlier today caused the busy highway to shut down for five hours.

First Cleaner Commonwealth Funds Issued

Jun 24, 2014

The first grants issued through the state's Cleaner Commonwealth Fund include restoration of a historic building in Jackson County.  $49,000 will go for asbestos removal at Lincoln Hall in Annville. 

Stu Johnson / Weku radio


The University of Kentucky will receive a 12 million dollar grant to study hazardous waste sites and the effects of contaminants.  The aim is to lessen the harmful health and environmental effects. UK Superfund Research Center Director Bernie Hennig says part of the answer may lie in good diet and exercise.  "We're trying to study how nutrition, healthful nutrition, increased exercise, increased physical activity can protect against environmental insults, can protect against the contaminants ability to contribute to disease," said Hennig.

Asian Carp Kill Under Investigation

Apr 25, 2014

Scientists are studying the cause of a massive fish kill in western Kentucky, which state wildlife officials are saying is the largest kill of its kind recorded.   

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources reports around 500,000 Asian carp died within a 24-hour period Wednesday on the Cumberland River just below Lake Barkley. KDFWR Fisheries Biologist Paul Rister says soon after discovering the kill fisherman were still catching fish,

“One group of gentlemen had just pulled in their limit of white bass,” Rister said.

Eminent Domain Ruled Inappropriate for Bluegrass Pipeline Project

Mar 26, 2014

A Franklin County judge has ruled that Kentucky law doesn’t allow the use of eminent domain for a natural gas liquids pipeline.  This is the latest blow to the controversial Bluegrass Pipeline project.

Kentucky Environmental Groups to Sue Over Coal Ash Discharge

Mar 17, 2014

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. 

Reward doubles in shooting of whooping cranes

ANTON, Ky. (AP) — The reward being offered for information in the shooting and death of a mated pair of whooping cranes in western Kentucky has more than doubled with contributions from conservation and animal protection groups.

Transporting Fracking Wastewater by Barge

Dec 16, 2013

The U.S. Coast Guard wants to allow barges filled with fracking wastewater to run the nation's rivers on their way toward disposal. Many environmentalists are concerned, but industry groups say barge transport has its advantages.  Critics of the plan say that if there was an accident, it could threaten the drinking water supply of millions of people.

Flame Retardant Chemicals in Kids' Furniture Focus of Kentucky Organization's Concern

Dec 2, 2013

A new study of children’s furniture has found that most contain toxic flame retardant chemicals. These chemicals have been linked to serious health problems. The study was conducted by the non-profit Center for Environmental Health and researchers at Duke University. They analyzed 42 children’s couches and chairs from big box retailers, and found that 90 percent of them contained one or more of the flame retardant chemicals.

Louisville Public Media

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions—like carbon dioxide –from existing power plants next June. But Kentucky regulators are preemptively trying to influence the agency’s decision-making.  Read more...

Four Kentucky Lakes with High Bacteria Levels

Oct 18, 2013

Officials with the Kentucky Division of Water say harmful algal blooms are found at four central Kentucky lakes.  The elevated bacteria levels were detected in Madison County’s Lake Reba, Beaver Lake in Anderson County, Shelby County’s Guist Creek Lake, and Willisburg Lake in Washington County.  Harmful algal blooms produce toxins which may be hazardous to animals and humans. 

Fall Wanderings Leave Deer Vulnerable To Hunters, Motorists

Oct 15, 2013
Chris McRoberts / Flickr, Creative Commons

Since the end of World War II, Kentucky’s deer herd population has increased 900 percent.  Now, they’re a common and costly hazard along the Commonwealth’s highways.  Now is the time of year with the biggest risk of collisions.


Climate change is prompting calls from an environmental advocate for better preparation on the local level.  Rick Clewett, who spent almost 40 years teaching English at Eastern Kentucky University, now works with the Sierra Club and the Kentucky Conservation Committee. Clewett says climate change will be especially hard on homeless and low-income Kentuckians.

Emerald Ash Borer Threatens To Double-Decimate State Park

Sep 13, 2013
US Forest Service / Flickr, Creative Commons

An ongoing insect infestation is causing both safety and aesthetic concerns at a well known Kentucky state park.  The emerald ash borer, which is native to Asia but alien to North America, was first seen in Kentucky just four years ago.  Since, then it’s done a lot of damage to trees in 24 counties.  State officials are especially worried about its impact on General Butler State Park near Carrollton.  Forest Health Specialist Jody Thompson says there’s no quick and easy cure-all.

Chemical Weapons Disposal Plant 70 Percent Complete

Aug 20, 2013
PEO, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives

Officials say construction on a long-awaited weapons disposal facility at the Blue Grass Army Depot in central Kentucky is about 70 percent complete and it is on track to start operations in 2020. Chemical Destruction Community Advisory Board Co-Chair Craig Williams says it took several years for the project to recover from funding cuts in 2004. But, Williams adds construction is tracking on schedule now that allocations have been more consistent.