Environmental Watchdog

5:40pm

Mon March 25, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Most of Kentucky Will See Snow This Evening

Credit Creative Commons

Most of Kentucky will see snow this evening but amounts will vary widely. A winter weather advisory remains in effect until 7 p.m. CDT today for Western Kentucky. Snow will generally accumulate about an inch, the National Weather Service Paducah office said. Major travel issues are not expected, the weather service said, but winds will be gusty at times.

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5:35pm

Mon March 25, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Leading Conservation Scientist to Speak at U of L

M. Sanjayan
Credit The Nature Conservancy

A leading conservation scientist will speak at the University of Louisville tomorrow about the ways the environmental movement can better tackle subjects like climate change. M. Sanjayan is the Nature Conservancy’s lead scientist and a wildlife research professor. He says today, the relationship between people and nature is symbiotic. The planet isn’t pure and pristine anymore—instead, it’s been shaped by more than 20,000 years of human habitation. Sanjayan says it’s important to see humans as part of the solution to fixing the earth’s environmental problems.

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2:16pm

Sun March 24, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Rain Will Change to Snow Late Today

Rain will change over to snow late today and continue into Monday, according to the National Weather Service. Accumulations of 1 to 2 inches are possible for Central Kentucky. Cities in the impacted area include Hawesville, Elizabethtown, Louisville, Bedford, Shelbyville, Frankfort, Georgetown, Lexington, Carlisle, Bardstown, Nicholasville and Winchester, according to the NWS office in Louisville.

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2:10pm

Fri March 22, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Winter Storm Heads Our Way Later this Weekend

Credit Creative Commons

Old Man Winter refuses to cut us any slack and is now threatening to throw more snow our way later this weekend. That will be associated with a big winter storm taking aim at the Ohio Valley Sunday and Monday. Guess what comes in behind that? If you said more cold and snow showers, you are a winner!

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1:43pm

Fri March 22, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Energy Efficiency Saves Money, Teaches Lessons at Kentucky School

Richardsville Elementary
Credit Erica Peterson / WFPL

Kentucky’s utility rates are among the lowest in the nation. But even so, several public school districts have found that it still pays to build energy efficient schools. One such school in Warren County has taken efficiency even further, and is now generating more energy than the building uses.

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1:17pm

Thu March 21, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Capitol Lights Will Go Dark Saturday in Support of Earth Hour

Credit Creative Commons

Gov. Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear announce that the Capitol campus will go dark this Saturday in support of “Earth Hour,” an international environmental campaign sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund, according to a news release from the governor's office.

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10:19am

Thu March 21, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Kentucky Denies Permit for Coal Ash Landfill At Trimble County Power Plant

LG&E's Trimble County Power Station
Credit Erica Peterson / WFPL

The Kentucky Division of Waste Management has denied a pending permit for a coal ash landfill in Trimble County. The proposed landfill would have been 218 acres, near Louisville Gas and Electric’s Trimble County Power Station. It was meant to store the coal ash produced by the plant, but ever since it was first proposed, the project has encountered numerous problems.

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5:28pm

Mon March 18, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Study Shows Illness More Likely in Coal Counties

Credit Gabe Bullard / WFPL

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. West Virginia University professor Michael Hendryx analyzed information from 952 adults in Eastern Kentucky.

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3:28pm

Fri March 15, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Carp Madness Tournament Tackles Invasive Species in Kentucky Lakes, Rivers

Credit Erica Peterson/WFPL

Asian carp is an invasive species of fish that can devastate aquatic ecosystems and, as they have a propensity for leaping out of the water, injure boaters. And once they've gotten into a river or lake, they're nearly impossible to get out. But for two days this week in Western Kentucky, teams of commercial fishermen tried. They descended on two lakes to catch as many Asian carp as possible. It was a tournament sponsored by the commonwealth and it was called…Carp Madness.

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12:42pm

Fri March 15, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Mine Safety Commission Rules in Favor of Whistleblower

Mackie Bailey in the P-1 Mine. The roof bolting machine's safety devices are visible in the foreground of the photo; law requires they be held against the roof.
Credit Mackie Bailey

The Kentucky Mine Safety Review Commission has ruled that a coal miner who reported unsafe conditions won’t be punished for breaking the law. Mackie Bailey worked at Manalapan Mining’s P-1 Mine in Harlan County. He says he was told to work without the necessary safety features on his roof bolting machine, and he did, because he was afraid he would lose his job if he refused. He eventually came forward and reported the situation to the state. Even so, he faced punishment for operating the machine in the first place.

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3:22pm

Thu March 14, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Unpredictable Weather in Store as Winter Shifts to Spring

Credit Creative Commons

Kentucky is in for a bit of unsettled weather over the next several days as winter shifts into spring. A possible mix of rain, thunderstorms, snow showers and temperatures ranging some 30 degrees - from the upper 20s to the mid-50s - dominate the forecast. “It’s a roller coaster,” said Scott Hickman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio.

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9:38am

Tue March 12, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Beshear Signs New Law Clarifying the Regulation of Biomass Plants

Credit David Wright/Wikimedia Commons

A new bill signed into law by Governor Steve Beshear last week clarifies the rules that regulate biomass plants in Kentucky. The bill gives additional guidance to the Public Service Commission on how to regulate biomass plants that sell power to a utility in Kentucky, with one particular project in mind: a biomass plant outside Hazard. Construction on the plant—owned by Lexington-based ecoPower—is expected to begin on the plant sometime this year.

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12:04pm

Tue March 5, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Snow Headed for Most of Kentucky

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Northern Kentucky beginning at 11 a.m. today and continuing until 1 p.m. Wednesday. Three to 5 inches of snow along with some ice is possible. Rain will mix with snow late this afternoon and then change over to all snow tonight.

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11:40am

Fri March 1, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Tornado Season Begins Today

Credit Creative Commons

Today is the official start of the tornado season. Kentucky led all states in 2012 with 23 tornado fatalities - the result of tornadoes that struck several locations around the state on March 2, 2012. Many experts say that preparedness is the key to avoid being a tornado fatality.

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2:20pm

Thu February 28, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Former Massey Executive Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges

Credit Brianhayden1980 / Wikimedia Commons

A former mine company executive in West Virginia pleaded guilty today to federal charges stemming from the 2010 disaster at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Mine. David Hughart was the Massey division president overseeing the mine when it exploded, killing 29 coal miners.

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5:40pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

American Electric Power Agrees to Stop Burning Coal at Coal-Fired Units in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio

Credit Erica Peterson/WFPL

American Electric Power has agreed to stop burning coal at several coal-fired units in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. The company reached a settlement today with a coalition of environmental groups, several states and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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11:38am

Fri February 15, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Fatal Bat Disease Found in Two Kentucky State Parks

Credit Marvin Moriarty / USFWS

White Nose Syndrome has been found in two Kentucky state parks. State officials announced today that infected bats have turned up in caves at Carter Cave State Resort Park in Carter County and the Kingdom Come State Park Nature Preserve in Letcher County. White Nose Syndrome is caused by a white fungus, and is deadly to bats. Since 2006, the fungus has been found in 21 states. The disease has killed more than 6 million bats in four Canadian provinces and 19 states, including Kentucky. It was discovered in Mammoth Cave last month.

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1:01pm

Thu February 7, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Spring-Like Weather Won't Last Long

Credit Creative Commons

It will be partly sunny today across most of Kentucky and the high will flirt with 60 degrees. But rain is likely in many areas of the state during the overnight hours with a low in the upper 30s. Friday morning could see more showers but it could turn mostly sunny by the afternoon with a high of near 45, according to the National Weather Service.

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1:00pm

Tue February 5, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

LG&E, Kentucky Settle Over Alleged Safety Violations in 2011 House Explosion

Credit Creative Commons

Louisville Gas and Electric could pay up to $250,000 to settle alleged safety violations that stemmed from a natural gas explosion in southern Jefferson County a year ago. The December 2011 natural gas explosion in southern Jefferson County destroyed a house, damaged several nearby properties and killed a dog. In the settlement, LG&E will pay $125,000 to the Public Service Commission. Another $125,000 in penalties is suspended pending the company’s completion of several remedial measures. The penalties are the highest ever assessed by the PSC in a safety case.

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12:49pm

Mon February 4, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Warmer Weather Headed Towards Kentucky

Much of the state could see a wintry mix of rain and snow later today and tonight. Just traces amounts of snow are possible, according to the National Weather Service. We could see some sunshine on Tuesday with highs in the upper 30s. It could be in the low 40s by Wednesday.

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10:21am

Fri February 1, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Louisville Mayor Releases Plan to Make the City Greener

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has released the long-awaited draft version of the city’s sustainability plan. It’s an ambitious list of ways the city wants to be greener, but some of the goals and initiatives will be difficult to measure. The plan is broken up into six sections: energy, the environment, transportation, the economy, community and engagement. It sets out 19 main goals that the city wants to achieve, and sets deadlines for most of them.

1:43pm

Thu January 31, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Snow Headed for Central and Eastern Kentucky

Credit Creative Commons

The National Weather Service offices in Louisville and Jackson have issued winter weather advisories. Predictions are that anywhere from a half-inch to 2 inches of snow could fall tonight and early Friday morning, the weather service said.

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4:54pm

Wed January 30, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Environmental Groups Ask for Summary Judgment in Suit Over Coal Mining's Health Effects

Credit Gabe Bullard/WFPL

Environmental groups have filed a new document in a case against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over a surface mine in eastern Kentucky. Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and the Sierra Club are fighting a permit the Army Corps granted to a coal company. They say the Corps is required to take potential health effects from a project into account before granting a permit…and in this case, the agency ignored studies that have been done over the past few years showing associations between health problems and mountaintop removal mining.

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12:43pm

Tue January 29, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Spring-Like Weather Could Turn Hazardous

It feels like spring outside today with a temperature of 54 degrees at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The high later will soar to 67, just one degree shy of the record on this date, set 99 years ago in 1914, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio. It will be mostly cloudy. A major change is coming early Wednesday as a strong cold front approaches from the west, bringing the potential for hazardous showers and thunderstorms by 4 a.m.

5:58pm

Mon January 28, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

New Filing in Bridges Lawsuit Says Greenhouse Gases Should Be Considered

Credit Ohio River Bridges Project

A Louisville non-profit has filed to amend its pending lawsuit against the Ohio River Bridges Project, arguing the federal government should have taken greenhouse gases into consideration. The Coalition for the Advancement of Regional Transportation, or CART, filed the amendment in federal court on Saturday.

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10:38am

Sun January 27, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Lung, Colon Cancer Rates Higher Near Rubbertown Than Other Louisville Neighborhoods

Data from the Kentucky Cancer Registry. There's a significant difference in rates when the 95% confidence intervals don't overlap.
Credit Erica Peterson/ WFPL

A new analysis shows that certain cancers are more prevalent in areas near the Rubbertown neighborhood in west and southwest Louisville. But it’s impossible to determine what role—if any—pollution from nearby industries plays in the elevated cancer rates. Everyone in Rubbertown knows someone with cancer. But are people in these neighborhoods actually more likely to get cancer than other Louisville residents? I called someone who should know: Dr. Tom Tucker, the head of the Kentucky Cancer Registry.

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11:51am

Fri January 25, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

State Prepares for February Earthquake Drill

Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed February as Earthquake Awareness Month in Kentucky as local, state and federal officials continue to prepare for The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut Earthquake Drill, scheduled for Feb. 7, 2013. The 2013 Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is expected to involve more than 2 million people through a broad‐based outreach program, partnerships with the media, and public advocacy.

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5:22pm

Wed January 23, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Kentucky Splits from Air Pollution Group

Chalk air pollution regulators up as the latest group to splinter because of increasingly divisive partisanship in Washington, D.C. Regulators from 17 states—including Kentucky and Indiana—are forming a new association to assist states with air pollution policies. Right now, 43 states are members of a group called the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, or NACAA. The group has been around for 32 years, and is a non-partisan member organization that represents state and local air regulators.

11:52am

Tue January 22, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Bitter Cold Air Could Bring Snow Later This Week

Today's high will only be in the upper teens across Kentucky. And tonight will again see Arctic air invade the state as lows hit around 10 degrees with wind chills even lower. It will warm to about 30 on Wednesday and Thursday. But a wintry mix of precipitation will hit the state Thursday night. The chance for precipitation is 70 percent, according to the National Weather Service in Louisville.

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6:01pm

Mon January 21, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Coldest Air of the Season Approaches Kentucky

We're stuck with bitterly cold air until Thursday of this week and even then the high will only be slightly warmer than the freezing mark. But compared to the high temperatures today, Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday's high of 33 will seem warm in comparison.

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