Environmental Watchdog

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

5:41pm

Wed January 16, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Deadly Bat Disease Found in Mammoth Cave

Credit Marvin Moriarty / USFWS

White Nose Syndrome has been confirmed in Mammoth Cave National Park. 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. Mammoth Cave has been taking steps to keep the fungus out of its caves--like making visitors walk over cleansing mats--but park superintendent Sarah Craighead confirmed the disease's presence today.

Read more

12:49pm

Tue January 15, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Sleet and Freezing Rain on the Way for Some Areas

The National Weather Service office in Louisville has issued a winter weather advisory for sleet from 5 p.m. EST today to 5 a.m. EST Wednesday. Cities in the advisory area include Leitchfield, Elizabethtown, Lawrenceburg, Versailles, Lexington, Paris, Carlisle, Bardstown, Springfield, Harrodsburg, Lebanon, Danville, Lancaster, Richmond, Morgantown, Brownsville, Munfordville, Greensburg, Campbellsville, Liberty, Stanford, Russellville, Bowling Green, Franklin, Scottsville and Glasgow.

Read more

12:46pm

Tue January 15, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

State Toxic Releases Continue Downward Trend

Credit Courtesy Energy and Environment Cabinet

The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection has finished analyzing data of all the toxic chemicals that were released in the state in 2011. Since 1986, companies have been required to report the number of pounds of toxic chemicals they release into the air, into water and on land, and there’s been a definite downward trend in Kentucky as new regulations go on the books.

Read more

12:36pm

Mon January 14, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

92 Birds Killed in Kentucky's Second Sandhill Crane Hunting Season

Kentucky’s second sandhill crane hunting season is officially over. This year hunters killed 92 birds—42 more than last year. Most of the birds killed were in Hardin and Barren counties on private land. No more than 400 birds could be hunted during the season, and the actual amount taken didn’t come even close to that. But Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Migratory Bird Specialist Rocky Pritchert says the department is counting the season as a success.

10:59am

Fri January 11, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Industrial and Residential Areas Coexist in Rubbertown, Louisville

In Rubbertown, industrial and residential areas coexist.
Credit Credit Erica Peterson / WFPL

All of the major factories in Louisville's Rubbertown area have permits that allow them to put specific amounts of certain chemicals into the air. But when residents report unpleasant smells, it’s hard to know where they’re coming from and whether a factory is violating its permit. If you live near Rubbertown on the West End, there's a lot to worry about. There's a possibility of a major disaster—like the explosion that ripped through the DuPont plant in 1965 or the 2011 explosion at Union Carbide. But day-to-day, the pressing concern is the odor in the air and what chemicals and health complications they might bring.

Read more

10:50am

Wed January 9, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Air Issues Plague Park DuValle, One of Louisville's Newest Planned Communities

In the late 1990s, Louisville spent nearly $200 million revitalizing a blighted area on the West End. Park DuValle emerged—and has since been nationally-recognized as a model mixed-income community. But one thing the city couldn't change was the neighborhood's location. And like the housing projects that stood before it, Park DuValle is next to Louisville’s industrial area. Residents say the odors in the air are often unbearable.

10:34am

Mon January 7, 2013
Environmental Watchdog

Louisville's Air Program Marks Successes, But Health Concerns Linger

A scene off of Bells Lane, in Rubbertown
Credit Erica Peterson / WFPL

Trish Lee’s small yellow house is a block away from Bells Lane, where many of the Rubbertown factories are concentrated. From her backyard, she can’t see the chemical plants, rail yards and oil refineries that have stood down the street for decades — but she can smell them just about anywhere.

Read more

2:55pm

Wed December 26, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Recycling Christmas Trees to Electronics

Lexington city crews are out and about scanning for cut Christmas trees in area neighborhoods.  The tree recycling program has been in place for years.  Outreach and Education Director Mark York says all kinds of evergreens are ground up and the mulch distributed throughout the year to area citizens.  “A live cut tree is again a resource that we can use and turn that into mulch, instead of that tree going to a landfill.  The most important thing for residents is to be sure to remove all the decorations and lights from the tree before we pick it up and take it to the pad where it will be turned into mulch,” said York.

Read more

1:48pm

Thu December 20, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Transportation Officals Warn of High Winds

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is urging motorists to use caution because of high winds in the forecast for today and tonight. The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory, indicating the region can expect sustained winds above 20 miles per hour with gusts as high as 50 miles per hour at times through tonight. This will create hazardous driving conditions until at least midnight and possibly into Friday morning.

3:24pm

Fri December 14, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

EPA Tightens Air Quality Standard for Soot Pollution

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).

Read more

2:11pm

Tue December 11, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Aging Rocket Fuel Prompts Tests at Army Depot

Storage igloos at Bluegrass Army Depot. This winter, crews of five workers will disassemble 44 chemical weapons rockets inside an empty igloo.

Given its age, it’s time to test the stability of rocket fuel stored at the Bluegrass Army Depot.  This winter, officials hope to remove propellants from 44 rockets, and truck most of it to New Jersey for safety tests.  Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Grice, who commands the operation, says they’ll implement numerous safeguards. Grice says the biggest risk is the accidental ignition of a rocket motor.

Read more

1:33pm

Tue December 11, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Data Shows Gas is Catching Up to Coal

Credit Erica Peterson / WFPL

A new analysis by the federal government shows that coal-fired electricity is losing ground in a former stronghold: the Southeast. Coal's share of the nation's electricity generation has been slipping over the past few years; in July, preliminary data suggested for the first time, natural gas and coal both provided the same amount (32 percent) of the U.S.'s electricity. But coal usage has typically been higher in the Southeast.

Read more

12:59pm

Mon December 10, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

No Bats Yet in Artificial Cave

Credit Marvin Moriarty / USFWS

So far there are no bats hibernating in an artificial cave built in Tennessee to help protect the animals from a deadly fungus. But the project’s sponsors are holding out hope for next year. White Nose Syndrome is caused by a white fungus, and is deadly to bats. Since 2006, it’s killed nearly 6 million bats in four Canadian provinces and 21 states, including Kentucky. In an effort to protect some bats—and to stop the spread of the disease—the Nature Conservancy in Tennessee recently finished an artificial cave in a hill northwest of Nashville.

Read more

2:22pm

Mon December 3, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Kentucky Lets You Shoot or Watch Sandhill Cranes This Season

If you want to look at sandhill cranes--or just shoot them--opportunities abound this season. Kentucky's second annual sandhill crane hunting season runs December 15 to January 13. Barren River Lake Wildlife Management Area is a popular spot for the birds--and therefore for the hunters, too--but there are several areas that are designated as off-limits.

2:25pm

Wed November 28, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Assessing Sewer Needs with Costs

Lexington city leaders have their ‘sewer improvement’ focus on a sizeable project located at the doorstep to the Fayette County community.  But, it’s just one of a number of expensive and highly visible projects on a list aimed to meet a federal government mandate.   There remain questions about balancing future needs against the will of taxpayers to pay for these improvements.

Read more

12:37pm

Wed November 28, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Study Finds Toxic Chemicals in Couches

Credit Ranjith Siji / Wikimedia Commons

Anyone who watched television footage of Lexington during last year’s Final Four knows that if you try hard enough, couches can burn. But because of a California state law requiring the inclusion of flame retardants, most are made with some chemicals designed to slow burning down. And a new analysis of couch cushions from around the country shows that several toxic or carcinogenic chemicals are still common ingredients in most couches.

Read more

10:44am

Mon November 19, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Pleasant Weather Ahead in the Commonwealth

The state enjoyed a pleasant mid-November weekend and more of the same is on tap for the Thanksgiving week. Highs Monday through Thursday will be in the low- to mid-60s with the mercury taking a slight dip to the mid-50s on Friday.

Read more

4:51pm

Thu November 15, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Downtown Recycling Emphasis

A recent audit of garbage collected in downtown Lexington shows almost half of it could have gone into the recycling bin.  In response, city and non-profit agencies have launched an education campaign that targets downtown businesses.  Lexington Vice Mayor Linda Gorton says they could make recycling mandatory, but Gorton wants to offer those businesses a carrot.

Read more

3:54pm

Tue November 13, 2012

2:33pm

Mon November 12, 2012

2:21pm

Thu November 8, 2012

Pages