Environmental Watchdog

3:26pm

Fri October 26, 2012

2:47pm

Fri October 26, 2012

2:38pm

Mon September 24, 2012

7:57am

Mon September 24, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Government Support for Environmental Art

Some 16 central Kentucky arts projects are receiving government support to further an environmental message.  This year’s Eco-Art grants cover everything from performances, to photographs, to sculptures.  Each has an environmental theme.  Lexington Mayor Jim Gray says the Eco-Art program helps the city creatively connects citizens with the environment.

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6:45am

Thu September 20, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Close to Settlement on Pollution Case

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet is close to settling a lawsuit with a coal company over water pollution in eastern Kentucky. The cabinet filed a status report earlier this week that proposes $575,000 in fines for International Coal Group, and expects to finalize the settlement soon.  The case involves several environmental groups too, including Appalachian Voices and Waterkeeper Alliance.

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3:10pm

Fri September 14, 2012

11:41am

Wed September 12, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

No More Anticipated Changes in Depot DeMill Technology

Work continues on a multi-million dollar disposal facility designed to eliminate chemical munitions stored at the Bluegrass Army Depot.  Under the current Army timeline, actual destruction of nerve and mustard gas agents is set to start in 2020.  As technology improves, Chemical Weapons Working Group Director Craig Williams says  ‘neutralization’ will remain their preferred method of disposal.

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3:27pm

Fri September 7, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Severe Storms Expected in Central Kentucky

The National Weather Service office in Louisville is predicting severe thunderstorms for Central Kentucky tonight and into the overnight period. A squall line is forecast to hit the Interstate 65 corridor around midnight tonight and move into the Bluegrass region of the state around 2 a.m. EDT Saturday. The weather service says the main danger will be from damaging winds.

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3:28pm

Thu August 30, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Hurricane Leftovers Could Drench Kentucky

Remnants from Hurricane Isaac will travel from Louisiana to Arkansas, then north to Missouri by Friday. Bands of rain could hit parts of Kentucky beginning Friday but the heaviest rain in Kentucky is expected from Friday night through Sunday night, the National Weather Service office in Louisville said.

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3:43pm

Tue August 28, 2012

2:59pm

Mon August 27, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Database Tracks Large CO2 Emitters

The smokestacks at LG&E's coal-fired Cane Run power plant.
Erica Peterson Louisville Public Media

Wondering how much carbon dioxide is being emitted in your country, state, county or Congressional district? I  just came across a cool database produced by CARMA (Carbon Monitoring for Action) that has all of that information.

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5:34am

Mon August 27, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Lexington Officials to Discuss New Litter Policy

A new tactic to reduce litter is under exploration in Lexington.  Currently, people who trash city streets may face criminal charges.  But, council member Peggy Henson, who serves on the ‘Keep Lexington Beautiful’ Commission, says a new state law allows the city to levy civil penalties.  “What we have found through our research is that if a person is charged with littering, most of the time it is thrown out in court, not always, depending upon the amount of litter,” said Henson.

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4:00pm

Thu August 23, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

TVA Responsible for Coal Ash Spill

An aerial view of the coal ash spill on December 23, 2008.
Tennessee Valley Authority

A federal judge has ruled that the Tennessee Valley Authority is responsible for a massive coal ash spill near Knoxville in 2008.

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3:58pm

Wed August 22, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Making Sense of India Coal Deal

Coal on a barge in the Kanawha River in 1973.
Harry Schaefer US National Archives and Records Administration

Last week, there was huge news for the coal industry. Kentucky coal producers signed a deal to export up to nine million tons of coal a year for the next 25 years, to the reported tune of $7 billion. I’ve already covered why the deal is good news for struggling Appalachian coal producers (but not good enough news to turn the industry around), the extent of Rep. Keith Hall’s involvement, and what the increased coal exports could mean for the environment. But now I’m hearing conflicting opinions about why this deal actually happened in the first place, and whether or not it makes sense.

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10:22am

Wed August 22, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Environment Factor in I-75 Connector

Jessamine County Transportation chairwoman Nancy Stone, left, and Jessamine County Magistrate Tim Vaughan, right, spoke with resident Walter Roycraft during Tuesday's workshop.
Mike Moore The Jessamine Journal

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials told Jessamine County residents Tuesday that environmental and other factors are being taking into consideration in the I-75 connector project. More than 300 people turned out for the workshop held at East Jessamine Middle School. Many of those in attendance were against the connector road and offered various reasons why.

9:22am

Wed August 22, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Court Strikes Down Rule on Cross-State Pollution

A three-judge panel has voted two to oneto strike down a new rule from the Environmental Protection Agency that would require some states to reduce pollution that travels across state lines. This puts the EPA in a difficult position.

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11:41am

Tue August 21, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Nearly All of Kentucky Now Officially in Drought

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated another 68 Kentucky counties, including Jefferson, as drought disaster areas. With the new drought declaration, Bell, Harlan, Leslie and Perry counties are the only Kentucky counties not officially in a drought. These counties are all clustered in the southeast part of the state.

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9:36am

Tue August 21, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Caffiene Kick in Ohio River Water

A lot more contaminants are being found in water from the Ohio River these days — and some of them might surprise you. "The last numbers I saw ... caffeine was the No. 1 thing that was showing up," Henderson Water Utility General Manager Bruce Shipley said during a public hearing Monday. "I forget what the numbers were, but it would take 10 cups of coffee to equal the amount of caffeine that you would be getting in a cup of water. That is the most prevalent, highest level of contaminant that's being seen at this point."

4:17pm

Mon August 20, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Oil Well Operators Face More Federal Charges

Two oil well operators accused of violating federal water quality laws in Hart County were arrested after a federal indictment unsealed Thursday charged them with two additional criminal counts. A federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment Wednesday against Charles Stinson of Horse Cave and Ralph Dowell of Edmonton, operators of Logsdon Valley Oil Co., with two counts of violation of an underground injection control program. The indictment accuses the two men of willfully injecting fluids into a sinkhole that was not permitted.

4:09pm

Mon August 20, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Kentucky Joins Water Pollution Trading Program

Kentucky's Division of Water has joined neighboring Indiana and Ohio in entering a water pollution credit trading program. Basically, this program would allow power plants and other industrial facilities to avoid some controls--and pollute a little more--if they pay farmers upstream to control their runoff.

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4:06pm

Mon August 20, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Asian Carp Invasion Could Profit Commonwealth

An Illinois-based fishery is working to open a plant in western Kentucky to process large amounts of Asian carp into fertilizer and food. Asian carp is an invasive species, and has been slowly working its way toward the Great Lakes.

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10:48am

Mon August 20, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Kentucky Joins Interstate Water Pollution Trading Program

Kentucky's Division of Water has joined neighboring Indiana and Ohio in entering a water pollution credit trading program. Basically, this program would allow power plants and other industrial facilities to avoid some controls--and pollute a little more--if they pay farmers upstream to control their runoff.

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2:06pm

Thu August 16, 2012

12:04pm

Mon August 13, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Closing in on Goal to Provide Municipal Water to Coal Communities

Every community with water supplies contaminated by pre 1982 mining operations will soon have access to city-water.   Since 1986, the state’s Division of Abandoned Mine Lands has funded new water utilities in 24 of Kentucky’s coalfield counties.   Within just a few years, Division Assistant Director Mark Meade says all eligible areas should have water works.

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6:27am

Fri August 10, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Kentucky's High Ranking in Power Plant Polution

Kentucky is number one on a list of the states with the most toxic air pollution from power plants.  The Natural Resources Defense Council analyzed the data self-reported by industries in the Toxic Release Inventory, which is managed by the federal government. The most recent data is from 2010, and that year, Kentucky’s power plants emitted more than 40 million pounds of toxic air pollution. This gives the state the dubious honor of being ranked number one in the nation.

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6:15am

Fri August 10, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Composting Contamination Concerns

Recent rains in the Lexington area have caused green growth in neighborhoods.  That has increased the disposal of grass clippings and other yard waste.   Workers in the city’s Division of Waste Management have noticed an increase in household waste and yard waste in plastic bags in the city’s plastic Lenny cart containers.  The use of plastic bags and other non compostable  items interfere with the composting process.  All household waste should be placed in the Herbie container.

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3:50pm

Tue August 7, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Environmentalists Sue for Strict Haze Reduction

Environmental groups are suing the Environmental Protection Agency, in hopes they can force federal regulators to crack down on air pollution in national parks. The groups—including Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, and the National Parks Conservation Association—filed a lawsuit in federal court this week.

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5:35pm

Mon August 6, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Uncertainty Follows EPA Court Decision

The announcement Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency had been defeated in a federal court case regarding surface coal mining permits has left some within the industry with mixed reactions. Now, those people are waiting to see what impact, if any, the decision may have on the future of coal mining in Central Appalachia and how the EPA may respond.

9:37am

Mon August 6, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

UK to Host Carbon Capture Workshop

Carbon capture has been out of the news lately, as many power plants have abandoned efforts to capture and store carbon dioxide. But the University of Kentucky says the technology is still relevant. UK’s Center for Applied Energy Research will host a carbon capture workshop in September. It’s meant for utility members and researchers to learn more about the technology.

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1:49pm

Fri August 3, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Environmental Attorney Rejects Federal Award

Kentucky environmental attorney Tom FitzGerald has turned down an award from the federal Office of Surface Mining. FitzGerald--also the head of the Kentucky Resources Council--was to be the first-ever recipient of the ECHO Award, named for the agency's stated principles of Environment, Community, Humanity, and Ownership. The award was given out yesterday in recognition of the 35th anniversary of the passage of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, or SMCRA.

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