Environment

Environment
3:04 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Henderson County Region Gets Grant Funding to Boost Recycling Programs

Henderson County is the recipient of $1.4 million in grants aimed at improving recycling efforts in the region.

More than $900,000 will go towards the Tri-County Alliance Recycling Center, which covers Henderson, Webster, and Union counties. The Center’s goal is to reduce the amount of recyclables that are dumped in area landfills.

The new funding will go to create one large, centralized recycling center that will collect, process, and market recyclables. The new 3,000-square-foot recycling center is currently under construction in Henderson.

As part of the grants announced Wednesday, the Hugh Edward Sandefur Training Center is receiving $500,000. The nonprofit serves Daviess, Henderson, Union, and Webster counties and provides employment training to those with disabilities.

The Center recently signed an agreement to reclaim and recycle electronic waste in western Kentucky and southern Indiana.

Environment
1:30 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

LG&E, Charah Partner to Create New Agriculture Pellet from Coal Byproduct

A partnership between LG&E and KU and a Kentucky company could help both the energy and agriculture sectors, Kentucky leaders announced Monday.

Kentucky company Charah  is opening up a facility in Louisville that will take leftover gypsum from the Mill Creek Power Station and turn it into a sulfur product —such as fertilizers—for Kentucky farmers.

Kentucky agriculture is in need of sulfur products to help grow strong crops, state agriculture leaders said. The new venture will also help reduce a byproduct from coal-fired power plants.

Many of Kentucky's top leaders turned out for the announcement, including U.S. Senator Rand Paul, who says the new product is great for multiple needs, including the economy and the environment.

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Environment
3:49 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Glasgow Hopes to Turn Methane from Landfills into Electricity, Avoid Sending it Into Atmosphere

The city of Glasgow is joining forces with regional power providers to make better economic and environmental use of methane emitted from local landfills.

Following a vote this week by the Glasgow City Council, mayor Rhonda Riherd Trautman can now open negotiations with Farmers Rural Electric Cooperative and East Kentucky Power Cooperative to create a landfill gas generation project.

Currently, methane emitted from garbage at local landfills is vented into the atmosphere. Under the new plan, methane would be piped into a generator and converted into electricity.

Trautman says the city is trying to act in advance of new federal regulations regarding methane that go into effect in 2016.

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Environment
7:07 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Kentucky Receives $40 Million to Combat Coal Mining Hazards

The Office of Surface Mining has awarded Kentucky a $40 million grant to eliminate environmental hazards caused by past coal mining.

The money will go to the Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands

The grants go to 28 coal-producing states annually. They're funded by a fee on mined coal and are intended to repair unstable slopes, eliminate acid mine drainage and restore damaged water supplies.

Kentucky Natural Resources Commissioner Steve Hohmann said the grant money has been used in past years to close mine shafts and portals, put out mine fires, eliminate dangerous highwalls and subsidence and to provide drinking water to residents in mining communities.

Environment
2:44 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Bat Disease Found in Two More State Parks

A disease responsible for killing millions of bats in North America has spread to caves at two state parks in eastern Kentucky that are homes to federally endangered bats, parks officials said Friday.

White-nose syndrome has been detected in caves at Carter Caves State Resort Park and Kingdom Come State Park, said state parks department spokesman Gil Lawson. Small numbers of bats have died so far from the disease, he said.

It's the latest red flag in the fight to prevent the spread of the disease in Kentucky, home to large numbers of bats that hibernate in a vast network of caves.

The disease has been found in 10 Kentucky counties - Bell, Breckinridge, Carter, Christian, Edmonson, Hart, Letcher, Trigg, Warren and Wayne, Lawson said. White-nose was confirmed earlier this year at Cumberland Gap National Historic Park and in one of the caves at Mammoth Cave National Park.

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Environment
12:04 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

White-Nose Syndrome Hits Bats at Cumberland Gap

View from Pinnacle Overlook within Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

White-nose syndrome, a disease deadly to bats, has been confirmed at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.

Park Superintendent Mark Woods said laboratory tests on three bats from the park's more than 30 caves tested positive for the disease.White-nose syndrome is known to be transmitted primarily from bat to bat, but it can be carried between caves by humans on clothing, footwear, and caving gear.

White-nose syndrome is not known to affect people, pets, or livestock but is harmful or lethal to hibernating bats.

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Environment
9:22 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Kentucky Lawmaker Wants to Disincentivize Use of Natural Gas by Power Plants

A Kentucky lawmaker has filed a bill that would block automatic utility rate increases for power plants that use natural gas.

The Courier-Journal reports Democratic Rep. Jim Gooch of Providence, the chairman of the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee, is sponsoring the measure that would prevent utilities from utilizing a provision in state law called the "fuel adjustment clause", which allows utilities to adjust what it charges customers based on changes in cost of fuel or purchased power.

In an interview with the newspaper, Gooch called the measure a "consumer protection bill."

Gooch represents a House seat that covers Daviess, Hopkins, McLean, and Webster counties.

Environment
1:57 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Deadly Bat Disease Reaches Mammoth Cave National Park

Credit National Park Service

The first confirmed case of a fatal bat disease has been found in Mammoth Cave National Park.

White Nose Syndrome is a fungal disease that has killed millions of bats across North America.  Nearly all infected bats die, and so far scientists haven’t been able to stop the spread of the fungus.

Now, an infected bat has been found in Long Cave. The cave is within the boundaries of Mammoth Cave National Park, about five miles from the famous Mammoth Cave.

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Environment
2:03 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Kentucky Ag Commissioner: No New EPA Rules on Farm Runoff

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer

Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner is leveling criticism against the Environmental Protection Agency regarding a pollution control plan in Jefferson County.

In an interview with the Courier-Journal, James Comer came out swinging against water quality sampling conducted for the Floyds Fork Pollution Control Plan. The waterway serves as a focal point for Louisville’s newest string of parkland, but it currently fails to meet federal water quality standards. Comer says he’s worried that water quality sampling done at the site could result in new EPA regulations.

The Monroe County native says he’s especially concerned at the prospect of the EPA imposing new rules on how much fertilizer farmers can spread on their fields. But EPA officials and the Kentucky Division of Water both say the federal government doesn’t have the authority to impose limits on fertilizer applications and farm runoff.

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Environment
9:35 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

2012 Was Warmest Year On Record For The Lower 48

According to the National Climatic Data Center, 2012 marked the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States. The year included a record warm spring, the second warmest summer, the fourth warmest winter and a warmer-than-average autumn. The average temperature for 2012 was 55.3°F, 3.2°F above the 20th century average, and 1.0°F above 1998, the previous warmest year.

The average precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. for 2012 was 26.57 inches, 2.57 inches below average, making it the 15th driest year on record for the nation. At its peak in July, the drought of 2012 engulfed 61 percent of the nation with the Mountain West, Great Plains, and Midwest experiencing the most intense drought conditions. The dry conditions proved ideal for wildfires in the West, charring 9.2 million acres — the third highest on record.

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