Environment

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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Environment
3:10 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Kentucky Coal Plant Makes Top 10 Polluter List

The coal-fired power plant in Muhlenberg County, Ky

A Tennessee Valley Authority coal-fired power plant in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky has landed on an environmental group's list of top polluters.

The report Thursday from the Environmental Integrity Project says the TVA Paradise Fossil Plant near Drakesboro emitted 1,505 pounds of arsenic, 1,907 pounds of lead and 1,409 pounds of chromium in 2011. The plant was third on the group's metal emissions list that used the most recent data available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The 2,200-megawatt plant is the largest in Kentucky by wattage output. TVA said in 2011 it is spending $500 million to upgrade pollution controls on two generating units at the plant. TVA's website says the work was to be completed by last month.

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Environment
9:19 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Army Corps of Engineers Wants Input on Access to Wolf Creek Dam, Other Locks and Dams

The Wolf Creek Dam is a multi-purpose dam on the Cumberland River in the western part of Russell County, KY.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning a public meeting in January to solicit comments about restricting access in hazardous waters immediately upstream and downstream of Wolf Creek Dam and all Corps-owned locks and dams in Kentucky and Tennessee.

The dates for the meetings have not been set.

The Commonwealth-Journal reports that the Corps is concerned about hazardous water areas above and below dams in the Nashville District. The waters pose a high level of risk for the public because of the hydroelectric and lock operations often begin with little or no notice.

Public information meetings are planned at Somerset, Paducah, Nashville and Cookeville, Tenn.

Environment
1:13 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Kentucky Coal Plant's Upgrade to Create 700 Jobs

LG&E's Mill Creek Generating Station

State leaders say a nearly $1 billion project to update pollution controls at a massive Louisville power plant will be a boost for Kentucky's coal industry. The upgrades at LG&E's Mill Creek Generating Station in southwestern Jefferson County are expected to add about 700 construction jobs. They will also allow the 1,400-megawatt plant to continue to burn coal by meeting stricter federal air regulations that go in force in 2016.

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Sustainable Building
2:58 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Open House Scheduled for Mammoth Cave Visitor's Center

Mammoth Cave National Park entrance
Credit WKU Public Radio

Officials at Mammoth Cave National Park will host an open house Tuesday, November 27 th, for the renovated Visitor's Center at the world-famous park. The renovation work at the Center has been completed under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design guidelines, and the project will be submitted for gold-level certification, as a sustainable, "green" building.

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Environment
8:22 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Mammoth Cave Ready to Show Off New Visitor Center

A view from inside Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park has completed its visitor center renovation and exhibit installation and is inviting the public to take a look. An open house is scheduled for 3:30 pm to 5 pm Tuesday. The park says Phase I cost $6 million, provided from park fees, and included demolition of the administrative building to make way for a large lobby, information desk, ticket sales and restrooms.

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Environment
2:37 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Expert: Kentucky Earthquake Not Due to Mining

A University of Kentucky geologist says the 4.3 magnitude earthquake that shook eastern Kentucky over the weekend was too deep to be induced by the region's underground mining activity.

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Environment
6:54 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Crews to Remove Hazardous Materials from Kentucky Train Derailment

A train derailed in southern Jefferson County near the border with Hardin County. Crews have been cleaning up a chemical fire that resulted from the accident.
Credit Kentucky News Network

Authorities say crews will start removing hazardous materials next week from a train that derailed on the outskirts of Louisville nearly two weeks ago. A spokeswoman for the Louisville-Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency says the plan to transfer hydrogen fluoride and butadiene from stricken rail tank cars has been approved.

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