A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky’s groundwater pollution resulting from coal ash ranks among worst in U.S., new report shows

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service A power plant outside of Louisville ranks among the top 10 most polluted in the country for groundwater contamination by coal ash, according to a new report. Coal ash is the toxic leftover byproduct of burning coal, and coal plants produce millions of tons of it each year. The study by the Environmental Integrity Project and the environmental law firm Earthjustice...

Energy and Environment Cabinet announces funds availability for watershed restoration projects

Funding is available for projects that help clean up polluted streams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater and for projects that protect water resources. The funds can be used for watershed restoration projects, watershed plan development, and other projects that reduce and prevent runoff pollution. Runoff pollution, also known as nonpoint source pollution (NPS), is the number one contributor to water pollution...

EPA’s proposed changes to Clean Water Act could stymie Kentucky’s waste and pollution fights

By Eric Tegethoff Public News Service Some Kentuckians are concerned that proposed changes to the Clean Water Act could set back the fight against waste and pollution in their own backyards. The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a replacement for the Waters of the United States rule, lifting federal protections from water sources that are seasonal and wetlands that are not connected by...

New life: Dying trees become useful, beautiful objects for University of Kentucky students, faculty and staff

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky Urban life can take its toll on a tree. Pollution, trenching to lay underground utility lines, soil compaction, it’s all very hard on an old tree, and the red oak tree in front of the Agricultural Sciences Building on the University of Kentucky campus had seen better days. But its story won’t end in piles of mulch. Instead, its wood will find its way into...

The Learning Center’s Environmental Stewardship class caps successful gardening season

As the school year winds down, students at The Learning Center can really see how their work has flourished in the revitalized garden behind the Price Road building. The finale of the semester was to add native Kentucky plants that will attract monarch butterflies, insects, birds, and other pollinators to help the vegetables thrive. The Environmental Stewardship class braved mid-May’s hot sun to...

Coal billionaire Justice agrees to pay $900,000 penalty for polluting rivers, largely in Kentucky

Southern Coal billionaire owner Jim Justice, the Democratic nominee for governor of West Virginia, has agreed to pay a $900,000 civil penalty to settle allegations that his company’s mining operations “illegally polluted Appalachian rivers and streams,” Jeff Sturgeon reports for The Roanoke Times. Federal officials said they documented 23,693 violations, largely in Kentucky (nearly...

Future is in the water, literally, as Madison County 5th-graders turn creek into classroom

Waco Elementary fifth-graders wade through Cane's Creek in Madison County to study the importance of healthy waterways. (Photo by Carol Spence, UK College of Agriculture)   By Carol Spence University of Kentucky   Scott Darst can see the future. It’s not difficult, because at the moment the future is standing all around him, ankle deep in stream water and squealing with delight when another...