Reaction to Proposed EPA Regs, Making Lawns Healthier for Waterways, Growing Hemp in Ky. and More

Jun 6, 2014

Pennsylvania coal miners mull over the proposed new EPA carbon rules.

Solar Power is too expensive for many non-profits but a West Virginia organization is making it possible.

And, Kentucky farmers have new crop option- hemp.

Coal Miners React to Proposed Pollution Regulations. There was a huge cry across Appalachian coal producing state this past week after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules to lower carbon emissions from coal fired power plants. The EPA wants to set goals for the amount each state must lower pollution levels, leaving it up to the states to determine exactly how they’ll achieve their goal. The rules would hit the coal industry particularly hard because for the first time ever, the federal government is proposing to limit climate-altering gases from power plants. In Greene County in southwestern Pennsylvania, one in five jobs is in the coal industry. The Allegheny Front's Reid Frazier went there to find out how coal country reacted to the EPA's new rules. 

Some Scientists Voice Support for New Carbon Regs. But some members of the scientific community say climate change is here and now is the time to curb its effects. West Virginia Public Radio’s Ashton Marra spoke with, Angela Ledford Anderson, the Director of the Climate and Energy Program for the Union of Concerned Scientists, a group that supports the new regulations.

New Group Spreads the Gospel of Solar. While the debate about how the new EPA rules will impact the economies of coal producing states across the region goes on a newly formed organization in West Virginia is hoping its efforts to help churches, government buildings, libraries and other non-profits acquire solar power will help bring new jobs to the state. West Virginia Public Radio's Cecelia Mason has more.

Perfect Lawns Lead to Imperfect Streams. With spring comes the need--- or maybe just desire—to create the perfect, soft, grassy green lawn devoid of weeds. But the practice of putting weed and feed on lawns, as well as fertilizer on farmland, can lead to algal blooms in places like Lake Erie and the Chesapeake Bay.  More recently, the spotlight has focused on lawn care and, as the Allegheny Front’s Julie Grant reports, International regulators and others are pushing Pennsylvania to ban some lawn fertilizers.

West Virginia Couple Creates a Perfect Honeybee Habitat. While the use of fertilizers can adversely impact our waterways, pesticides use is harming the honey bee population. A third of all of our foods and beverages come from crops pollinated by these insects. With the growing concern that pesticides and certain farming practices are at the heart of the crisis, more and more gardeners are stepping up to try to support pollinators in their own yards and fields. West Virginia Public Radio’s Glynis Board visited one home in Morgantown that’s a honeybee’s heaven.

A New Crop is Available for Kentucky Farmers to Grow. This year’s growing season brings a new crop to Kentucky, but it’s not without controversy. After a brief legal battle that made national headlines, nearly 300 pounds of imported Italian hemp seeds were finally released to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture after they were seized by federal customs agents. Now that the seeds have made their way to pilot projects across the state, larger questions remain about the impact hemp will have on the economy. Kentucky Public Radio's Jonathan Meador reports.

Do you like yard sales? Well it's the season when there’s no doubt a yard sale somewhere in your area just about every week. And this weekend all across Kentucky there are 400 miles worth of bargains to be had.  As WEKU'S Stu Johnson reports, this marks the eleventh U-S 68 cross state yard sale.