There’s no dearth of research on health disparities in Appalachia. But a newly-formed group of researchers at Virginia Tech says there is a dearth of scientific research into why these disparities exist, and how environmental factors could be contributing.
Predicting the imminent arrival of an insect species that could devastate Kentucky’s sweet sorghum crops, the state Department of Agriculture has declared an emergency and is letting the commonwealth’s farmers apply a new pesticide to protect their plants. But the pesticide in question — Sivanto Prime — has come under fire from environmental groups who say it hasn’t been properly vetted and could pose a risk to bees and other animals.
After being name checked in two of President Donald Trump’s recent speeches, a new coal mine opened in Pennsylvania last week. But, while the new mine may be cause for local celebration and useful for political rhetoric, it isn’t a harbinger of what’s to come in Kentucky.
The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet has agreed to hold off on letting electric utilities transition to the state’s new, relaxed coal ash rules until litigation is complete, except under special circumstances.
At several power plants around Kentucky, coal ash is mixed with water and stored in gigantic ponds. These ponds typically hold millions of gallons of sludge that contains dangerous contaminants like mercury, cadmium and arsenic. They sit in and around residential neighborhoods. And as WFPL’s Erica Peterson reports, many people living near the plants are still in the dark about what would happen in the event of an emergency.