Op-ed written by Deborah Payne for the Daily Yonder, find the original here.
In both Appalachia and Ecuador, mineral extraction threatens the health and safety of residents. The question now is "can the people in harm's way work with the one potentially doing the harm to figure out solutions"?
A lot has happened in the 50 years since Lyndon Johnson brought national attention to rural poverty in Eastern Kentucky. But some things haven't changed.
Folks still don’t drink the water.
Commentary written by Deborah Payne for the Courier-Journal, find the original version here.
Ask any parent of an asthmatic child waiting for treatment in an emergency room whether or not they've worried about the expense and they will likely tell you it's a hit to the family budget. With as many as 1 in 7 Kentucky kids suffering from asthma, our citizens spend millions of dollars annually to treat the condition, largely triggered by poor air quality.
Op-ed written by Deborah Payne for the Lexington Herald-Leader, find original version here.
Ask any parent of an asthmatic child waiting for treatment in an emergency room whether or not they've worried about the expense, and they will likely tell you it's a hit to the family budget.
With as many as 1 in 7 Kentucky kids suffering from asthma, our citizens spend millions of dollars annually to treat the condition, largely triggered by poor air quality.
Original story by Bill Estep for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Find the original article here.
Coal interests and Republican politicians in Kentucky cheered Monday's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that federal environmental regulators failed to properly consider the costs of complying with a rule to cut mercury and other pollutants from power plants.
Environmentalists, however, decried the decision as a setback for public health.
Op-ed written by KEF's Deborah Payne, as an op-ed for the Courier Journal. Find the original article here.
In a recent opinion editorial, Sen. Mitch McConnell shared his thoughts on how to comply with the EPA's plan to protect our commonwealth from a shifting climate: Don't do anything. Don't make a plan for the future. And by all means, don't pay attention to that pesky tsunami of challenges that climate change will inevitably leave on our front doorstep. How forward thinking.
Turning our back on this tsunami, however, will not change the new norm of increased drought and food insecurity, more intense and damaging storms, and hotter, riskier summers. The reality is, while McConnell is encouraging us to drag our heels, there's really no sense in wearing out a perfectly good pair of shoes.
Written by KEF Health Coordinator Deborah Payne as an op-ed for the Lexington Herald-Leader; find the original op-ed here.
It was Christmas time in 2008 when the wall of a coal combustion waste impoundment pond collapsed, inundating Kingston, Tenn., with over 1 billion gallons of toxic sludge.
Last month, almost six years later, the Environmental Protection Agency released a long-awaited rule on the classification and management of coal combustion waste, or coal ash, the byproduct that results when coal is burned to produce electricity.
The development of the rule involved an extended series of public hearings, a comment period and then a long wait — over two years — to hear how new federal policies would impact the way we manage coal ash. Health advocates hoped for better storage practices, a classification as a toxic waste and federal oversight.
And the verdict is in: Industry will remain in charge of its own practices, which means, without much oversight things may roll on with "business as usual."
Guest Blog Post written by KEF Health Coordinator Deborah Payne for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. Find the original blog post here.
In 1957, the price of gas was just 24 cents a gallon, Elvis Presley purchased a mansion in Memphis and called it Graceland, and the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2, the first rocket ship to carry an animal into space. It was in that same year that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) finished construction on the Shawnee Fossil Plant, a coal-fired facility in western Kentucky built to provide energy to the United States Energy Corporation’s (USEC) uranium enrichment plant. Now, almost 56 years later, one year after the closure of the USEC plant and within the context of a rapidly changing energy market, TVA must decide what to do with two of its nine remaining units. Driven by a consent decree with EPA and environmental groups, the plant must either retrofit the units to meet new air quality standards or retire these units.
Written by Heather Warman and Deborah Payne as an op-editorial to the Courier-Journal. Find the original op-ed here.
For the first time in public debate with Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Sen. Mitch McConnell vocalized why coal is no longer king in this country. It’s because it affects our health. Wow. Of course McConnell was actually quoting his colleague, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on why he would not move new policies to expand coal in the US: “We talk about cost competitiveness, but one thing we fail to talk about is the costs that you don’t see on the bottom line. That is: Coal makes us sick.” Yes, a few words of truth did actually roll out of Washington, D.C.
Story written by Erica Peterson for WFPL. Find the original story here.
A new analysis from an environmental group takes a deep look at the potential health consequences of either retrofitting or retiring a Western Kentucky power plant.
The Shawnee Fossil Plant is near Paducah, on the Ohio River. It’s a coal-fired power plant operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Right now, TVA is preparing to retrofit the plant with pollution controls so it can keep burning coal and comply with federal air pollution regulations. But in a draft document that will be finalized later this year, the company said it was evaluating the future of the Shawnee plant.
And those two possible scenarios made Shawnee an attractive candidate for a Health Impact Assessment, said Deborah Payne of the Kentucky Environmental Foundation.
Article written by Allison Crawford for WKMS. Find the original story here.
The Kentucky Environmental Foundation has released its Health Impact Assessment for Paducah's Shawnee Fossil Fuel Plant. The report comes as the Commonwealth braces for new EPA regulations on coal plant emissions.
The assessment examines health as determined by environmental and social factors if the plant were to be retrofitted or retired. The study included input from a diverse group of local stakeholders to keep it community oriented. While it recognizes the plant’s financial impacts as an employer, it also takes into account how its emissions can cause and exacerbate chronic disease.
KEF in the News
We love making news; here you will find media pieces that highlight our work.