Health Impact Assessment of The Shawnee Fossil Plant (2014) 

Fall 2014–The Kentucky Environmental Foundation has completed a study examining how retiring or retrofitting the aging, coal-fired Shawnee Fossil Plant could impact health in Kentucky communities. KEF’s study found that shuddering the plant could help reduce disease often caused by the plant’s harmful emissions, but that its full retirement could have other negative health consequences associated with the loss of employment opportunities and tax revenues.  The health impact assessment (HIA) provides recommendations for mitigating the health impacts of either retiring or retrofitting the plant. 

The Kentucky Environmental Foundation’s Health Impact Assessment is a timely study. Many of Kentucky’s coal-fired power plants will soon face tough decisions as they attempt to comply with both MATS and forthcoming carbon emissions (111d) regulations. The HIA report acknowledged that even with regulations, coal-fired power plants continue to produce bi-products that affect health. Therefore, this study is an important tool that could help city officials and power companies to consider health as they begin to weigh their options for sources of energy. The report will be presented to TVA, elected officials and impacted community members within the coming month.  

More information on KEF’s latest HIA available here
To view the Press Release, click here.

For questions regarding the HIA, please contact Deborah Payne at 1-859-353-7577 or at

Health Impact Assessment of Coal and Clean Energy Options in Kentucky (2012)

In spring 2012, KEF released the “Health Impact Assessment of Coal and Clean Energy Options in Kentucky,” a collaborative report by Dr. Elizabeth Walker and KEF Energy & Health Coordinator Deborah Payne. The study received widespread media attention and has served both as a tool for Kentuckians to explore the health impacts of energy policy options and a call to prioritize public health when making energy policy decisions.

Wasting Our Waterways 2012: Toxic Industrial Pollution and the Unfulfilled Promise of the Clean Water Act

Industrial facilities continue to dump millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s rivers, streams, lakes and ocean waters each year – threatening both the environment and human health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pollution from industrial facilities is responsible for threatening or fouling water quality in more than 14,000 miles of rivers and more than 220,000 acres of lakes, ponds and estuaries nationwide.

The continued release of large volumes of toxic chemicals into the nation’s waterways shows that the nation needs to do more to reduce the threat posed by toxic chemicals to our environment and our health and to ensure that our waterways are fully protected against harmful pollution.

No Silver Lining: An Investigation into Bisphenol A in Canned Foods (2011)

Eating common canned foods is exposing consumers to levels of bisphenol A (BPA) equal to levels shown to cause health problems in laboratory animals, according to a new study released today by The National Work Group for Safe Markets, a coalition of public health and environmental health groups. The study, No Silver Lining, tested food from 50 cans from 19 US states and one Canadian province for BPA contamination. Over 90% of the cans tested had detectable levels of BPA, some at higher levels than have been detected in previous studies.

The canned foods tested were brand name fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, soups, tomato products, sodas, and milks, which together represent “real-life” meal options for a wide range of North American consumers. The cans were purchased from retail stores and were chosen from report participants’ pantry shelves, and sent to an independent laboratory for testing. One can of DelMonte green beans had the highest levels of BPA ever found in canned food, at 1,140 parts per billion.

Baby’s Toxic Bottle: Bisphenol A Leaching from Popular Baby Bottles (2008)

Bisphenol A, a hormone-disrupting chemical that is the building block of polycarbonate plastic, has been found to leach out of six major brands of popular baby bottles sold in the United States and Canada. Baby’s Toxic Bottle: Bisphenol A Leaching from Popular Brands of Baby Bottles, commissioned by a coalition of U.S. and Canadian environmental health organizations, tested plastic baby bottles in the U.S. and Canada, including products made by Avent, Disney/The First Years, Dr. Brown’s, Evenflo, Gerber, and Playtex, for leaching of bisphenol A. The U.S. bottles were purchased in nine states at major retailers: Babies”R”Us, CVS, Target, Toys”R”Us, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart. Tests found these popular bottle brands leach levels of bisphenol A (5-8 parts per billion) when heated. Laboratory experiments with animals show that exposure to this level of bisphenol A causes a range of adverse effects.