Molly Peterson Environment Correspondent

Molly Peterson
Contact Molly Peterson

Molly Peterson is an award-winning environment correspondent at Southern California Public Radio.

Molly has reported, edited, directed programs, and produced stories for NPR and NPR shows including "Day to Day" and KQED's "California Report." She was a contributing producer for Nick Spitzer's weekly music program, "American Routes," and reported for "Living on Earth" in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricanes Katrina & Rita. Prior to joining KPCC, she produced a nationally-distributed radio documentary about New Orleans called "Finding Solid Ground."

A former LA Press Club radio journalist of the year, Molly reported on the faulty pumps installed at New Orleans canals after Hurricane Katrina. That project was a finalist for an Investigative Reporters and Editors award.

Molly worked for NPR American legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg during the Clinton Impeachment.

She studied international politics at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, and graduated from UC Hastings College of the Law. She is an inactive member of the State Bar of California.

Molly was lucky enough to grow up climbing northern California trees and fishing eastern Sierra waters.


Stories by Molly Peterson

LAUSD to Test Randomly for Lead

This week the L.A. Unified School District said it would start randomly testing drinking fountain water for lead. The district's under pressure from a TV news investigation and parents. KPCC's Molly Peterson explains why little bubbler fountains are such a big deal.

California Project Joins Worldwide Debate Over Use of Chemicals

California officials are rethinking the way we make and use chemicals. This year, the state's Green Chemistry Initiative will join a worldwide debate about when and how government should protect the environment and public health. In the second of two reports, KPCC's Molly Peterson talks with Californians taking part in the project.

Regulators Keep Track of Dangerous Chemicals in California

Just about every Californian carries around chemicals that aren't supposed to be there. The federal Centers for Disease Control tracks nearly 150 compounds that could be harmful in our bodies. We don't know much about many of them. Today and tomorrow, KPCC's Molly Peterson reports on the state's efforts to find out about the chemicals we're exposed to and what to do about them. She begins with Southern Californians who track chemicals in our environment.

Pair of Scientists Receive Prestigous Environmental Award

Two scientists who study human effects on the environment will receive a prestigious prize from the University of Southern California this weekend. KPCC's Molly Peterson has the story.

L.A. City Council Approves Park-Billboard Deal

A three-way deal approved Tuesday by the L.A. City Council will bring a wetlands park to south Los Angeles -- and billboards to the 10 Freeway south of downtown. KPCC's Molly Peterson explains the unusual tradeoff.

Report Finds L.A. County Keeping Better Track of Sewage Spills

Los Angeles County officials say a year's worth of work has transformed the way the county reports sewage spills. KPCC's Molly Peterson says agencies are still working out how to protect public health in local waters.

L.A. Harbor Commissioners Vote to Clear the Air

Harbor commissioners in L.A. unanimously voted Thursday to get rid of dirty trucks at the Port of Los Angeles and require trucking companies to hire drivers as employees. KPCC's Molly Peterson reports on the different ways drivers and trucking companies are responding to the vote.

L.A. City Council Votes Against Controversial Development

The Los Angeles City Council has dealt a setback to a massive proposed housing development at the intersections of the Five and 14 Freeways. KPCC's Molly Peterson reports that Wednesday's vote will stop city planners from working on the Las Lomas project.

Paving a Path for Wildlife

Southern California's coast is full of biological diversity, but urban sprawl could threaten hundreds of endangered plants and animals. KPCC's Molly Peterson reviewed a new report that describes ways to link open spaces to help those species thrive. She toured one of those linkages, starting near the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills.

Drugs in Drinking Water Nothing New

A wire service investigation that reported pharmaceuticals in water supplies across the country is raising questions about Southland water. KPCC's Molly Peterson says we've had drugs in our drinking water as long as we've had the drugs.

Air Quality Board: No New Wood-Burning Fireplaces

Southland air quality officials Friday unanimously passed a ban on new wood-burning fireplaces. KPCC's Molly Peterson reports the public hearing still had some sparks.

Groups Sue Over L.A. County Water Pollution

Regional water officials and local environmental groups are taking aim at pollution from urban runoff. KPCC's Molly Peterson explains how legal actions are putting Los Angeles county and its cities under the gun.

"Bubble Trouble" Leads to Uncounted Ballots in L.A. County

Los Angeles County Supervisors are instructing the Registrar of Voters to count as many nonpartisan mis-votes from Tuesday's primary as possible. Molly Peterson says it's not clear that's going to happen.

Some Nonpartisan Voters Experience Problems at Polls

Before the polls closed in Los Angeles County, some political groups and Democratic lawmakers started worrying that nonpartisan voters' ballots won't be correctly counted. KPCC's Molly Peterson says some voters are worried too.

Governor's Budget Would Close 48 State Parks

Governor Schwarzenegger's budget would close one out of every five state parks to deal with the state's financial troubles. KPCC's Molly Peterson has more on the plan and the reaction.