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

Public Hearings Held on Urban Oil Drilling

The price at the pump isn't the only way the oil economy is affecting people in Los Angeles. Energy companies are increasingly interested in drilling in California's urban areas, including the Inglewood Oil field in Baldwin Hills. L.A. County planners are figuring out how to permit future drilling and protect the people who live nearby. The second of four scheduled public hearings begins at 6 o'clock Thursday night. KPCC's Molly Peterson has more on what's at stake.

Local Ports Try to Sign Up Truckers for 'Clean Trucks' Program

In six weeks, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will stop letting older diesel trucks pick up cargo. That ban is part of the Clean Trucks program. Environmental activists and truck drivers are protesting some of that program's employment rules today during a Clean Truck Center dedication on Terminal Island. The trucking industry is suing over other provisions. That means the port complex is working hard to get trucking companies to participate. KPCC's Molly Peterson has the story.

Trucking Group Sues to Stop Port 'Clean Truck' Plan

A national trucking trade group has sued the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles over the harbors' Clean Trucks program. KPCC's Molly Peterson reports.

L.A. Department of Water and Power Project Stirs Old Tensions

A new power project is stirring up old tensions between Los Angeles and those who live as far away from the city as they can get. "Green Path North" will bring renewable energy from the Salton Sea to L.A. But its transmission lines have Morongo Valley communities seeing red. The L.A. Department of Water and Power re-launched the project with a public workshop last weekend. KPCC's Molly Peterson went to Yucca Valley to take a look.

Los Angeles Park Introduces Birdwatching to Latino Families

The third biggest park in Los Angeles sits among some of the most densely-populated, park-poor neighborhoods in the northeast part of the city. But many Angelenos have never heard of Debs Park. Tonight, the Audubon Center at Debs Park will continue trying to change that with a series of bird walks created for local families. KPCC's Molly Peterson offers a preview.

Birdwatchers Fear Fireworks' Impact

In Marina del Rey Friday night, Los Angeles County will launch its annual fireworks show from a barge in the jetty. This year, some Westsiders will train their eyes on colonies of sea and shore birds on either side of the jetty - to see whether the show's harming the birds. KPCC's Molly Peterson has more.

Watts Pool Reopens After Violence

Los Angeles recreation and parks officials are hoping to head off security problems at the public pool on 109th street in Watts with more police and neighborhood patrols. KPCC's Molly Peterson reports on the city's plans.

Native Plants Could Suffer Due to Climate Change

Most of California's native plants are very vulnerable to climate change, says a new study by researchers at Duke and the University of California. KPCC's Molly Peterson reports that climate conditions the study predicts could force plants to seek unexpected new homes.

California Horse Racing Industry Works to Make Sport Safer

Big Brown, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, chases after the last jewel in horseracing's Triple Crown on Saturday. If he wins the Belmont Stakes in New York, he'll be the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years. But Big Brown's success is tempered by the on-track death of Eight Belles. The filly that finished second in the Derby broke two ankles just after the race ended and was put down moments later. Racing deaths have marred the "Sport of Kings" in recent years. KPCC's Molly Peterson reports California's racing industry is leading the country in making sure horses here run safely.

Large Wetlands Project Opens in Long Beach

Los Angeles County officials opened 50 acres of wetlands in Long Beach Thursday. The $7 million Dominguez Gap project will protect land from floods and irrigate native plants with stormwater. KPCC's Molly Peterson has more.

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.