Tom Knapke
“Many people have never seen the river up close. We’re looking to change that.”
Tom Knapke
Environmental Coordinator
Vermillion County, Ind.
LIVING IT
READ MORE

Living it: Go-to guy for wildlife

Tom Knapke isn't one to talk about sustainability. He'd rather show you.

As environmental coordinator at Cayuga Station, Knapke has been showing his Indiana neighbors for years how power plants and the surrounding wildlife can thrive together.

Case in point: the station's popular Eagle Viewing Day event. Eagles have returned to Cayuga for the past 25 years — fishing in the warm discharge waters of the power plant. About 24,000 visitors have flocked to the station to see them in the wild since the first event 18 years ago.

In partnership with the American Eagle Foundation, Knapke has also helped the organization’s “Birds of Prey” show travel to 39 local schools.

In 2012, he worked with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the local Ducks Unlimited chapter to band more than 150 geese near the station, to track their migration. About 30 schoolchildren were there to help.

And through the station’s “Wonders of the Wetlands” program, Knapke teaches students about river ecology, wetlands functions, vegetation and the history of the area.

No wonder the station was named a 2012 Friend of Conservation by the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

“Many people have lived in the Wabash River area all their lives, but have never actually been down to the river to see it up close,” said Knapke. “It may take awhile, but we’re looking to change that.”

» Close article

Challenges
  • Keep rates competitive while making investments to reduce our impact on the environment
  • Monitor, influence and prepare for new regulations that will affect our generation fleet
Opportunities
  • Reduce our carbon intensity by retiring and replacing older plants with new, cleaner generation
  • Support U.S. energy policy that benefits the environment and ensures the country remains competitive in the global economy
  • Partner to effectively manage the limited water supplies that exist in some of our regions
  • Continue to participate fully in industry efforts to apply lessons learned from the Fukushima event in Japan
2012 Highlights
  • Reduced sulfur dioxide emissions by 83 percent and nitrogen oxides emissions by 64 percent since 2005
  • Reduced emissions from the legacy Duke Energy vehicle fleet by 41 percent since 2006
  • Reduced 2010-2012 average electricity consumption at 13 of our largest legacy Duke Energy commercial buildings by 17 percent, compared to the 2005-2007 baseline average
  • Recycled over 34,000 tons of materials, or about 73 percent of legacy Duke Energy’s U.S. solid-waste stream