A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Environmental Protection Agency awards $1.7 million in brownfield grants to Kentucky communities

Gov. Andy Beshear and Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman on Monday announced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected five projects to receive $1.7 million in brownfield assessment grant funding. “Even as we make sacrifices to protect the health and lives of our fellow Kentuckians during the coronavirus pandemic, these grants show our collective desire to...

Ozone season is officially here, outdoor burning restricted in several Kentucky counties

Ozone season has begun and for some Kentucky counties that means taking extra care to learn before you burn. From May 1 through Sept. 30, open burning in Boone, Boyd, Bullitt, Campbell, Jefferson, Kenton, Lawrence, and Oldham counties is restricted to protect air quality. This is especially important this year as Kentucky fights through the Coronavirus pandemic. Ground-level ozone is a summertime health...

Jim Claypool Art and Conservation Writing Contest winners learn importance of wildlife

The Kentucky Division of Conservation, in partnership with the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts and the Kentucky Farm Bureau, recently honored the winners of the 2019 Jim Claypool Art and Conservation Writing Contest. The contests’ theme, Things That Fly, helped students from across the state learn more about the importance of wildlife in Kentucky. The students used that knowledge...

Kentucky’s forest fire hazard season is here; wildfires a concern during wet weather conditions

Despite one of the wettest winters on record, Kentucky’s forest fire hazard season has begun, and forestry personnel hope it will ‘spark’ a renewed sense of vigilance among Kentucky residents. “Even with the heavy precipitation this winter, dead grass, leaves and twigs can dry out quickly and act as fuel for fire,” said James Wright, director of the Division of Forestry. “It is very important...

Beshear, Goodman announce $4.5 million in tobacco settlement funds for projects on Kentucky farms

Gov. Andy Beshear and Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman have announced that the Kentucky Soil and Water Conservation Commission has selected 705 projects in 82 counties to receive a total of $4,554,818 in tobacco settlement funds for projects on Kentucky farms. The majority of the projects being funded will install fencing for facilitation of rotational grazing or watering facilities...

Henry County couple’s beloved farm a perfect gift; 342 acres donated as state nature preserve

The land in rural Henry County had everything that Eugene Lacefield was looking for. It was an interesting plot — complete with woods, hills and hollows — the last farm on a dead-end road. So, he and his wife Mary Margaret Lowe purchased the land in 1978. During the next few decades, they perfected their eco-friendly farmhouse. They spent afternoons picnicking next to Drennon Creek and evenings...

Charles Snavely: EEC has reduced bureaucracy without sacrificing environmental protection

The purpose of government in a free society is to serve the people. It is the responsibility of such government to provide that service in an ethical, diligent, and effective manner. For the past four years the agencies of the Bevin Administration worked each day to do just that. The Energy and Environment Cabinet often flies below the radar of public visibility. Our mission is to protect the health...

Drought is officially over in all 120 Kentucky counties; recent rains eliminated deficits

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and the Office of the State Climatologist, in coordination with the Kentucky Drought Mitigation Team, have removed drought declarations for all 120 counties in the Commonwealth. Recent rains have eliminated precipitation deficits and improved stream flows and soil moisture levels. Precipitation events since Oct. 3, when the statewide Level 1 and Level 2...

Kentucky Division of Waste Management accepting application for illegal dump and litter abatement

The Energy and Environment Cabinet’s (EEC) Division of Waste Management (DWM) is calling for grant applications for two of its signature programs, illegal dump cleanup and the cleanup of litter along public roads. The Illegal Open Dump Grant has funded the cleanup of 2,171 dumpsites since 2006, and the Litter Abatement Grant. Since 2003, state and local governments have cleaned more than 2.8 million...

Kentucky Division of Waste Management announces recipients of grants from Waste Tire Trust Fund

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) has awarded $500,471 in grant funding for benches, picnic tables, landscaping, walking trails and pour-in-place surfacing projects that utilize recycled waste tires. The grants are available from the Waste Tire Trust Fund, established by the 1998 Kentucky General Assembly, which receives a $2 fee from the sale of each new tire in the state. The fund...

PSC to hold public meeting May 6 on rate increase requested by Kentucky American Water

The Kentucky Public Service Commission will conduct a meeting on May 6 at Bryan Station High School in Lexington to provide information on and receive public comments about the pending rate increase requested by the Kentucky American Water Co. The meeting will begin with an information session during which PSC staff will explain how rates are set and the PSC’s review process. The presentation will...

Energy and Environment Cabinet announces funds availability for watershed restoration projects

Funding is available for projects that help clean up polluted streams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater and for projects that protect water resources. The funds can be used for watershed restoration projects, watershed plan development, and other projects that reduce and prevent runoff pollution. Runoff pollution, also known as nonpoint source pollution (NPS), is the number one contributor to water pollution...

Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Grant of $2.55 million announced for Portal 31 Exhibition Mine

U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Gov. Matt Bevin announced last week a $2.55 million Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Grant to restore and enhance the Portal 31 Exhibition Mine and create a scenic overlook and parking area at Black Mountain. The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Abandoned Mine Lands awarded the grant to Harlan County...

Public Service Commission orders credit for Delta Natural Gas customers to reflect federal tax cut

The Kentucky Public Service Commission has reduced the annual revenue of Delta Natural Gas Co. to reflect a federal tax cut, thereby lowering the base rate portion of the average monthly bill for residential customers. In an order issued Friday, the PSC approved a customer credit to reflect reduced federal corporate income tax rates that took effect at the first of the year. The credit will take effect...

Energy and Environment cabinet recognizes 42 water treatment plants with optimization awards

Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet has recognized 42 surface water treatment plants in the Commonwealth for meeting the 2017 goals of Kentucky’s Area-Wide Optimization Program (AWOP). AWOP is a multi-state initiative administered through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency which encourages drinking water systems to voluntarily achieve optimization goals that go beyond regulatory requirements....

Division of Waste Management announces grant recipients for rubber-modified asphalt projects

The Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) today announced that up to $444,988 in grant funding has been awarded for rubber-modified asphalt projects that use crumb rubber manufactured from waste tires. The grants will be used for the application of chip seal or asphalt overlay to county or metro government roads. Chip seal is a road surface treatment that combines asphalt with fine aggregate, and can...

Hatton appointed commissioner of Department for Environmental Protection

Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Charles G. Snavely has announced the appointment of Tony Hatton as commissioner of the Department for Environmental Protection. Hatton, who was named the DEP’s deputy commissioner in 2016, replaces former commissioner Aaron Keatley, who recently accepted a job as chief deputy director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Hatton’s appointment...

Division of Waste Management announces grant funding for county waste-reduction programs

The Kentucky Division of Waste Management has announced 46 recycling, five composting, and 27 household hazardous waste grants to expand recycling, reduce the amount of solid waste going into landfills, and improve the environmental management of household hazardous waste, which includes electronic scrap and mercury. Grant dollars from the Kentucky Pride Fund, which is generated by a $1.75 fee for...

Community recipients named for landscaping, walking trail grants from Waste Tire Trust Fund

The Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) today announced $309,946 in grant funding awards for landscaping, walking trails and pour-in-place surfacing projects that utilize recycled waste tires. The grants are from the Waste Tire Trust Fund, established by the 1998 Kentucky General Assembly to receive a $1 fee from each retail sale of a new tire in the state. The fund helps manage the approximately...

DWM announces $4K grants available from Waste Tire Trust Fund; counties urged to apply for funds

Kentucky counties can now apply for $4,000 in waste tire recycling and removal grants from money that is available through the Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Waste Management (DWM) Waste Tire Trust Fund. “Eligible expenses under this grant are the actual costs that the county incurs during the grant period for recycling or disposal of waste tires,” said Gary Logsdon, manager of...