A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Dorothy Rader: What’s behind the quality of your tap water? Be assured that your tap water is safe to drink

There have been a number of stories in the news lately highlighting the shortcomings of water utilities across the country, including some right here in Kentucky. While the struggles for some water utilities to fund necessary upgrades and maintain reliable, quality service are real, I want to reassure Kentucky American Water customers that there is no reason to worry about drinking your tap water. Kentucky...

Bill Straub: ‘Possum’ Pruitt is a money-changer in the Temple; why oh why can’t he just be tossed out?

Should those suffering from asthma find breathing more difficult because the air has turned gray, if the water we all drink assumes the characteristics of that found in Flint, MI, if the soil suddenly begins leaching toxins, please don’t blame Scott “Possum’’ Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, whose policies, one might think, are having an adverse impact on this...

Bill Straub: Scott Pruitt and the EPA he is leading is not protecting the environment for the long term

Anyone clinging to the notion that Belle Brezing is the most notorious prostitute ever produced by Lexington isn’t paying attention to the antics of Scott Pruitt, top dog at the Environmental Protection Agency. While it can be argued that the services provided by Ms. Brezing and her employees did little real harm to the denizens of Fayette County and those visiting town for the races back in the...

Mitch McConnell: Kentucky now has friend at EPA, but work for coal jobs, families must continue

Under President Obama, the EPA didn’t want to come anywhere near Kentucky coal country. Now, the people of Kentucky finally have a friend at the head of the EPA. I was proud when Administrator Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s pick to lead the agency, accepted my invitation to come back to his native Kentucky in his professional capacity. In Hazard – the heart of coal country – I stood shoulder-to-shoulder...

Bill Straub: Politicians lining up to eliminate the EPA have strong Kentucky ties in common

WASHINGTON – Kentucky is piecing together a strong contingent of volunteers ready and willing to do battle with raging hordes of tree-huggers and scientists in the ongoing War on the Environment, emerging proudly as the modern embodiment of F Troop. The commonwealth’s defenders are firmly fixed along an ecological Maginot Line in the battle against those who would foist potable water and breathable...

EPA won’t delay new rule aimed at protecting farm workers from pesticides despite AFBF request

Rejecting requests from the American Farm Bureau Federation and state agriculture departments, the Environmental Protection Agency says its new rule designed to protect farmworkers from pesticides will take effect Jan. 2, as scheduled. “The rule includes a host of new requirements to protect the nation’s 2 million farmworkers, including annual training (instead of every five years) for...

Understanding water: We take safe drinking water for granted, but most of the rest of world doesn’t have it

By Judy Clabes KyForward editor First of three parts We step up to the sink, turn on the faucet and expect water to come out. We take for granted that it will be clean and safe to drink. We expect, as an inalienable right, what most people around the world cannot imagine. So, here we are, knowing that water is essential to everything in life – and finding the devil in the details. Here are some...

KSBA school energy program earns third straight federal ENERGY STAR Partner recognition

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has honored the Kentucky School Boards Association’s School Energy Managers Project with its 2016 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award. This is the third consecutive year the organization has been recognized for assisting Kentucky school districts in reducing energy costs and increasing energy efficiency in district buildings. Since...

Lyn Hacker: Pollinators matter; find out what you can do to protect them at KDA ‘s public forum on subject

Bitter cold as it has been, Spring is certainly on the way and it’s time to think about gardening. With that comes an awareness of those little critters that make all our efforts worthwhile, our pollinators. Just in time, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture is inviting the general public to participate in the first public “Kentucky Pollinator Protection Forum,” to be held at the Office...

Bill Straub: Kentucky GOP delegation, often at odds, singing same tune on environment

  Kentucky Republicans aren’t exactly kissing cousins these days.   The U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, of Louisville, and the man who was supposed to be his new BFF, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, of Bowling Green, recently conducted a knock-down-drag-out over a provision in the Patriot Act that turned nasty even by Washington standards.   McConnell isn’t real pleased with...

Lexington wins $200,000 grant to address environmental concerns at old courthouse

Inside of the old courthouse dome (Photo by Peter Brackney)   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Lexington a $200,000 grant to help clean up contamination at the historic Fayette County Courthouse at 215 West Main St.   Brownfields are abandoned, idle or underutilized industrial and commercial properties where redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental...

Bill Straub: Old foes Beshear, McConnell now seem to have a common enemy – the EPA

WASHINGTON – Gov. Steve Beshear and Sen. Mitch McConnell have never been tight as ticks. In fact you can say they can’t abide one another.   In addition to emerging from opposing parties, Beshear, a Democrat, and McConnell, a Republican, were involved in a rather direct and personal confrontation in 1996 when McConnell rather easily withstood Beshear’s effort to displace him in the U.S....

Tom Block: Mitch McConnell’s elevation
to majority leader is big deal for Kentucky

The Republican victory in the battle to control the Senate elevates Kentucky’s senior Senator, Mitch McConnell to the position of Majority Leader, a very big deal.   While the final spread is still to be determined due to a December 6 run-off in Louisiana, what is the importance of Republicans gaining control of the Senate?   While Senate Democrats will still be able to stop most...

Tom Block: Mitch McConnell's elevation to majority leader is big deal for Kentucky

The Republican victory in the battle to control the Senate elevates Kentucky’s senior Senator, Mitch McConnell to the position of Majority Leader, a very big deal.   While the final spread is still to be determined due to a December 6 run-off in Louisiana, what is the importance of Republicans gaining control of the Senate?   While Senate Democrats will still be able to stop most Republican...

Bill Straub: Drought of political courage persists as candidates hack away at EPA

Let’s stipulate for the sake of argument that campaigns rarely – strike that — never provide a forum for the display of political courage. After all, the one and only goal of running for office is to get elected and if truth stands as a barrier, truth must be sidestepped by any and all available means.   In that way, this year’s race in Kentucky between Senate Republican Leader Mitch...

Harnessing the potential of citizen scientists, use of technology is aim of NKU conference

NKU Biological Sciences Professor Richard Durtsche is one of those attending a citizen scientist conference at Northern Kentucky University. (Photo provided)   By Feoshia H. Davis KyForward contributor   Every day thousands of regular people with nonscientific backgrounds monitor our environment. They collect data on everything from water and air quality to animal and plant health. These...