A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Rural Blog: Justice coal firm demands Kentucky officials personally pay $4.5 million in damages

A coal company owned by West Virginia’s governor has taken the highly unusual if not unprecedented step of personally suing Kentucky environmental regulators who tried to get the firm to pay its fines and clean up its strip mines. Kentucky Fuel Corp., owned by Gov. Jim Justice, blames Natural Resources Commissioner Allen Luttrell and Deputy Commissioner John D. Small “for their company’s...

State Energy and Environment Cabinet cites Ashland landfill for accepting radioactive waste

Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary Charles Snavely announced Tuesday that a Notice of Violation containing four violations has been issued against Green Valley Landfill General Partnership in Ashland, Ky., after an investigation found that the landfill had accepted 26 loads (368.5 tons) of low-level radioactive waste, commonly known as TENORM (Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive...

Capitol Notes: Bills dealing with fracking, online sweepstakes, ‘Siblings’ plate advance

Senate unanimously passes new ‘fracking’ regs   For the first time in more than two decades, the state Senate has passed legislation that would modernize Kentucky’s regulations on high-volume hydraulic fracturing, often referred to as “fracking.”   The legislation, known as Senate Bill 186, would mandate energy companies notify nearby landowners of any planned fracking process,...

Capitol Notes: Phone deregulation bill, state minimum wage bill clear house committees

Rep. Rick Rand, D-Bedford, presents a telecommunications bill in the House Economic Development Committee. (Photo from LRC Public Information)   Phone deregulation bill clears House panel   Supporters of a bill approved by a House Economic Development Committee say the measure will help lead to growth in Kentucky’s broadband network through deregulation of landline service.   House...

Lawmakers hear testimony on pipeline that could impact at least 25 Kentucky counties

Special to KyForward   A proposed interstate natural gas liquids pipeline that would impact landowners in at least 25 Kentucky counties does not qualify under the state’s eminent domain law, the head of the state’s Energy and Environment Cabinet yesterday quoted his agency’s general counsel as saying.   Cabinet Secretary Len Peters made the comment during yesterday’s meeting of...

Tom FitzGerald: SB 88 is a bad deal for those who depend on reliable basic phone service

Today, all customers of the three telephone utilities who have “elected” to deregulate all telecommunications services other than basic local exchange phone service, (AT&T, Windstream, and Cincinnati Bell) have a right to stand-alone basic phone service, the reliability and repair of which is overseen by the Public Service Commission (PSC). If Senate Bill 88 becomes law, no new customer would...