#TeamEEC Lends Muscle in Tug Fork Tug-of-War

Buried for decades in a grave of silt, rock and sand in the Tug Fork River, hundreds of illegally dumped tires resurfaced September 20 as volunteers from two states dug and hauled them from the water for recycling.

A dozen members from the Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Waste Management Field Operations Branch helped local volunteers from Friends of the Tug Fork River, AmeriCorps, West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Williamson Park and Recreation Commission remove about 500 used tires in the eastern Kentucky Appalachian community of South Williamson.

“A lot of these tires are historically from people and businesses dumping in creeks and as we have more flooding and washouts these are surfacing in the river,” said Brian Osterman, manager of the Division of Waste Management Field Operations Branch. “A month ago, nearly 900 were pulled from the river. Last year, about 2,300 were pulled (from the river).”

Osterman said the tires will be recycled into crumb rubber and used in products such as mulch, rubber modified asphalt, and rubber matting for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) playground.

John Burchett, a Friends of the Tug Fork River volunteer, said this is the third year of the group’s efforts to reclaim tires in the Williamson area from the river, which snakes along the West Virginia and Kentucky border.

“In 2019, the West Virginia DEP came and we recovered 2,321 tires in four days’ work. Three weeks ago, we got 819 tires in one day,” said Burchett. “Today, I don’t know what we will get, but we are making a big difference and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet has come, the West Virginia DEP is here…it’s a two-state river and we have both states working together — that’s the important thing.”

Burchett said volunteers are welcome at future cleanup efforts scheduled Sept. 30, Oct. 2 and Oct. 4.

More information can be found at the public Facebook page Friends of the Tug Fork River.

Read a longer account of the day’s environmental cleanup at the cabinet’s webzine: Land, Air& Water.

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Division of Water to Participate in Source Water Protection Week (Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 2021)

Frankfort, KY— (Sept. 20, 2021)– The Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) will be joining the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and water utilities across the nation in celebrating Source Water Protection Week, September 26 through October 2.

Throughout the week, partners for water health will be raising awareness about the importance of protecting drinking water sources. The AWWA has provided a wide range of materials you and your organization can use to help promote the importance of protecting source water. Watch for social media posts highlighting state specific tools that can be used to protect water resources.

Ways To Participate in Source Water Protection Week:

Ways To Protect Source Water Every Day:

  • Manage household hazardous waste properly (cleaners, paints, vehicle fluids, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.) – Only purchase what you need. Donate unused portions to friends or community organizations. Recycle leftovers when possible. To find recycling/disposal locations visit http://www.earth911.com or call 1-800-CLEANUP.
  • Avoid dumping – Never put anything down the sink, toilet or storm drain as it can end up in drinking water sources. Dispose of cleaners, medicines, oil/grease, etc. properly.
  • Clean up – Pick up after yourself and your pets. Use trash receptacles and recycle whenever possible. Pet waste can enter storm drains and spread bacteria.
  • Use alternative products – Avoid using products that may contain harmful materials such as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); use cast iron or stainless-steel pots and pans instead of non-stick pots and pans.
  • Find your source – Identify your source of water and check where you live and work relative to source water areas. An example tool that can be used to find this information in the U.S. is DWMAPS.
  • Conserve water – Use water efficiently to ease the burden on water sources and save money. Repair leaks, use a rain barrel, install low flow devices to toilets and showers, wash full loads of laundry and dishes, etc. For more steps to save water visit https://www.epa.gov/watersense.
  • Limit use of fertilizers and pesticides – Reduce the amount of materials used on your lawn or consider natural alternatives.
  • Service your septic system – Have a professional inspect your septic system every 3 years and have it pumped every 3-5 years.
  • Participate in volunteer activities – Attend events such as removing invasive plants and replanting natives, stormwater drain stenciling, rain barrel workshops, litter cleanups, etc. Watershed groups are often familiar with upcoming local events.
  • If you see something, say something – Report any spills, illegal dumping, or suspicious activity to authorities.

More information about Source Water Protection is available on AWWA’s resource page and at the Source Water Collaborative Learning Exchange. Also, be sure to follow the Hashtags #SourceWaterProtectionWeek and #ProtectTheSource.

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Students Called to Explore Kentucky’s Important Water Resources

Annual Jim Claypool Art and Writing Contest launches

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 15, 2021) – Kentucky students can learn about the fundamental need for water, how activities and behaviors affect its quality and ways they can make a difference through this year’s Jim Claypool Art and Conservation Writing contests. 

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, in cooperation with the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts and the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation sponsor the annual contest and provide materials that can be used in classrooms or at home to help students learn about the year’s topic. Articles, suggested activities, fun facts and trivia have been provided to help students understand the importance of water conservation, and include the relationship between forests and water quality, an explanation of the water cycle and watersheds, how pollution and nutrients impact aquatic life and more.

“Kentucky is blessed with abundant water sources, and by teaching our kids the importance of protecting our water, we set them up for a safer, healthier future,” said Gov. Beshear.

The art contest, for grades one through five, and writing contest, for grades six through 12, allow students to use the knowledge they have gained about the topic and transform it into creative artwork and written essays. Entries should focus on encouraging action toward good water conservation practices.

“We look forward to participating in this creative effort every year, and we’re honored to be a part of it,” said Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman. “This project encourages students to learn more about the environment and the world around them, and it provides an excellent, in-depth tool for parents and educators.”

The conservation writing and art contests began in 1944 and 1974, respectively. James B. Claypool was the first assistant director of the Division of Conservation and was hired in 1947. He became director in 1960. A Warren County native, Claypool was a graduate of Western Kentucky University and taught vocational-agriculture at Bradfordsville and Greensburg High Schools. As director of the division, he was instrumental in the expansion of conservation education in Kentucky. He died in 1974.

Paulette Akers, director of the Kentucky Division of Conservation said, “The Jim Claypool Art and Conservation Writing contest provides students a way to learn more about the water cycle and the importance of clean water. It is always wonderful to see how important the topic is to them and the suggestions they make.”

Schools and home school students should choose their winning entries and submit those to the local conservation district by Dec. 1. The county will then narrow the entries and send finalists to the cabinet for state judging.

Students can earn monetary prizes at the school, county, regional and state levels. County winners will receive $25 from the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation. Area winners receive $50. State first, second and third place winners receive $250, $150 and $50 respectively. Many local conservation districts and other sponsors also provide prizes. 

For more information about the contest, please visit your local conservation district office or http://bit.ly/ClaypoolArtWritingContest.

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Kentucky Part of Regional Electric Vehicle Information Exchange

Kentucky’s Office of Energy Policy is participating in a regional collaboration with other states to launch an interactive map focused on electric vehicle infrastructure. A supporting webinar is provided September 13 to learn more. Find details below and register for the webinar. Additional questions can be directed to Kenya Stump, executive director, Office of Energy Policy, Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.

Southeast States Launch Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Planning and Deployment Tool

 September 7, 2021 By Cassie PowersTechnology InnovationTransportationElectricityEquitySource: Clean Cities Georgia, NREL 43005

States and territories participating in the Southeast Regional Electric Vehicle Information Exchange (SE REVI) have launched a multi-state electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure map to enable coordination across the region on EV infrastructure investments. The interactive map utilizes various data, including locations of current and planned Level 2 and DC fast chargers, state and national parks, Federal Highway Administration-designated Alternative Fuel Corridors, hurricane evacuation routes, social equity data, and electric service provider territories. Developed with input from each SE REVI participant, the map can be used to inform EV infrastructure investment decisions and to conduct education and outreach on EV infrastructure gaps and opportunities along priority corridors.

SE REVI will host a webinar on September 13 at 2 p.m. ET to review key features of the map and share information about the collaboration. You can register for the event by clicking here.

About SE REVI

SE REVI is a collaboration of State and Territory Energy Offices from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and the Virgin Islands focused on sharing information and best practices and collaborating on EV infrastructure planning, policy development, and program implementation.

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Drinking Water and Clean Water Advisory Councils to Meet Sept. 8

Video conference will start at 10 a.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 26, 2021) – The Drinking Water and Clean Water Advisory Councils will meet via GoToMeeting on Sept. 8, 2021 at 10 a.m. EDT. 

Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/837577053. You can also dial in using your phone. (For supported devices, tap a one-touch number below to join instantly.)
United States: +1 (224) 501-3412 – One-touch: tel:+12245013412,,837577053#
Access Code: 837-577-053
New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/837577053

Tentative Agenda (subject to change):

Welcome and opening remarks – Carey Johnson, director, Division of Water
• Review of June 2021 meeting minutes
• Per- and polyfluroalkyl substances (PFAS)
• Waters of the United States (WOTUS)
• Lead & Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR)
• Infrastructure
• 2021 Triennial Review

Division of Water and Division of Compliance Assistance updates
• Sarah Gaddis, ESC, Director’s Office
• Jory Becker, manager, Water Infrastructure Branch
• Constance Coy, manager, Field Operations Branch
• Jason Hurt, manager, Surface Water Permits Branch
• Alicia Jacobs, manager, Drinking Water Branch
• Jessica Wilhoite, Division of Compliance Assistance

Subcommittee status and reports – Carey Johnson, director, Division of Water
• Lead in drinking water
• Infrastructure sustainability
• Source water protection
• Operator recruitment & development

Open discussion – facilitated by Carey Johnson

Upcoming Meetings:

December 14, 2021

2022 meetings dates:  March 8, June 14, September 13, and December 13.

Adjourn

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Kentucky Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee to Meet Aug. 31

Videoconference begins at 9 a.m. EDT

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 25, 2021) – The Kentucky Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee will meet by videoconference on Aug. 31 at 9 a.m. EDT.

Anyone who wants to attend the virtual zoom meeting can follow this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89401268668?pwd=bGQyOWZ0aUdZQk1DNExhNDdBdFdOUT09. Password: 567593

  1. Call to order and roll call
  2. Forest stewardship modernization
  3. Forest action plan
  4. Forest stewardship program update
  5. Forest legacy program change
  6. Wrap up/discussion
  7. Adjournment

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Division of Waste Management Seeks Applications for Illegal Open Dump Cleanup, Litter Abatement Grants

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 18, 2021) – 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.

“These two grant programs have successfully helped cities and counties across the state keep roadsides litter free and eliminate illegal open dumps,” said EEC Secretary Rebecca Goodman. “Since 2006, the Illegal Open Dump Grant has funded the cleanup of 2,330 dump sites and the Litter Abatement Grant has assisted every county in maintaining the natural beauty of their roadways.”

Litter cleanup grant awards are awarded based on a formula that considers road miles, total population and rural population in each county. For dump cleanup grants, counties request specific amounts based on estimated dump costs.

Cleanup of Illegal Dumps

Counties that are in compliance with their five-year solid waste management plans can now apply for funds to clean up illegal open dumps. In the event that sufficient funds are not available to award every request, grant awards may be prioritized on several factors, including location of the dump relative to sensitive receptors or protected areas, the relative hazard posed by the contents of the dumps and the size of the dump.

Applications must be received by Lisa Evans at the Division of Waste Management no later than 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 1. 2021. The completed, signed original agreement with any supporting documentation must be submitted in order for the request to be considered complete.

Funding comes from the Kentucky Pride Fund, which is supported by a $1.75 per ton fee on municipal solid waste disposal in Kentucky’s contained landfills.

Each grant requires a 25 percent local match. Grant application packets are being sent by email to county judge-executives and solid waste coordinators. For more information, contact Lisa Evans by calling 502-782-6355 or emailing lisa.evans@ky.gov.

Litter Abatement

Grant requests for litter cleanup will be accepted from counties in compliance with their five-year solid waste management plans and from incorporated cities, which by solid waste ordinance or other means, provide municipal solid waste collection service. 

In February, Gov. Andy Beshear and Kentucky Energy and Environment (EEC) Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman announced approximately $587,000 in grants to clean up 72 illegal dumps in 18 counties across the commonwealth. In December 2020, $5.2 million was awarded to Kentucky counties in Litter Abatement Grants.

The Litter Abatement Grant program is supported by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Road Fund and Highway Construction Contingency Fund. Since 2003, state and local governments have cleaned more than three million miles of roadways with help from these grants.

Grant requests must be received by Lisa Evans at the Division of Waste Management no later than 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. The completed, signed original agreement with any supporting documentation must be submitted in order for the request to be considered complete.

Grant request packets are being sent by email to county judge-executives, mayors and solid waste coordinators. For more information, contact Lisa Evans at 502-782-6355 or by email at lisa.evans@ky.gov.

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Kentucky Reclamation Guaranty Fund Commission to Meet August 24

Video conference will start at 10 a.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 17, 2021) – The Kentucky Reclamation Guaranty Fund Commission will hold a quarterly meeting August 24, 2021 at 10 a.m. EDT by videoconference. If you have questions about connecting to the videoconference, please contact Danielle Crosman at 502-782-6590.

Please join the meeting from a computer, tablet or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/934302589

United States: +1 (872) 240-3311       Access Code: 934-302-589

  1. Call to order and roll call
  2. Welcome and opening remarks 
    Approval of the minutes from May 18, 2021 meeting
  3. Elect vice-chairman
  4. DNR update: Gordon Slone, DNR Commissioner
  5. Other business:
    1. Financial reports, bond amounts and delinquent fees
    2. Old voluntary bond pool permits
    3. Next actuarial study and contract modification
    4. ORGF staff update
    5. Legislation
  6. Adjournment

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Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Authority to Meet August 26

In-person meeting or videoconference option begins at 1:30 p.m. EDT

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 17, 2021) – The Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Authority will hold a meeting August 26 at 1:30 p.m. EDT. The meeting will be held in the Saddle and Sirloin Club, located on the upper level of South Wing C at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville. (937 Phillips Ln, Louisville, KY 40209)

Anyone who wants to attend the meeting virtually can follow this link (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83646051552?pwd=K3h5NjdLSkV1cElKVkZ6Z2ZTK1lHdz09) or join with Zoom meeting ID 836 4605 1552 and password AWQA.

AGENDA

  • Welcome
  • Roll call of authority members
  • Introduction of guests
  • Approval of minutes from April 8, 2021
  • Old business
  • New business
  • Meeting format discussion
  • Strategic plan
  • Subcommittee reports
    • KASMC
    • Farmstead
    • Pesticides, fertilizers and other agriculture chemicals
    • Livestock and poultry
    • Crops
    • Silviculture
    • Streams and other waters
    • Education and outreach
  • Quarterly update of AWQA related violations
  • Updates from members
  • Adjourn

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Division of Water seeks comment on draft report addressing bacteria-impaired streams in Licking and Salt River basins

FRANKFORT, Ky. (August 2, 2021) – The Division of Water is seeking public comment through September 3, 2021 on a draft report that addresses bacteria-impaired streams within the Licking River and Salt River basins. This Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report provides critical information needed to restore water quality in these waters.

To read the draft report and find out how to comment, visit the Division of Water website at https://eec.ky.gov/Environmental-Protection/Water/Pages/Water-Public-Notices-and-Hearings.aspx. To learn more about how TMDLs help to support water quality restoration, visit the TMDL program website at https://eec.ky.gov/Environmental-Protection/Water/Protection/TMDL/Pages/default.aspx.

 “Total Maximum Daily Load” refers to the amount of a pollutant a water body can receive and still meet water quality standards. Standards for E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria are intended to protect the health of those using surface waters for swimming, wading, boating, and other recreation.

The Clean Water Act requires each state to periodically identify specific waters where standards are not being met and then to develop a TMDL for the pollutants not meeting standards.  TMDL reports are made available to the public for review and comment prior to submission to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval.

The two new reports will complete TMDLs for 100 impaired stream segments in the following counties: Anderson, Bath, Bourbon, Bullitt, Bracken, Campbell, Clark, Fleming, Hardin, Jefferson, Kenton, Larue, Magoffin, Marion, Mason, Montgomery, Morgan, Nelson, Nicholas, Pendleton, Robertson, Rowan, Shelby, Spencer, and Washington. The reports are part of the Kentucky Statewide Bacteria TMDL, an ongoing effort which will complete TMDLs for more than 350 stream segments by the end of 2022.