Energy Assurance Projects/Resources Support Local Communities

If a major weather event cuts off electricity to your local community, how long can your critical facilities such as hospitals or wastewater treatment facilities be self-sufficient? Do you have back up-fuel solutions? Do you know how energy is supplied to your region or across Kentucky? Does your city have an energy assurance plan?

Frankfort, KY –(August 6, 2020) – Energy assurance is a vast array of on-going activities. It requires a continuous process of planning and preparedness, mitigation and energy emergency response actions, and on-going communication.

The Kentucky Office of Energy Policy (OEP) understands energy assurance begins at the local level. For many communities, pulling together project funding and finding the technical assistance to assess hazard-related vulnerabilities and prepare mitigation plans present difficult barriers to overcome.

The OEP provides assistance to help communities achieve energy assurance goals through public and private partnerships, resources, and programs. Kentucky’s area development districts and local governments are also encouraged to utilize the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Program, a new hazard mitigation funding opportunity recently announced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

BRIC funding is one way to prepare and plan for energy emergencies and know how to take action. BRIC provides funds to states, local communities, tribes and territories for eligible mitigation activates to strengthen our nation’s ability to build a culture of preparedness. These programs allow for funding to be used on projects that will reduce future disaster losses.

The BRIC application period opens on Sept. 30, 2020. Applications must be submitted by 3 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Jan. 29, 2021. For information on how to apply, visit FEMA, Fiscal Year 2020 Notice of Funding Opportunity for Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants.

In addition, FEMA just wrapped up its month-long, five-part BRIC Summer Engagement Series, which brought FEMA subject matter experts and partners together one day a week throughout July to discuss key elements of the newly developed BRIC program. These virtual sessions were geared toward leaders in states, local communities, tribes and territories, as well as private sector entities, private non-profit organizations, and individuals interested in learning more about the grant program. Watch the recordings and download copies of the presentations from the sessions, as they become available.

For more information, visit the fema.gov website

OEP Energy Assurance Initiatives 2020-2021

  • The Kentucky Energy Assurance Planning Toolkit provides self-guided webinars, workbooks and interactive worksheets free of charge on the EEC Website. The toolkit is funded through a state energy program grant and developed by the Energy Infrastructure Security (EIS) Council, in partnership with OEP and U.S. Department of Energy.  The toolkit serves as a foothold in local communities and sets the foundation for an energy data-collection process and future energy mitigation planning efforts to produce dynamic energy assurance plans.  It also provides tools for local governments to access BRIC funding.
  • This month, OEP announced a partnership with Bracken County Fiscal Court to conduct the first energy resilience survey project to provide the groundwork for future updates to the Buffalo Trace Area Development District Hazard Mitigation Plan. Data collection includes identifying energy sources, critical facility information, and identifying regional energy resilience and mitigation actions.

For details, contact OEP Energy Assurance Coordinator, Amanda LeMaster, Amanda.LeMaster@ky.gov.

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New Flood Mapping Tool Helps Officials, Residents Manage Risk Near High-Hazard Dams

Online map shows nearly 17,000 homes and businesses within dam inundation zones

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear and Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman today announced an online mapping tool that will provide important information to local officials and first responders for developing emergency response plans for high-hazard dams.

“It’s critical that we plan and prepare for emergencies, in addition to taking every step we can to prevent them from happening in the first place,” said Gov. Beshear. “This new tool will help our local officials and heroic first responders better serve and protect Kentucky families and businesses.”

The interactive map on the Kentucky Water Maps Portal identifies the approximate area, or inundation zone, at each of the dams assessed that is expected to be impacted in the event of a dam failure. The online tool uses satellite imagery which identifies properties, roads and geographic areas that could potentially be impacted in relation to the established FEMA flood zone. The assessment identified nearly 3,000 business structures and almost 14,000 residences within the Commonwealth’s high-hazard dam inundation zones.

Dam-related hazard classifications (low, significant and high) are categorized not by their physical condition but by their potential to inundate residences and businesses in the event of a dam failure.  A dam is classified as “high-hazard” when there are residences, businesses and other structures within its inundation zone that could cause loss of life or serious damage to houses, industrial or commercial buildings, important public utilities, main highways or major railroads.

“This tool will help local officials and emergency responders make informed decisions related to planning and emergency response,” Secretary Goodman said. “It gives dam owners and public officials an online tool that they’ve never had available to them.”

Carey Johnson, Division of Water (DOW) assistant director, said the tool is the first step of an outreach strategy to promote greater dam-related risk awareness among local officials and the public and to encourage potential actions to mitigate dam-related risks.

“Not only will the data give state and local officials in Kentucky up-to-date information about risks associated with high-hazard dams in their area, it will also give the public access to the information,” Johnson said.

For more information on the inundation mapping service or upcoming webinars, please contact Carey Johnson, carey.johnson@ky.gov.

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Kentucky Reclamation Guaranty Fund Commission to Meet August 11 Video conference will start at 10 a.m.

Video conference will start at 10 a.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (August 5, 2020) – The Kentucky Reclamation Guaranty Fund Commission will hold its quarterly meeting August 11, 2020 at 10 a.m. Eastern by videoconference. If you have questions about connecting to the videoconference, please contact Danielle Crosman at 502-782-6590.

To join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/185925965

To join the meeting from your phone: +1 (312) 757-3121/Access Code: 185-925-965

  1. Call to order and roll call
  2. Welcome and opening remarks
  3. Approval of the minutes from May 12, 2020 meeting
  4. Elect vice-chairman
  5. AML funding requests:
    1. ACPKY1, LLC 918-0479
    2. Chas Coal, LLC 807-5210
    3. Crockett Collieries, Inc. 807-8018
    4. XCell Energy and Coal Co., LLC 877-0175
    5. Bethel Coal Company, Inc. 867-0513
  6. Alternative enforcement presentation: OLS staff
  7. Bankruptcy update: Della Justice (OLS) & Jeff Baird (DMP)
  8. DNR update: Gordon Slone, DNR Commissioner
  9. Other business:
    1. Financial reports, bond amounts and delinquent fees
    2. Actuarial services contract
  10. Adjournment

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

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 29, 2020) – 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 litter cleanup along public roads.

“Kentuckians deserve to live in safe and clean communities and we each also have a responsibility to limit our impact on the environment,” said Gov. Beshear. “These programs protect our people and wildlife and make our commonwealth an even better place to live and visit.”

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 cleanup costs.

“These two grant programs have been successful in helping cities and counties across the state deal with roadside litter and illegal open dumps,” said EEC Secretary Rebecca Goodman.  “The Illegal Open Dump Grant has funded the cleanup of 2,231 dump sites since 2006 and the Litter Abatement Grant has assisted every county in the state in maintaining the natural beauty of their roadways.”

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. 2, 2020.  The complete, signed original application and any supporting documentation must be submitted in order for the application to be considered.

Funding comes from the Kentucky Pride Fund, which is supported by a $1.75 per ton fee on municipal solid waste disposed of 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 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.

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. 2, 2020. The signed original agreement and any supporting documentation must be submitted in order for the request to be considered.

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

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Martin County Water District Work Group to Meet August 12

Video conference will start at 11 a.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 22, 2020) – Martin County Water District Workgroup will be meeting by videoconference on August 12, 2020 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. EDT. If you have questions about connecting to the videoconference, please contact Kim Greenidge at 502-782-6630.

To join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/752177917 To join by dial-in using your phone: United States: +1 (872) 240-3212   Access Code: 752-177-917 New to GoToMeeting? Here is where to get the app: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/752177917

Agenda:

  • Welcome and opening remarks – Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman
  • Introductions and announcements – Deputy Commissioner John Lyons
  • Update and announcements from PSC – Chairman Michael Schmitt
  • Martin County Water District Board – Chairman James Kerr
  • Update of MCWD operations – Alliance Water Resources, Division Manager
  • Construction and grant funded projects – Bell Engineering, VP Stephen Caudill
  • Technical subcommittee report – Director Paul Miller
  • Open discussion – facilitated by Deputy Commissioner John Lyons
  • Future work group meeting dates
    • November 17, 2020 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    • February 10, 2021 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    • May 12, 2021 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Adjourn

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Agricultural Policy Announces Improvements to On-Farm Water Management Program

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 16, 2020) – The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Water and the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy announced new guidelines and an increase in funding for the On-Farm Water Management Program.

“Throughout COVID-19, we’ve been reminded of just how hard Kentucky farmers work every day to feed our communities and keep our people healthy and strong,” said Gov. Beshear. “I’m proud that the On-Farm Water Management Program not only supports individual farmers in the state, but also pushes Kentucky forward as a national and international leader in agritech.”

The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board has allocated $437,851 to the program, bringing to $1 million the funds available for water conservation projects.  The deadline for applications is July 31, 2020.

“Though we are blessed in Kentucky to have an abundant supply of water, finding ways to make every drop count is not only fiscally responsible but being a good steward of the environment,” Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman said.

Sustainable water management is essential to agricultural production. Water that is wasted can create an immediate drain on limited farm resources. The On-Farm Water Management Program can help producers capture, store and use all available water resources in a way that will help Kentucky’s agricultural community reduce drought vulnerability, reduce dependence on municipal water, manage excess runoff, and improve soil health and moisture availability.

“The On-Farm Water Management Program is a proactive approach to monitoring, harvesting, conserving and recycling the most essential nutrient to plants, animals and life itself,” said Warren Beeler, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy. “The investment will help to ensure water is plentiful and available as needed.”

In addition to an increase in funding, the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board approved a new small-scale grant category for private farms, which can apply through a simple, five-page application. A list of best management practices is now included in the guidelines to highlight the types of proven practices the On-Farm Water Management Program is focused on funding, however, applicants are encouraged to submit innovative ideas for consideration.

To access the new guidelines, determine if your organization is eligible, and obtain a project application and supporting documents, please visit https://agpolicy.ky.gov/funds/Pages/program-portal.aspx

For more information, contact Renee Carrico at 502-782-2719 or Renee.Carrico@ky.gov

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New Data Analysis Service on Endangered Species Offered Free to Energy Developers

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 15, 2020) – Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) Secretary Rebecca Goodman today announced a new partnership between the Office of Energy Policy (OEP) and the Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves (KNP) to provide a free, data analysis service to energy developers. 

The Kentucky Biological Assessment Tool (KY-BAT), developed and maintained by KNP, provides information to help projects avoid and minimize potential impacts to sensitive plants, animals and natural communities. 

“I’m excited about this project that helps us move toward a sustainable future while also protecting our current ecological communities,” said Gov. Beshear. “All Kentuckians benefit when we safeguard our state’s beautiful natural environments.”

“This partnership is a great example of state agencies working together for a common goal,” Secretary Goodman said.  “As we continue to work Healthy at Home, our staff continues to identify new and innovative opportunities to fulfill our mission, supporting economic growth while protecting the environment.”  

Zeb Weese, Executive Director of KNP, said this partnership is an important link between endangered species and renewable energy.

“Many environmentally-minded citizens interested in renewable energy are also interested in the conservation of endangered species,” Weese said. “KNP’s natural heritage database contains over 20,000 species and rare community site-specific records. We track or monitor nearly 1,000 species and ecological communities, as well as natural areas throughout the state.”

By using this data, Weese said, OEP will be able to identify ecologically sensitive areas and help site energy projects appropriately.                                                       

Kenya Stump, OEP Executive Director, said providing great customer service is at the heart of what the energy office does for the commonwealth.  “Many renewable energy projects being developed are supporting those businesses operating in Kentucky with sustainability goals,” Stump said. “These energy projects directly and indirectly support jobs in Kentucky and we want to be prepared to assist and streamline the process.”

The KY-BAT project offered through this partnership provides data services at no cost, but it is limited to 20 projects on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For more information, or to submit a project for this free data service, please contact Kenya Stump, kenya.stump@ky.gov.

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State Seeks Proposals for $25 Million in 2020 Abandoned Mine Land Pilot Program Grants

Deadline for applications is Aug. 1, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 2, 2020) – The Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) is seeking economic and community development proposals that will attract new industry and jobs to Kentucky’s Appalachian counties.

The 2020 Abandoned Mine Land Pilot Program has $25 million in federal grant money available through the Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands for projects in Appalachian counties with historic coal mining sites that will create long-term economic benefits.

Applications are being accepted by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet through Aug. 1, 2020.

Since 2016, 43 projects in 21 counties have been selected for the pilot program. Notable projects include a high-tech training facility in Johnson County, a drone R&D and test facility in Perry and Knott counties, a sport-shooting and archery resort park in Letcher County, the Impact Outdoor campground in Clay County, the Pikeville Medical Center Pediatric Clinic and the Appalachian Wildlife Center in Bell County.

“The pilot program, now in its fifth year, is a tremendous opportunity for leaders in Appalachian counties to determine projects that will grow a healthy and economically sustainable future,” said Gov. Andy Beshear.

U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) has championed $540 million in federal funding for the AML Pilot program since 2016, of which $130 million has been awarded to Kentucky. “This funding provides a launching pad for economic development in parts of Eastern Kentucky where we face the greatest challenges to job creation,” Congressman Rogers said. “Our former coal mining land helped fuel our economy for generations and this program aims to restore some of the same land to help create jobs and promote tourism growth in our region once again.”

Counties that are eligible for projects include: Adair, Bath, Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Casey, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Edmonson, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Garrard, Green, Greenup, Harlan, Hart, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Lincoln, McCreary, Madison, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Metcalfe, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Robertson, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Wayne, Whitley and Wolfe.

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman said the program’s most recent success, the Impact Outdoor campground, would bring adventure tourism to Clay County. “We are beginning to see projects that received AML Pilot grant funding in past years start to produce jobs or bring tourism dollars to eastern Kentucky,” said Secretary Goodman.

Eligible grant recipients are limited to state and local governments, who may subcontract project related activities as appropriate.

Proposals should include information about the project’s purpose, link to AML, cost, partnerships and/or leveraged funds (if applicable) and any evidence of community improvement and support. All will be considered by a Cabinet-sponsored committee before recommended projects are sent to the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, for vetting and a final decision.

Application forms for project submittals can be found at AMLPILOT or by contacting Bob Scott, Director, Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands, 300 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort, KY 40601. Office: 502-782-6761, e-mail:  BobF.Scott@ky.gov or Justin Adams, email: Justin.Adams@ky.gov.

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Kentucky Soil and Water Conservation Commission Meeting Planned July 6, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 22, 2020) – The Kentucky Soil and Water Conservation Commission will hold a special meeting July 6 at 9 a.m. Eastern time by video conference. If you have questions about connecting to the video conference, please contact Johnna McHugh at 502-782-6703.

Attend the July 6 meeting via video conference by following this link (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81553310653?pwd=OStMWmlzangycDRMNkFjdVRHcDBIdz09), or join with Zoom meeting ID 815 5331 0653 and password 5QWv75.

AGENDA

  1. Call to Order and Introductions
  2. Minutes and Correspondence
  3. Equipment Revolving Loan Fund
  4. Conservation District Supervisors
  5. Agriculture District Program
  6. Old Business
  7. New Business
  8. Division of Conservation Report
  9. Agency Reports
  10. Adjourn

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$4.7 Million Awarded in State Recycling, Composting and Household Hazardous Waste Grants

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 19, 2020) – Governor Andy Beshear and Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman today announced more than $4.7 million in grants to Kentucky municipalities, fiscal courts and foundations for 78 projects across the Commonwealth to expand recycling, reduce the amount of solid waste going into landfills and improve the environmental management of household hazardous waste.

“Kentucky is fortunate that so many municipalities are stepping up to reuse and recycle to reduce the amount of solid waste piling up in our landfills,” Gov. Beshear said. “This shows care for the environment and for each other.”

This program awards three types of grants.  The recycling grant provides funds for counties to purchase recycling equipment with the goal of promoting sustainable regional recycling infrastructure in Kentucky.  The composting grant funds the purchase of equipment to improve composting and promote creative solutions for managing food waste, lawn waste and other organic material.  The household hazardous waste grant provides funds for counties to conduct annual drop-off events for their citizens to dispose of household chemicals, old electronics and other potentially hazardous wastes.

There were 37 recycling grants worth $2.47 million, 28 household hazardous waste grants worth $798,964 and 13 composting grants worth $1.43 million. These grants require a 25 percent local match in the form of cash or “in kind” labor, educational activities or advertising to promote the program from those receiving the awards. A complete list of grant recipients can be viewed here.

Secretary Goodman said some of these projects raise awareness about the importance of recycling home electronic equipment, which can contain metals such as mercury, which would be harmful to human health if put into landfills. “We all need to consider the life cycle of products and how we carefully dispose of them,” Sec. Goodman said.

Funding for the grants comes from the Kentucky Pride Fund, which is generated by a $1.75 fee for each ton of municipal solid waste disposed of in Kentucky landfills.

For more information about the division’s recycling efforts, please visit the Kentucky Division of Waste Management website.

Keep up with Gov. Beshear and the administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic at governor.ky.gov, kycovid19.ky.gov and on the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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