Kentucky Boards of Certification of Wastewater System Operators and Water Treatment & Distribution System Operators to Meet January 20

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 14, 2021) – The Kentucky Board of Certification of Wastewater System Operators and the Kentucky Board of Certification of Water Treatment and Distribution System Operators will have a joint meeting on January 20 at 10 a.m. EST.

This meeting will be conducted via Zoom which can be accessed from a computer, tablet or smartphone by logging into the following link. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83114782072?pwd=Z3V4SHBQSlFUU1FlbDlSdXB6bWExdz09

Participants can also dial in by calling 646-558-8656. The meeting ID number is 831 1478 2072 and the password is 740590.

Agenda:

  1. Call meeting to order
  2. Introduce guests
  3. Approval of minutes
  4. New business
    1. CTP request (addendum 1)
    2. Exam requests (addendum 2)
    3. Motion to release today’s CTP request, exam requests and list of approved trainings (addendum 3)
    4. Chair/vice chair nominations
  5. Unfinished business
    1. Wastewater collection manual update
  6. Communications & announcements
    1. Financial statement 
    2. February meeting 
    3. General DCA update – Jessica/Amanda
  7. Executive session
  8. Adjournment

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Gov. Beshear: Time Running Out for Kentuckians to Receive Utility Assistance

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 8, 2020) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear and Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman highlighted an approaching deadline for eligible families to receive assistance to pay overdue utility bills.

The $15 million Healthy at Home Utility Assistance Fund helps those who are struggling to pay water, sewer, electric or gas bills due to COVID-19. Those who qualify can receive up to $500 for water and wastewater bills and up to $400 to pay gas or electric utility bills.

The fund expires on December 31, 2020, or earlier if the fund is depleted, so eligible Kentuckians should apply now. To date, $6.81 million has already been requested. 

Team Kentucky is partnering with Kentucky’s Community Action Network to distribute these funds statewide. To receive funds, households must have an income up to 200% of the federal poverty line, have past due utility bills and have been economically impacted due to COVID-19.

“We know that many of the people who have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic also face the highest utility bills relative to their total income,” Gov. Beshear said. “These one-time payments can make a huge difference in keeping the lights, water or heat on this winter. Kentuckians shouldn’t have to choose between feeding their families and keeping them warm.”

Applications can be found online by going to the Community Action Network of Kentucky website at www.capky.org or by calling 800-456-3452. Applications and the documentation needed to apply also can be obtained by visiting a Local Community Action Network of Kentucky office.

“We know there is great need and we are urging everyone who thinks they are eligible to apply for this funding,” said Secretary Goodman. “But please do it quickly. We don’t want you to miss out.”

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ACT NOW! Healthy at Home Utility Relief Fund Available for those in need

Deadline to apply December 30, 2020!

FundHealthy at Home Utility Relief Fund provides relief to Kentuckians affected by COVID-19 that need assistance with their water, wastewater, electric, or natural gas service. Kentucky’s Community Action Network is partnering with Team Kentucky to distribute these funds statewide.

Two components for this program are available: Subsidy provides assistance to all eligible households. Crisis provides assistance to eligible households experiencing a crisis situation with their utilities.

How to Apply: Interested households should contact their local Community Action Outreach Office on how to apply. To locate your local office, please call 800-456-3452 or visit http://www.capky.org. Applications will be taken as long as funding is available, or until December 30, 2020.

Am I Eligible?: Households who have an income up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level and have been economically impacted due to COVID-19 can apply.

Household SizeGross Monthly IncomeHousehold SizeGross Monthly Income
1$ 2,1265$ 5,113
2$ 2,8736$ 5,860
3$ 3,6207$ 6,606
4$ 4,3668$ 7,353

COVID-19 Impact: Has your household experienced one of the following changes due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?
• Job Loss
• Reduced Hours/Wages
• Additional Expenses or
• Other negative impact

Required Documents: All applicants will be required to supply the following documentation at time of application:
• Most current utility bills (water, wastewater electric, natural gas)
• Proof of Social Security Number or Permanent Residence card (Green Card) for each member of the household.
• Proof of all household’s (all members) income from the preceding month
• In addition, Crisis applicants must supply proof of arrearage, payment plan, or disconnect notice for utilities

Benefits Provided: The benefits a household can receive will depend on the program component. Benefits are supplied in the form of a voucher to the vendor or supplier. A household can apply for one or all components and is eligible for up to the maximum allowable benefit for each component.

Subsidy: Provides eligible households with an account credit to prevent future crisis and disconnections.
Eligible households can receive a one-time $500 benefit towards their water and/or wastewater and $400 towards their natural gas and/or electric bills.

Crisis: Assistance is available for households with past-due natural gas, electric, water, and or wastewater bills.

Water and/or Wastewater: Households can receive assistance for the minimum needed to alleviate the water and/or wastewater crisis up to $500. Households can reapply until they reached their maximum benefit.

Electric and/or Natural Gas: Households can receive assistance for the minimum needed to alleviate the electric and/or natural gas crisis up to $400. Households can reapply until they reached their maximum benefit. For the latest information on the novel coronavirus in Kentucky, please visit kycovid19.ky.gov.

For the latest information on the novel coronavirus in Kentucky, please visit kycovid19.ky.gov.

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Gov. Andy Beshear and Secretary Rebecca Goodman Announce Annual Environmental Awards of Excellence.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 4, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear and Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) Secretary Rebecca Goodman today announced winners of EEC, Department for Environmental Protection’s annual environmental awards of excellence.

“These awards represent significant achievements in keeping Kentuckians healthy through better stewardship of the environment,” said Gov. Beshear. “This is a time when we all need to do more to take better care of each other and this beautiful state that we live in.”

Secretary Goodman said the winning entries showed innovation and collaboration in their approaches to improving Kentucky’s environment. “Whether it was through promoting education, recycling or cleanup, all these award winners are to be congratulated,” Secretary Goodman said.

The Environmental Pacesetter Award, given for innovative efforts in protecting the environment and setting an example of environmental stewardship,  was awarded to Mountain Association (formerly known as MACED), of Berea. Over the last five years, the Mountain Association, working in the Appalachian region, assisted with more than 150 energy efficiency or renewable energy projects with an estimated energy savings of $430,000.

Mountain Association’s energy team collaborated with commercial companies and non-profits to identify energy saving opportunities through energy audits and follow-up work that included insulated roofs, HVAC modernization, LED fighting and strategies to reduce electrical demand.  The Mountain Association finance program also offered commercial businesses and nonprofits loans up to $500,000 for solar installations.

The Resource Caretaker Award, given for the conservation or improvement of Kentucky’s natural resources through land management, preservation or revitalization of contaminated land, as well as for habitat restoration, recycling programs, pollution prevention or water-use reductions, was awarded to Next Round Brewing.

The KY/TN section of American Water Works Association and the Clean Water Professionals of Kentucky and Tennessee collaborated to create Next Round Brewing, a capstone project for U of L chemical engineering seniors. During the project, the students worked with four local microbrewers to produce high quality micro-brews using recycled water from the Floyds Fork Water Quality Treatment Center in Louisville. Next Round brews were ultimately crafted with treated, recycled water and brewers served the special-edition beers for a limited time in their taprooms, and also during the Water for Life (WFL) event.

The Community Environmental Luminary Award, given in recognition for achievements in community-based environmental education and outreach, was awarded to the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK).

The institute, located at the University of Kentucky, was established 10 years ago with support from the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop the workforce for the power and energy industry. Engineering students at the Kentucky Industrial Assessment Center (KIAC), which is affiliated with PEIK, receive hands-on training and real world experience in energy engineering, systems and management. KIAC has saved more than 50 businesses almost $20 million, while providing significant reductions in energy use and contributing to environmental improvements and conservation.

The Kentucky EXCEL Champion Award, given to a Kentucky Excellence in Environmental Leadership (EXCEL) member that demonstrates outstanding stewardship of Kentucky’s environment through energy conservation, improving air quality, minimizing waste or helping Kentuckians participate in environmental stewardship behaviors, was awarded to Swift & Staley Inc., of Kevil, KY.

During 2019, the Swift & Staley team participated in five community outreach projects, teaching environmental awareness and the benefits of pollution prevention through hands-on projects and employee participation events. These included a plastic recycling project with the McCracken Youth Development Group, Morgan Elementary School and the Oscar Cross Boys and Girls Club. They also included recycling and cleanup efforts with the city of Paducah and removal of 1,100 pounds of trash from shorelines and scenic drives at the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area with Friends of the Land Between the Lakes.

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Wastewater & Drinking Water Advisory Councils to Meet December 8, 2020

Video conference will start at 10 a.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 23, 2020) – The Drinking Water and Wastewater Advisory Councils will hold a joint meeting by videoconference on December 8, 2020 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. EDT. If you have questions about connecting to the videoconference, please contact Kim Greenidge at 502-782-6630.

Please join the meeting from your computer or tablet at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/748189525 or via smartphone by dialing +1 (646) 749-3122 Access Code: 748-189-525.

New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/748189525

Agenda:

  1. Welcome and opening remarks – Paul Miller, P.E., Director, Division of Water
  2. Introductions and announcements – Amanda LeFevre, Deputy Commissioner, Dept. for Environmental Protection
  3. Division of Water and Department for Environmental Protection updates
    1. Jory Becker, Manager, DOW Water Infrastructure Branch 
    2. Sarah Gaddis, Manager, DOW Field Operations Branch
    3. Jason Hurt, Manager, DOW Surface Water Permits Branch
    4. Alicia Jacobs, Manager, DOW Drinking Water Branch
    5. Jessica Wilhoite, Manager, DCA Operator Licensing Branch 
  4. Subcommittee status and reports (individual committee chairs) 
  5. Open discussion – facilitated by Paul Miller, P.E., DOW Director
  6. DWAC/WWAC meeting schedule for 2021 (Second Tuesday of the last month of the quarter): March 9, June 8, Sept 7 (on a Wednesday to accommodate Rosh Hashanah and Labor Day), and Dec 14.
  7. Adjourn

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Kenya Stump Receives 2020 Leadership Award from U.S. Green Building Council

Recipients recognized as leaders in green building and for their commitment to creating a healthy, sustainable future

FRANKFORT, KY. – (Nov .12, 2020) — The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced that Kenya Stump, executive director of the Office of Energy Policy, is among 10 companies, projects and individuals receiving a 2020 Leadership Award. The annual awards recognize exceptional work advancing sustainable, healthy, resilient and equitable buildings, cities and communities. USGBC will be honoring this year’s recipients on Tuesday, November 12 at 5 p.m. EST during the closing event at the Greenbuild Virtual conference.

The 2020 recipients represent leaders who are driving the adoption of LEED across business portfolios, higher education and green affordable housing, as well as helping to advance Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance, resilience planning and innovative waste management solutions.

Kenya played an integral role in helping Kentucky become the first state to leverage the U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program funding to implement PEER. Her efforts led to certification for three facilities including Fort Knox, Electric Plant Board in the City of Glasgow and Nolin Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation. Stump has remained an advocate for bringing reliable, resilient power to America’s cities and has been integral in helping to replicate her success with PEER across other State Energy Offices.  

For more than a quarter century, USGBC has been defining global standards for designing, constructing and operating healthy, resilient and sustainable buildings and spaces through LEED. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the world’s most widely used green building rating system and promotes strategies that reduce environmental impact, enhance human health and support economic development. USGBC’s Leadership Award recipients are a model for how LEED and other sustainability practices can be used to improve communities, support business, and contribute to a better future for all.

About the U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offeringsan international network of local community leaders, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Center for Green Schools and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit usgbc.org and connect on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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Students Called to Explore Kentucky’s Mighty Oaks

Annual Jim Claypool Art and Writing Contest now open

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 9, 2020) – Students of all ages can explore Kentucky’s mighty oaks 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 projects, fun facts and trivia have been provided to help students understand the importance and benefits of trees, and the impact oak trees in particular have on Kentucky’s economy, environment and forest health.

“All Kentuckians benefit when our natural environment is preserved and thriving,” said Gov. Beshear. “By teaching our kids the importance of protecting trees and planting new ones, we set them up for a safer, healthier future.”

The art contest for students in grades one through five, and a writing contest for students in 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.

Paulette Akers, director of the Kentucky Division of Conservation said, “Trees are so important to Kentucky’s biodiversity and our economy. It’s increasingly important that we teach our youngsters about forest conservation, and the important role trees play in our way of life. The Jim Claypool Art and Conservation Writing contest allows those fundamentals to be taught in a fun and easy to understand manner.”

The art and conservation writing contests began in 1974 and 1944, 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 establishment of conservation education. He died in February, 1974.

During this year’s contest, students will learn about the anatomy of and the numerous products made from trees, including bourbon barrels; how trees affect Kentucky’s water and soil; and specifics about oak trees and Kentucky’s champion trees. They will then create essays or posters to show what they have learned. 

“We’re proud to be a part of this cooperative effort,” said Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman. “This is a creative project that encourages students to get outside, learn more about conservation and the environment, and it supports our educators and students alike during an otherwise difficult and challenging time.”

Schools and home school students should choose their winning entries and submit those to the local conservation district by December 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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Martin County Water District Workgroup to Meet November 18

Video conference will start at 11 a.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2020) – The Martin County Water District Workgroup will meet by videoconference on Nov. 18, 2020 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern. If you have questions about connecting to the videoconference, please contact Jennifer Taimi at 502-782-7087.

Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/459704949 You can also dial in using your phone. United States: +1 (571) 317-3112 Access Code: 459-704-949

New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/459704949

Agenda:

  • Welcome and opening remarks – EEC Secretary Rebecca Goodman
  • Introductions and announcements – DEP Deputy Commissioner Amanda LeFevre
  • Update and announcements from PSC – Staff Attorney Brittany Koenig
  • Update of MCWD operations – Alliance Water Resources Division Manager Craig Miller
  • Technical subcommittee report – KRWA Executive Director Gary Larimore
  • Status report of projects – Bell Engineering Vice President Stephen Caudill
  • Open discussion – facilitated by Deputy Commissioner Amanda LeFevre
  • Future workgroup meeting proposed dates
    1. Feb. 10, 2021 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    2. May 12, 2021 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Adjourn

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All Aboard! Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Project Moving Full-Steam Ahead

A one-of-a-kind revitalization project in Estill County that is expected to create a unique tourist attraction and an influx of visitors is now underway. In May, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s (EEC) Brownfield Redevelopment Program provided $120,000 to the Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation (KSHC) to help begin construction of an outdoor amphitheater and concert venue, the first phase of the multi-year Kentucky Rail Heritage Center project.

The Cleaner Commonwealth Fund loan will support the managed reuse of the former working rail yard, and will be used to remove and/or cap contaminated soils and assess indoor air quality. When completed, EEC’s program will forgive $20,000 of the $120,000 loan. The remainder, financed over a 15-year period, qualifies for 0 percent interest.

The Eastern Kentucky attraction will eventually include a working rail museum, a vocational/technical shop for local students learn about the railroad, a full-service restaurant and possible micro-brewery, the outdoor amphitheater, and rides on a refurbished steam locomotive, one of the largest, most powerful in the nation. 

Residual contamination qualified the former working rail yard for brownfield designation and program eligibility.  The Cleaner Commonwealth Fund, administered through the Kentucky Brownfield Program, provides financial assistance for projects that clean up brownfield sites, including old factories, former gas stations and other properties that are abandoned or underutilized due to environmental contamination. It is a grant-and-loan fund established with an $850,000 EPA Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund grant in 2012.

If you are interested in brownfield revitalization and brownfield grants, visit http://bit.ly/KYBrownfields or email envhelp@ky.gov.

WEKU radio recently spoke with Kentucky Steam Heritage President Chris Campbell about the project

https://www.weku.org/post/eky-railroad-based-economic-stimulus-plan-gains-state-support. Visit the non-profit’s website at https://www.kentuckysteam.org/.

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Gov. Beshear: $300,000 in Clean Diesel Grants Will Protect Kids

Local communities, environment also benefit when school districts replace buses

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 23, 2020) – The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) today announced the 2020 Kentucky Clean Diesel Grant Program, which will provide $298,708 to reduce diesel emissions by replacing aging school buses in the commonwealth.

“This year, kids across Kentucky have had to adapt so much to be healthy at school, and every parent has felt especially anxious about our children’s health and well-being,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “That’s why this news couldn’t come at a better time: with these grants, our families will have cleaner air in communities across Kentucky and cleaner air as our kids get on and off school buses.”

All Kentucky public school districts and private schools that own and operate school buses are eligible to apply for funding through this grant program, which will reimburse up to 25 percent of the total cost of the purchase of a new replacement school bus. Grant recipients are responsible for the remaining 75 percent.

“This is an excellent opportunity and I encourage Kentucky school districts to take advantage of it,” Cabinet Secretary Rebecca W. Goodman said. “By reducing diesel school bus emissions and improving air quality, we’ll be protecting the health of our most valuable resource – our children.”

Diesel exhaust contains a mixture of fine particles, nitrogen oxides and more than 40 hazardous air pollutants. These pollutants have a negative impact on human health, especially for children who have a faster breathing rate than adults and whose lungs are not yet fully developed.

“This program will make it easier for school districts to replace older, more polluting buses with newer, cleaner ones,” said Division for Air Quality director Melissa Duff. “Not only do our communities benefit from cleaner air, but so do bus passengers, since exhaust is often pulled into the vehicle cabin when doors are opened.”

Priority will be given to awarding grants to applicants that are located in an area not meeting current air quality standards, proposals that achieve the most cost-effective emission reductions, and applications that demonstrate the greatest emissions reductions.

The deadline to apply for funds is November 30, 2020.  Successful applicants will have until August 31, 2022 to complete their projects. To apply, visit the Division for Air Quality’s web-site at https://eec.ky.gov/Environmental-Protection/Air/Pages/Clean-Diesel-Grant-Program.aspx .

For more information, please email Kelly Lewis at Kelly.Lewis@ky.gov or call 502-782-6687.

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