More Than $500,000 Awarded to Six Counties for Sustainable Road Projects Reducing Noise, Maintenance Costs

All projects use waste tire chip seal or asphalt overlay on road surfaces

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 18, 2021) –  Gov. Andy Beshear and Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) Secretary Rebecca Goodman today announced that up to $502,497 in grant funding has been awarded to six counties for rubber-modified asphalt projects utilizing waste tires.

“This funding speaks to our administration’s commitment to invest in Kentucky infrastructure and become even better stewards of our environment,” said Gov. Beshear. “These projects will reduce maintenance costs and road noise, helping tax dollars go further and improving quality of life in these communities.”

Counties receiving grants include: Allen ($115,425), Grayson ($98,947), Hardin ($67,500), Henderson ($27,016), Muhlenberg ($105,720) and Marshall ($87,889).

The grant funding will be used for the application of chip seal or asphalt overlay to county or metro government roads. Chip seal is a pavement surface treatment that combines one or more layers of liquid asphalt with one or more layers of fine aggregate. Asphalt overlay consists of a new layer of asphalt applied over an existing road surface.

“Whether it is responsibly using waste tires or putting funding into aging drinking water facilities, we are constantly working to build a better Kentucky,” Cabinet Secretary Goodman said.

Roads being surfaced include: New Buck Creek Road, Allen County; Sulfur Wells Road, Grayson County; Smith Mill Road, Hardin County; Old Corydon Road, Henderson County; Dusty Trail, Marshall County; and Cleaton Road, Muhlenberg County. Selected roads have road culverts, shoulders and bases in good condition with minimal repairs needed.

The cabinet accepts applications for rubber-modified asphalt grants during March and April. Successful projects see a cost-effective, performance-enhancing additive for county paving projects and improve end-use markets for recycled tires.

The money for these projects comes from the Kentucky Waste Tire Trust Fund, which receives $2 from every new tire sold in the commonwealth.

“We are pleased to offer these grants to Kentucky counties,” said Division of Waste Management Director, Tammi Hudson. “We believe rubber-modified asphalt can provide several benefits, including promoting a cost-effective, performance-enhancing additive for county paving projects, and improving end-use markets for recycled tires which can lead to better waste tire management across the commonwealth.”

The cabinet will be performing testing and long-term monitoring to assess the effectiveness of rubber-modified asphalt in Kentucky. As a condition of the grant funding, counties agree to pay for the application of conventional chip seal or thin overlay on a road in their county with similar characteristics, to allow for comparison between conventional and rubber-modified asphalt.

This grants continue a string of strong economic announcements by the Beshear administration. Since the start of 2021, private-sector companies have announced 50 projects in the commonwealth totaling more than $2 billion in new investment and bringing more than 4,000 full-time jobs to the state in the coming years.

In addition, the Governor’s Better Kentucky Plan will boost the state’s economy by delivering clean drinking water, building new schools and expanding access to broadband. It allocates $1.3 billion in American Rescue Plan Act funds, which will create 14,500 new jobs for Kentuckians and help the commonwealth lead in the post-COVID economy.

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Latest Update: Nutrient Pollution in Kentucky’s Waterways

The Division of Water (DOW) just released its 2021 Update to the 2019 Nutrient Loads and Yields in Kentucky Study, which seeks to provide additional insight into nutrient pollution in Kentucky’s waterways. Nutrient pollution is a growing concern in Kentucky. While nutrients naturally exist in waterways, problems can arise when human activity produces too many nutrients, creating more nitrogen and phosphorus in a waterway than the ecosystem can manage.

Nutrient-rich waterways promote algae and plant growth, which often lead to toxic harmful algal blooms (HABs) and insufficient oxygen for fish. This also results in local impacts to tourism and drinking water, along with downstream impacts to fishing livelihoods and tourism in the Gulf of Mexico’s “hypoxic zone.”

The latest update adds two more years of data (2018, 2019) to the prior study, Nutrient Loads and Yields in Kentucky: 2005-2017, while still reviewing long-term statewide changes in nutrient pollution, and areas of greatest nutrient concern.

Data was gathered from an additional five monitoring locations at the mouths of major tributaries to the Ohio River, provided by the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO). These additional monitoring stations allow DOW to expand coverage of Kentucky’s drainage area from 76 percent to 82 percent, while identifying out-of-state nutrient contributions. Loads from the remaining 18 percent were estimated by looking at the relationship between the portion of land area used for agriculture, and nitrogen and phosphorus yields. This estimate indicates that approximately  105,000 tons of nitrogen and 12,000 tons of phosphorus leave Kentucky to the Mississippi River Basin annually.

As with the earlier study, the 2021 update found higher nutrient pollution in areas of the state with greater amounts of agriculture activity. However, the additional data also introduced greater variability in loads and yields than the previous study period.

A look at rain patterns across the study period shows that, along with 2011, the two added years of 2018 and 2019 had unusually high precipitation totals. Additional investigation will help determine if changes in rain amounts resulted in greater nutrient runoff than in typical years, and if new climactic trends emerge.

As the DOW continues to look at the issue of nutrients in Kentucky’s waters, it seeks to fill in the nutrient monitoring gaps and more accurately determine the source and amount of nutrient loss. Interested persons can explore this study through the divisions’ interactive Nutrient Reduction in Kentucky story map. The division will continue tracking nutrient pollution to improve the management, protection and restoration of the commonwealth’s water resources.

Division of Water Seeks Comment on Draft Reports Addressing 90 Bacteria-Impaired Streams

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 18, 2021) – The Division of Water is seeking public comment through July 19, 2021 on two draft reports that address bacteria-impaired streams within the Big Sandy River, Little Sandy River, Tygarts Creek, and Kentucky River basins. These Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) reports provide critical information needed to restore water quality in these waters.

“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 90 impaired stream segments in the following counties: Bell, Boyd, Boyle, Breathitt, Carter, Casey, Clark, Clay, Estill, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Garrard, Grant, Jessamine, Johnson, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Madison, Martin, Mercer, Perry, Pike, and Wolfe.  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. 

To read the draft reports 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.

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Energy Affordability Working Group to Meet June 24

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 10, 2021) – The Energy Affordability Working Group will meet by videoconference on June 24, 2021 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. EDT.  If you are interested in joining, or have questions about connecting to the videoconference, please contact Ashley Runyon at Ashley.runyon@ky.gov. A link to the videoconference will be sent upon request. An informal survey will also be sent.

Agenda:

  • Welcome remarks – Secretary Rebecca Goodman
  • Office of Energy Policy – overview and introductions
  • Review of energy affordability website, LEAD tool, affordability presentation, affordability study
  • Review of survey results completed by participants
  • Impact stories
  • Community action – call center story 5 min-10min
  • United Way – data info on how many calls they receive and percentage on utility assistance 5 min-10min
  • Key focus areas
  • Data sharing
  • Education
  • Resource gaps
  • Policy
  • Creation of energy affordability guide
  • What is next?
  • Questions – dialogue

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Secretary Goodman and #TeamEEC Participate in Grain Tour

Secretary Goodman joined the Kentucky Corn Growers Association and the Kentucky Soybean Association in their recent Grain Tour throughout western Kentucky. On the tour Secretary Goodman, Deputy Secretary John Lyons, Deputy Commissioner Amanda Lefever and Executive Advisor Anne Marie Franklin visited six farms within the region where they observed the implementation of innovative agriculture practices that allowed for outstanding environmental stewardship. The group also visited the Commonwealth Agri-Energy plant where they were able to share insight on the energy byproducts from corn grown within the region. Attendees consisted of Kentucky Corn and Soybean Association members and local small grains producers.

During a reception at the Hardin County Cooperative Extension Office, Secretary Goodman held an open discussion with producers and industry leaders as well as specialists from the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment regarding current cabinet policies and regulations. Moving forward, the EEC team is working to better serve the industry through permitting, guidance and resources.

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Notice of Kentucky Water Quality Standards 2021 Triennial Review Listening Session and Comment Period

In accordance with the federal Clean Water Act (CWA), Congress gave states the responsibility to establish objectives or goals for managing, maintaining, and enhancing water quality. States are required to review state water quality standards (WQS) and hold a public hearing every three years, known as a “Triennial Review” pursuant to Section 303(c)(1) of the CWA.

The Kentucky Division of Water hereby gives notice of its intent to conduct a public listening session to satisfy the requirements of CWA Section 303(c)(1). The listening session will be recorded and will assist the division in determining what revisions, if any, may be appropriate for Kentucky’s WQS regulations which are located in 401 KAR Chapter 10 (Water Quality Standards – links are provided below). The division will provide a link to the recorded session once available. Depending upon the outcome of the 2021 Triennial Review, the division tentatively anticipates pursuing any proposed regulatory changes pursuant to KRS Chapter 13A in 2022.

At the beginning of the listening session, the division will provide a brief overview of Kentucky WQS and the topics the division is considering for revision (https://eec.ky.gov/EnvironmentalProtection/Water/Documents/2021%20Triennial%20Review%20Listening%20Session1.pdf). In evaluating updates to WQS, the division will consider the latest recommended water quality criteria updates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Topics for the 2021 Triennial Review include:
 Updating criteria for aquatic life for ammonia
 Establishing aquatic life criteria for aluminum
 Updating human health criteria for 94 pollutants
 Designating new Outstanding State Resource Waters (OSRW) and Exceptional Waters

Following the brief overview, the division will receive comments on topics and issues from the public until the end of the listening session, and encourages participants to also provide a written copy of their comments. The division will also accept written comments through August 6, 2021. Please note that written and verbal comments will receive equal consideration.

The division invites comments from interested parties and members of the public regarding any WQS that it should consider for potential revision, even if it is not listed above. Comments should include the regulation and topic, whether 401 KAR Chapter 10 already covers the topic, and any suggested revisions and basis of support for the suggested revision. Any technical or scientific information, reports, or data should be included.
Listening session date, time, and location: Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. EST
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/926425293

You can also dial in using your phone. (For supported devices, tap a one-touch number to join instantly.)
United States: +1 (571) 317-3112 One-touch: tel:+15713173112,,926425293# Access Code: 926-425-293
If you have questions about connecting to the videoconference, please contact Kim Greenidge at 502-782-6630.

Send comments: Via email (preferred) to: water@ky.gov (Subject line: “2021 Triennial Review”)
Via U.S. Mail to: Water Quality Branch (ATTN: 2021 Triennial Review)
Kentucky Division of Water
300 Sower Blvd., 3rd Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601

The division will pursue any final proposed changes as a result of the 2021 Triennial Review through the regulatory process established in KRS Chapter 13A. Existing Kentucky WQS regulations may be accessed online at:
401 KAR 10:001- Definitions for 401 KAR Chapter 10
https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/law/kar/401/010/001.pdf

01 KAR 10:026 – Designated Uses of Surface Waters
https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/law/kar/401/010/026.pdf

401 KAR 10:029. General Provisions –
https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/law/kar/401/010/029.pdf

401 KAR 10:030. Antidegradation Policy Implementation Methodology
https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/law/kar/401/010/030.pdf

401 KAR 10:031. Surface Water Standards
https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/law/kar/401/010/031.pdf

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Forestry Best Management Practices Board to Meet June 10

Video conference will start at 1 p.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 4, 2021) – The Forestry Best Management Practices Board will meet by Zoom videoconference on June 10, 2021 from 1 – 3 p.m. EDT. If you have questions about connecting to the videoconference, please contact Reneé Williams (forestry.extension@uky.edu) or 859-257-7597.

To join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone, click here.

You can also dial in using your phone.

United States: +1 646 876 9923 (US Toll)

iPhone one-tap (US Toll):  16468769923,86997881860#  or 13017158592,86997881860#

New to Zoom? Get the app now: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/zoom-cloud-meetings/id546505307

Agenda:

  • Review of Division of Forestry Best Management Practices (BMP) Board structure, relationships and responsibilities
  • Current board membership and affiliations
  • Review of last board action items
  • Review of current Division of Forestry BMP standards (reference “Kentucky Logging BMP Field Guide – a field guide to the minimum requirements for logging”) http://forestry.ca.uky.edu/sites/forestry.ca.uky.edu/files/for_130_bmp_guide_small.pdf
  • Introduction to Kentucky Division of Forestry personnel involved in BMP inspections
  • KDF logging BMP status and inspection report
  • Report from the Kentucky Master Logger Program
  • Report from the field – information from loggers, aligned industries on BMP inspections and process
  • BMP board discussion – open discussion period for board members
  • Scheduling and plans for future meetings, including the potential of a field inspection

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Comment Period on Impaired Waters List Open for 60 Days

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 4, 2021) – The Kentucky Division of Water has opened a 60-day comment period on the 2018/2020 draft 303(d) list of impaired waters, as required by KRS 224.70-150.  The public notice announcement can be found here.

Comments on the draft 303(d) list may be sent to TMDL@ky.gov or mailed to the Water Quality Branch (Attn: 303(d) List), Kentucky Division of Water, 300 Sower Blvd, 3rd Floor, Frankfort, KY 40601. Commenters are asked to specify “303(d) List” in the subject line, to include contact information, and to reference specific listing identifiers where applicable.  Comments received by email or mail must be dated or postmarked no later than August 3, 2021.

New to this combined 2018/2020 reporting cycle is a dedicated public notice site to view the draft 303(d) list, new listings, proposed delistings, waters with completed total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), and the 305(b) list.  Spreadsheets and interactive maps with video tutorials are available through this site.  Links to assessment summaries and TMDL documents are available through the map dashboards or in the provided spreadsheets.

Section 305(b) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) requires states to report to Congress biennially on the health of the waters in the state and whether the water quality of individual waterbodies is sufficient to support its designated uses. In Kentucky, these designated uses include primary contact recreation, secondary contact recreation, aquatic life, domestic water supply, fish consumption, and outstanding state resource waters. The determination of designated use attainment is based on water quality sampling and assessment methodologies developed by the state and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Information on all assessed waters are presented in the draft 2018/2020 305(b) list.

Section 303(d) of the CWA requires states to identify impaired waters, the pollutant(s) causing the impairment, and to develop a total maximum daily load (TMDL), which is a daily maximum allowance for each of those pollutants. Section 303(d) also requires a state to prioritize these waters for TMDL development. The TMDL supports plans and strategies for restoring water quality. Information on impaired waters and priority rankings are presented in the draft 2018/2020 303(d) list.

Monitoring that occurred to update assessments for the draft 2018/2020 305(b) and 303(d) lists was primarily from streams, rivers, and reservoirs in the Green and Tradewater Rivers Basin Management Unit (BMU), the Kentucky River BMU, and the Upper Cumberland and Four Rivers BMU. Monitoring also occurred outside of the BMUs of focus to provide statewide assessment updates. In total, 1,106 stations had data collected for assessment and 915 assessments were completed.    

As a reference, assessment results from the 2016 Integrated Report can be accessed at the Kentucky Water Health Portal.  Upon EPA approval of the 2018/2020 303(d) list, the Water Health Portal will be updated with the 2018/2020 305(b) assessment information.     

Public notice announcement: https://eec.ky.gov/Environmental-Protection/Water/Pages/Water-Public-Notices-and-Hearings.aspx

Public notice site: https://2018-2020-303d-public-notice-kygis.hub.arcgis.com/

Water Health Portal: https://watermaps.ky.gov/WaterHealthPortal/

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Lead in Drinking Water Working Group to Meet June 7, 2021

Video conference will start at 2 p.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 1, 2021) – The Lead in Drinking Water Working Group will meet by videoconference on June 7, 2021 from 2 – 4 p.m. EST. If you have questions about connecting to the videoconference, please contact Elizabeth Danks at elizabeth.danks@ky.gov or 502-782-0965.

https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/793140253

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (872) 240-3212
Access Code: 793-140-253
New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/793140253

Agenda
1. Call meeting to order and roll call of membership – Amy Stoffer
2. Introductions – Amy Stoffer
3. Approve minutes of May 24, 2021 – Amy Stoffer
4. Discussion – Organizational structure proposal
5. Discussion – EPA seeking input on LCR revisions with comments due June 30, 2021
6. Set next meeting date
7. Adjourn

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Wastewater, Drinking Water Advisory Committees to Meet June 8, 2021

Video conference will start at 10 a.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 1, 2021) – The Drinking Water and Wastewater Advisory Committees will hold a joint meeting by videoconference on June 8, 2021 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. EST. If you have questions about connecting to the videoconference, please contact Kim Greenidge at 502-782-6630.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/660208965

You can also dial in using your phone.
(For supported devices, tap a one-touch number below to join instantly.)
United States: +1 (872) 240-3212
One-touch: tel:+18722403212, 660208965#
Access Code: 660-208-965

Tentative Agenda (subject to change):

  • Welcome and opening remarks – Carey Johnson, director, Division of Water
    • Approval of March, 2021 meeting minutes 
  • Announcements – Amanda LeFevre, deputy commissioner, Dept. for
    Environmental Protection 
    • Certification / testing updates 
  • Division of Water and Dept. for Environmental Protection updates 
    • Jory Becker, manager, DOW Water Infrastructure Branch – needs survey 
    • Sarah Gaddis, manager, DOW Field Operations Branch – emergency responses 
    • Jason Hurt, manager, DOW Surface Water Permits Branch 
    • Alicia Jacobs, manager, DOW Drinking Water Branch 
  • Subcommittee status and reports – Carey Johnson, DOW director 
    • Lead workgroup 
    • Subcommittee updates 
  • Open discussion – facilitated by Carey Johnson, DOW director 
  • DWAC/WWAC meeting schedule for 2021 (2nd Tues of the last month of the quarter) 
  • Adjourn

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