Sustainable Spirits Webinar Planned Oct. 29

Lean Approaches for Water Efficiency for Spirits, Brewing and Wine Making

As part of the Sustainable Spirits Initiative, the Kentucky Division of Compliance Assistance (DCA) and the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center (KPPC) invite you to participate in an upcoming webinar: Lean Approaches for Water Efficiency. This webinar is a complement to the Sustainable Water Consumption webinar held in the spring of 2020 where baselining, benchmarking, and mapping water use were discussed.

The upcoming webinar will provide training on lean manufacturing principles and best practices for increasing the efficiency of water usage during production. Attendees will gain guidance from experts on ways to save water and reduce operation costs.

Topics to be covered include
Water Use Ratios in Kentucky Distilleries and Breweries
Overview of Lean Manufacturing Principles
Application of Lean Principles to Improve Water Efficiency
Examples of Best Practices

Who should attend?
Facility Managers and Owners
Environmental, Health and Safety Professionals
Representatives of the Winery, Distillery and Brewery Industries
Production and Process Engineers

Webinar Details
Date: October 29, 2020
Time: 11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. Eastern
Fee: none
Register online: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6339743774069962765

Additional resources, including best management guides, infographics, videos and past webinars are available at https://eec.ky.gov/Environmental-Protection/Compliance-Assistance/Pages/sustainable-spirits.aspx.

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Mine Fatality in Hopkins County

Cardinal Mine near Madisonville site of accident

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 14, 2020) – A 58-year-old coal miner was killed Tuesday at the Cardinal mine, near Madisonville, Hopkins County. The mine is owned by Warrior Coal, a subsidiary of Alliance Resource Partners.

Phillip Ramsey, of Madisonville, Kentucky, a shuttle car operator, began his shift at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday. The 29-year mining veteran was out of his shuttle car working on ventilation curtains when he was struck by a coal scoop at approximately 8:30 p.m. He was taken to Baptist Health Hospital in Madisonville but was pronounced dead.

“This man’s death is especially tragic as this is the second miner that we have lost within a week,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Please join me in expressing my deep condolences to his family, friends and community.”

All mining operations were shut down after the accident and will continue to be suspended while an investigation continues. The Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, Division of Mine Safety, sent investigators to the mine Tuesday evening.

“Our sympathy goes out to Mr. Ramsey’s family for his untimely loss,” Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary Rebecca Goodman said. “The cabinet works daily to keep miners safe through training and inspections and when accidents like this happen, we look carefully at what happened and how it could have been prevented. We will work with the Cardinal mine to do just that.”

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Gov. Beshear Announces $8.5 Million in Funding for Buses, Other Transportation Improvements

Volkswagen mitigation settlement funding to provide new buses, zero-emission vehicle charging stations

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 13, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear and other state leaders on Tuesday announced $8.5 million in transportation funding to replace about 170 buses and support other efforts to expand reliable and sustainable transportation in Kentucky.

The funding will go toward the purchase of cleaner emission transit buses in areas of Kentucky challenged with meeting federal air quality standards.

The funds are part of the $20.3 million awarded to Kentucky under the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. That was part of $100 million secured by then-Attorney General Beshear after filing suit against the automaker for deceiving Kentucky consumers. The 2020 General Assembly developed a spending plan for the funds and approved expenditures beginning July 1, 2020.

“We held Volkswagen accountable for deceiving consumers and now we are using those funds to build a better Kentucky with safe, reliable transportation to help Kentuckians get to work, to the doctor and to the grocery store,” said Gov. Beshear. “This funding will reduce pollution to create cleaner air and improve transportation options in four regions of the commonwealth.”

Gov. Beshear, Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman and Kentucky Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry announced the awards Tuesday.

In addition to the awards announced today, the Volkswagen Mitigation Fund will cover some Kentucky school districts’ reimbursement for up to 50% of the cost of replacing up to five buses.

“We estimate approximately 170 buses can be replaced with this allocation of Volkswagen Mitigation Funds,” said Secretary Goodman. “What a difference that will make for our air quality, and for the children who ride those school buses every day.”

Transit awards are as follows:

  • Transit Authority of River City (TARC), in Jefferson County will receive $4.7 million to replace 45 older buses with cleaner, more fuel-efficient buses. 
  • Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) will receive $2.1 million to replace six older diesel buses with new diesel buses.
  • Lextran, in Lexington, will receive $1.5 million to replace six older diesel buses with four new natural gas and two all-electric buses.
  • Owensboro Transit System will receive $156,403 to replace one older bus with a new all-electric bus.

Both TARC and TANK operate in ozone nonattainment areas, areas considered to have air quality worse than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards; Lextran and the Owensboro Transit System operate in areas that have not met designated ozone quality standards in the past.

Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray said: “The use of $8.5 million of the settlement for the purchase of cleaner-emission transit buses serves our public in two ways. Reduced emissions mean improved air quality, which is a health benefit for everyone. And the upgrading of transit vehicles means better service to our fellow Kentuckians who rely on public transportation for getting to work, school, doctor appointments, shopping and other places they have to go in the course of their daily lives.”

An additional $3 million in Volkswagen mitigation settlement funding is being allocated to zero-emission vehicle equipment. Based on input received from the public, the Cabinet is recommending that 75% of those funds go toward the purchase of DC (direct current) fast charging stations. These stations will be placed along selected highways throughout Kentucky and will help establish unified electric vehicle corridors.

The remaining 25% of the funds will be used for Level Two charging stations at Kentucky State Parks, municipal government locations and local community places of interest.

“We are excited to partner with the Energy and Environment Cabinet to offer this welcome addition to Kentucky State Parks,” said Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry. “This investment is a significant step towards enhancing the EV travel experience and opening Kentucky tourism to an even broader group of visitors.”

In 2016, the United States settled claims against Volkswagen for using defeat devices in 2009-2016 Volkswagen diesel vehicles. These devices allowed the vehicles to emit up to 40% more nitrogen oxide than allowed under the Clean Air Act. As part of that settlement, Kentucky has access to $20.3 million to be spent over 10 years to mitigate those emissions.

Kentucky’s proposed Beneficiary Mitigation Plan and other resources associated with the Settlement and Trust, including the application for school bus replacement can be accessed at: http://eec.ky.gov/Pages/Volkswagen-Settlement.aspx.

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Governor Beshear Urges Caution as Wildfire Hazard Season Begins October 1

Active season is forecast; Kentucky outdoor burning law in place

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2020) – Governor Beshear and Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman urged caution as the fall wildfire hazard season in Kentucky begins October 1, bringing outdoor burning restrictions to the state.

“We have predictions of a worse than average fire season this year and I’m especially concerned with Kentuckians’ health during this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Beshear. “I urge every Kentuckian to be vigilant when outdoors and abide by burning restrictions. My heart goes out to our brothers and sisters on the west coast who are already facing these deadly fires, and I’m grateful to the courageous Kentuckians who have travelled across the country to aid the disaster response.”

The Commonwealth’s outdoor burning law (KRS149.400) prohibits burning between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. (prevailing local time) if the fire is within 150 feet of any woodland, brushland, or fields containing dry grass or other flammable materials. These restrictions are in effect every fall (October 1 – December 15) and spring (February 15 – April 30) to help prevent wildfires.

“Many parts of the country are experiencing a devastating fire season,” said Brandon Howard, director of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Forestry, which has provided labor and equipment to support wildfire suppression efforts in other states this summer. “We are monitoring our wildfire situation at home and will bring our crews home at the appropriate time.”

Cabinet Secretary Goodman said that while it has been several years since the state had an active season, it’s not surprising based on historical patterns. “We will be ready for whatever this season brings, but we need everyone to be mindful,” Secretary Goodman said.

So far this year, 278 wildland fires have burned more than 3,700 acres in Kentucky. Though not as active as 2019, conditions can easily turn dry, making wildfires more likely.

The 2020 wildfire season could be negatively impacted by the current pandemic. “COVID-19 has encouraged more outdoor activity,” said Howard. “Hunting season will be in full swing, fall camping is always popular and people are visiting our state and national parks more now than ever. We just encourage vigilance and care while you’re enjoying Kentucky’s natural areas.”

Statistics show 99% of all wildfires in Kentucky are human-caused. Second only to arson, uncontrolled debris burning is a leading cause of wildfires. If a fire escapes from the burning of debris, immediately contact the nearest Division of Forestry field office, or the local fire department.

Contact your local fire department or county judge-executive’s office for questions regarding local burn bans. Residents should call the Division for Air Quality at 1-888-BURN-LAW to learn about other specific regulations before burning anything.

For more on the Kentucky Division of Forestry, and the wildland fire management program, visit http://bit.ly/KyWildfireMgmt. ###

Register now for the Governor’s Conference on Energy & the Environment, Oct. 13-14, 2020

Registration is now open for the 44th Annual Governor’s Conference on Energy & the Environment.

Space is limited, so register today at https://bit.ly/2020EandEConference!
Visit our website for details: http://bit.ly/EandEConferenceDetails

Kentucky Boards of Certification of Wastewater System Operators and Water Treatment & Distribution System Operators to Meet September 22

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 18, 2020) – 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 September 22 at 10 a.m. EDT.

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/82253578824?pwd=c0oxdGJoaEEvODhyNDhyWUM3Znhrdz09

Participants can also dial in by calling 312-626-6799. The meeting ID number is 822 5357 8824 and the password is 071349.

Agenda:

  1. Call meeting to order
  2. Introduce guests
  3. Approval of minutes
  4. New business
    1. Exam requests (addendum 1)
    2. Motion to release today’s list of approved trainings (addendum 2)
    3. Wastewater collection manual outline
  5. Unfinished business
    1. Wastewater treatment manual review
  6. Communications & announcements
    1. Financial statement 
    2. October meeting 
    3. General DCA update – Amanda
  7. Executive session
  8. Adjournment

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Environmental Excellence Award Nomination Deadline, Sept. 11, 2020

The Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) is proud to recognize and encourage environmental excellence in the Commonwealth through the 2020 Environmental Excellence Awards. Nominations for these awards are being accepted until September 11, 2020.

The awards recognize the efforts of individuals, businesses and organizations committed to protecting and improving Kentucky’s environment, and provide a platform to tell the stories of environmental stewardship taking place across the Commonwealth.

“Kentucky’s remarkable natural resources have helped shape our economy, culture and history,” said Amanda LeFevre, Deputy Commissioner of DEP. “Nevertheless, these resources also provide us with the responsibility of good stewardship. This requires vision, commitment and determination on the part of the agency, Kentucky’s citizens and the individuals and companies governed by Kentucky’s environmental regulations. We’re proud to recognize their efforts through these annual awards.”

One award will be given for each of the four categories: Environmental Pacesetter, Resource Caretaker, Environmental Community Luminary and KY EXCEL Champion. The KY EXCEL Champion will be awarded to an active KY EXCEL member.

Businesses, organizations, communities, and individuals may be nominated or self-nominate for the awards.

Take this opportunity to recognize those committed to exemplary environmental performance. Additional details and nomination forms are available online at https://eec.ky.gov/Environmental-Protection/Compliance-Assistance/Pages/KY-EXCEL.aspx. Please submit nominations by emailing envhelp@ky.gov. All questions pertaining to the 2020 Environmental Excellence Awards may be submitted to envhelp@ky.gov.

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Agriculture Science and Monitoring Committee to Meet September 2

Videoconference Begins at 1 p.m. Eastern

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 27, 2020) – The Kentucky Agriculture Science and Monitoring Committee, part of the Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Authority, will hold a virtual meeting September 2 at 1 p.m. EDT. For an invitation to the videoconference, please contact Peter Cinotto by email: pcinotto@usgs.gov.

AGENDA

  • Introduction
  • Kamilah Carter – Introduction of the new EPA nonpoint source coordinator for Kentucky
  • Eric Rappin – Temperature inversion monitoring in Kentucky
  • Stu Foster – overview of draft technical report: “A Visual Climatology of Kentucky”
  • Angie Crain – USGS super gage data / update
  • Joe Celano, Trabus Technologies – Overview of modeling and monitoring technologies with the River Information Services Enterprise (RISE)
  • Wei Ren from UK (if available) – Brief overview of NSF proposal: “Quantifying Multi-Scale Climate-Smart-Agriculture Management for Triple Wins in Food Production, Climate Mitigation, and Environmental Sustainability” and needs from KASMC
  • Open floor – updates / discussion / next steps
  • Adjourn

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Applications Open for Federal Grants to Help Restore Blighted Properties

More than $15 million in Brownfield Grant funding has been awarded to Kentucky since 2006

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 21, 2020) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released guidance for the FY 2021 Brownfield Grant applications. These multipurpose assessment and cleanup grants are available to local governments, quasi-governmental agencies and nonprofits to help assess, clean up and reutilize brownfields – blighted, abandoned properties that may pose environmental concerns.

“Our commonwealth is already an amazing place to live, but these grants help Kentucky’s cities and towns reach their full potential,” said Gov. Beshear. “Just as important, they help protect our people and landscape from potential environmental hazards.”

An estimated 8,000 brownfields exist across the commonwealth. Properties may include abandoned schools, hospitals, gas stations and dry cleaners, former factories and mine-scarred lands.

“Kentucky has had great success with brownfield redevelopment through EPA grants over the past few years,” said Amanda LeFevre, Director of the Division of Compliance Assistance, which oversees Kentucky’s Brownfields Program. “These funds have been used to clean up and transform old theaters, former school buildings, abandoned industrial sites and more.”

More than $15 million in competitive Brownfield Grant funding has been awarded to Kentucky since 2006. Last year’s examples of approved project sites include a former textile mill adjacent to downtown Middlesboro, a vacant three-story former bank building in Hazard, a vacant bakery site in Pineville’s downtown gateway and the former Newport Steel and Ludlow Incinerator properties in Northern Kentucky.

“Through this program, with federal, state and local partners, we’re able to support our communities and encourage the re-establishment of abandoned properties that may otherwise never be reused,” said Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman. “Many of these properties are located in opportunity zones where new investment is needed to support local economic growth.”

Once a project is approved by the EPA for funding, an environmental site assessment takes place and a plan of action is developed. The Energy and Environment Cabinet provides programs and services to help with these properties, and works with local entities to provide expert guidance and technical and site management assistance.

Information, including frequently asked questions and changes in this year’s guidance are posted on the EPA’s brownfield funding page. Grant application writing tools including checklists, sample support letters and successful grant applications can be found on the Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program grant writing resources page. Grant applications are due to the EPA by Oct. 28, 2020.

If you are interested in submitting a grant application or want to learn more about federal Brownfield Grants and state resources for properties in your community, please contact Eric.Eisiminger@ky.gov or Elizabeth.McNulty@ky.gov for more information.

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