Early Bird Registration Deadline Approaching For 2016 Central Appalachian Regional Brownfields Summit

The Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program would like to invite you to attend the inaugural 2016 Central Appalachian Regional Brownfields Summit on Sept. 8, 2016, at the Marriott Town Center in Charleston, West Virginia. The deadline for early bird registration for this event is Aug. 5. Don’t miss your opportunity to save money!

Continue reading “Early Bird Registration Deadline Approaching For 2016 Central Appalachian Regional Brownfields Summit”

Division of Water continues to monitor Kentucky’s waters for Harmful Algal Blooms

Lake Reba HAB

For the last few years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) have monitored the state’s waters for harmful algal blooms, commonly known as HABs.

Algal blooms, and the algae that form them, occur naturally in the water. Certain factors, such as warm water temperatures, low turbulence and elevated nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen, promote the growth of HABs. Nutrients can come from many sources including crops, pastures, and urban and industrial areas. HABs are likely to occur when there are warm water temperatures, excess nutrients and low turbidity in the lakes.

What do HABs look like? The typical green algae, which is not harmful to humans or animals, comes in many forms and looks like underwater moss, stringy mats or floating scum. HABs, or cyanobacteria, are blue-green in color and appear as slicks of opaque, bright-green paint. Upon closer inspection, they often reveal a grainy, sawdust-like appearance of individual colonies of bacteria. The algae can also appear as red or brown.

Some cyanobacteria produce toxins that can be hazardous to animals and humans. Symptoms of exposure to HABs may include gastrointestinal symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; skin and eye irritation; and/ or throat irritation or breathing difficulties.

While most Kentucky lakes and rivers that contain algal blooms remain open to recreational use, visitors should be aware of the possibility of potential health impacts associated with water contact and take precautions. Some lakes and rivers are posted for “no swimming” however, contact with the water can still occur through recreation activities such as fishing.  The following guidelines are recommended to reduce exposure to HABs:

  • Avoid direct contact with affected water, including activities such as swimming, wading, fishing, paddling, diving and water skiing. Avoid contact with water that has unusual color or where blue-green algae has been identified, even if the water appears to be clear.
  • People who are prone to respiratory allergies or asthma should avoid areas with HABs. Children may be particularly sensitive.
  • Skin exposed to water containing blue-green algae should be washed off with fresh water. In some cases, skin irritation will appear after prolonged exposure. If symptoms persist, consult your local health care provider.
  • Fish fillets (not organs) may be consumed after the fillets have been rinsed in clean, non lake water. Wash your hands or any parts of your body that have come into contact with the fish.
  • Pets and livestock should be prevented from making contact with HAB-infested waters.

Last summer, the DOW confirmed the presence of HAB toxin levels exceeding recommended safety thresholds on the Ohio River and several lakes in Kentucky.

If HABs are identified in any lake or river, an advisory will be issued to the public. An advisory is intended to educate potential users about the water so that they may make informed decisions.

Public water systems depending on lakes for their raw water source should monitor for the presence of HABs and adjust treatment of the water accordingly. Algal blooms are effectively addressed through water treatment techniques, producing water that is safe to drink.

The proper management of nutrients from stormwater runoff in watersheds and the proper treatment of these nutrients in wastewater play a key role in managing algal blooms of all kinds. The DOW, along with other federal and state partners and stakeholder groups, is developing a nutrient reduction strategy to address nutrient pollution problems in Kentucky.

For additional information about HABs, visit http://water.ky.gov/ waterquality/pages/HABS.aspx or contact Mark.Martin@ky.gov.

For updates on water levels and HABs at USACE lakes visit http:// http://www.lrl.usace.army.mil/Missions/ CivilWorks/WaterInformation/HABs.aspx.

For safe water recreation visit http://www.who.int/water_ sanitation_health/bathing/srwe1/en/. For additional information regarding HABs and public water systems, contact Eric.sutton@ky.gov.

 

Forty Years Later, State Nature Preserves Protecting Kentucky’s Pristine Places

IMG_1162
Gov. Julian Carroll signs the State Nature Preserves bill into law.

Forty years after then Gov. Julian Carroll signed the bill that formed the Kentucky State Nature Preserves system, more than 100 people gathered July 21 to celebrate at the historic Berry Hill Mansion in Frankfort.

IMG_1175
Rep. Brent Yonts , D-Greenville, attends the Preserves celebration.

State dignitaries, past commissioners, employees and supporters enjoyed a night of memories, historic photos and an up-to-date look at the work the Preserves do today. A reception with a selection of local foods and a celebratory cake rounded out the festivities.

Continue reading “Forty Years Later, State Nature Preserves Protecting Kentucky’s Pristine Places”

Save the Date for Governor’s Conference on Energy and Environment

This year’s Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment will be held September 21 – 22, 2016 at the LexingtonEnergy and Environment Conference Convention Center.
Save the date!

You can help accelerate Kentucky’s sustainable future by attending.
Attendees will leave with actionable opportunities in the following topic areas:

  • Energy Efficiency
  • Waste Reduction
  • Utilities
  • Renewable Energy Solutions

Details coming soon at  http://www.energy.ky.gov

Harmful Algal Bloom Prompts Health Warning for Hardinsburg Lake

Hab MapFRANKFORT, Ky. (July 22, 2016) – The Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) and the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) have issued a harmful algal bloom (HAB) recreational public health warning  for the lake located at the FFA Leadership Training Center, in Hardinsburg, Ky. The recreational public health warning area includes the entire lake.

Water ingested during recreational activities in this lake may increase the risk of gastrointestinal symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Skin, eye and throat irritation and/or breathing difficulties may also occur after contact.

Continue reading “Harmful Algal Bloom Prompts Health Warning for Hardinsburg Lake”

Energy Services Coalition’s Transformation Conference Registration Available Now

Learn more about Energy Savings Performance Contracting by attending the ESC Market Transformation Conference

August 23-24, 2016

The Energy Services Coalition’s Market Transformation Conference is just around the corner – register now!

Continue reading “Energy Services Coalition’s Transformation Conference Registration Available Now”

River Basin Coordinators Working to Improve Water Quality Across State

Chad Pic

Hidden amongst the trees and in the ravines of Kentucky are rivers that rival any in our country for beauty and quality.  Not only are these rivers aesthetically pleasing, they provide drinking water, a resource for crop irrigation, and recreational opportunities like boating, swimming and fishing.

The Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) employees are invested in Kentucky’s rivers as a resource for generations to come. They work in nearly all of Kentucky’s seven major river basins to protect and improve the Commonwealth’s  rivers.

Chad Von Gruenigen is the basin coordinator for the Licking River. He grew up spending his days swimming and fishing on the Cumberland River, but now, with other basin coordinators, looks for opportunities to educate and engage the public and to leverage grant funding to reduce effects of nonpoint source pollution, known commonly as runoff.

Continue reading “River Basin Coordinators Working to Improve Water Quality Across State”