Register Now For The Energy Assurance and Resilience Toolkit Project

First of Five Webinars Begins April 3 at 10 am EDT

Community and emergency planners and all local and regional government officials interested in advanced energy planning, resilience, and emergency response coordination are encouraged to participate in a new education opportunity – the Energy Assurance and Resilience Toolkit Project.

The project, developed by the Kentucky Office of Energy Policy and the Electricity Infrastructure Security Council (EIS), includes the development of an energy data toolkit—the foundation for energy planning and program development. It will include a series of five educational webinars and opportunities to interact with state and national energy security experts. There is no charge attend. The project is funded by a grant awarded through Kentucky’s State Energy Program.

Registration is now open for the first webinar, scheduled for April 3 at 10 a.m. EDT.  The webinar will introduce project goals, milestones, and engage participants in future program development.

For more information, contact Amanda.LeMaster@ky.gov

REGISTER HERE.

If you are unable to participate in the webinar, a video of the session will be available a few days later. Register now for additional information on accessing the video when it becomes available. 

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Ky Energy and Environment Cabinet Services and COVID-19 In-person Closure Information

As we work together to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect our customers and employees, our goal remains to provide quality service, guidance and resources to the communities we serve. While our offices are closed to the public, our staff is working for you and we are available for your immediate needs. Information is provided below for each of our offices, with links to our website where additional details and contact information can be found. #TeamKentucky #TogetherKentucky

The Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves
All April public events, including the Pine Mountain Nature Summit and the Wildflower Weekend, are cancelled. Hiking trails remain open. To find a natural area, please visit: https://eec.ky.gov/Nature-Preserves/Locations/Pages/default.aspx

The Division of Water
Unless necessary to prevent or mitigate an imminent threat or risk to human health, safety and the environment, inspections will not be conducted at drinking water, wastewater, and healthcare facilities or at any facility that has restricted public access.

Field offices will have at least one employee in the office during the normal office hours of 8:00 – 4:30. All scheduled meetings will be conducted via phone, teleconferencing or video conferencing until further notice. For DOW information, please visit: https://eec.ky.gov/Environmental-Protection/Water/Pages/default.aspx

The Division of Compliance Assistance
DCA is waiving late fees for drinking water operating certification renewals that are due on June 30, 2019 through August 31, 2019, and potentially extend to a longer period, to allow operators to get the needed continuing education credits to renew licenses. All training for water, wastewater, and solid waste training events and exams through April are cancelled.

The Public Service Commission
Until further notice, there will be no disconnections for non-payment of service and no late-payment charges for utility customers.

Documents required by 807 KAR 5:001 , Section 7(1 ), and 807 KAR 5:063  may be filed with the Commission by electronic mail at PSCED@ky.gov. An original of the documents exempted from filing in ordering paragraph 3(a), (b), and (c), shall be filed  within 30 days of the lifting of the state of emergency.

Division of Waste Management
Unless necessary to prevent or mitigate an imminent threat or risk to human health, safety and the environment, hazardous or solid waste inspections will not be done at the following places: health care facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, pharmacies, medical waste transfer stations, locations that have susceptible populations, and locations that attract large numbers of people.

Meetings with the public will be done via video conferencing, teleconferencing, etc. All public records exchanges will be completed electronically.

Division for Air Quality
Facility inspections will be done on a case-by-case basis according to the on-site visitor policies. Meetings with the public will be done via video conferencing.

Division of Enforcement
Meetings with the public will be done via video conferencing.

The Divisions of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement, Abandoned Mine Lands, Mine Safety, Mine Permits
Business will be conducted by teleconference instead of face-to-face meetings. All branch offices are closed and we request that the public use drop boxes at those locations. Outdoor inspections will be conducted using CDC guidelines.

Mine safety specialists will continue to respond to emergencies, however mine safety classroom training is suspended and a one-month extension of all training expiration dates has been granted. The Division of Mine Permits will cease on-site visits at this time. Information about the programs, including emergency contact information, can be found at https://eec.ky.gov/Natural-Resources/Mining/Pages/default.aspx.

The Office of the Reclamation Guaranty Fund
Hand-delivered payments are not being accepted at this time. Payments may be made online and through the mail. Visit https://dep.gateway.ky.gov/KRGFPortal/ or call Danielle Crosman at (502) 782-6590.

The Division of Conservation
In-person assistance is not available at this time. Districts needing assistance can reach out to their assigned field representative or email Conservation@ky.gov

The Division of Oil and Gas
Offices are closed to the public. Business, including citizen requests, will be conducted via phone or email. Inspections will be conducted outdoors. Information including emergency contact information can be found at https://eec.ky.gov/Natural-Resources/Oil-and-Gas/Pages/default.aspx

The Division of Forestry
All business and interactions are being conducted via phone or email. Foresters requested to evaluate a landowner’s property will obtain information from them via phone or email, conduct a solo site visit and convey the results to the landowner via phone or email, along with their written management plan.

Inspections for timber harvests will be conducted independently with follow-up communication via phone or email. Information including emergency contact information can be found at https://eec.ky.gov/Natural-Resources/Forestry/Pages/default.aspx

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Enhancing Energy Preparedness in the Commonwealth

Electricity is essential to our daily life and is the lifeline for our communities.  Electricity pumps clean drinking water and operates our wastewater treatment plants; it moves natural gas through pipelines and powers critical facilities such as healthcare, food and fuel operations.

As the effects of natural and man-made disaster have become more frequent, communities must prepare for potential energy disruptions that can significantly impact critical services.

To help safeguard community lifelines during an emergency or power disruption, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) in partnership with the Electricity Infrastructure Security (EIS) Council, announce a new program to enhance energy preparedness in the Commonwealth. The program is available statewide to aid local planners, emergency managers, and civic leaders in planning for energy needs.

“It’s crucial for our citizens that our local government understand their critical facility energy vulnerabilities during a disaster or power disruption and can plan for mitigation actions,” said EEC Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman.  “We are excited about what the EIS Council can bring to the community resilience discussion.”

The Energy Preparedness Project includes the development of an energy assurance toolkit that will set the foundation for energy data collection and raise awareness of energy concepts. Beginning next month, the EIS Council and the Kentucky Office of Energy Policy (OEP) will host five educational webinars to increase awareness and provide basic training of the energy assurance toolkit.

The EIS Council will support local governments’ understanding of power outage vulnerabilities at critical facilities — while better enabling mitigation actions to stabilize these critical lifelines.

“EIS is pleased to partner with the Kentucky OEP in developing critical components to aid communities across the state build awareness and resilience for their vital energy needs,” said John Heltzel, EIS Director of Resilience Planning. “In today’s highly interconnected and interdependent world, the need for new tools and techniques to address key energy resilience issues is essential.”

Over the next several months, the OEP will partner with the EIS Council to conduct awareness webinars and develop unique foundational tools to aid local planners, emergency managers, and civic leaders in planning for our energy needs, Heltzel said.

The EIS Council hosts national and international collaboration on resilience and whole community restoration and response planning, addressing severe, national and global scale hazards to lifeline infrastructures. EIS Council’s programming help utilities and their partners develop and implement cost effective, consensus-based protection measures by hosting frameworks for sustained coordination, planning and best practice development.

For more information about Kentucky’s energy assurance initiative, contact Amanda.LeMaster@ky.gov

Forest Fire Hazard Season Has Begun

Wildfires still a concern during wet weather conditions

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 28, 2020) – Despite one of the wettest winters on record, Kentucky’s forest fire hazard season has begun, and forestry personnel hope it will ‘spark’ a renewed sense of vigilance among Kentucky residents.

“Even with the heavy precipitation this winter, dead grass, leaves and twigs can dry out quickly and act as fuel for fire,” said James Wright, director of the Division of Forestry. “It is very important that people do not develop a false confidence during wet conditions.”

Kentucky law designates Feb. 15 through April 30 as spring forest fire hazard season. During this time, it is illegal to burn anything within 150 feet of any woodland or brush land between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Where local laws allow, burning is permitted from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., as winds and humidity are generally lower. However, no one should burn unless the air is calm and there is adequate moisture in the air to prevent the spread of fire. It is always illegal to start a fire any time of the year on or near timberland without taking all reasonable precautions to prevent it from spreading.

“One of the leading causes of forest fires in Kentucky is fire accidentally escaping when people burn trash or unwanted material,” Wright said. He added that it is illegal to burn garbage or any other materials except natural plant matter. All fires should be attended at all times.

Before conducting any outdoor burning, check with the local fire department and county government to find out about restrictions and local ordinances. Also check the state air quality and state waste management regulations before conducting any outdoor burning. The Division for Air Quality has many outdoor burning restrictions and should be contacted at 1-888-BURN-LAW.

Learn more about wildland fire hazard seasons, outdoor burning laws, and how to report arson at http://bit.ly/2WPecRR.

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Water Loss Committee to Meet Feb. 24, 2020

Committee part of the Wastewater/Drinking Water Advisory Council

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 20, 2020) – The Water Loss Committee of the Wastewater & Drinking Water Advisory Councils will meet Monday, Feb. 24, 2020 at 1 p.m. in Conference Room 316 at 300 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort, KY. The public is invited to attend.

Agenda

  • John Lyons: Public Service Commission report on water loss cases from 2019
  • David Osborne: Summary of American Water Works Association – North American Water Loss Conference
  • General discussion and future agendas

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Kentucky Office of Energy Policy Hosts “Energy Efficiency for Disaster Resilience” Workforce Training, March 25, 2020

Unpredictable and potentially devastating weather events demonstrate that disaster and calamity are no longer events that are few-and-far between.

To help citizens reduce energy and lessen structural damage caused by natural disasters, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet announces a workforce-training event, “Energy Efficiency for Disaster Resilience” on March 25, 2020, at the Hampton Inn, Winchester, Kentucky.

This workforce-training event offers discussions on the efficiencies, characteristics, advantages and benefits of insulated concrete forms (ICF) for residential and commercial construction, and includes a site tour of an ICF structure.

Funded by a State Energy Program grant, the workshop is hosted free of charge in partnership with the Kentucky Office of Energy Policy and the Build with Strength Coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association.

“With more frequent weather-related disasters, we need to embrace new technology, better building materials, and a renewed focus on the future resilience of our communities,” says Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman.  “This workshop provides an opportunity to step back and look at the benefits of materials such as insulated concrete forms and it’s our responsibility to share that knowledge to protect the health and safety of our citizens.

Architects, contractors, and all building professionals are encouraged to attend either the morning, afternoon or all-day session. While there is no charge to attend, on-line registration is required.

The workshop agenda is available: https://www.nrmca.org/Education/Seminars/icfs.asp

Architects may earn up to 8 continuing education AIA-CES Learning Units, Certificate of Completion.

To learn more about this workshop or other energy projects funded by the Office of Energy Policy, contact Amanda.LeMaster@ky.gov

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Gov. Beshear Announces $500,000 in Grants Available for Qualifying Counties for Debris Disposal after Flooding

PRIDE funds will go toward environmentally responsible disposal

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 18, 2020) -  Gov. Andy Beshear and Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) Secretary Rebecca Goodman announced that a total of $500,000 in grant funding is available to qualifying counties for flood debris cleanup.

Grants will be made available for the 12 counties that have received a state of emergency declaration from the governor: Bell, Clay, Harlan, Hickman, Knox, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, McCreary, Metcalfe, Perry and Whitley. Counties will be eligible for up to $50,000 each to cover the cost of collecting, transporting and disposing of municipal solid waste resulting from the flood event.

Gov. Beshear, who declared a state of emergency Feb. 7 and deployed state resources as he visited areas hardest hit by recent rains, said, “I am pleased to make this money available and stand with communities as they recover from recent flooding. I encourage everyone doing cleanup to be safe and to help the environment by properly disposing of all debris.”

Kentuckians impacted by recent flooding are urged to be safe and environmentally conscious when cleaning and disposing of material. Potential hazards include asbestos, mold and toxic chemicals.

“Please use caution when handling different types of debris,” Cabinet Secretary Goodman said. “And be aware that material that is improperly disposed of can have a lasting impact on the environment.”

Funding for the cleanup comes from the Kentucky Pride Fund, through a $1.75 environmental remediation fee for each ton of garbage disposed of at Kentucky municipal solid waste disposal facilities. The Kentucky Division of Waste Management administers the fund.

Storm debris handling guidance and additional resources can be found on the EEC website. Information also is available regarding the disposal of items such as livestock carcasses, 55-gallon drums or tanks, and for the cleanup of waterways. Please note that the preferred method for managing woody or vegetative debris is by composting, shredding or chipping for reuse as mulch.

Kentuckians should contact their local solid waste coordinator to learn if debris will be picked up curbside or if debris must be taken to a designated location.

Kentucky restricts open burning. Burning is permitted only in limited circumstances and under specific conditions. The burning of household trash other than uncoated paper products is illegal year-round.

Grant application packages will be emailed to eligible counties. For additional information, please contact Gary Logsdon (502-782-6405) or Lisa Evans (502-782-6355).

Gov. Beshear and state and local leaders provided an update on the emergency management and relief response to flooding events in Southeastern Kentucky during a Thursday briefing at the London Joint Readiness Center. They also assessed impacted areas by helicopter.

The briefing, held in accordance with state emergency management guidelines, aimed to inform local officials on how best to access and respond to recent flooding events. To read more about the visit and other flooding updates, click here.

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