Today marks the 44th anniversary of the celebration of Earth Day.

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On Earth Day, we would like to take just a minute to reflect on our ongoing effort to provide a safe and healthy environment that allows Kentucky to grow and succeed. The following are just a sampling of the successes that Kentucky has achieved in recent years. 

  • More than 25,400 illegal open dumpsites have been cleaned up since 1993. In 2012, counties cleaned up 238 illegal open dumps at a cost of $2.3 million dollars. The average cost to clean up each dumpsite was $9,654 dollars.
  • The Kentucky Pride Fund, Eastern Kentucky PRIDE, Bluegrass Greensource, Transportation Cabinet, Adopt-A-Highway, and cities and counties contributed to the cleanup of 14,324,940 pounds of litter at a cost of $7.55 million dollars during 2012.
  • In the last 5 years, more than 2,600 Underground Storage Tank and 950 Superfund cleanups have been completed across the Commonwealth.
  • Over the last decade, the criteria air emissions (ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxides, and lead) in Kentucky have declined by 366,695 tons or 59 percent.
  • Over the past 20 years, carbon monoxide pollution has declined by almost 75 percent.
  • As of December 2013, the Clean Diesel Grant program had resulted in lifetime reductions of: 215 tons of NOx, 14.7 tons of PM, 21.4 tons of hydrocarbons, 107.6 tons of carbon monoxide, 193 tons of carbon dioxide.
  • Kentucky’s annual recycling rate has increased by 21 percent over the last 10 years.
  • Since 2002, state employees have recycled more than 16,650 tons of waste paper through the State Office Paper Recycling Program, generating more than $2.4 million dollars in revenue.
  • More than 22 million scrap tires have been collected during collection events and illegal open dump cleanups since the Waste Tire Program began in 1998.
  • It is estimated that 95 percent of Kentuckians have access to drinking water from a public water system.
  • Since the inception in 1972 of the Wild Rivers Program, the Division of Water now protects 114 river miles and 26,382 acres of land throughout the Commonwealth.
  • 100 percent of surface waters designated as Domestic Water Supplies are meeting the Drinking Water use.
  • Over the past 10 years, Kentucky has delisted 860 miles of impaired streams and 5091 acres of impaired lakes as now meeting water quality standards. An increase in the number of delisted impaired miles and acres indicates improving water quality.
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