Blue Lick Creek update to be provided to area residents

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 23, 2019) – The Department for Environmental Protection will  host a public information meeting to provide updates on the scope, progress, and future steps of the remediation project in Bullitt County where a concrete slurry spill occurred along Blue Lick Creek.

Date:                 Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Location:          Hillview Community Center, 298 Prairie Drive, Louisville

Time:                 6 p.m. EST

Jon Maybriar, the Director of the Division of Waste Management, and Peter
Goodmann, the Director of the Division of Water, will be in attendance and will be available to answer questions.

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School Districts To Receive Funding To Replace Aging Diesel School Buses

Five districts to receive more than $230,000

FRANKFORT, Ky. – (April 18, 2019)  Five Kentucky school districts will receive $231,237 to reduce diesel emissions from their school bus fleets, the Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) announced today. The funds were made available through the Kentucky Division for Air Quality’s Clean Diesel Program and the federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act.

School districts in Bullitt, Jefferson, Franklin, Letcher and Green counties will use the funds to replace older-model, diesel school buses with new diesel buses that will emit 98 percent less particulate matter and 90 percent less nitrogen oxide than the older buses they are replacing.

“These new, cleaner buses will make a difference,” said Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Charles Snavely. “Students in these districts will breathe easier, and their communities will benefit from cleaner air.”

Exposure to diesel exhaust can cause serious health problems like asthma, and can worsen existing heart and lung disease. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable.

The five school districts will replace a total of 10 diesel school buses. The awards to each school district are: Bullitt, $25,524, Jefferson, $54,621, Franklin, $72,122, Letcher, $26,102, and Green, $52,867.

While diesel engines manufactured today are cleaner than ever, tightening school budgets mean older, diesel buses that emit high levels of particulate matter and nitrogen oxide pollution may continue to operate for decades before they are replaced.

Forestry Officials Urge Caution as Spring Wildfires Increase

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 25, 2019) – Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) officials are urging caution after the spring forest fire hazard season, which began February 15, became more active up in the past three weeks.  The KDF reports it has battled more than 189 forest fires, which have damaged more than 1,524 acres, since March 1.

“I urge the citizens of the Commonwealth to be cautious when they decide to burn outdoors,” said KDF Fire Management Chief Michael Froelich. “The record rains and low wildfire of the last few months are behind us. Wildfire danger increases with every day without measurable precipitation.”

Arson continues to be the leading cause of wildfires in Kentucky, and will again be a focus of the division. Fifty-two percent of the fires this year have been caused by arson. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources officers will once again be assisting the division by investigating arson-caused wildfires.

People are urged to report any unusual activity they may see around a wildfire to local law enforcement.  Debris fires that have gotten away from homeowners have caused 30 percent of this season’s fires.

Citizens are asked to take extra caution when burning outdoors during warm, dry and windy conditions.  KRS 149.400 prohibits burning in or within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland, except between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.  If a citizen allows a fire to escape, they may be held liable for the fire suppression costs incurred by the state and county and for damage to property resulting from such fires.

People should contact their local fire department and the Division for Air Quality (DAQ) at 502-564-3999 if they have any questions about local restrictions regarding burning. For common questions regarding open burning, please visit DAQ’s web site at https://eec.ky.gov/Environmental-Protection/Air/Pages/Open-Burning.aspx.

For more information about fire hazard seasons, outdoor burning laws and safe burning practices, visit the DOF’s website at https://eec.ky.gov/Natural-Resources/Forestry/wildland-fire-management/Pages/default.aspx.

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Easy-to-Use air permit application forms available

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 22, 2019) – The Division for Air Quality (DAQ) recently revamped some two dozen forms used by permitted facilities in the Commonwealth. The updated forms have the same names as the old forms but are easier to use, and each is accompanied by its own instruction sheet.

In addition to the updated forms, new forms have been created for specific sources such as haul roads, engines, and control equipment.

“July 1, 2019, is the deadline for facilities to start using these new and updated forms,” said DAQ director Melissa Duff. “We encourage permit holders to start using them as soon as possible because the old forms will not be accepted after that date.”

The updated forms include 21 permit application forms and three compliance-related forms. All of the forms are in the “DEP7007” series.

The new forms are available online at the division’s new Air Permitting Forms & Information page. These and many other forms can also be found in the Department for Environmental Protection’s Forms Library. A new search function allows you to type in any keyword or form number to quickly and easily locate specific forms and instructions.

Comments or questions about the new forms? Email Shawn.Hokanson@ky.gov .

Smart Inverter Workshop to be held on April 18

FRANKFORT, Ky. ( March 13, 2019) – Learn about the 2018 update to the IEEE 1547 standard on April 18, 2019, during the “Smart Inverter Workshop,” at the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, Frankfort.

This one-day, free, workshop will review the new IEEE 1547 standard and discuss how states, utilities, and industry professionals will want to consider how default settings might be applied, or whether and when it’s appropriate to deviate from default settings based on a distributed energy project’s level of interconnection review.

Engineers, Distributed Energy Resources (DER) installers, utilities, regulators, and those who are involved in DER systems are welcome to attend.

Registration is available online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kentucky-smart-inverter-workshop-tickets-57712245881.  The workshop, held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is offered through a state energy program grant between IEEE and the Kentucky Office of Energy Policy.

For more information, contact Kenya Stump at the Kentucky Office of Energy Policy, 502-782-7083, or Kenya.Stump@ky.gov.

Revised Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) for bacteria-impaired surface waters gets EPA approval

FRANKFORT, Ky. ( March 7, 2019) – The Division of Water’s revised method for developing Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) for bacteria-impaired surface waters has received the approval of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The division tests Kentucky waters, evaluating the water quality, biology and habitat of waters to determine if they are meeting water quality standards. Those waters that do not meet standards are considered “impaired.”  The Clean Water Act requires each state to periodically identify impaired waters where expectations are not being met, and the state to prioritize the list of impaired waters, develop a TMDL of pollutants for those waters, and create plans to improve the water quality.

“Total Maximum Daily Load” describes the amount of a pollutant a body of water can receive and still meet water quality standards. These standards include limits for E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria that are intended to protect the health of those using surface water for swimming, wading, boating, and other recreation.

While past TMDL reports were written at the watershed scale, the recently approved Kentucky Statewide Total Maximum Daily Load for Bacteria Impaired Waters addresses all remaining bacteria-impaired waters for the state in one TMDL report. This new method will save thousands of work hours and allow the Division to more quickly address bacteria impairments in more than 400 waterways. Details about the new method and a fact sheet with more information can be found here.

Developing TMDLs has been a substantial undertaking for division personnel. The process involves spending two to three years in a watershed collecting additional samples, measurements, and data from impaired waters, then writing a detailed report of the findings. By continuing to use this process, it would have taken decades to complete the required TMDLs. The newly approved method will enable the division to meet its current obligations for bacteria TMDLs in just a few years. This reduction in work years will allow the division to otherwise use its resources to address a range of water quality issues in Kentucky.

Ultimately, the statewide bacteria TMDL will support local efforts to improve water quality by providing insight into the scope of the problem, raising public awareness of bacteria impairments, and spurring more citizens to play an active role in improving water quality.

A story map and fact sheet with more information are available at https://eec.ky.gov/Environmental-Protection/Water/Protection/TMDL/Pages/BactTMDL.aspx. To learn if a bacteria-impaired water exists near you, visit the Water Health Portal at https://watermaps.ky.gov/WaterHealthPortal/.

Community Resiliency Planning Workshop to be held March 20 in Bowling Green

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 4, 2019) – Join public agency experts and infrastructure professionals March 20, 2019, 12 noon to 3 p.m. central time for the “Building for Resiliency and Mitigation” workshop at the Sloan Convention Center, Bowling Green, Kentucky.

This free event is hosted by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s (EEC) Office of Energy Policy and by the Building Industry Association of Central Kentucky’s charitable organization, BIA Cares, and is funded by a state energy program grant.

The workshop, as seen through the agenda, is offered as an add-on to the Building Science Conference and EXPO. It explores how the intentional design of our buildings, landscapes, communities and regions can reduce the human and financial consequences of catastrophic events.

There is no charge to attend but registration is required for lunch. The deadline to make a lunch reservation is March 13.

The Office of Energy Policy invites you to register for the free workshop, using the Code KOEPWorkshop.

“Our security begins with community resilience,” said keynote speaker, John Heltzel, Brigadier General, USA (Retired) and Director of Resiliency Planning for Electric Infrastructure Security, Washington, DC. “Communities are built through cooperation between the public and private sector utilizing the best available resources to prepare for, withstand, and recover from the eventual adverse situations that we know will occur…,” he said.

For more information, please contact the Office of Energy Policy, Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, Eileen.Hardy@ky.gov or call (502) 782-6965.