Division of Waste Management Calls for Grant Applications

Deadline April 1, 2020 for recycling, composting and household hazardous waste grants

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 9, 2020) – The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Waste Management is accepting grant applications for projects that develop an integrated infrastructure and offer public education programs on recycling,  composting, and for household hazardous waste (HHW) collection events.

Grant funding comes from the Kentucky Pride Fund and is underwritten by a $1.75 per ton fee on municipal solid waste disposed of in Kentucky’s contained landfills. Local governments, solid waste management districts, public schools, universities and colleges are eligible to apply. Priority is given to applicants for regional projects.

Director of the Division of Waste Management Jon Maybriar said the grants will support educational programs and help local communities find valuable uses for waste materials instead of contributing to landfills. “We’re honored to support these programs that continue to help our communities maintain and expand their ability to recycle and compost,” he said.

Applications must be postmarked no later than Friday, March 27, 2020, or hand-delivered to the Division of Waste Management, Recycling and Local Assistance Branch by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. The original application and any supporting documentation must be submitted in order for an application to be complete. Each grant requires a 25% local match.

More information about these and other grants is available here. Questions can be directed to Grant.White@ky.gov or 502-782-6474.

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Kentucky Lead Workgroup to Meet January 9

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 8, 2020) – The Kentucky Lead Workgroup will meet Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020 at 10 a.m. in Room 216 at the offices of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, 300 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort, KY.

Agenda

  • Call meeting to order and roll call of membership – Greg Heitzma
  • Introduce guests – Greg Heitzman
  • Approve minutes of Dec. 19, 2019 – Greg Heitzman
  • Report from workgroup chair – Greg Heitzman
    • Update on info from AWWA
  • Reports from sub-teams
    • Lead inventory/asset – Bill Robertson
    • Water sampling – Mary Carol Wagner
    • Water treatment – Rengao Song
    • Schools – Emily Fritz
    • Communication – Greg Heitzman
  • Discuss timeline and interim work – Greg Heitzman
  • Open discussion for workgroup – Greg Heitzman
  • Public comment period – Greg Heitzman
  • Set next workgroup meeting
  • Adjourn

Dial-in number to meeting: 1-866-754-7476  Conference code: 5025643499; PIN: 8801

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Couple’s Beloved Farm a Perfect Gift

342 Acres Donated as State Nature Preserve

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 19, 2019) – The land in rural Henry County had everything that Eugene Lacefield was looking for. It was an interesting plot complete with woods, hills and hollows, the last farm on a dead-end road. So, he and his wife Mary Margaret Lowe purchased the land in 1978.

Over the next few decades, they perfected their eco-friendly farmhouse. They spent afternoons picnicking next to Drennon Creek and evenings sitting on the porch, watching the sunset.

“As the years went by, we were growing more and more fond of this land — hiking it and building trails and enjoying it,” Lacefield said. And it occurred to them, Lowe chimed in, that other people might enjoy it, too.

Last year, Lowe and Lacefield decided to begin the process of donating 342 of their 350 acres to the Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves, part of the Energy and Environment Cabinet, which will protect the land and use it to restore federally endangered species. Just in time for the holidays, the land was dedicated as Drennon Creek State Nature Preserve. As a result, the land will enjoy the highest level of conservation in the Commonwealth for protecting rare species.

“A donation like this doesn’t come along very often,” said Zeb Weese, executive director of the Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves (KNP). What makes Lowe and Lacefield’s land unique, he said, is its potential for restoring Braun’s rockcress, a federally endangered species.

Restoration is an important part of saving a species from extinction and removing its endangered status. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed Braun’s rockcress, or Boechera perstellata, as endangered in 1995, and Nature Preserves botanists and managers have been working ever since to delist one of the Commonwealth’s rarest plants.

brauns-rockcress-4
Braun’s rockcress (Boechera perstellata). Photo courtesy of Kentucky Rare Plant Database.

Identifiable by its lanceolate leaves and the small white or lavender flowers produced in mid- to late-spring, Braun’s rockcress is only found in three Kentucky counties — Franklin, Henry and Owen — and two counties in Tennessee. The couple’s property is located near the world’s northernmost population of Braun’s rockcress.

Weese said KNP will first focus on planting Braun’s rockcress on the donated property and managing invasive competitors so the endangered species can thrive. Once a healthy and sustainable population has been established, KNP will explore making the land accessible to the public with hiking trails and other amenities. The site also has potential for restoration of another federally endangered plant, globed bladderpod (Physaria globosa), and several rare mussel species.Braun’s rockcress (Boechera perstellata). Photo courtesy of Kentucky Rare Plant Database.

The Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves owns more than 19,000 acres protected as nature preserves across the Commonwealth. The office’s foremost mission is to protect land recognized for its natural significance including protecting rare species. But it also works to conserve land for “passive” recreational activities like hiking and bird watching.For Lowe and Lacefield, who have backgrounds in education and have always cared deeply about the environment, the decision to donate the land was rooted in a desire to do something that would benefit everyone who would use it.

“We were amazed … that two people could offer and provide a state nature preserve for all of Kentucky and surrounding peoples to come visit,” Lacefield said. The couple intends to perform day-to-day maintenance of the state nature preserve as volunteer stewards. They also hope that their donation encourages others to think about ways they can make a difference. “Every person can be involved with improving, protecting and conserving the environment,” Lowe said.

For additional information, visit https://eec.ky.gov/Nature-Preserves/

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PSC Completes Review of Input on Net Metering Changes

Commission will contract with outside consultant to assist with rate cases

Contact: Andrew Melnykovych
502-782-2564 or 502-564-3940
502-330-5981 (cell)
Andrew.Melnykovych@ky.gov

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 18, 2019) – The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) will hire an expert consultant to assist with the review of rate applications filed by electric utilities under Kentucky’s new net metering statute.

The new law, which takes effect January 1, 2020, changes the way in which Kentucky electric utility customers receive credit for electricity they generate from solar panels and other renewable sources.

In an order issued today, the PSC summarized the comments it received during an administrative case it opened to examine implementation of the statute. The record of the administrative case will be incorporated into the record of any rate adjustment cases filed by electric utilities.

The PSC case was established in July to gather information that would be useful in those future rate cases. The PSC made no decisions on net metering rates in the current proceeding.

Today’s order summarizes the extensive comments the PSC received during the proceeding, both in writing and at a November 13 public meeting. The order notes that the comments include a variety of proposed approaches to setting the revised rates.

Many of those approaches are new to the PSC and differ from conventional rate proceedings.

Therefore, the PSC has decided to hire an outside consultant to assist with the initial round of net metering rate cases. The consultant “will bring expertise and experience from other states and proceedings that the Commission staff itself does not possess,” the PSC said in the order.

The PSC issued a request for proposals from consultants earlier this month, with responses due today.

The PSC also said that it will initiate a separate administrative proceeding to revise the technical guidelines and requirements under which net metering customers connect to a utility’s system. Those rules, which apply to all electric utilities, need to be updated to reflect changes in technology and technical standards, the PSC said.

The case will use a collaborative process similar to that was used to establish the current guidelines, the PSC said. All electric utilities will be made parties to the case.

Responding to comments that called on the PSC to delay implementation of the act until the total amount of net metered generating capacity reaches a threshold level, the PSC stated that the statute sets an implementation date with which the PSC is required to comply. Therefore, the PSC must accept applications for revised net metering rates submitted by utilities after January 1, 2020.

Under the new net metering law, net metered customers will receive dollar credits at a compensation rate set by the PSC in rate proceedings for each utility, with the compensation amount for each billing period subtracted from the total bill for that period. The new law states that an electric utility is “entitled to implement rates to recover from its eligible (net metering customers) all costs necessary to serve” those customers, independent of the rate structure for all other customers.

Homes and businesses that begin receiving net metering service under the prior rates will continue to do so for 25 years from the date at which net metering began. The 25-year period will not be affected if the property is sold.

Investor-owned electric utilities – Duke Energy Kentucky, Kentucky Power Co., Kentucky Utilities Co., Louisville Gas & Electric Co. – will have to file individually to adjust their net metering rates. Kentucky’s two generation and transmission cooperatives – Big Rivers Electric Corp. and East Kentucky Power Cooperative – may file on behalf of one or more of their distribution cooperatives or distribution cooperatives may file individual applications.

Each utility’s new net metering rate will be established based on its particular circumstances, considering both the evidence in each case and the record of the current proceeding. Utilities may files cases beginning January 2, 2020.

Today’s order, a video of the public comment hearing and other records in the case are available on the PSC website at https://psc.ky.gov/PSC_WebNet/ViewCaseFilings.aspx?case=2019-00256.

The PSC is an independent agency attached for administrative purposes to the Energy and Environment Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,100 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in Kentucky.

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Kentucky Lead Workgroup to Meet December 19

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 17, 2019) – The Kentucky Lead Workgroup will meet Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, at 10 a.m. in Room 216 at the offices of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, 300 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort, KY.

Agenda

  • Call meeting to order and roll call of membership – Greg Heitzma
  • Introduce guests – Greg Heitzman
  • Approve minutes of Dec. 3, 2019 – Greg Heitzman
  • Report from workgroup chair – Greg Heitzman
    • Update on info from AWWA
  • Reports from sub-teams
    • Lead inventory/asset – Bill Robertson
    • Water sampling – Mary Carol Wagner
    • Water treatment – Rengao Song
    • Schools – Emily Fritz
    • Communication – Greg Heitzman
  • Discuss timeline and interim work – Greg Heitzman
  • Open discussion for workgroup – Greg Heitzman
  • Public comment period – Greg Heitzman
  • Set next workgroup meeting
  • Adjourn

Dial-in number to meeting: 1-866-754-7476
Conference code: 5025643499; PIN: 8801

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Dry Cleaning Calendar for 2020-2021 Now Available

Did you know? Dry cleaning facilities have certain environmental requirements for handling and monitoring the use of chemicals in the dry cleaning process. To help, the Division of Compliance Assistance provides a 2020-2021 environmental recordkeeping calendar. This calendar is designed to help dry cleaning facilities track key records that will document self-inspections and chemical usage. Businesses can use the calendar to track chemical purchases and annual usage; record results of required leak checks and equipment monitoring; and prepare in the event of an EPA inspection. Find the calendar at http://bit.ly/2syIomQ.

We are here to help with your environmental questions and stewardship! Contact us at 502-782-6189 or envhelp@ky.gov. Our services are free.

 

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Wastewater & Drinking Water Advisory Councils to Meet

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2019) – A joint meeting of the Kentucky Wastewater & Drinking Water Advisory Councils will meet Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, at 1 p.m. in the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority Conference Room at 100 Airport Road, Frankfort, KY. The public is invited to attend.

Agenda

  • Introductions and welcome – Division of Water Director (Peter Goodmann)
  • Announcements
  • Review agenda
  • Joint WWAC & DWAC September 2019 meeting minutes
  • Sub-committees assignments & action items
    • Nutrients (Brian Bingham)
    • Small systems (Gary Larimore)
    • Compliance (Sarah Gaddis)
    • Compliance/regulations (Kim Padgett)
    • Source water protection (Matt Glass)
    • WWAC
    • DWAC
  • Joint sub-committee: water reuse (Annette DuPont-Ewing)
  • Joint sub-committee: infrastructure sustainability (Donna McNeil)
      • Asset management workgroup
  • Joint sub-committee: operator recruiting & development (Amanda LeFevre)
  • Joint sub-committee: water loss (Jory Becker)
  • Sub-committee assignments
  • EPA’s nutrient survey information
  • Public water and wastewater infrastructure task force update
  • Significant non-compliance
  • Legionella conversation
  • Other issues from council members & staff
  • Public comments (at discretion of chair)
  • Next meeting – March 10, 2020

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