Kentucky Drought Declarations Removed

Recent rainfall has eased drought concerns

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 8, 2019) – The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and the Office of the State Climatologist, in coordination with the Kentucky Drought Mitigation Team, have removed drought declarations for all 120 counties in the Commonwealth. Recent rains have eliminated precipitation deficits and improved stream flows and soil moisture levels.

Precipitation events since Oct. 3, when the statewide Level 1 and Level 2 drought declarations were issued, have helped ease the moderate to severe drought conditions.

“Following the rapid intensification of drought through September and the first week of October, weather patterns have shifted dramatically,” said Dr. Stuart Foster, state climatologist for Kentucky. “The month of October finished as the third wettest on record, easing concerns about drought as winter approaches.”

Although the drought declarations have been removed, some drought impacts may still persist into the winter, especially regarding a potential lack of winter feed.

“Well above normal precipitation throughout October coupled with the end of the growing season has alleviated most drought concerns in the agricultural sector,” said Matt Dixon with the University of Kentucky Agricultural Weather Center. “However, severely stressed pastures led to limited fall grazing and supplemental feeding of winter hay.”

More information about drought declaration criteria can be found in the Kentucky Drought Mitigation and Response Plan.

To see all current drought declarations in Kentucky, please access the Division of Water’s Drought Viewer at http://watermaps.ky.gov/drought.

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Harmful Algal Bloom Recreational Public Health Advisory Removed

Test results below advisory levels on the Ohio River

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 7, 2019) – The Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) and the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) have removed the recreational public health advisory for the Ohio River previously issued due to harmful algal blooms (HABs). Results from recent water samples collected throughout the advisory area from the McAlpine Dam near Louisville to the Greenup Dam near Greenup are below the recreational advisory threshold for microcystin toxins.

The recreational public health advisory was issued Sept. 26 when sample results from the river indicated the presence of toxin-producing algal blooms. Since that time, regular testing has occurred to monitor microcystin levels. Although the advisory is being removed, the DOW and DPH advise there are always risks associated with recreating in natural waters, especially with the incidental ingestion of water, and recommend avoiding contact with waters that have visible algal blooms.

For additional information about harmful algal blooms in Kentucky, please visit the Division of Water’s HAB webpage here.

To see all current HAB advisories in Kentucky, please access the Division of Water’s HAB Viewer at http://watermaps.ky.gov/HABs.

An advisory remains in effect for Briggs Lake near Russellville.

 

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Kentucky Waste Tire Work Group to Meet November 4

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2019) – The Kentucky Waste Tire Work Group will meet on Monday, November 4th, 2019, at 1 p.m. in Training Room C. at the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet building, 300 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort, KY 40601.

Agenda:

1) Updates on Kentucky’s waste tire program

2) Kentucky’s rubber modified asphalt program

3) Presentation on pour-in-place rubber playground surfaces

4) New business

 

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Special Board Meeting: Kentucky Board of Certification of Water Treatment & Distribution System Operators

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 24, 2019) – The Kentucky Board of Certification of Water Treatment and Distribution System Operators (drinking water board) will meet on Oct. 25 at 10 a.m. EST in conference room 111, Department for Environmental Protection, 300 Sower Blvd., Frankfort, KY 40601. This meeting pertains to the notice of violations issued to two operators at Greensburg Water Works. Portions of this meeting are open to the public.

WHO:          Board of Certification, Water Treatment and Distribution System Operators

WHEN:        Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 at 10 a.m. EDT

WHERE:      Kentucky Energy & Environment Cabinet
Conference Room 111
300 Sower Blvd.
Frankfort, KY 40601

AGENDA: 
Call to Order
Roll Call
Introduction of Guests
New Business
Hearings for disciplinary action from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Adjourn for Lunch at 12:00 p.m.
Hearings for disciplinary action from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Executive Session
Adjournment

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Funding Available for Water Pollution Control Projects

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 18, 2019) – Applications are being accepted to fund nonpoint source pollution control projects, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet announced.

Projects that help clean up polluted streams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater and for projects that protect water resources are eligible for funding through Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act, according to Dale Booth, manager of the Division of Water’s nonpoint source grant program.

“Funds can be used for watershed restoration projects, watershed plan development, and other projects that reduce and prevent runoff pollution,” Booth said. “These funds can be used to pay for up to 60-percent of the cost of each project, with a required 40-percent non-federal match.”

Nonpoint source pollution, also known as runoff pollution, is the primary contributor to water pollution in Kentucky. The Division will give priority to projects involving watershed plan development and implementation for impaired waters, source water protection areas, and the protection of special-use waters (e.g., cold water aquatic habitat, exceptional waters, state wild rivers and federal wild and scenic rivers) with identified threats.

To find stream designations in your area, please visit the Cabinet’s water health portal.

Applications must be submitted no later than December 3, 2019.  Nonpoint source program staff will review the project proposals and rank them according to eligibility and priority criteria. To determine if your organization is eligible and to obtain the project proposal form and other supporting documents, please visit the grant program page.

For more information, contact Dale Booth at 502-782-6895 or dale.booth@ky.gov.

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EPA Brownfield Grant Applications Due in December

Guidance is available online for those who wish to apply

Do you own a blighted property or want to develop one with a questionable environmental history? You may have a brownfield – a property that has been abandoned or underutilized due to contamination or the perception of contamination.

Grants are available through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) FY 2020 brownfield grant program to assess and remediate these properties to get them back to productive use. The grants are open to local governments, nonprofits and quasi-governmental agencies.

  • Assessment grants allow communities to inventory, characterize, assess, conduct cleanup planning, and encourage involvement around sites in their communities.
  • Cleanup grants are used to perform remediation activities at brownfield sites.
  • Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grants are used to establish grant and loan programs for cleanup activities.

The EPA has released guidance for the FY 2020 brownfield grants on the EPA brownfield funding page. Grant writing resources, including checklists, sample support letters and successful grant applications, can be found on the Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program website.

Grant applications are due to the EPA on Dec. 3, 2019.

The Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program staff can provide review and feedback on grant applications as can staff from the regional New Jersey Institute of Technology Technical Assistance for Brownfields.

If you are interested in submitting a grant application or want to learn more about how to utilize federal brownfield grants and state resources for properties in your community with an environmental past, contact eric.eisiminger@ky.gov or elizabeth.mcnulty@ky.gov for more information.

 

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Clean Diesel Grant Funding Announced

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 8, 2019) – The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) today announced the 2019 Kentucky Clean Diesel Grant Program, which will provide more than $320,000 to fund projects to reduce diesel emissions from aging school buses in the Commonwealth.

All Kentucky public school districts and private schools that own and operate school buses are eligible to apply for funding through this grant program, which will reimburse up to 25 percent of the total cost of the purchase of a new school bus replacement. Grant recipients are responsible for the remaining 75 percent.

“We hope school districts across the Commonwealth will take advantage of this program that will protect the health of our children by reducing diesel emissions and improving air quality,” Cabinet Secretary Charles Snavely said.

Diesel exhaust contains a mixture of fine particles, nitrogen oxides, and more than 40 hazardous air pollutants. These pollutants have a negative impact on human health, especially for children who have a faster breathing rate than adults and whose lungs are not yet fully developed.

Thanks to recent advancements in diesel technology, new buses emit up to 98 percent less particulate matter and up to 90 percent less nitrogen oxide than those built before 1995.  

“This program will make it easier for school districts to replace older, more polluting buses with newer, cleaner ones,” said Division for Air Quality director Melissa Duff. “Not only do our communities benefit from cleaner air, but so do bus passengers, since exhaust is often pulled into the vehicle cabin when doors are opened.”

Priority will be given to awarding grants to applicants that are located in an area not meeting current air quality standards, proposals that achieve the most cost-effective emission reductions, and applications that demonstrate the most emissions reductions.

The deadline to apply for funds is November 13, 2019.  Successful applicants will have until August 2, 2021 to complete their projects. To apply, visit the Division for Air Quality’s web-site.