Volkswagen Settlement Plan Presented

Governor Andy Beshear has announced a new plan to spend the $20.3 million allocated to Kentucky under the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. Governor Beshear’s proposal would allocate 75 percent of the funding to replace an aging buses in every county in Kentucky with a cleaner-emissions vehicle. Gov. Beshear’s plan would also put  20 percent of the funds toward federal transit to provide cleaner transit buses in parts of Kentucky not meeting federal air quality standards. The proposal would use 5 percent of the funds to cover administrative activities associated with the trust.

A copy of the presentation given by Secretary Rebecca Goodman before the House Budge Review Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Protection, Tourism, and Energy outlining this proposed plan can be found here. The Energy and Environment Cabinet is taking comment on this new revised plan.

Comments and questions about Kentucky’s plan may be emailed directly to the agency at Ky.vwsettlement@ky.gov .

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Gov. Beshear, Secretary Goodman Announce $4.5 Million in Tobacco Settlement Funds to Kentucky Farms

More than 700 projects to receive funding through the Kentucky Soil and Water Conservation Commission

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 6, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear and Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman today announced that the Kentucky Soil and Water Conservation Commission has selected 705 projects in 82 counties to receive a total of $4,554,818 in tobacco settlement funds for projects on Kentucky farms.

The majority of the projects being funded will install fencing for facilitation of rotational grazing or watering facilities to offer alternative water sources for livestock.

“This money is being used on projects that will improve both soil and water quality on Kentucky farms,” said Gov. Beshear. “This will help keep farms productive and local economies strong.”

Said Secretary Goodman: “I’m pleased that we can provide these funds to so many worthy projects on farms across the Commonwealth.”

The Soil and Water Conservation Commission is administered by the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, Division of Conservation. “I applaud these landowners that have identified areas where they could improve water quality for livestock and prevent soil erosion,” said Division of Conservation Director Paulette Akers.

The Commission has obligated over $165 million in state cost share over the past 26 years. Projects include practices like livestock waterers, grassed waterways, rotational grazing establishment and cover crops. Funds are distributed with the assistance of the 121 Soil and Water Conservation Districts across the Commonwealth.

For more information about the State Cost Share program, visit https://eec.ky.gov/Natural-Resources/Conservation/Pages/State-Cost-Share.aspx.

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Division of Waste Management Accepting Grant Applications for Crumb Rubber and Recycled Tire Projects

Application deadline is April 1, 2020

Frankfort, Ky. –(Feb 4, 2020)– The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet is accepting grant proposals for projects that promote the use of recycled Kentucky waste tires.

The Cabinet has up to $500,000 in grant funding for landscaping mulch projects, walking trails, poured-in-place playgrounds, sidewalks or other surfaces, horse trailer or stall mats, tree wells or other products utilizing recycled Kentucky tires.

Projects that are not eligible for grants include athletic field or loose crumb rubber playground applications, tire-derived aggregate, tire-derived fuel, rubber-modified asphalt or civil engineering projects.

“These grants encourage many innovative uses of recycled rubber, especially applications where it may provide better performance at a lower cost than other types of materials,” said Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman. “These grants also grow tire recycling markets across the state, which encourages proper management of waste tires.”

Grant funding comes from the Waste Tire Trust Fund, established in 1998 by the Kentucky General Assembly to receive fees collected from new tire sales. The applicant will provide match funding equal to at least 25 percent of the project cost.

Applications must be received by 4:30 p.m. on April 1, 2020, at the Division of Waste Management’s central office in Frankfort. The application and any supporting documentation must be submitted in order for the application to be considered. Applications can be emailed or mailed to Lisa Evans, Division of Waste Management, 300 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort, KY 40601.

For more information, call Lisa Evans at 502-782-6355 or e-mail at lisa.evans@ky.gov. Additional information and the grant application are online at the division’s website.

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Grants Available for Road Projects Using Rubber-Modified Asphalt

Application deadline April 1, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 4, 2020) –  The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet will provide up to $500,000 in grant funding for local road projects that utilize rubber-modified asphalt, rubber from finely ground waste tires.

Grants are available to county or metro government entities. Applications must be received by April 1, 2020. Money for these projects comes from the Kentucky Waste Tire Trust Fund, which receives $2 from every new tire sold in the Commonwealth. In addition to promoting the development of markets for recycled waste tires, the fund provides money for waste tire collection events, tire pile clean-ups, and grants for counties to manage waste tires.

“This is an incredible opportunity to work together with our local governments to foster another successful outlet for recycled tires in Kentucky,” said Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman. “Our goal is to improve both environmental and health impacts that waste tires create in Kentucky.”

Conventional paving projects consist of a surface treatment that combines a layer of asphalt with a layer of aggregate, known as chip seal, or a thin overlay of asphalt applied over an existing road surface. Projects using rubber-modified asphalt have been found to increase road life, reduce long-term maintenance costs, and reduce road noise.

The Cabinet will be performing short-term and long-term testing of the approved projects to assess the effectiveness of rubber-modified asphalt. As a condition of the grant funding, counties must agree to pay for the application of conventional chip seal or overlay on a road in their county with similar characteristics to allow for a comparison between conventional and rubber-modified asphalt.

For more information or to apply for a grant, visit the Energy and Environment Cabinet’s website. For questions, contact Byron.Bland@ky.gov or call (502) 782-6556.

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Nearly $1 million in Grants Awarded to 21 Kentucky Counties to Clean up Illegal Open Dumps

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 3, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear and Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman today announced approximately $955,000 in grant funding has been awarded for the cleanup of 121 illegal dumps in 21 counties across the Commonwealth

“Illegal dump sites are a blight on this beautiful state of ours,” Gov. Beshear said. “Cleaning these will not only restore properties but will provide a healthier environment for Kentuckians.”

The following counties received grants:  Breathitt, Butler, Calloway, Estill, Green, Hart, Henderson, Johnson, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Lincoln, Logan, Magoffin, Marion, Mercer, Metcalfe, Owsley, Pike, Warren, and Wolfe.

As part of the grant funding, counties must agree to provide a 25 percent match of the grant amount.  The Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) may waive the 25 percent match on any individual illegal open dump where cleanup costs exceed $50,000.

“This grant program has helped clean up over 2,000 dump sites across the state since its creation in 2006,” Secretary Goodman said.  “I encourage all counties to continue to take advantage of this program.”

Grants for the Illegal Open Dump Grant program comes from the Kentucky Pride Fund, which is generated through a $1.75 environmental remediation fee for each ton of garbage dumped at Kentucky municipal solid waste landfills.  This “tipping fee” was first authorized by the 2002 General Assembly under House Bill 174, for use in a dump cleanup reimbursement program, and for the remediation of historic landfills. In 2006, Senate Bill 50 changed the reimbursement program to a grant program, and expanded the scope of the fund to address household hazardous waste collection and recycling infrastructure.

Kentucky has made significant progress in addressing the illegal dump issue thanks to this funding, along with statewide cleanup and educational campaigns by local, state and federal agencies.

For grant amounts, please call your local solid waste coordinator or Lisa Evans at 502-782-6355.

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Energy and Environment Cabinet announces the release of the 2019 Energy Profile

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 28, 2020) – Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet announced the release of the 2019 Energy Profile prepared by the Office of Energy Policy (OEP)

https://eec.ky.gov/Energy/News-Publications/Pages/Kentucky-Energy-Profile.aspx.

The web-based publication provides historical and current data about Kentucky’s energy sector, and serves as an impartial point of reference to help all citizens better understand how energy resources are produced, consumed, and their role in Kentucky’s economy.

The Energy Profile is just one tool developed by the OEP to support informed decision-making through comprehensive energy data visualization and analysis. Several highlights from the 2019 Energy Profile are:

In recent years, the energy intensity of Kentucky’s economy has decreased while still supporting economic growth.

 Kentucky maintained the seventh-lowest industrial electricity price in the United States in 2018 and the lowest east of the Mississippi River.

  • In 2018, 36 percent of the energy consumed in Kentucky went to manufacturing.
  • In 2017, on average, $0.09 was spent in Kentucky on energy to produce one dollar of state Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • Kentucky ranked 13th in energy intensity of GDP.

Kentucky Energy Consumption and Expenditures.

  • More than $17 billion was spent on energy in Kentucky in 2017, a 4.6 percent increase from the previous year.
  • Natural gas consumption experienced the largest, year-over-year change with a 16.2 percent increase.
  • The transportation sector accounted for 49 percent, the largest portion, of energy expenditures.
  • In recent years, the gap between industrial and residential electricity consumption has narrowed.

Electricity Generation: Fossil fuels remain Kentucky’s primary resource.

  • In 2018, 75 percent of Kentucky’s in-state electricity was derived through the combustion of coal.
  • Natural gas facilities were the second-largest source of electricity and generation increased more than 55 percent between 2017 and 2018.
  • From 2017 to 2018, net electricity generation increased in Kentucky; this is a deviation from a trend of flat to declining generation in recent years.

Renewable energy is growing, but still constitutes a small portion Kentucky energy production.

  • Solar energy production experienced the largest growth rate year-over-year at approximately 32 percent with electricity generation from solar growing by 73 percent.
  • In 2018, hydroelectric dominated renewable electricity production, representing 90 percent of renewable electricity generation.

To provide feedback, Greg Bone, Greg.Bone@ky.gov, or visit the Office of Energy Policy, Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Website

https://eec.ky.gov/Energy/News-Publications/Pages/Kentucky-Energy-Profile.aspx

Gov. Beshear, Congressman Rogers Announce $4 Million Grant for Park Improvements in Boyd County

Rush Off-Road park receives Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot program grant for new infrastructure

FRANKFORT, KY. (Jan. 27, 2020) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers announced the award of a $4 million grant for infrastructure improvements to a 7,000-acre ATV/UTV park located in southern Boyd County.

The awarded Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Pilot program grant funds will help the Rush Off-Road park, located about 12 miles southwest of Ashland, to add a new access road and extensions of sewer and water lines to its trailhead.

The Boyd County Fiscal Court will oversee the AML project. The AML program was created to support the revitalization of the coalfields in Kentucky’s Appalachian region. The U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) approved the funding.

“Expanding much needed infrastructure at the Rush Off-Road park will help to boost visitation and add other economic development opportunities, which is critical for this region,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “These funds support not only Boyd and Carter counties, which the park’s off-road trails run across, but help to showcase to thousands of visitors who use the park every year that Kentucky is committed to coalfield revitalization efforts and to offering innovative adventure tourism experiences.”

“Our rugged off-road trails are attracting more and more people to Eastern Kentucky, and this grant will help the Rush Off-Road park entice visitors to stay a little longer, by adding the infrastructure to support new cabins, campsites and other facilities,” said Congressman Hal Rogers, who has championed $450 million in federal funding for the AML Pilot program since 2016, alongside U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “With implementation of every AML Pilot Grant, we are beginning to see revitalization in our former coalfields, where desolation is transforming into jobs, exciting tourism projects and new opportunities for local residents and visitors.”

Rush Off-Road park opened its gates in December 2012, and is experiencing great growth. Completion of the infrastructure improvements will allow additional future development at the trailhead area to include cabins, full service campsites, a welcome center, a shower/bathhouse, vehicle wash facility, storage facility, and service to these areas with sewer, water and electric utilities.

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman said the project is a great fit for the area. “The AML Pilot program is designed to bring economic development and we are confident that these infrastructure improvements to Rush Off-Road park will do that,” Secretary Goodman said.

The AML Pilot Program, funded through OSMRE, is a program administered by the Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Abandoned Mine Lands with assistance from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Department for Local Government.

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