Gov. Beshear Announces Nearly $534,000 in Grants to 14 Kentucky Counties to Clean Up Illegal Open Dumps


FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 2, 2023)
 – Gov. Andy Beshear and Kentucky Energy and Environment (EEC) Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman today announced approximately $534,000 in grants for the cleanup of 62 illegal dumps in 14 counties across the commonwealth.

The grant funding is used to clean sites where household solid waste such as couches, tires, coolers and bedding has been illegally dumped.  Not only are these dumps an eyesore in municipalities, but they can be a health hazard due to exposed debris and vermin. Once cleaned, the sites offer locations for revenue-producing businesses. 

“Kentucky families deserve for their communities to be clean and safe. Illegal dump sites can affect Kentuckians’ quality of life and the health and vitality of communities,” Gov. Beshear said. “Thousands of our people will benefit from this grant program.”

The grants will be used in the following counties and sites:  Butler (4), Calloway, Carlisle, Christian (2), Hart (3), Hopkins, Johnson (4), Lawrence (4), Logan, Metcalfe, Pike (10), Scott, Warren and Wolfe (28).

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

“This grant has funded the cleanups for close to 2,700 dump sites across the state since its creation in 2006,” Secretary Goodman said.  “I am encouraged that these communities have taken action through this wonderful 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 contact Lisa Evans at 502-782-6355 or lisa.evans@kygov

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Kentucky Reclamation Guaranty Fund Commission to Meet February 7

Video conference will start at 9 a.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 2, 2023) – The Kentucky Reclamation Guaranty Fund Commission will hold its quarterly meeting virtually February 7, 2023 at 9 a.m. Eastern time, via Zoom.

Please join the KRGF meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone: 
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84116171388?pwd=dE51ejdtSWdxVFlTbUJtVi9FdkN0QT09

Meeting ID: 841 1617 1388 
Passcode: 264871
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,84116171388#,,,,*264871# US (Washington DC)
+13052241968,,84116171388#,,,,*264871# US Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/keez5brJxj

Please note:  KRGF commissioners must be visible in order to vote on commission business. For questions about connecting to the videoconference, please contact Jeff O’Dell at 502-782-6724.

Agenda

  • Call to Order and Roll Call
  • Welcome and Opening Remarks
  • Approval of the Minutes from November 9, 2022 Meeting
  • Discussion and Decisions for Actuarial Study
  • AML Excess Funding Requests:
    • Appalachian 836-5626
    • Appalachian 810-8032
  • DNR Update and Pond Retention: Gordon Slone, DNR Commissioner
  • Report Back on KRS 350.503 (5) – Long Term Treatment: Lance Huffman, OLS Assistant General Counsel
  • Other Business:
    • Financial Reports and Bond Amounts
    • Statutory Mandates Completed – Annual Report To Governor/Annual Classifications
    • Board Appointments
    • Staff Update
    • Recap of 2023 Meeting Dates
  • Adjournment

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New Interactive Solar Project Map Available

The Kentucky Office of Energy Policy has released a new interactive map of Kentucky’s solar projects and ordinances.

The KY Solar Ordinance webpage allows interested individuals to see all of Kentucky’s current solar ordinances and Siting Board- approved solar projects in one place.

These ordinances guide local governments to better support renewable energy projects at all scales of development, from residential rooftop to utility-scale solar installations.

Solar developers interested in bringing solar energy to Kentucky communities may find this tool especially helpful in locating potential sites for their projects. Kentucky citizens may utilize this tool to see if there are solar projects in development or construction near them.

Clicking on a project allows the user to locate the projects website, the anticipated megawatt capacity, the acreage of the project, and more.

The Office of Energy Policy encourages county and local zoning officials to help us keep this up-to-date by submitting solar ordinances via the form in the top right corner of the webpage.

To explore the map, click here: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/7fa2bf92f6f54ee4958e11cca3f1eb64

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Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Authority to Meet February 2

Meeting begins at 9:30 a.m.


FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 19, 2023) 
– The Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Authority will meet February 2 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time. This meeting will be held both in person and by videoconference. If you have questions, please contact Johnna McHugh at 502-782-6703.

Anyone who wants to attend the meeting by video conferencing can follow this link (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83646051552?pwd=K3h5NjdLSkV1cElKVkZ6Z2ZTK1lHdz09) or join with Zoom meeting ID 836 4605 1552 and password AWQA.

Those who want to attend in person can do so at 300 Sower Boulevard in Frankfort, Ky.

AGENDA

  • Welcome
  • Introduction of guests
  • Approval of minutes
  • Old business
  • New business
    • Lower Green River survey
    • Subcommittee Reports
      • Nominating committee
      • KASMC
      • Farmstead
      • Pesticides, fertilizers and other agriculture chemicals
      • Livestock and poultry
      • Crops
      • Silviculture
      • Streams and other waters
      • Education and outreach
    • Quarterly update of AWQA related violations
    • Updates from members
  • Adjourn

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Lead in Drinking Water Working Group to Meet January 23

Video conference will start at 2 p.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 12, 2023) – The Lead in Drinking Water Working Group will meet by videoconference on January 23, 2023 from 2–3 p.m. Eastern time. If you have questions about connecting to the videoconference, please contact Elizabeth Dowling at elizabeth.dowling@ky.gov or 502-782-0965.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85629356012 
Meeting ID: 856 2935 6012
To join by phone:
One tap mobile:
646-931-3860
Dial by your location:
646-931-3860 or
833-928-4608 Toll-free

Agenda

  1. Call meeting to order and roll call of membership – Amy Stoffer
  2. Approve minutes of October 31, 2022 – Amy Stoffer
  3. Subgroup report out
    1. Small systems
    2. Funding/financing
    3. Lead service line inventories and replacements
    4. Public communications
    5. Corrosion control
  4. DWSRF info – Russell Neal or Sandy Williams
  5. Public comment opportunity
  6. Set next meeting date – propose April 17, 2023, 2 pm
  7. Adjourn

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Water and Wastewater Operators/Managers Survey Indicates Room for Improvement

The Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute (KWRRI) recently collaborated with the Division of Water’s Operator Recruitment and Development Committee to survey Kentucky’s water workforce and managers. The survey was intended to bring any operator recruitment and development issues to the forefront, to get a better understanding of recruitment and retention challenges, and to help decision-makers better understand operator challenges.

The two anonymous surveys were completed May 3 to June 2, 2022 and received a combined 635 responses. Both surveys reflected operator retention and recruitment challenges.

Some of the survey findings include:

  • 55% of responding operators and 56% of responding managers said their utility does not have enough operators. 65% of wastewater managers responded their utility does not have enough operators.
  • 72% of managers replied that operators left the job for better pay in another job opportunity or were recruited by other utilities.
  • 39% of operators and 38% of managers responded they were somewhat or extremely dissatisfied with the pay.
  • The aggregated median hourly wage earned by responding operators at large systems was $25 and $23 for small systems. The median hourly wage expected by responding operators at large systems was $32 and $30 for small systems.
  • The hourly entry-level pay by drinking water utilities was $10 to $50 with the average of $17.92 and median hourly rate of $16. For wastewater utilities, the hourly entry-level was $10 to $27 with the average rate of $16.60 and the median hourly rate of $16.50.
  • 76% of operators like the tasks they do at work and 54% of operators were extremely happy or somewhat happy at work.

Retention issues include impacts from COVID, a lack of adequate pay, consistent benefits and employee appreciation, as well as succession planning. Recruitment concerns include a lack of qualified applicants, adequate pay and benefits, effective recruitment strategies, and lack of training or apprentice programs.

The demographics of the surveyed respondents were primarily white and male, at proportions higher than Kentucky demographics. Minority populations and women are underrepresented, possibly due to a lack of recruitment.

As a result of the findings, several recommendations are being made and are expected to be shared by the Recruitment and Development Committee and utilities.

These include:

  • Assist drinking water and wastewater utilities in recruiting and retaining qualified staff.
  • Support policies that enable increasing compensation of water utility operators.
  • Consider development of a decision-maker training program for all utilities.
  • Provide tools and support for management to help address recruitment issues.
  • Provide case studies on effective regionalization and consolidation strategies.
  • Develop a template for an effective utility communication plan to improve employee, stakeholder, and public interaction during normal operating and emergency situations.
  • Research and develop more effective marketing strategies and techniques to advertise vacant positions.

“With the additional investment to water infrastructure through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, it is more important than ever that we address these recruitment and retention challenges,” said Amanda LeFevre, deputy commissioner of Kentucky’s Department for Environmental Protection. “Investments in the people who maintain Kentucky’s water infrastructure must also be made. These professionals are the backbone of our drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, providing critical services to the people of Kentucky.”

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Grant Applications Accepted for Crumb Rubber and Recycled Tire Projects

Application deadline is April 3, 2023

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 9, 2023) – The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet is accepting grant proposals for projects that promote the use of recycled Kentucky waste tires.

The cabinet will provide 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.

“Communities across Kentucky are using this grant program on innovative uses of recycled tires,” said Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman. “As a result, we’re able to recycle tires across the state and minimize illegal dumps.” 

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 3, 2023, via email to lisa.evans@ky.gov. The submittal of the application and any supporting documentation is required for the application to be considered for funding.

For more information, contact Lisa Evans at 502-782-6355 (office), 502-330-6829 (cell) or lisa.evans@ky.gov. Additional information and the grant application are online at the division’s website. 

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Division of Waste Management Calls for Grant Applications

Deadline April 3, 2023 for recycling, composting, and household hazardous waste grants


FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 5, 2023)
 – The Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Waste Management is accepting grant applications for projects that develop recycling and composting infrastructure or offer education programs, and for household hazardous waste (HHW) collection events.

Local governments, solid waste management districts, public schools, universities and colleges are eligible to apply. Applications with regional projects are given priority. Each grant requires a 25 percent local match.

“The division is pleased to be able to help Kentucky communities maintain and grow their recycling and composting infrastructure through these grants,” said Division of Waste Management Director Tammi Hudson. “We encourage all counties to take advantage of the HHW grant program to promote the proper management of potentially dangerous household chemicals.”

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.

Applications must be postmarked or hand-delivered to Division of Waste Management, Recycling and Local Assistance Branch, or emailed to williamt.collins@ky.gov by 4 p.m. Monday, April 3, 2023. The original application and any supporting documentation must be submitted in order for an application to be complete.

For more information contact Grant White at 502-782-6474 or Grant.White@ky.gov.  You may also visit the division’s website.

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Abandoned Mine Lands Economic Revitalization (AMLER) Program Grant Workshop Planned

The Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (DAML) will host an online workshop for those interested in applying for a grant through the Abandoned Mine Lands Economic Revitalization (AMLER) program. The workshop will be held via Microsoft Teams on January 31, 2023, at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Anyone interested in applying for an AMLER grant in 2023 is encouraged to attend.

Each year, the division facilitates the distribution of federal funded AMLER grants, which can be applied toward economic and community development projects with correlation to historic, AML eligible, mine sites. Because of the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) – also known as the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act – the division anticipates additional grant funding may be available in 2023.

The application period for 2023 grants will be open January 5-April 5, 2023.

Workshop topics will include:

  • Introduction to the AMLER program & grant process
  • Review of the 2023 AMLER program application process
  • Discussion of winning qualities in an application packet
  • Examples of previously selected grants
  • Expectations of grant recipients
  • Q&A focused on the application process and grant ideas

Register for the workshop at https://bit.ly/AMLERGrantWorkshop.  

AMLER staff also will be available for one-on-one discussion at our regional offices on the below dates.  
February 15, 2023 at 101 Bulldog Lane, Hazard, KY
March 7, 2023 at 85 State Police Road, London, KY
March 21, 2023 at 3140 South Lake Drive, Suite 6, Prestonsburg, KY

For additional information, visit https://eec.ky.gov/Natural-Resources/Mining/Abandoned-Mine-Lands/Pages/AMLER_Program.aspx or contact SamanthaM.Johnson@ky.gov or Jordan.Montgomery@ky.gov.

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Contractor’s Workshop Planned

Contractors interested in Abandoned Mine Lands restoration projects can participate in a Contractor’s Workshop, January 25, 2023, at 10 a.m. Central time. The Division of Abandoned Mine Lands will host the workshop at the Madisonville Regional Office, 625 Hospital Drive in Madisonville, Kentucky. 

During the workshop, you’ll learn more about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding that AML has received and what that might mean for your business, the typical reclamation projects available, expectations of contractors, and the particulars of doing business with the Commonwealth. This will be an informal, open discussion with time for questions and answers. The workshop is expected to last approximately two hours. Register today at https://forms.gle/82QNPT3xcwH8JHM7A.

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