Martin County Water District Workgroup to Meet December 8, 2021

Video conference will start at 1 p.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 19, 2021) – The Martin County Water District Workgroup will meet by videoconference on December 8, 2021 from 1 – 3 p.m. Eastern. If you have questions about connecting to the videoconference, please contact Kim Greenidge at 502-782-6630.

Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/616159845 You can also dial in using your phone. United States: +1 (872) 240-3212 Access Code: 616-159-845

Agenda

  • Welcome and opening remarks – EEC Secretary Rebecca Goodman
  • Introductions and announcements – DEP Deputy Commissioner Amanda LeFevre
  • Update of MCWD operations – Alliance Water Resources Division Manager Craig Miller
    • Update of projects – Bell Engineering Vice President Stephen Caudill
  • Update from the Division of Water – Division of Water Director Carey Johnson
    • Technical subcommittee report
  • Update from the Public Service Commission – Chairman Kent Chandler
  • Open discussion – Facilitated by Deputy Commissioner Amanda LeFevre
  • Future workgroup meeting proposed date and time
    • March 16, 2022, 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Adjourn

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Kentucky Division of Forestry Joins White Oak Initiative Partners in Urging Industries, Policymakers, Conservation Organizations & Landowners to Work Together to Support White Oak Sustainability

FRANKFORT, Ky. (November 16, 2021) – The Kentucky Division of Forestry, a proud partner of the White Oak Initiative, today urged support for a newly released white oak conservation plan designed to bring sustainability to this highly important hardwood species.

The plan: Restoring Sustainability for White Oak and Upland Oak Communities: An Assessment and Conservation Plan, features 10 forest management practices that if adopted can keep a healthy supply of white oak trees that can be found on more than 104 million acres of public and private forestland across much of the eastern and central United States.

American white oak is the most commercially important timber oak, generating billions of dollars annually and supplying necessary material to American industries such as furniture, flooring, cabinetry and wine and spirits. White Oak barrel stave production is an important piece of the state’s $8.6 billion bourbon industry.

“In Kentucky, white oak logs are a highly important commercial species sought by primary and secondary wood industries within the commonwealth,” said Brandon Howard, Director, of the Kentucky Division of Forestry. “In addition, the white oak lumber and forest products are often exported overseas, generating $61 million dollars in yearly revenue for the state.”

Without intervention, the report states, the American white oak population will begin to decline significantly within the next 10 to 15 years. In order to prevent this, active, cross-boundary collaboration, participation and support from industry, resource professionals, policymakers, landowners and others is needed, before it’s too late.

“The Division of Forestry works with various federal, state and non-profit partners through the White Oak Initiative,” said Director Howard, adding the division has secured two competitive grants through the US Forest Service to begin funding the initiative and development of the conservation plan.

Directed by the White Oak Initiative steering committee and developed by the American Forest Foundation and the University of Kentucky, the white oak conservation plan features science-backed data as well as practices to provide long-term sustainability for oak forests.

Please review the full report on the White Oak Initiative website. For more information about the Kentucky Division of Forestry, please visit the division’s website at https://eec.ky.gov/Natural-Resources/Forestry

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Gov. Beshear, Congressman Rogers Award More Than $9 Million in Grants to Support Economic Development Projects in Eastern Kentucky

Funding supports projects in 10 Eastern Kentucky counties

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 15, 2021) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear and U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced $9.18 million in Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization (AMLER) Program funds for economic development projects in 10 Eastern Kentucky counties.

“When completed, these projects will help support local communities and spur economic growth in Martin, Letcher, Floyd, Leslie, Knox, Knott, Owsley, Boyd, Pike and Perry counties,” said Gov. Beshear. “This program has a proven record of creating jobs in Eastern Kentucky, and these grants are another solid building block to help us build a better Kentucky for all of our families.”

Congressman Rogers, along with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, has championed $665 million in federal funding for the AMLER Program since 2016, of which $140 million has been awarded to Kentucky.

“This grant program is creating jobs, advancing vital community projects and restoring hope in Eastern Kentucky. I am proud of what we have accomplished through these grants thus far and the ongoing work to meet the needs of our people,” said Congressman Rogers. “This program is a great example of how federal, state and local governments can work together to invest in projects that greatly benefit our communities across Southern and Eastern Kentucky.”

Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman selected the projects for initial vetting by the U.S. Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE). More than 70 applications for funding in 2021 were received by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s (EEC) Division of Abandoned Mine Lands.

The projects selected for funding include:

  • Cold Storage LLC was awarded $2.5 million for construction of an agriculture cold storage facility in Martin County in which an underutilized existing spec building will be converted into a refrigerated commercial facility allowing apples to be stored up to a year after picking.
  • Cowan Community Action Group Inc. was awarded $1 million to equip the Farmers Market Pavilion with cold storage, commercial equipment, restrooms, an office and stage, and to expand the Cowan food service kitchen as well as equip a food truck.
  • Appalachian Regional Healthcare was awarded $750,000 to equip the Highlands ARH Medical Center in Prestonsburg with a diagnostic CT scanner and mammogram equipment.
  • Leslie County Fiscal Court was awarded $1 million to expand the Leslie County Recreational Facility by constructing a camping complex with 114 picnic tables, stationary grills and fire pit rings. Almost 70 RV pads will be constructed, as well as a 40,000-square-foot entertainment pavilion that will include an event stage, roadway and parking.
  • The City of Booneville was awarded $600,000 for construction of cabins to allow for overnight accommodations at the Sag Hollow Golf Club.
  • KCEOC Community Action Partnership Inc. was awarded $750,000 to purchase an existing 20,000-square-foot building on 10 acres in Knox County for a diesel mechanics shop and CDL test site. KCEOC will lease the facility to Southern Kentucky Community and Technical College, which will operate the training facility.
  • The City of Ashland was awarded $1 million to engineer and design a parking garage and convention center in downtown Ashland.
  • Pike County Fiscal Court was awarded $700,000 to install 3,000 feet of electric lines at the Wolfpit Industrial & Technology Park.
  • The Knott County Water District was awarded $600,000 for the purchase of two backup generators for the system that produces water for three counties, servicing 7,000 citizens.
  • Hazard Community & Technical College was awarded $280,000 for equipment purchases for the expansion of its successful lineman training program.

“These grants are highly sought after and are providing the kind of job growth and economic stimulus that we hoped this funding program would produce,” Secretary Goodman said. “We are excited to have helped launch these projects.”

AMLER grants are available for projects in 54 Appalachian counties in Kentucky with historic coal mining sites that have the potential to create long-term economic benefits.

Since the AMLER program’s inception in 2016, 63 projects in 23 counties have been selected for the funding. The program has generated 143 jobs so far, including 83 new positions at the Dajcor aluminum extrusion project in Perry County and more than 258 workers trained at the East Kentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute (eKAMI) and at Hazard Community and Technical College. In addition, officials report a good volume of reservations being made at Impact Outdoors and the Prestonsburg-to-David Rails to Trails projects. Once completed, these 63 grantees are projected to have created more than 2,800 new jobs.  

Information about the AMLER Program can be found at AMLER or by contacting Justin Adams, director, Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands, 300 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort, KY 40601. Office: 502-782-6761, e-mail: Justin.Adams@ky.gov.

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Kentucky Soil and Water Conservation Commission  to Hold Meeting to Vote for Representation, December 8

Meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in person or by video conference 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2021) – The Soil and Water Conservation Commission will hold a meeting to vote for representation. The Area 1 voting meeting will be held December 8 at 7 p.m. Central time at the Marshall County Extension Office, 1933 Mayfield Hwy., Benton, Kentucky. 

This meeting will include supervisors from the Area 1 counties: Ballard, Caldwell, Calloway, Carlisle, Christian, Crittenden, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Livingston, Lyon, Marshall, McCracken and Trigg counties. 

Anyone who wants to attend these meetings by video conferencing can follow this link (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86598617600?pwd=ZmFMUHUxNVVDMTlHb3IvQUQ4TERLUT09) or join with Zoom meeting ID 865 9861 7600 and password Vote. 

 AGENDA 

  • Welcome 
  • Voting for area representatives 
  • Adjourn 

If you have questions about connecting to the videoconferences, please contact Johnna McHugh at 502-782-6703. 

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Initial Meeting of the Kentucky Oil and Gas Workgroup Scheduled for December 7

Meeting will begin at 10 a.m. via Teams

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2021) – The Kentucky Oil and Gas Workgroup will hold an initial meeting on December 7 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Eastern time via Teams. If you would like to attend, please contact JanE.Velez@ky.gov to receive an email invitation and link. 

Agenda:

  • Kentucky Revised Statutes and Kentucky Administrative Regulations relative to acquisitions of equity in existing corporate entities operating oil and gas wells in Kentucky.
    • Impact on transfers of wells and status of bonds.
  • 2019-2020 repeal of KAR 5090 and potential need for legislative and/or administrative action to address gaps in the regulatory scheme.
    • Division of Water efforts to develop a template for a groundwater protection plan for oil and gas operators.
  • Other topics for the workgroup to address.

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Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Authority to Meet November 18

Videoconference begins at 9:30 a.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 9, 2021) – The Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Authority will hold a meeting November 18 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time. 

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

 AGENDA 

  • Welcome 
  • Roll call of authority members 
  • Introduction of guests 
  • Swearing in of new members 
  • Approval of minutes from April 8, 2021 
  • Old Business  
  • New Business 
    • Marketing the new AWQ Planning Tool 
    • Meeting format discussion 
    • Meeting schedule for 2022 
    • Strategic Plan 
  • Subcommittee Reports 
    • 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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Kentucky Agriculture Science and Monitoring Committee to Meet November 16

Videoconference begins at 10 a.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 9, 2021) – The Kentucky Agriculture Science and Monitoring Committee, a committee of the Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Authority, will hold a meeting November 16 at 10 a.m. Eastern time by videoconference.  

To attend the videoconference, please follow this link: https://bit.ly/3H6nnl6  

For more information, please contact Peter Cinotto by email: pcinotto@usgs.gov.  

AGENDA 

  • Introduction 
  • Presentation on statewide stream assessment of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) 
  • Overview of Ag Water Quality planning tool 
  • Update on Great Lakes Restoration Initiative 
  • Update on super gages 
  • Open discussion 
  • Adjourn 

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Kentucky Soil and Water Conservation Commission  to Meet Nov. 15

Meeting will begin at 9 a.m. by video conference 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 8, 2021) – The Kentucky Soil and Water Conservation Commission will hold a meeting November 15 at 9 a.m. Eastern time by videoconference. If you have questions about connecting to the videoconference, please contact Johnna McHugh at 502-782-6703. 

Anyone who wants to attend the November 15 meeting by video conferencing, can follow this link (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84553623580?pwd=NTFSMUZCak5tVG9GcG5YcTN6eFFaUT09) or join with Zoom meeting ID 845 5362 3580 and password SWCC. 

AGENDA 

1. Call to Order and Introductions 

2.  Minutes of the Last Meeting 

3.  Correspondence 

4.  Equipment Report and New Loan Requests 

5.  Approval of vacancy petitions and incentive per diem 

6.  Agriculture District Program  

7.  Old Business 

8.  New Business 

    a.  Meeting schedule for 2022 

    b.  Nicholas County issues 

9.  Agency Reports 

10. Adjourn

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Kentucky Reclamation Guaranty Fund Commission to Meet November 16

Video conference will start at 10 a.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 4, 2021) – The Kentucky Reclamation Guaranty Fund Commission will hold a quarterly meeting November 16, 2021 at 10 a.m. EDT by videoconference. If you have questions about connecting to the videoconference, please contact Danielle Crosman at 502-782-6590.

Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/679800125 
United States: +1 (872) 240-3212 Access Code: 679-800-125

  1. Call to order and roll call
  2. Welcome and opening remarks 
  3. Approval of the minutes from August 24, 2021 meeting
  4. AML Funding Requests:
    1. Whymore Coal Company, Inc., Permit Number 861-0480
  5. DNR update: Gordon Slone, DNR Commissioner
  6. Other business:
    1. Financial reports, bond amounts and delinquent fees
    2. Set 2022 meeting dates
  7. Adjournment

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Innovators Pitch Ideas for Handling Kentucky Bourbon Industry’s Surplus Stillage

Louisville team takes top prize with plan to convert spent grains into sweetener, activated carbon and animal feed

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 1, 2021) – Innovators from across the United States came together last week during the Distillers Grains Reverse Pitch Competition to propose ways to use stillage produced by Kentucky’s signature bourbon industry.

BioProducts of Louisville was selected by the judges as the first-prize winner. SoMax Circular Solutions of Philadelphia was chosen as runner-up and voted crowd favorite. BioProducts’ concept includes a process that yields xylose, a low-calorie sweetener, and activated carbon, which has applications for battery cells. The first-prize winner received a spot to present at the James B. Beam Institute of Kentucky’s conference and a collection of bourbon donated by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.

“I want to congratulate all those who answered the call to address an issue facing one of our state’s signature and already soaring industries,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “It is inspiring to see so many innovators approach this challenge as an opportunity to ensure the bourbon boom continues well into the future. Whether it’s our native beverage or automotive manufacturing, Kentuckians are and will continue to create sustainable technologies that support our industries and create good-paying jobs.”

With the number of Kentucky distillers increasing 250% over the past decade, the need to address the industry’s spent-grain byproduct has grown. For every gallon of bourbon produced, approximately 10 gallons of stillage remains. Currently, the demand for stillage – including traditional low-tech uses – is declining as the supply of stillage increases. The call went out to innovators over the summer to submit ideas for stillages solutions that prioritized sustainability and environmental impact; demonstrated an economic value to the distillery and the end-user of the stillage; and highlighted the scalability of the solution among others.

The pitch competition, the first of its kind related to addressing the stillage issue, was held at the 25th Distillers Grains Symposium at the Downtown Louisville Marriott for an audience of distillers and industry stakeholders. The event was hosted through a partnership between the Distillers Grains Technology Council, the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits, Innovation Incubated, the Energy and Environment Cabinet, and KY Innovation, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, with support and guidance from the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.

“It was inspiring to see such creative ideas to allow one of Kentucky’s signature industries to grow while protecting our natural resources,” Energy and Environment Secretary Rebecca Goodman said. “We believe that energy, environment and economic development must go hand in hand, and environmentally conscious solutions like these make economic growth all the more sustainable.”

Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory said the reverse pitch competition spreads the industry’s momentum in a new direction.

“The dramatically increasing global demand for Kentucky bourbon fuels the commonwealth’s economy through our state’s farming, distilling, retail and tourism industries. Now we can see opportunities for new business models taking shape in other industries that could benefit Kentucky,” Gregory said. “We at KDA are proud to support this kind of innovative thinking that increases the sustainability and long-term growth of Kentucky bourbon.”

BioProducts’ presentation was delivered by company founder and CEO Dr. Jagannadh Satyavolu and Cliff Speedy of C&I Engineering, which is a partner on the project. The company has plans to build units capable of handling 75,000 gallons of stillage a day and converting it into the diabetic-friendly sugar substitute, activated carbon and biocoal, and a protein that can be used in animal feed.

The other presenters were:

Dan Spracklin with SoMax Circular Solutions
Pennsylvania based SoMax Circular Solutions uses hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) to recover valuable byproducts from spent grains. The process converts the stillage into solid carbon-neutral biofuels, clean water and nutrients. Thermal energy and clean water can be used by the distillery, reducing expenses and carbon footprint. 

Eric Jens and Steve Wesley with Local Sols 
Chicago-based Local Sols upcycles spent grains into branded premium pet and plant foods using a combination of black soldier fly larvae and red wigglers to rapidly transform spent grains into raw protein. This model is scalable and not only allows the distillers to brand a sustainable bottle, but also provides pet food branding sourced with sustainable protein, reducing the amount of land, water and greenhouse gases produced by traditional pet food manufacturing.

Brandon Corace and Don Corace with Meridian Biotech
Texas-based Meridian Biotech is an industrial biotech company with experience in the ethanol/alcohol industry. Meridian Biotech pitched a plan to process excess stillage into alternative by-products used in aquaculture fishmeal and pet food industries.

George Bower with Biogas Technology Group
Lexington-based Biogas Technology Group proposed the development of a 500,000 ton/year centralized facility in Marion County to process and convert raw stillage into recoverable products. The facility operates patented technology with zero process emissions and converts the stillage to renewable natural gas, CO2 and other commercial products. The system is a low energy input alternative to traditional dry-houses.

John Wright with Continental Refining Co.
Somerset-based Continental Refining Co. LLC pitched a method of processing distillers’ grains to extract vegetable oil and animal feed byproducts. Their model included an off-site location for distillers to deliver their wet stillage, thus creating no additional investment for the distillery.

Kentucky’s spirits industry includes approximately 70 facilities that employ more than 5,100 people. Since the start of 2020, the commonwealth’s spirits industry saw more than 30 new-location or expansion announcements with over $550 million in planned investments and approximately 500 new full-time jobs announced.

Job creation and investments by Kentucky’s spirits industry continues to drive recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger following the effects of the pandemic.

This year, the commonwealth has shattered every economic development record in the books for yearly investment totals across all service, technology and manufacturing sectors. Year-to-date, private-sector new-location and expansion announcements include over $8.85 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create 12,500 full-time jobs across the coming years. Through September, Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage is $24.15 before benefits, a 10% increase over the previous year.

In September, Gov. Beshear, Ford Motor Co. Executive Chair Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley, along with Dong-Seob Jee, president of SK Innovation’s battery business, announced the single largest economic development project in the history of the commonwealth, celebrating a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs and places Kentucky at the forefront of the automotive industry’s future.

In July, thanks to strong fiscal management by the Beshear administration, the state budget office reported the commonwealth ended the 2021 fiscal year with a general fund surplus of over $1.1 billion – the highest ever in the commonwealth – and a 10.9% increase in general fund receipts to $12.8 billion.

In May, Moody’s Analytics published a positive economic outlook for Kentucky, noting mass vaccination as the driving force behind a sustained recovery in consumer services. The state’s recovery, Moody’s said, benefited from earlier reopening efforts and increased demand for manufactured goods over services. The report also found Kentucky’s manufacturing industry outperformed the nation’s since the national downturn last year.

Fitch Ratings in May improved the state’s financial outlook to stable, reflecting the commonwealth’s solid economic recovery. The state’s April sales tax receipts set an all-time monthly record at $486.5 million, as did vehicle usage tax receipts at over $64 million.

In March, Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2020 positioned Kentucky atop the South Central region, and third nationally, for qualifying projects per capita. The commonwealth also placed seventh overall in total projects, the highest of any state with a population under 5 million. Site Selection also recently placed Kentucky in a tie for fifth in its 2021 Prosperity Cup rankings, positioning the state among the national leaders for business climate.

More information on the Governor’s AgriTech Initiative is available at AgriTech.ky.gov.

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.

Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.govkycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

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