Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection Recognized as Leader in Fleet Sustainability

The Kentucky Department Green Fleetsof Environmental Protection (DEP) has been recognized by the Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition’s (KCFC) Green Fleets of the Bluegrass Program.  DEP received the leadership award at KCFC’s annual meeting on March 23, 2015 in Louisville.

In 2014, the Department added two hybrid vehicles to the fleet, bringing the hybrid fleet total to 27.  In 2011, the average fuel economy for DEP was 17 MPG. DEP’s average fleet fuel economy now stands at 20 MPG with the goal of 25.5 MPG by the year 2025. Continue reading “Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection Recognized as Leader in Fleet Sustainability”

Kentucky’s first “green” housing community: Phase 1 funded by the Division of Water is complete

Western Kentucky University’s (WKU) Center for Environmental Education and Sustainability was the recipient of a Clean Water Act Section 319(h) grant for $655,000 from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Kentucky Division of Water to create Durbin Estates, a green housing community, in the city of Bowling Green. WKU partnered with Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit agency that builds and repairs homes to provide affordable housing to those in need, and enlisted several state and local groups to integrate green infrastructure in the development to reduce nonpoint source pollution. WKU students from a variety of educational programs have participated in the design and development of the community. Continue reading “Kentucky’s first “green” housing community: Phase 1 funded by the Division of Water is complete”

Who has the greenest state fleet in Kentucky? The Department for Environmental Protection, that’s who!

On Dec. 17, 2013, DEP received the Greenest State Fleet Award from the Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition (KCFC). The award was presented at historic Boone Tavern in Berea where DEP staff arrived in green fleet style driving a Chevrolet Volt.


Continue reading “Who has the greenest state fleet in Kentucky? The Department for Environmental Protection, that’s who!”

Keeping Up with the Volts

First Lady Jane Beshear preparing to give one of the Volts a test drive.

The DEP Chevrolet Volts have received quite a bit of attention as Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) employees drive them across the state. The department has been operating four Volts and two charging stations since early 2013 and has learned a lot about the plug-in electric vehicle in that short time span.

“No matter where we go, people are curious about how the car drives, fuel economy, money savings, and safety,” said Division for Air Quality Director John Lyons. “Part of why we purchased these vehicles is to be a technology leader and educate the public on alternative transportation technology, in addition to reducing emissions.” Continue reading “Keeping Up with the Volts”

State Recycling Center Improves Efficiency with Equipment Upgrades

A panorama view of the new equipment at KGRS (left to right) the tipper, conveyor, grinder and bailer. Photo by Melinda Meredith.

The Kentucky Government Recycling Section (KGRS) recently invested $326,000 to upgrade equipment at its paper-processing facility located in Frankfort. The facility handles mixed office paper, white paper, newsprint and corrugated cardboard from state agencies and state universities across the Commonwealth. The service not only provides cost savings for shredding confidential documents, it also ensures benefits such as energy savings inherent to recycling.

“KGRS is a revenue-generating program and part of the proceeds from the sale of recycled materials allowed us to purchase the new equipment,” said Brian Bentley, KGRS Supervisor. “Our equipment was outdated and we spent countless hours repairing various components. The new equipment, which includes a conveyor-grinder-baler system, will go a long way in improving the efficiency of our operation.”

In 1978, Kentucky State Government was mandated to recycle office paper and as a result, the State Government Recycling Program was created in the early 1980s. The program is administered by the Department for Environmental Protection’s Division of Waste Management and despite challenges with Continue reading “State Recycling Center Improves Efficiency with Equipment Upgrades”

Greener Lawn Care for Cleaner Air

Every year, Americans burn more than 800 million gallons of gasoline mowing their lawns. Our love affair with the perfect lawn comes at a hefty price for public health and the environment. Gas mowers emit hydrocarbons, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. The smaller engines in lawn mowers and other lawn care equipment also burn fuel less efficiently and emit far more of these pollutants than the family car.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Continue reading “Greener Lawn Care for Cleaner Air”

First Lady Jane Beshear Welcomes First Electric Vehicles to State Fleet

First Lady Jane Beshear makes remarks at DEP's green fleet event on Earth Day.
First Lady Jane Beshear makes remarks at DEP’s green fleet event on Earth Day.

First Lady Jane Beshear welcomed the first electric vehicles into the state vehicle fleet yesterday in a ceremony that kicked off a day of Earth Day activities.  Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Len Peters, Finance and Administration Cabinet Lori H. Flanery, and Division for Air Quality director John Lyons joined the First Lady in the ribbon-cutting.

The First Lady led the ceremony surrounded by four new Chevy Volts and two charging stations that were recently installed outside the headquarters for the Department for Environmental Protection.  The vehicles and charging stations will be used by state workers conducting official business on behalf of the Commonwealth.

“Plug-in hybrids bring us one step closer to Continue reading “First Lady Jane Beshear Welcomes First Electric Vehicles to State Fleet”

Celebrate Earth Day at Capitol Education Center

The Office of the First Lady, the Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) and the Kentucky Environmental Education Council are hosting an Earth Day celebration for state employees and the public from 10 a.m. – noon on Monday, April 22, 2013. The educational event will take place at the new Capitol Education Center located on the Capitol grounds.

The event will recognize the 2013 Kentucky Green Ribbon School award winners, * Kentucky’s 200th ENERGY STAR school, ** Kentucky’s Green & Healthy schools, *** and the winner of this year’s “Capture the Earth” middle school photography competition. In addition, visitors can browse education and environment-related exhibits, many from within the EEC; check out the University of Kentucky’s solar-powered car and the Continue reading “Celebrate Earth Day at Capitol Education Center”

First Lady Jane Beshear to Welcome First Electric Vehicles to DEP Fleet

First Lady Jane Beshear is scheduled to kick-start Earth Day festivities this year beginning at 9 a.m.,  April 22nd at the Department for Environmental Protection headquarters in Frankfort.  Mrs. Beshear will cut the ribbon on the newest arrivals to the Department’s fleet: four Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles and two charging stations.

The new vehicles combine hybrid and electric plug-in technology with a gasoline-powered generator, Continue reading “First Lady Jane Beshear to Welcome First Electric Vehicles to DEP Fleet”

Maintain Your Water Heater to Conserve Water and Energy

Heating water can be a significant part of your home’s energy bill. Basic maintenance of your water heater, however, will improve its efficiency while saving money and resources. The Kentucky Division of Water offers these energy-saving strategies to reduce your costs and save water.

  • Conserve hot water by fixing leaks.
  • If your water heater is leaking, you need to replace it. Choose an energy-efficient model.
  • Perform the routine maintenance outlined for your particular water heater.
  • Install heat traps on your water heater tank to prevent hot water from flowing out of your tank.
  • Lower the thermostat setting on your water heater to Continue reading “Maintain Your Water Heater to Conserve Water and Energy”