Kentucky Division of Waste Management to Hold Public Meeting Regarding Former Federal Mogul Facility

Status of environmental Investigation at Scottsville site to be discussed

The Kentucky Division of Waste Management (DWM) will meet with the public to discuss the status of the on-going environmental investigation at the former Federal Mogul facility located at 2640 Old Gallatin Road., Scottsville. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015, at 6 p.m. CST and will be held at the Allen County Courthouse located at 201 Main St., Scottsville. Continue reading “Kentucky Division of Waste Management to Hold Public Meeting Regarding Former Federal Mogul Facility”

Department for Environmental Protection develops Fact Sheets about Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

Fact Sheets discuss causes and effects, strategies for managing and treating of HABs

The occurrence of harmful algal blooms in the United States became national news this August when Toledo, Ohio’s public water system and its 400,000+ customers were without water for several days as a result of a harmful algal bloom. In 2013 and 2014, monitoring of Kentucky lakes by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) confirmed the presence of algal blooms.

Some of these blooms were present at levels exceeding the World Health Organization recommended safety thresholds and were considered potentially harmful. As the occurrence of HABs becomes more prevalent and a bigger part of environmental and public health discussion, the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection has developed Fact Sheets that provide background on what HABs are, what causes HABs, and the problems and effects associated with HABs including recreational concerns, water treatment challenges and public health impacts. Continue reading “Department for Environmental Protection develops Fact Sheets about Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)”

Algal blooms at Barren River Lake prompt recreation advisory

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is cautioning recreational users of Barren River Lake, located in Allen, Barren and Munroe counties in south-central Kentucky, about potentially harmful contact with a bloom of blue-green algae that has been detected in the lake water. The algal bloom is capable of producing toxins that can be harmful to small children, those with illness and animals.

Blue-green algae known as cyanobacteria, which fall into the category of harmful algal blooms (HABs), were also recently found to be growing in Taylorsville Lake and Rough River Lake at levels that prompted a similar advisory. The more typical green algae, which is not harmful to humans or animals, come in many forms and may look like underwater moss, stringy mats or floating scum. Cyanobacteria, on the other hand, looks like slicks of opaque, bright-green paint, but closer inspection often reveals the grainy, sawdust-like appearance of individual colonies of bacteria. The color of the algae may also appear as red or brown.

Continue reading “Algal blooms at Barren River Lake prompt recreation advisory”

Understanding Air Monitoring in Kentucky

How do you know if the air is clean?

The Clean Air Act was enacted by Congress in 1970 to ensure clean and healthy air for all Americans.  Through the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established federal standards for six criteria air pollutants that are considered
harmful to human health and the environment. Known as the National Ambient Air Quality Standards or “NAAQS” (pronounced “nacks”), the standards establish limits for each of the criteria pollutants. Continue reading “Understanding Air Monitoring in Kentucky”

Kentucky’s Clean Diesel Grant Program Improves Air Quality

Diesel engines can be found in communities everywhere. From the construction industry to transportation, industry to farms, diesel engines provide an efficient means to power a variety of machinery. While efficient, not every diesel engine is as “clean” as those manufactured after 2006 when the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) heavy duty highway and non-road engine standards took effect. In fact, EPA estimates that there are 11 million older diesel engines that remain in use. Continue reading “Kentucky’s Clean Diesel Grant Program Improves Air Quality”

Cleanup Planned at Residences Near Former Black Leaf Chemical Site

The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are planning to conduct cleanup at several residential properties located along Wilson Avenue and St. Louis Avenue in Louisville.   These properties are directly adjacent to a industrial property formerly used as a pesticide manufacturing facility known as “Black Leaf Chemical” and later used for the purpose of manufacturing wooden drums for storing distilled beverages.

EPA and DEP conducted soil sampling of these residential properties in February 2012 and November 2012 because of concerns that contamination may have migrated onto these properties from the Black Leaf Chemical property.   The sampling conducted at these residential properties detected Continue reading “Cleanup Planned at Residences Near Former Black Leaf Chemical Site”

Understanding Air Toxics Evaluation

For most regulated entities, air toxics are first encountered under the Kentucky Division for Air Quality’s (DAQ) permitting program; however, air toxics play an important role in statewide air quality and can significantly impact local air quality. Air toxics are those air pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects. Air toxics can come from natural sources (e.g., radon gas coming from the ground) or man-made sources such as motor vehicles and industrial processes.

Many regulated entities are subject to federal air toxic standards through the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants(NESHAP) regulations, where control technologies are specified based on the industry category and type of air toxic emitted. In the absence of a NESHAP for a specific pollutant or sector, Kentucky DAQ regulates air toxics under state regulations Continue reading “Understanding Air Toxics Evaluation”

EPA Publishes Tier 3 Rule

???????????????????????????????With an estimated 132 million miles per day being travelled on Kentucky roads, motor vehicles are a significant source of air pollution – especially in urban areas.

This week EPA published the much-anticipated Tier 3 rule, the latest in EPA’s efforts to control motor vehicle emissions.  The Tier 3 proposal would Continue reading “EPA Publishes Tier 3 Rule”

How Does the Clean Air Act Work?

The Clean Air Act establishes health-based National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six categories of pollutants, known as “criteria pollutants”: sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), Ozone (O3), Lead (Pb), and Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5). Each of the NAAQS sets an upper limit for a criteria pollutant in the ambient, or outdoor, air.  States use air monitoring to demonstrate whether the air meets those standards.  The current standards can be seen here.

The Clean Air Act requires the NAAQS to be reviewed every five years and revised if necessary.   During the review, EPA examines the latest peer-reviewed science to determine whether the standard needs to be strengthened to protect public health.

When a new standard is set, states have one year to recommend to EPA which areas are likely to meet the new standard (“attainment”) and which areas are not (“nonattainment”).  The Division for Air Quality (DAQ) considers a range of factors when making attainment designation recommendations for Kentucky, including: Continue reading “How Does the Clean Air Act Work?”

Hazardous Waste Management Fund Report Released

The Hazardous Waste Management Fund (HWMF) was created by the General Assembly to provide the Energy and Environment Cabinet (Cabinet) with the funds necessary to protect the health of the citizens and environment of the Commonwealth from threats associated with releases of hazardous substances, pollutants and contaminants. Since 1980, nearly $50 million has been spent specifically for cleanup of more than 550 contaminated sites, making the Commonwealth of Kentucky a cleaner and safer place to live. The HWMF also has cumulatively provided more than $7.1 million in funding for the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center (KPPC).  Continue reading “Hazardous Waste Management Fund Report Released”