Environment

wkms.org

Come 2018, more than a million utility customers across Kentucky are expected to see lower rates for electricity, natural gas, and water service.  It’s a result of the just passed federal tax reform legislation.

KU, LG&E Crews Heading to Puerto Rico

Dec 27, 2017
publicpower.com

Some 30 LG&E and Kentucky Utilities workers will leave next week for Puerto Rico to help with massive power restoration efforts.  

Nearly two dozen pieces of heavy equipment should be placed on barges by the end of this week.  Chris Whelan is a spokeswoman for the utility company. “So, we’re sending over our electric line technicians, safety personnel, and crews that actually restore the electric service,” said Whelan.  “They will be doing work in a certain region of Puerto Rico and should be there for several months.”

 

Ash Urns Come to Lexington Area Parks

Dec 14, 2017
lexingtonky.gov

New ash urns are now installed at Lexington’s Woodland, Jacobson, and Shillito parks.  It’s an expansion of a litter prevention program initiated by the Keep Lexington Beautiful Commission.

Stu Johnson

The head of Lexington's water quality division says the local government is about halfway through the almost $600 million sewer system overhaul.

The total bill could come in below that original estimate.


kentucky.com

A Lexington government official says a number of Lexington area creeks and streams do not meet State Division of Water standards for recreational use.

Members of Lexington’s Environmental Quality and Public Works Committee got a rundown last week on about a half dozen watershed areas within Fayette County.  

 


By Djmaschek (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A 70-year-old natural gas pipeline that passes through several Kentucky counties has received federal authorization for a proposed conversion despite some concerns from opponents.


forest.ky.gov

This week marks the start of Kentucky’s Forest Fire Hazard Season. 

A leading state forest fire official hopes this fall’s burnings are fewer and less severe than last year.


Judge Orders Landfill Protection in Estill County

Aug 30, 2017

A special circuit judge ruled Wednesday that three acres of an Estill County landfill will be protected from any further dumping of waste until core testing is done.  

Judge Jean Logue’s order comes in connection with efforts to address suspected low-level radioactive waste buried in the landfill.


Lisa Autry WKU Public Radio

Every first Saturday in May, Kentucky is home to the most exciting two minutes in sports.  On August 21, the state will be home to the most exciting two minutes in astronomy…two minutes and 40 seconds to be exact. 

Hopkinsville, Kentucky will be the epicenter of the first total solar eclipse to sweep across the United States in 99 years.  For a town of just over 30,000 people, it’s a really big deal.   


Groups Sue Over Coal Ash Pollution In Herrington Lake

Jul 13, 2017

Pointing to years of documented pollution from a Central Kentucky coal-fired power plant, environmental groups are suing Kentucky Utilities. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Lexington.

Kentucky Waterways Alliance spokesperson Bijaya Shrestha said the possible repeal of the Clean Water Rule could make it harder to keep wells safe.

Divestment Proposal Pits Coal States Against California

Jun 28, 2017

Political leaders in West Virginia and Kentucky are joining a coalition of states threatening to sue California over a program the state is pushing that would drop investments in coal.

Rains from Cindy Coming to Kentucky

Jun 23, 2017
kentucky.com

Heavy rains are likely to be widespread across many sections of Kentucky during the next day or so. 

Remnants of tropical storm Cindy could mean upwards of four inches of rain in the Bluegrass area. 


State Beekeeper Assesses Kentucky Pollination

Jun 23, 2017
wkms.org

This week is being observed as National Pollinator Week and Kentucky’s state apiarist is sounding an optimistic tone about growing the Commonwealth’s bee population over the next five years. 

Those buzzing insects will likely be needed to help meet the increasing demand for local produce. 


wkyt.com

Participants in this weekend’s Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition event will get an update on renewable energy efforts in eastern Kentucky. 

That includes a look at solar initiatives.


Among those praising President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement is the Kentucky Coal Association.

Association President Tyler White issued a statement this Thursday.


If the dam failed at the Ghent Power Station’s coal ash pond, it would only take 20 minutes for the toxic coal ash slurry to reach a residential neighborhood in Carroll County. Near the Brown Power Plant in Central Kentucky, homes on nearby Herrington Lake could get five feet of sludge.

A board that was ostensibly responsible for reviewing coal miners’ training and reviewing all proposed coal mine safety regulations will hold its last meeting next week.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

A public meeting is being held Wednesday evening about the next step in repairing Rough River Lake Dam. The 132-foot-high earthen dam helps regulate the reservoir in Breckinridge, Grayson, and Hardin counties.

The dam was installed to reduce flood damage downstream, and is more than 50 years old. Workers are finishing up exploratory grouting along the dam, which confirmed that a cutoff wall needs to be constructed.

lexingtonky.gov

The city of Lexington is in the midst of a $600 million dollar federally mandated sanitary and storm water sewer improvement program.

EKU Events Recognize American Chestnut

Apr 20, 2017
Stu Johnson

With this month’s Arbor Day recognition fast approaching, officials at Eastern Kentucky University staged various tree related activities at the historic Elmwood estate Thursday. The emphasis was on the American Chestnut.

Kentucky Reaches Settlement in Radioactive Waste Dumping

Apr 16, 2017
Greg Kocher gkocher1@herald-leader.com

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky officials have reached a $168,000 settlement with one of the companies accused of being involved in the dumping of radioactive waste in an Appalachian landfill.

 

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services said Friday it reached the settlement with Fairmont Brine Processing, which operates a wastewater treatment facility in West Virginia.

Kentucky officials accused Fairmont Brine of arranging for the disposal of radioactive waste in an Estill County landfill.

University of Kentucky - uknow.uky.edu

A University of Kentucky professor says unmanned aircraft are likely to play a bigger role in predicting tornadic activity in the years to come.  Members of the Lexington Rotary Club heard a presentation Thursday from an expert with more than three decades experience in aeronautics and space. 


A group of students and other youth is sponsoring meetings in southeastern Kentucky aimed at helping workers move into jobs in technology while staying close to home.  Whitesburg hosted one of the meetings this past weekend.  

The Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition is sponsoring the Solution Spotlight sessions. 

Purple flowers across many fields in Kentucky and Indiana are more than flowering weeds.  An agriculture extension agent says those purple blooms are a sign of climate change and the increasingly unpredictable weather that farmers have to deal with.

Jon Neufelder is an educator with the Purdue University Extension Office in Posey County, Indiana. He said the flowers are purple deadnettle and henbit and they’re a sign of a warm winter and an early spring.

“We have them every year, but this year because of the warm February, they started flowering a lot earlier. So we’re seeing them a lot earlier. Usually we don’t see them until around April and by then the farmers have pretty well killed them off because they’ve started spraying for production.”

Neufelder said the warm winter has caused overall growth to be about two weeks ahead of schedule.

The removal of a dam along the Green River in Edmonson County began Tuesday, and will continue over the next few weeks.

Once the dam is removed, the affected part of the Green River will become a recreational area, with parking and access ramps for canoes and kayaks. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is funding the project, but will transfer ownership of 18 nearby acres of land to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Lee Andrews, with The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the Green River contains some of the top biodiversity within the Ohio River system.

 

“So being able to restore this much river in a national park is unique,” Andrews said.  

Ky State Parks Host Eagle Watch Weekends

Nov 28, 2016
Stu Johnson

People will be flocking to western Kentucky early next year to see America's once-endangered national bird.  Some of Kentucky's state parks will host the annual Eagle Watch Weekends.

For four decades, Kentucky's state parks have offered winter opportunities to view bald eagles from land and water.  The tours, running from the third weekend in January through the middle of February, are held each year at Kentucky Dam Village, Lake Barkley, and Kenlake State Parks. 

kentucky.com

NOTE: Updated to include responses from the Energy and Environment Cabinet and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services as well as one from the state's Attorney General's office.

An Estill County citizens group is taking legal action against three state entities.  The organization wants more information on the state’s response to the illegal dumping of low-level radioactive waste in the county landfill.

Stu Johnson

Removing radioactive materials illegally dumped in the Estill County Landfill is the best option, but state health officials told a crowd Monday that it will be a challenge.

  Tony Hatton, deputy commissioner of the Environmental Protection Cabinet, said the preferred option is to remove the material, but added it would likely be an extensive process involving large volumes of waste. 

During a 90-minute public forum at Estill County High School, state public health and environmental officials assured over 100 in the audience that the threat to public is health is low.

Stu Johnson

State officials Monday night sought to allay fears about health risks associated with the illegal dumping of radioactive waste at an Estill County landfill.  Their presentation included a description of just-announced penalties for responsible companies.

Well over a hundred people gathered in the Estill County High School auditorium not far from the landfill where fracking waste now resides buried under cover. 

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