Land agents are in Kentucky trying to secure easements for a proposed interstate natural gas liquids pipeline that would go through an estimated 18 counties. And residents of some of those counties are gearing up for a potential legal battle over pollution and safety concerns.
The proposed Bluegrass Pipeline announced by companies in Oklahoma and Texas would connect natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia with export centers on the Gulf Coast.
One proposed path of the pipeline would extend through northern Kentucky southward into Nelson, Larue, Hardin, Meade and Breckenridge counties. Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean Watts had scheduled a meeting with company officials and the public that was to be held Tuesday morning, but the company cancelled, citing an illness and the need to resolve issues related to the pipeline’s potential route through Ohio.
Mary Ann Chamberlain, a Nelson County native whose family owns property in the county, told the Courier-Journal that the proposed route would cut through scenic and sensitive areas of the commonwealth and could break apart and pollute surface and groundwater.
A spokesman for one of the natural gas companies says hundreds of property owners in Kentucky will likely be approached in the coming months with requests for access to survey their land and possibly buy easements along the proposed pipeline path.
Henderson County is the recipient of $1.4 million in grants aimed at improving recycling efforts in the region.
More than $900,000 will go towards the Tri-County Alliance Recycling Center, which covers Henderson, Webster, and Union counties. The Center’s goal is to reduce the amount of recyclables that are dumped in area landfills.
The new funding will go to create one large, centralized recycling center that will collect, process, and market recyclables. The new 3,000-square-foot recycling center is currently under construction in Henderson.
As part of the grants announced Wednesday, the Hugh Edward Sandefur Training Center is receiving $500,000. The nonprofit serves Daviess, Henderson, Union, and Webster counties and provides employment training to those with disabilities.
The Center recently signed an agreement to reclaim and recycle electronic waste in western Kentucky and southern Indiana.
A partnership between LG&E and KU and a Kentucky company could help both the energy and agriculture sectors, Kentucky leaders announced Monday.
Kentucky company Charah is opening up a facility in Louisville that will take leftover gypsum from the Mill Creek Power Station and turn it into a sulfur product —such as fertilizers—for Kentucky farmers.
Kentucky agriculture is in need of sulfur products to help grow strong crops, state agriculture leaders said. The new venture will also help reduce a byproduct from coal-fired power plants.
Many of Kentucky's top leaders turned out for the announcement, including U.S. Senator Rand Paul, who says the new product is great for multiple needs, including the economy and the environment.
The city of Glasgow is joining forces with regional power providers to make better economic and environmental use of methane emitted from local landfills.
Following a vote this week by the Glasgow City Council, mayor Rhonda Riherd Trautman can now open negotiations with Farmers Rural Electric Cooperative and East Kentucky Power Cooperative to create a landfill gas generation project.
Currently, methane emitted from garbage at local landfills is vented into the atmosphere. Under the new plan, methane would be piped into a generator and converted into electricity.
Trautman says the city is trying to act in advance of new federal regulations regarding methane that go into effect in 2016.
The Office of Surface Mining has awarded Kentucky a $40 million grant to eliminate environmental hazards caused by past coal mining.
The money will go to the Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands
The grants go to 28 coal-producing states annually. They're funded by a fee on mined coal and are intended to repair unstable slopes, eliminate acid mine drainage and restore damaged water supplies.
Kentucky Natural Resources Commissioner Steve Hohmann said the grant money has been used in past years to close mine shafts and portals, put out mine fires, eliminate dangerous highwalls and subsidence and to provide drinking water to residents in mining communities.
A disease responsible for killing millions of bats in North America has spread to caves at two state parks in eastern Kentucky that are homes to federally endangered bats, parks officials said Friday.
White-nose syndrome has been detected in caves at Carter Caves State Resort Park and Kingdom Come State Park, said state parks department spokesman Gil Lawson. Small numbers of bats have died so far from the disease, he said.
It's the latest red flag in the fight to prevent the spread of the disease in Kentucky, home to large numbers of bats that hibernate in a vast network of caves.
The disease has been found in 10 Kentucky counties - Bell, Breckinridge, Carter, Christian, Edmonson, Hart, Letcher, Trigg, Warren and Wayne, Lawson said. White-nose was confirmed earlier this year at Cumberland Gap National Historic Park and in one of the caves at Mammoth Cave National Park.
White-nose syndrome, a disease deadly to bats, has been confirmed at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.
Park Superintendent Mark Woods said laboratory tests on three bats from the park's more than 30 caves tested positive for the disease.White-nose syndrome is known to be transmitted primarily from bat to bat, but it can be carried between caves by humans on clothing, footwear, and caving gear.
White-nose syndrome is not known to affect people, pets, or livestock but is harmful or lethal to hibernating bats.
A Kentucky lawmaker has filed a bill that would block automatic utility rate increases for power plants that use natural gas.
The Courier-Journal reports Democratic Rep. Jim Gooch of Providence, the chairman of the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee, is sponsoring the measure that would prevent utilities from utilizing a provision in state law called the "fuel adjustment clause", which allows utilities to adjust what it charges customers based on changes in cost of fuel or purchased power.
In an interview with the newspaper, Gooch called the measure a "consumer protection bill."
Gooch represents a House seat that covers Daviess, Hopkins, McLean, and Webster counties.
Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner is leveling criticism against the Environmental Protection Agency regarding a pollution control plan in Jefferson County.
In an interview with the Courier-Journal, James Comer came out swinging against water quality sampling conducted for the Floyds Fork Pollution Control Plan. The waterway serves as a focal point for Louisville’s newest string of parkland, but it currently fails to meet federal water quality standards. Comer says he’s worried that water quality sampling done at the site could result in new EPA regulations.
The Monroe County native says he’s especially concerned at the prospect of the EPA imposing new rules on how much fertilizer farmers can spread on their fields. But EPA officials and the Kentucky Division of Water both say the federal government doesn’t have the authority to impose limits on fertilizer applications and farm runoff.