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environment

Oil Refineries' Benzene Pollution a Concern in Eastern KY

May 24, 2021
Bloomberg

A Marathon oil refinery in eastern Kentucky is emitting benzene into the air at levels higher than what the federal Environmental Protection Agency says require action to curb.

Benzene is a well-known carcinogen that can cause leukemia. According to a report from the Environmental Integrity Project, benzene readings at the Boyd County refinery jumped 233% between 2019 and 2020.

Ilan Levin, associate director at the group, said last year's levels were 11% above the EPA action level.

Louisville Zoo

The Louisville Zoo has announced the opening of a new accessible playground near the African Outpost restaurant and Colobus Crossing exhibit.

The Outpost playground dedicated today replaces 20-year-old equipment and includes ramps, music and sensory play panels, features for inclusive side-by-side play, slides and a new rubber surface throughout the entire playscape. 

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews will begin treating for noxious and nuisance weeds throughout the state this month.

The treatments aid in controlling the spread of undesirable plants along state highway rights of way to improve driver safety and ensure efficient maintenance operations.

The Cabinet, in accordance with KRS 176.051, targets Johnson grass, giant foxtail, Canada thistle, nodding thistle, common teasel, multiflora rose, Amur honeysuckle, poison hemlock, marestail, Japanese knotweed and kudzu.

KXAN

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is warning that a popular moss ball sold for aquarium use could harbor live, invasive zebra mussels, which look like small, striped clams.

State and federal fish and wildlife agencies are asking retailers to remove moss balls from their shelves. Aquarium owners should properly dispose of this algae product and decontaminate the tank to prevent the potential spread of zebra mussels.

Kentucky State Parks

Fresh air fanatics, get ready! Camping season opens March 12 at 30 Kentucky State Parks featuring approximatively 2,300 campsites across the commonwealth.

“One of the most popular recreational activities at Kentucky State Parks every year is camping,” said Department of Parks Commissioner Russ Meyer. “Over the past year, our staff has been committed to making improvements at several campgrounds that we believe will improve our guests’ overall camping experience.”

Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources

The arrival of autumn signifies the approaching end of another year as nature prepares for winter dormancy. However, with beautiful fall colors also comes an increase in vehicles encountering deer in roadways.

Drivers should be aware of deer throughout the year, but the months of October through December bring a spike in deer-related accidents. Shorter periods of daylight and cooler temperatures trigger the deer breeding season – known as the “rut” – putting whitetails on the move.

Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources

In conjunction with the National Park Service, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources earlier this month stocked about 1,200 individual mussels into the Green River within Mammoth Cave National Park in southcentral Kentucky, in order to restore a federally-listed endangered species historically found in waters of the commonwealth.

The rayed bean, a species of freshwater mussel, has not been found in Kentucky waters in more than four decades. The mussels for this restoration effort were moved from the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania because of a tar spill.

Morehead State University

For the fifth consecutive year, Morehead State has been designated as a Tree Campus for 2019 by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

The Tree Campus Higher Education designation, formerly called Tree Campus USA, is awarded annually, and recognizes efforts made in the previous year to promote healthy trees and engage students in conservation. 

To earn the designation, MSU met the five core standards for an effective campus forest management, including:

Establishment of a tree advisory committee. 

Providing evidence of a campus tree-care plan.

Kentucky Toruism

The Kentucky Department of Tourism (KDT) is announcing the launch of its new campaign – ‘Stay Close. Go Far.’ 

The marketing initiative is aimed at supporting local tourism partners, communities and businesses by producing inspiring content that reminds Kentuckians they do not have to travel far to experience all the beauty, history and adventures the state has to offer.

WYMT

Gov. Andy Beshear and Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) hosted the first-ever virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda Thursday to celebrate the completion of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Pilot Program economic development and tourism-related projects in Perry, Floyd and Clay counties.

They also applauded the beginning of new construction at the EastPark Industrial Site spanning Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup and Lawrence counties. The projects are a result of multiple investments, including more than $14 million in Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Program grants.

Bow Hunting

As part of the Commonwealth’s ongoing effort to ensure the health and wellness of the public as Kentucky fights aggressively to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources announced new guidance today for non-resident hunters regarding the 2020 spring turkey season.

Effective immediately, sales of 2020 non-resident spring turkey permits for the general statewide season are suspended.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources operates the Salato Wildlife Center as part of its mission to inform and educate the public about the state’s native wildlife as well as hunting and fishing opportunities.

The facility provides indoor and outdoor viewing opportunities for a variety of wildlife, including a bear, eagle, bobcats, deer, bison, birds of prey and more.

Threatpost

The Louisville Zoo wants to help the local community with ways to support wildlife and people impacted by the bushfires in Australia. 

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) community has remained in close contact with the CEO of Zoos Victoria in Australia who are monitoring the terrible situation impacting Australian wildlife.

U.S. Dept. of Interior

Governor Andy Beshear and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today announced the approval of federal “Duck Stamp” funding for land acquisition purposes at the newly established Green River National Wildlife Refuge in Henderson, Kentucky.

“Duck Stamps,” purchased by hunters, conservationists and stamp collectors, provide revenue to support federal conservation and outdoor recreation efforts.

Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine

Teaming up again to advocate for progress in Eastern Kentucky, Congressman Hal Rogers and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed companion bills on Thursday in the House and Senate to begin the federal process to designate Southern and Eastern Kentucky as the Kentucky Wildlands National Heritage Area.

The legislation comes on the heels of Eastern Kentucky PRIDE's grant award from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) earlier this year to brand the region, famously explored by Daniel Boone, as the Kentucky Wildlands.

Morehead State University

One member of Morehead State’s biology faculty is helping students get hands-on research experience through his work studying the region’s insects. 

Dr. Sean O’Keefe, associate professor of biology, is conducting research on local biodiversity in beetles, ants, moths, spiders and soil mites found in decomposing leaf litter in the region’s forests.

Cave Run Lake

The sun sets earlier each day and the kids are back in school. Summer is all but over. This inevitability prompts many to visit lakes, rivers and streams to get in that last weekend of the summer boating season during the Labor Day holiday weekend.

“Our busiest weekend of the year,” said Maj. Shane Carrier, assistant director of law enforcement for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “Traditionally, Labor Day marks the end of the boating season.”

East Kentucky Power Cooperative

Each year, East Kentucky Power Cooperative’s (EKPC) Spurlock Station uses the equivalent of about 2.4 million tires as fuel to make energy for more than 1 million Kentucky residents.

That’s the equivalent of about half of all the waste tires generated by Kentucky in a typical year.

“Every year, millions of tires in the U.S. end up in landfills, stockpiles or just thrown out

The Lane Report

U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05), U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Governor Matt Bevin today announced a $4 million Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Grant to do site preparation work at the EastPark Industrial Park.

The grant was awarded by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Abandoned Mine Lands to Northeast Kentucky Regional Industrial Park Authority (EastPark), as part of the 2017 Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Pilot Program to revitalize the coalfields in Kentucky’s Appalachian region.

Nature Conservatory

Learn about wildflowers and enjoy the spring season at Red River Gorge with the Kentucky Native Plant Society’s Wildflower Weekend April 13-14 at Natural Bridge State Resort Park.

The annual event includes hikes at the state park and in Red River Gorge on Friday and Saturday. Admission is $10 for adults, $3 for ages 13-17. Ages 12 and under are free. More information is available at: http://www.knps.org

Natural Bridge State Resort Park at Slade has a lodge, cottages and restaurant.

KY Forward

The Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort reopens for the season beginning March 1. The center, which features exhibits of the state’s fish and native wildlife, is a popular destination for families and school groups.

Later this season, visitors can expect to see a new addition: a striped skunk. It joins the center’s collection of animals that cannot be released back into the wild, but are trained at the center for educational programs.

St. Lucia Times

Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives has dedicated Cooperative Solar Farm One, a 60-acre solar energy facility located in Clark County, Ky.

“Co-op members have asked our electric cooperatives to provide options for clean, renewable energy. Today, this solar farm officially begins producing energy fueled by the sun,” said Joe Spalding, board chairman of East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC), which will operate the solar farm. He is a member of Inter-County Energy Cooperative.

State Parks

Six Kentucky State Parks were honored as part of Kentucky Living magazine’s “Best in Kentucky” awards announcement.

More than 100 award winners were announced Thursday at the Kentucky State Fair.

“Our parks are honored with these Best in Kentucky awards and we appreciate the public support all of our parks and our employees receive,” said Parks Commissioner Donnie Holland. “We’re in some great company with all of the attractions, businesses and people that were recognized.”

Familypedia

Gov. Matt Bevin today launched his new “Beautify the Bluegrass” initiative, calling on Kentuckians to come together to make their hometowns shine.

“I want to encourage people in every Kentucky community to figure how out they can become the most beautiful community in the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Bevin. “The concept is simple: Identify a problem that needs attention, and then find a way to get involved in repairing, enhancing or beautifying it.”

Oak Park Public Library

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is warning the public not to directly look at the upcoming solar eclipse on Aug. 21 without the proper equipment and techniques.

Support for Kentucky Environmental Groups Grows

Aug 10, 2017
Greg Stotelmyer, Public News Service

Kentucky's signature conservation groups are reporting an uptick in membership, fund-raising and volunteerism.

The increased engagement comes as President Donald Trump charts an aggressive path toward environmental deregulation, including pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord.

The Sierra Club's Cumberland Chapter, which covers Kentucky, has gained around 1,000 members since Trump was elected, pushing its total to more than 6,000.

New member Miranda Clements of Bowling Green says she joined because of the current political climate.

Daily Yonder

U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) today announced five grants worth more than $5 million to spur economic development and job creation in Eastern Kentucky. 

Two of the grants were awarded by the EEC’s Division of Abandoned Mine Lands, as part of the 2016 Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Pilot program to revitalize the coalfields in Kentucky’s Appalachian region.

International Business Times

Kentucky State Parks will be participating in the Aug. 21 Great American Solar Eclipse with fun and educational events during July and August.

Some parks have astronomy experts scheduled to give talks about the eclipse.

Kenlake State Resort Park will kick off the events July 28 with “The Star Geezer" Mark Steven Williams.

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park will host University of Louisville Astronomy Professor Benne Holwerda for a presentation the weekend of Aug. 19-21.

BSCTC celebrates Earth Day

Apr 26, 2017
BSCTC

Big Sandy Community and Technical College’s (BSCTC) Human Services program and Community Garden held an Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 22 on its Prestonsburg campus.

Rainy weather didn’t dampen the spirits of volunteers and visitors to the celebration, which included demonstrations on how to make potting soil, recycling, battery recycling, small-scale gardening and other sustainable efforts to better take care of the earth.

Everyday Health

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is calling on homeowners to help control mosquitoes by eliminating standing water from containers that can collect rainwater where insects breed.

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