Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.
Post Office Box 1070
Frankfort, Kentucky 40602
(502) 875-2428 phone (502) 875-2845 fax
April 15, 2004
On April 13, the 2004 General Assembly ended the 2004 regular legislative session. This legislative wrap-up profiles the disposition of the significant environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills that were tracked by the Council during the 2004 session. A separate report profiling in more detail the important bills passed or defeated, and the lobbying activities of KRC during the session will follow.
For a copy of any bill, or to check the status of the bill, and other legislative information, visit the Legislature's Homepage at http://www.lrc.state.ky.us
Here’s a thumbnail sketch of the fate of the more significant bills that KRC tracked:
SB 1, sponsored by Senate President Williams, would have placed on the fall ballot a proposed amendment to the state constitution allowing the legislature to impose limits on the amount of punitive and noneconomic damages that a jury could award a person injured through medical malpractice. KRC has opposed any amendment that would seek to stem jury awards by artificially limiting or eliminating, for any class of injuries and for the benefit of one class of persons, the right of any person to bring a civil action and to seek a jury trial for compensatory or punitive damages for injuries sustained. Appellate mechanisms within the judiciary already exist to assure that punitive damages bear a reasonable relation to the conduct of the negligent party.
SB 2 (Williams), comprehensive revisions to transportation planning process, increasing legislative oversight and further restricting use of non-competitive bids, died in the House Transportation Committee.
SB 3 (Tapp), proposing income and license tax credit for producers of biodiesel (at least 3% mix of animal or plant oils with petroleum diesel), died in the Senate A&R Committee.
SB 10 (Seum), a bill that would preempt local governments from adopting a smoking policy relating to private buildings, died in the Senate committee. The bill, and several others which seek to preclude local government smoking bans for restaurants or other public establishments, or to punish local governments by withdrawing tobacco settlement monies, are an unwarranted and unjustified state intrusion into the powers traditionally reserved to local governments to establish public health policy where the state has not acted.
SB 11 (Scorsone), a bill modifying existing blasting law to provide the Department for Mines and Minerals with the authority to adopt more restrictive controls on blasting in order to prevent damage to structures within urban-county government areas, and to restrict blasting to daylight hours, and in order to prevent ground motion at greater than 300 feet from a blast, died in the Senate committee.
The state oversight and control of mine- and quarry-related blasting in Kentucky is inadequate, in many cases, to prevent damage and annoyance to other property owners. Fundamental revision in the assumptions and implementation of state blasting standards is needed to protect the reasonable expectations of urban and rural landowners that mine and quarry blasting will consider the site-specific circumstances and relative location of the proposed operation and surrounding structures, and will adopt meaningful and enforceable standards for pre-blast surveys, during blasting monitoring, and compensation for damage suffered.
SB 12 (Buford), a proposed constitutional amendment requiring review by a medical malpractice screening panel prior to filing a civil action for medical malpractice, died in the Senate committee. Unlike SB 1, this proposed amendment would have encumbered, by creating a review panel process as a predicate to filing suit, but not extinguish the right to recover damages for medical malpractice.
SB 22 (Scorsone) creating tax credits for rehabilitation and reconstruction of qualifying historic properties, died in the Senate.
SB 27 (Karem) (S. Rules), providing a mechanism for severing determination of the right of a condemnor to condemn multiple properties from valuation of individual parcels, died in the Senate.
SB 33 (Karem) (S. Judiciary) A bill empowering agencies, in their discretion, to employ alternative dispute resolution (mediation, facilitation, collaborative problem solving, consensus buildings, and regulatory negotiation) to resolve disputes (including facility siting, comprehensive planning, growth management, environmental cleanup, and infrastructure design), died in the Senate.
SB 34 (Tapp) became law. It creates licensing process and oversight board for those engaged in “home inspection.”
SB 37 (Boswell) became law. It revises existing law relating to electrical equipment and mine safety.
SB 49 (Roeding) which would have exempted from open meeting and open records laws disclosure of information relating to airport security, government communications systems, hospital terrorism response plans, security plans for public and private facilities, and utility security plans, died in Senate committee.
SB 50 (Roeding) A bill that would have deprived the Governor’s office of ability to issue emergency regulations in order to protect human health and the environment, instead restricting issuance of emergency regulations to cases of imminent danger to public health, safety, or welfare, or property or environment, died in Committee.
SB 58 (Denton), a bill mandating annual development by each state agency and biennial recommendations by the Governor on a list of nongovernmental functions that could be privatized, using only the relative cost of performing the function as the benchmark, died in Senate Committee.
SB 68 (Harris) a bill seeking to dissuade local governments from enacting any restrictions relating to smoking in non-governmental buildings by denying that community access to tobacco master settlement monies for agricultural development in that county, died in committee. The bill was heard in committee but not voted on at the request of the sponsor.
SB 69 (Harris) a bill making a matter of statute the existing regulatory prohibition against a contained landfill causing a public nuisance, and requiring the Cabinet to modify the contained landfill permit to include new conditions to abate the nuisance, which may include barriers to control debris, sound, or light, or regulation of hours of operation, and monitoring for odor, was never heard by the committee, despite being assigned to the committee chaired by the sponsor.
SB 74 (Seum) A bill creating an Office of Homeland Security attached to the Governor’s Offices, to coordinate funding and state assessment and response to acts of war and terrorism, died in Senate committee. The creation of a new agency would have been duplicative of and redundant to the charge of the existing Division of Emergency Management, which by law is already empowered to develop and coordinate for the Governor all matters pertaining to the state comprehensive emergency management program and disaster and emergency response of the Commonwealth.
SB 76 (Denton) A bill removing oversight of hearing officers for administrative hearings under KRS Chapter 13B from the Office of the Attorney General and transferring that function to the Department of Justice for all administrative hearings where the individual agency is not statutorily authorized to conduct its own administrative hearing, died in committee. Bill would also have eliminated the ability of several agencies to employ their own hearing officers, including the Mine Safety and Review Commission.
SB 89 (Roeding) died on the House floor. As initially introduced, SB 89 was a problematic bill seeking to hamstring government action to protect the public and environment by requiring “takings assessments.” A Senate Committee substitute, drafted by KRC, replaced the bill text with a requirement that the Office of the Attorney General develop a guidance document, to be available to state and local government, which summarizes the current state of federal and state takings law. Such guidance would be helpful to local governments, particularly planning and zoning commissions, in determining when zoning restrictions may trigger concerns regarding regulatory or physical takings.
SB 95 (Robinson)(-) is before the Governor for signature. The bill would prevent local planning and zoning agencies from restricting the location of firearms dealers, importers or manufacturers in any place where any other business may locate. KRC opposes this type of special legislation intended to provide any business preferential status to avoid reasonable restrictions on siting and operation of businesses within commercial, residential and industrial zones in a community. Existing constitutional and statutory due process protections exist to prevent arbitrary or capricious governmental zoning and planning decisions relative to commercial and industrial activities.
SB 114 (Harris), the billboard industry bill, died in the House Transportation committee.
The bill would have created a process for cutting trees in public rights-of-way along highways in order to assure billboards access to motorists on public highways. KRC believes it inappropriate to allow private parties to appropriate and destroy public trees and vegetation in order to assure that motorists can view their billboards. Bill also reverses current state regulatory prohibition on multiple message (tri-vision) signage, which are more distracting to the motoring public and present greater negative visual and light impact.
SB 118 (Guthrie) became law. The law removes current restriction prohibiting electric coops from selling power to entities other than state and local governments.
SB 142 (Buford), extending jurisdiction of Airport Zoning Commissions to include private airports with a paved runway of greater than 2,900 feet, became law.
SB 154 (Kelly) A reorganization bill amending various statutes to combine natural resources, environment, labor and public protection into Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, died in the House.
SB 164 (Boswell) A bill establishing a new classification of natural gas well called “domestic use only” well that can be used only for residential use by owner of fee estate, and must comply with permitting requirements of law; caps permit fee at $25 per well and bond at $250; died in Senate committee.
SB 175 (Tapp) Revisions to state pesticide laws removing caps on license and application fees, clarifies that one applying pesticides to lands of another must be licensed as an operator rather than allowing a dealer to do so, requiring proof of financial responsibility for anyone applying pesticides to lands of another; died in Senate committee.
SB 179 (Westwood), a new Fletcher Administration initiative creating a new Commission to develop an action plan to improve public health, did not become law.
SB 197 (Westwood) which had passed both Houses, was not taken up by the Senate for concurrence, and died. The bill amended existing law governing powers and purposes of sanitation districts to include stormwater management. Sponsor agreed to two clarifying amendments proposed by KRC that were added as floor amendment.
SB 198 (Jones) would have diverted ½-cent of fee now paid on gasoline to the petroleum environmental assurance fund (UST fee) to fund local road repaving. KRC opposes any diversion of funds from this dedicated fund for any purpose until UST cleanups needing reimbursement are substantially completed in the Commonwealth. Died in Senate committee.
SB 222 (Harris) which extends assessment of hazardous waste fee to fund state superfund, from June 2004 until June, 2006, was signed into law.
SB 224 (Harris), which extends deadlines for registering tanks for reimbursement for corrective action under the state underground storage tank program, became law.
SB 243 (Boswell), a bill amending state law to allow local governments with sufficient staff expertise to issue building permits to landowners seeking to develop land in floodplain, died in the Senate.
SB 246 (Stivers) became law. It is a bill proposed by regulated utilities to provide (with certain exceptions) for a hearing before the Public Service Commission on proposals to extend transmission lines of 138 kV or higher and longer than a mile in length, and for issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity by the PSC. Currently, such transmission line extensions are typically considered to be in the usual course of business and no certificate of public convenience and necessity is required. Providing a new hearing right is an improvement, and while the bill sets no standard for review, the PSC has indicated that they do have the authority under this bill to consider matters that the PSC has traditionally held to be outside their jurisdiction - environmental quality, property values and scenic values.
SB 247 (Harris), a bill providing for net metering of electricity by generators of solar energy and provides that each utility regulated by the PSC file a tariff within 180 days of passage of the bill, will become law. Any net generation from the eligible customer produces a credit against future electricity use, not cash refund.
SB 263, (Guthrie), the Senate counterpart bill largely tracking the consensus HB 577, added two important protections for the public that became part of the new law.
SB 271, (Leeper) a bill modifying existing laws to extend available economic incentives (in the form of tax credits and tax moratoriums) for property redevelopment to include “brownfields” properties, did not pass the Senate.
SJR 3 (Roeding) became law. The bill mandates termination of vehicle testing program for northern Kentucky counties by November 1, 2004. Resolution was amended to require REPA approval prior to closing vehicle testing program. KRC believes as a matter of public policy, failing to include vehicle emissions testing in the array of ozone precursor reduction measures is unwise.
SCR 115 (Buford), a resolution encouraging the Kentucky Heritage Council and Dry Stone Conservancy of Kentucky to catalog rock fences worthy of preservation and to develop standards for preservation and protection, died in the House.
SJR 127 (Jones), counterpart to Rep. Webb’s HJR 196, and one of the most significant of the 2004 session environmental bills, died in the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, where it was not heard. Filed as a result of the grassroots work of coalfield citizens, this resolution would direct the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to require development by owners of impoundments presenting a potential high or significant hazard to downstream life or property, of emergency action plans meeting the guidelines of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Only 1% of Kentucky’s high and significant hazard dams have such plans, placing Kentucky among the states with the lowest compliance level.
HB 1 (Richards), revisions strengthening aspects of the Executive Branch Ethics Code, died in the Senate State and Local Government committee.
HB 66 (Gray), prohibiting local government regulation of tobacco use other than on property of local government, died in the House committee.
HB 78 (Meeks) A bill creating financial incentives to encourage development of interlocal county agreements for sharing and coordinating fire, police and emergency/rescue services, died in the House.
HB 94, a bill allowing joint sponsorship of bills introduced in both chambers, died in the Senate.
HB 109 (Meeks) A bill creates several mechanisms to encourage increased use and development of interlocal agreements for sharing and providing governmental services by counties and special districts, died in the House.
HB 127 (Belcher) A bill creating a Pest Plant Board to foster public awareness and coordinate government effort to eradicate noxious invasive plant species, died in the House.
HB 132 (Webb) A bill modifying standards for licensure and continuing education for building and plumbing inspectors to require education and training on prevention, detection and remediation of mold and other indoor toxins, died in the Senate State and Local Government committee.
HB 142 (B. Smith), requiring helmets for bicycle use on highways and bicycle paths by those 16 years of age and under, imposes liability on parents to assure such use, knowing failure of which is punishable by fine, received a hearing but no vote and died in the House.
HB 143 (Fischer) A bill clarifying service requirements for citations issued by code enforcement officers, died in the House Committee.
HB 145 (Hoffman), requiring radon mitigation systems to be installed in all new schools, daycares and homes constructed in high-radon areas (as determined by the Cabinet for Health Services); allows local governments to require radon mitigation systems in other areas after one year, and allows an income tax credit for the costs of installed systems; died in the House.
HB 148 (Burch) A bill restricting sale of junk food (high sugar, fat) in schools during school day; provides for continuing education for school food service directors and cafeteria managers, died in the Senate State and Local Government committee.
HB 155 (Marzian) A bill requiring use of protective headgear for all-terrain vehicles; prohibits use of ATVs by children less than 16 years of age; died in the House committee.
HB 167 (Meeks) creating a Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission attached to Education, Arts and Humanities Cabinet to foster awareness of influences of Native Americans in Kentucky’s history and culture, became law.
HB 179, a bill that would have exempted local governments from requirement to obtain stream construction permit for reconstructing, improving or replacing bridges and low water crossings across streams; did not become law.
HB 188, which would have amended state open records law to allow exemption from disclosure of records that are determined by the Office for Security Coordination to pose threat from terrorism, died in the House Rules Committee. The language was far too broad, potentially allowing exemption from disclosure of information on hazardous materials storage and use that is required to be made available to local emergency response agencies and to the public. Senate included provision shielding from disclosure contributors to a U of L foundation.
HB 191 (Gray) a bill directing emplacement of state recreational and cultural interest signage along certain western Kentucky highways to promote Barkley and Kentucky Lakes, died in the Senate committee.
HB 197 (Hoffman) Requiring development and distribution of information on radon when building permit for residential construction is issued, and requires seller disclosure of any radon testing performed, results and any mitigation, was withdrawn.
HB 199 (Ballard) a bill clarifying standards for definition of what constitutes a public road and for acceptance of roads into county road system, became law.
HB 202 (R. Adams) a bill requiring that where one entity furnishes sewer services to customers of another sewer utility, compensation shall be paid by agreement or under eminent domain law, became law. Eminent domain powers are granted to local governments for sewage treatment facilities, and surcharges are allowed to recover the compensation paid in taking over the facilities.
HB 261 (Feeley), restricting sale of soda to school children during school day, died in the Senate.
HB 281 (McKee) recreating the Interagency Farmland Committee to review state agency projects converting more than 50 acres of farmland for non-farm use or for acquisition of more than 50 acres of farmland by government, and requiring development of an agricultural impact statement and consideration of alternatives, died in the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. KRC supported elevating consideration of farmland conversion to nonfarm use, but believes that the process of review and consideration of alternatives should be expanded to include all projects undertaken, funded or approved by state agencies that convert more than 50 acres of farmland to non-farm use, including transportation, other infrastructure, facility siting, subdivision and other large-scale developments funded or approved by state government.
HB 289 (Geveden) an act establishing process for consolidation of counties by voters of those counties, died in the Senate.
HB 295 (Bruce) became law. The bill voids all regulations identified as deficient by the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee or other committees during the 2003 interim, including the needed revisions to state non-coal mining regulations. KRC believes that each set of regulations so identified should receive full review by the committees of jurisdiction rather than considering one bill voiding all such identified regulations.
HB 301 (McKee), a bill directing disbursement of unobligated funds in waste tire trust fund to grants for projects to manage waste tires, giving first priority to funding waste tire crumbing projects for use on athletic field surfaces, died in the House.
HB 336 (R. Thomas), amending existing law concerning animal control, including banning use of gunshot as method of animal euthanasia, died in the Senate State and Local Government committee but because law attached to a separate bill.
HB 338 (K. Stein), amending various civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, labor and employment and public accommodations, died in House committee. As in past sessions, KRC supports state and local anti-discrimination measures.
HB 349 (Meeks) a bill that would have cut off rights of children and others injured by ingestion or inhalation of lead-contaminated soil, paint or dust, to sue for damages, was not voted on in House committee at the request of the sponsor. A separate, more detailed analysis of this bill is on the KRC website.
HB 355 (Nelson) Providing for special tax classification for “classified forest property,” which must have a forest management plan and include 50 acres with 700 trees / acre and limited uses, died in the House.
HB 369 (Collins) Bill compressing timeframes for processing, review, and approval or denial of permits for on-site sewage systems by both local health departments and the state Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, died in the Senate Committee. KRC had grave concerns with language added to bill on House floor.
HB 379 (Riggs), granting immunity to airport boards and employees acting in good faith in response to an airport threat, was not heard by the House committee. The term “airport threat response” was so broad that an airport could claim immunity from liability where the facility negligently causes a release of hazardous materials, and for other personal and property damage caused by actions or omissions within the control of the airport and unrelated to terrorism.
HB 388 (Wayne & Riggs) A bill requiring planning commissions and boards of zoning adjustment to adopt codes of ethics, and increases training requirements for planning and zoning officials, died in the Senate State and Local Government Committee.
HB 395 (S A&R), the executive branch budget for FY 2004-06, did not become law.
HB 444 (Denham), bill limiting liability of persons who own agritourism operations where the public is not charged a fee for entry onto the land, died in the House. Bill tracks existing KRS 411.190(2), which limits liability of landowners whose land is open for recreational activities.
HB 451 (Simpson) creating a tax credit for qualified rehabilitation expenses for certified historic structures, was not heard by the House committee.
HB 478 (Riner), creating a youth license for ATV use by children under 16 years of age; eliminating ATV use of public roads unless ATV is titled, registered, licensed and insured, was not heard by the House committee.
HB 483 (Wilkey), a bill providing repayment assistance for law school student loans for lawyers making a 2-year commitment to legal aid, public advocacy, commonwealth or county attorney position; would be funded by reprogramming 2% of court costs now returned to general fund; died in Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee.
HB 490 (Wayne) A bill providing for “net metering”, requiring retail electric suppliers provide net metering for eligible customer-generators of electricity, will become law on the Governor’s signature. Net metering allows excess electricity produced by customers to be introduced into the system and for a “netting” of the value of the electricity used by and transmitted from such a customer.
HB 497 (Webb) Creating a permit process in Dept. of Housing, Buildings and Construction for installation and major repair of HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, was not heard by the House.
HB 505 (Ballard) , providing a $2 per ton five-year credit on individual and corporate taxes for use of coal combustion by-products for fill and in construction aggregate, was not heard in the House committee.
HB 537 (B. Smith), amending the right-of-entry statute allowing coal mining operation that has damaged another’s property to obtain a right to enter that property without the consent of the landowner in order to abate a notice of violation issued by state, goes to the Governor and will likely become law. Bill is likely to be considered by any reviewing court as an unconstitutional taking by physical intrusion. Sponsor included two amendments at KRC’s request – one requiring that the coal company carry insurance and supply a plan to the landowner for remedying the damage, and the other, clarifying that accepting the appraised damages does not waive a right to sue for punitive or compensatory damages or to seek other appropriate relief. With those changes, while KRC opposes existing law, KRC will be neutral on the bill. KRC has pending in Pike Circuit Court an action that challenges the constitutionality of the law.
HB 543 (Marcotte) A bill requiring certification (in the form of an ordinance) from county fiscal court that use of county road for coal haulage or access will not degrade road, prior to issuance of a state mining permit, was never heard in committee. Absent such certification, a transportation impact plan must be developed estimating the number of trucks, and demonstrating that the increased truck traffic will not pose a threat to passenger vehicles or degrade ambient air quality from fugitive dust or spillage. KRC supports efforts to make coal and other mineral operators more accountable for the off-site transportation impacts on the quality of life and safety of individuals residing along and traversing roads used for coal and other mineral haulage and access.
HB 559 (Meeks), allowing voluntary tax check off for local government cemetery maintenance fund, died in the Senate A&R Committee.
HB 560 (Meeks), reforming existing law governing access to private cemeteries, establishes process for reinterment and disposal of human archaeological remains in custody of government, requires permits for persons excavating archeological remains, died in Senate Licensing Committee.
HB 577, a bill creating comprehensive regulatory program for production of methane gas from wells drilled into coalbeds (Coalbed Methane or “CBM”), became law. Original bill lacked safeguards for surface landowners and environment, but after negotiations, provisions were incorporated into committee substitute providing for surface and adjoining owner notification, development of reclamation plan and obligation to reclaim and restore any improvements damaged; requirement to submit groundwater protection plan if methane well is within ½ mile of domestic or residential well, and coordination of permits with environmental agencies. KRC supported the amended bill. Uncaptured methane vented into the atmosphere is a potent greenhouse gas, and advance capture of methane improves underground mine safety. For more information on the original and amended bill visit KRC’s website at www.kyrc.org.
HB 581 (P. Clark), a bill requiring the Attorney General to develop guidelines to be followed by all state and local governments regarding regulatory takings of private property, was not heard by committee.
HB 584 (Denham), revising existing law on nuisance, clarifying that junked cars and junked mobile homes are prohibited nuisances, did not pass the House.
HB 596 (Denham) Revises law on covered wooden bridge authority to involve Kentucky Heritage Council in development of management standards for preservation, maintenance and restoration of covered wooden bridges. It will become law.
HB 609 (Thomas and Comer) is before the Governor. The bill revises statutes addressing administrative regulations, to provide for a report on proposed regulations by the Commission on Small Business Advocacy; to require that the economic impact analysis accompanying proposed regulations specifically consider impacts on “small business” (defined as 150 employees or gross sales of less than 6 million dollars), and allowing agencies to consider waiving fines or penalties (rather than simply reducing or modifying) as part of the tiering of regulations. While there are aspects of the bill that KRC does not object to, there is no need for a new statutory requirement of a small business commission report, since any party, including government and quasi-government entities, as well as commercial and industrial trade groups, can already file comments on proposed regulations. The bill has significant technical problems, including unworkable timeframes.
HB 626 (Pullin) The administrative regulation housekeeping bill, making several clarifications concerning deadlines for public comment, regulation filing, and other related matters relating to the legislative review of proposed regulations, died in the Senate committee.
HB 628 (Vincent), a bill creating a reporting requirements for junkyards and recycling facilities of materials sold, did not received a hearing in the House.
HB 639 (Hall & Pullin) The House counterpart to SB 246 (Stivers) which became law.
HB 649 (Palumbo), requiring state agencies to establish policies for reducing or waiving civil penalties for violations by “small business” entities, defined as up to 100 employees, did not receive a hearing. KRC opposed the bill.
HB 659 (Fischer) Under rubric of seeking to “promote the uniform application of civil rights laws in the Commonwealth,” this perennial bill sought to preempt local fairness ordinances prohibiting gender and sexual preference-based discrimination. As in past sessions, KRC opposed this measure. The bill did not receive a hearing.
HB 710 (Thomas) Bill seeks to encourage production and use of biodiesel (plant oil or animal fat-based diesel fuel) and ethanol (agriculturally derived fuel-grade alcohol) by providing tax credits for production of each. Did not pass the House.
HCR 8 (Vincent) Directing establishment of a task force to examine the development of the Lexington/Big Sandy Rail Trail, became law.
HJR 43 (Denham) A resolution urging Transportation Cabinet to continue to work with other agencies to develop signage program for agritourism events, died in the Senate committee.
HJR 79 (Bather) An anti-SLAPP suit resolution encouraging the state Supreme Court to Adopt rules of procedure for civil actions to provide immunity from civil liability for statements made before governmental bodies, was not heard at the request of the sponsor.
HCR 98 (Gooch) A resolution reinstating the 1995 noncoal regulations that would otherwise sunset after an unsuccessful effort by the Patton Administration to strengthen those regulations during the last interim, became law. KRC did not oppose this resolution, but will seek during the next interim to secure improvements in the regulation of noncoal blasting, impacts of noncoal mineral haulage, and groundwater protection from noncoal operations. Amended in the Senate to clarify inclusion of rock asphalt mining under the 1995 regulations.
HCR 106, encouraging electric utilities to cooperate with each other to meet reliability needs without new power lines, and encourages transmission-owning utilities to hold local hearings on any new high-voltage transmission lines, died in the Senate committee.
HCR 114 (Denham), a concurrent resolution urging the state Division of Conservation to give greater consideration to previous unsuccessful applicants for soil erosion and water quality cost share monies, died in the Senate committee.
HR 124 (Pasley) A resolution extending the reporting deadline for the Off-Road Motorcycle and All-Terrain Vehicle Task Force until September 2005, died in the Senate Transportation committee.
HR 139 (Napier) A resolution urging repeal by Congress of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), was passed by the House.
HR 173 (Riggs) A resolution adopted by the House strongly urges Cinergy Corp. and officials at Cinergy’s Gallagher power plant to install best available control technology to reduce sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulates from the power plant, which is located west of Louisville and is a significant contributor to the air quality problems of the Metro Louisville and downwind areas. The resolution also urges Metro Louisville Air Pollution Control Board and the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to evaluate all remedies, including common law remedies, available under state and federal law to assure that the plant is brought into conformity with law and operated in a manner protective of public health safety and welfare.
HCR 184 (P. Clark) Resolution directing LRC to establish an Eminent Domain Task Force to assess the use and scope of authority for use of eminent domain in Kentucky and to identify safeguards in use in other states that may be appropriate to include in Kentucky law to protect the environment and property owners, was not heard by House committee. KRC supports LRC evaluation of the state of eminent domain power, particularly the availability of such powers by non-government entities.
HCR 190 (R. Adams) Reauthorizing the task force for funding wildlife conservation, became law.
HJR 196 (Webb) One of the most significant of the 2004 session environmental bills, and filed as a result of the grassroots work of coalfield citizens, this resolution would have directed the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to require development by owners of impoundments presenting a potential high or significant hazard to downstream life or property, of emergency action plans meeting the guidelines of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It did not receive a hearing. Only 1% of Kentucky’s high and significant hazard dams have such plans, placing Kentucky among the states with the lowest compliance level.
HCR 202 (Hall) A resolution urging the federal Office of Surface Mining and state surface mining agency to encourage reforestation initiative for promoting reforestation of mined lands through use of rough grading and reducing over-compaction of reclaimed areas, died in the Senate.
HCR 204 (Belcher) Encouraging documentation and criteria for protection of historic rock fences, did not receive a hearing in the House.
HJR 218 (Nesler) Reauthorizing the Kentucky Aquaculture Task Force, became law.
HR 228 (Buckingham), adopted by the House, is a simple resolution urging the Secretary of the Commerce Cabinet to develop and promote the use of coalbed methane.
HB 244 (Meeks), urging the state Department of Fish & Wildlife resources to avoid killing elk and other protected and reintroduced animals and to mediate disputes concerning migration of such animals onto private property, died in the House.