A Look Back at KRC's Work During 2012 Posted: December 27, 2012
29 Years Of Advocacy For Environmental Health, Quality, And Justice
KRC continues a 29-year proud tradition as Kentucky’s only statewide pro bono advocacy organization dedicated to providing legal, technical, and strategic assistance on environment and energy issues. As we look towards our 30th year of providing legal, strategic and technical assistance to communities and individuals across the Commonwealth, we are thankful for friends who make our work possible. Since we accept no corporate or government funding, and do not charge for our legal and technical assistance, the support of individual and organizational members and donors is what enables us to extend our help to Kentuckians, from Harlan to Hickman Counties, who face environmental health , environmental quality, public utility, and energy-related problems in their communities.
Here’s a brief snapshot of our work during the past year – work that KRC members and supporters make possible:
Providing Individual Assistance to Persons and Neighborhoods Affected by Environmental Issues
KRC continues to provide legal representation for scores of individuals facing problems such as condemnation, landslides, blasting damage, water loss, and other adverse effects of mining, oil and gas development, and industrial pollution. From providing information and brief assistance, to legal representation, KRC is the only statewide resource that these individuals have to secure a modicum of justice, and we are there for them only because you are there for us:
• Working with former neighborhood residents to encourage state and federal officials to upgrade site controls at the Lees Lane Landfill, a former Superfund site.
• Advising local residents on the investigation and cleanup of arsenic and lead associated with the former pesticide manufacturing plant in Louisville.
• Representing local residents concerned with a proposal to construct a coal ash landfill across from the Trimble County LGE power plant.
• Appealing a zoning decision by the City of Hillview in Bullitt County, which allows limestone mining in closer proximity to existing residential areas.
• Challenging the Daviess County Fiscal Court decision to approve the rezoning of agricultural property to allow surface coal mining on a 600-acre tract near a regional Girl Scouts camp and historic Black church.
• Representing landowners in the historic mining camp towns of Lynch and Benham, Kentucky, in their effort to protect the water supply for the towns from damage due to strip and underground mining.
• Appealing the rezoning of agricultural land to support a new limestone quarry in the Battletown area of Meade County.
• Working with residents and local counsel to challenge the issuance of a conditional use permit and noncoal permit for a quarry located along Drakes Creek in Franklin, Kentucky.
• Woprking to require the state to properly implement the “cumulative hydrologic impact assessment” or “CHIA” requirements of the surface mining law.
• Representing the Wolfpen Branch Neighborhood Association in a case seeking to enforce commitments were made to assure no degradation to Wolfpen Branch from the runoff from the developed properties would occur from Norton Commons.
• Representing Glenn and Sue Shadoan in their efforts to require the state Public Service Commission to review the safety and other impacts of a proposed sell tower in rural Laurel County, and Winola Mimms in her challenge to the secrecy provisions of the cell tower regulation statutes.
• Seeking the reinstatement of a sweeping circuit court decision that held the permittees and their corporate partners of industrial hog production operations responsible for controlling air toxics and nuisance odors from industrial scale livestock operations.
Lobbying To Protect The Environment
KRC is a respected source for information about proposed legislation affecting the environment and public access to government, producing highly-regarded weekly bill summaries and bill tracking. Within limits established for non-profit tax-exempt organizations, KRC works for reform on legislation affecting the environment, public health, and public safety, and has drafted bills on solid waste reform, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and many other topics, that have become law. A major issue on which the Council worked in 2012 and will again face in 2013 is the effort by AT&T to end it’s obligation to provide stand-alone phone service to all customers.
Tracking Regulatory Changes
Keeping track of proposed changes to state and federal regulations is essential in assuring that the intent of environmental health and safety laws are not compromised in their implementation. KRC continues to monitor all federal and state regulatory changes, and to provide comments that have often resulted in improvements to those rule changes. Among the agencies to whom the Council commented were the Public Service Commission, Heritage Land Conservation Board, Division of Water and Department of Agriculture.
Speaking Up And Speaking Out
In 2012, the Council has been actively engaged in lecturing, participating in numerous educational forums, and writing on behalf of environmental health and environmental justice.