Kentucky Resources Council: The First Thirty-Two Years
These are the highlights of the Council’s accomplishments during the first thirty-two years. Distilled from thousands of issues and cases on which the Council has worked, they are a condensed inventory of KRC’s many campaigns, cases and successes. The Council’s work would not have been possible without the unwavering support and encouragement of the Council’s membership, the Board of Directors, and those individuals and foundations who have assisted us in our endeavors, and whose faith in our mission to bring positive change to individuals and communities in need has helped sustain our work and our continued success.
* Brought about major reform in the state’s permit requirements for groundwater protection during mining operations.
* Helped to end the scourge of strip mining under the notorious “broad form” mineral deed.
* Successfully challenged pattern of nonenforcement of state’s mining program resulting in a comprehensive agreement to reform the enforcement of the laws in the state.
* Challenged legality of over 150 changes to the national surface mining regulations proposed by the Reagan and Bush Administrations during the 1980’s.
* Protected Cannon Creek Lake, Pineville’s water supply, UK’s 10,000-acre Robinson Forest, Fern Lake, the source of drinking water for Middlesboro, Kentucky, Lilley Cornett Woods, a protected tract of old-growth forest in Kentucky, the historic Pine Mountain Settlement School, and Big Black Mountain from strip mining.
* Protected hundreds of communities from the effects of coal tipples by challenging federal regulations that would have de-regulated coal tipples located away from coal mine sites.
* Caused state to improve regulations governing limestone, sand and gravel mining.
* Defeated a landfill proposal atop a cave that supplied the water for Livingston, Kentucky.
* Authored numerous articles, law review notes, and public information brochures.
* Defeated a proposed commercial hazardous waste incinerator in southwest Jefferson County.
* Drafted law classifying nerve gas stored at an Army Depot as hazardous waste, resulting in Army rejecting incineration and choosing a safer method to destroy the nerve agents.
* Wrote three laws that helped stop Kentucky from being the dumping ground for New York and New Jersey garbage and giving counties control over waste disposal in their county.
* Developed strong solid waste management plans and host community agreements for use by any community facing the threat of new landfills and incinerators.
* Closed a facility that processed aluminum wastes (“dross”) and emitted hydrogen sulfide gases in a poor African-American community in the town of Drakesboro.
* Assisted Muhlenberg County residents in stopping proposal to dump sewage sludge there.
* Defeated an attempted rezoning to allow dumping of coal ash on farmland in Bullitt County.
Addressing Development, and Protecting Air, Land, and Water
* Successfully opposed oil and gas drilling in designated wild river corridors.
* Successfully opposed a proposal to build a high dam on the Kentucky River.
* Helped facilitate designation of the Red River Gorge into the federal Wild and Scenic River.
* Defeated dam construction in a candidate national wild and scenic river in Jackson County, Kentucky, and protected farmland in Pendleton County from inundation by proposed dam.
* Secured court decision limiting condemnation for oil and gas pipelines to public utilities.
* Successfully challenged Kentucky changes weakening water quality standards.
* Stopped proposal to burn municipal solid waste and sludges to fuel the boilers at wood plant.
* Helped craft and defend Louisville Air Toxics Control Program.
* Represented Metropolitan Housing Coalition, AARP, and others in many proceedings before the state Public Service Commission, seeking to protect poor ratepayers and environment.
* Helped craft comprehensive solid waste law funding litter cleanup and city landfills closure.
* Drafted legal siting process to assess and mitigate impacts of new proposed power plants.
* Fought to extend funding for removal of leaking underground gasoline storage tanks.
* Negotiated law allowing voluntary remediation of contamination properties.
* Negotiated a coalbed methane law providing notice, protection of groundwater and liability for any damage, reclamation plans, and for appeals by injured landowners.
* Drafted several laws significantly advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy.