Odds and Ends

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Odds and Ends  Posted: December 12, 2002
1. WKU Environmental Education Class Offering This Spring

"Foundations of Environmental Education," a Western Kentucky University course offering for Spring 2003, blends class discussions and field experiences to provide an introduction to philosophy and methodology of environmental education. Contact Terry Wilson, Director, WKU Center for Math, Science and Environmental Education for more information at terry.wilson@wku.edu.

2. Office of Surface Mining Rejects Kentucky Mining Program Amendment

On November 20, 2002, the federal Office of Surface Mining denial approval of a proposed state program amendment that would exempt from the mining laws removal and donation of up to 5,000 tons of coal as part of a construction project. The state law, enacted by the 2002 General Assembly, was intended to address situations where coal is encountered as part of a private construction project. The rejection of the amendment was expected, since, as KRC noted in comments to OSM on the state proposal, the federal mining law exempts incidental coal removal only if part of a government-financed construction project, and exempts coal mining operations only if less then 250 tons of coal are removed.

The effective date of the state law was July 1, 2004. The OSM notice rejecting the state amendment, was published at 67 Federal Register 70007 (November 20, 2002). KRC will ask OSM to take formal action pursuant to Section 505 of that law to recognize that the state law is superseded because it is inconsistent with the federal Act.

3. Humanities Fellowships Available To Appalachian Region Activists & Artists

The University of Kentucky Appalachian Center and Committee on Social Theory have announced the availability of fellowships funded by the Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship Program, providing a 2-3 month fellowship-in-residence for activists and activist artists in the Appalachian region. The fellowships will focus on questions of globalization, democracy and environmental sustainability, and provide a $3,889/month stipend. For more information email the Appalachian Center at rock@uky.edu or visit www.appalachiancenter.org. Application deadline is February 3, 2003.

4. St. Francis United Methodist Church is offering greeting cards and 2003 Kentucky calendars as part of their partnership with the Henderson Settlement in Frakes, Kentucky, a fifteen-year Methodist project in southeastern Kentucky. For more information visit www.gbgm-umc.org/hendersonsettlement.

5. OSM Clarifies Rights of Joint Owners

As you will recall, KRC has challenged the ability of Kentucky to issue mining permits allowing strip mining when less-than-all joint tenants have consented. That case, Kirtley v. Rapid Energy has been briefed and awaits decision from a state hearing officer.

In a related matter, when OSM approved on May 7, 2002, a Kentucky regulation that allows landowners to waive a 30-day notice period prior to commencing underground mining beneath their property, KRC requested that OSM clarify from whom the waiver was required. OSM, by letter dated July 31, 2002, clarified their position that all owners of the property, including all joint owners of any interest in the property, and the occupant, must execute the waiver before mining can occur sooner than the 30-day period. The July 31 letter is available from KRC on request.

6. Youth Environmental Summit In Midway, Kentucky May 13, 2003

The Kentucky Environmental Education Council is sponsoring the first annual environmental summit for high school students. Teachers or sponsors (4-H, home school parents) can bring a group of students. Food and lodging will be provided, as will training and curriculum assistance for teachers and a stipend for expenses related to student projects. Space is limited to 30 teachers/sponsors. For more information contact KEEC Director Jane Eller at jeller@kde.state.ky.us or call 1-800-882-5271.

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