Washington, DC — A coalition of environmental and community groups today brought a challenge to a Trump Administration rule designed to make it harder for communities impacted by coal mining to hold state regulators and mining companies accountable for violating environmental protections.
Gov. Andy Beshear has vetoed a bill that attempts to change the venue for lawsuits that challenge the constitutionality of a law, executive order or state agency action...FitzGerald conducted an analysis of 261 constitutional challenges filed in the first nine months of 2020 and says that only 11 were cases against officials or agencies, and that only two ended up in Franklin Circuit Court...
LG&E asked the Kentucky Public Service Commission to raise electric rates 11.81 percent, or an additional $11.74 per month for the average customer, and gas rates 9.37 percent, or an additional $6.17...However, consumer advocates like Tom Fitzgerald, director of the Kentucky Resources Council, said the proposed increase is coming at a time when many are struggling because of the economic impacts of COVID-19. “These are hard times,” Fitzgerald said, “and I think the burden is particularly high or should be high on utility companies to justify rate increases during a pandemic and during an economic downturn.”
The Mountain Association, along with Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC) and the Kentucky Solar Energy Society (KYSES), were approved to jointly intervene in formal proceedings for a new rate case proposed by Kentucky Power Company. They are represented by Tom FitzGerald with the Kentucky Resources Council.
The $20,000 grant will support RRGU’s efforts to protect the Red River Gorge Geological Area (RRG). RRGU formed due to concerns that a resort and retail village proposed for the RRG. RRGU now consists of a fully-formed board and steering committee, comprised of local residents and business owners. The group is supported by professional consultants and technical advisors Gerry Seavo James of the Explore Kentucky Initiative (Frankfort) and SaraDay Evans of Accelerating Appalachia (Lexington) and fiscal sponsorship by Kentucky Resources Council.
A letter released Wednesday from community and environmental groups claim ongoing violations at mines formerly owned by Blackjewel aren’t being addressed and actually have gotten worse since a massive protest last summer in Harlan County.
KRC client, Kentucky Heartwood, brought to us the matter of illegal logging occuring in the Daniel Boone National Forest. In late April, our Environmental & Community Defense team sent a letter to the Daniel Boone National Forest supervisor calling for the suspension of further harvesting pending a review. Read about the issue that faces one of our valuable Kentucky forests.
August 28, 2019
Zoning Amendment Passes with Increased Restrictions on Pipelines
By Ben Kleppinger, The Advocate-Messenger
After three months of public hearings, the Danville-Boyle County Planning and Zoning Commission has finally approved a major overhaul of its zoning ordinance. Disagreements over how the zoning ordinance should regulate hazardous liquids pipelines surfaced last month. But those wrinkles had been ironed out by the time the commission met Wednesday morning. People who had been on opposite sides in July were in agreement that the new ordinance would make Boyle County’s protections against hazardous pipelines even stronger.
August 14, 2019
Energy in Kentucky
By KET, Renee Shaw - Moderator
KRC Director Tom FitzGerald was featured on KET - Kentucky Educational Television's Kentucky Tonight panel discussing the state of energy in Kentucky.
June 27, 2019
Erosion, landslide and pollution. Coal industry's compliance with fedral rules down
By Bill Estep, Herald-Leader
Only 57 percent of surface coal mine permits in Kentucky were free of violations during oversight inspections in the most recent evaluation, a continued low rate of industry compliance on environmental and reclamation rules..."In any event, the continued slide in the number of sites that are not in compliance, and the number of OSM-observed violations, is a troubling trend,” - Tom FitzGerald, KRC Director
May 30, 2019
LG&E spurned Bullitt County pipeline route recommended in 2015 study
By Marcus Green, WDRB
In the summer of 2015, a contractor for Louisville Gas & Electric Co. finished studying possible routes for a new natural gas pipeline that would connect to an existing line in Bullitt County. The firm, EnSite USA, reviewed 10 corridors for the new line and ranked them based on cost and impact on streams, land use, threatened and endangered species and other factors. EnSite recommended that LG&E build a 13-mile pipeline starting near Coxs Creek in Nelson County and running northwest to the Jim Beam distillery south of Shepherdsville, according to confidential documents recently made public. That route was slightly better than a 15.5-mile path between Bardstown and the distillery that also would travel northward.
May 9, 2019
Lead and Other Everyday Environmental Dangers
By Patrick Reed, KET
Environmental factors such as air and water quality play a pivotal role in public health, as populations who live in areas with pollution, decaying buildings, and/or an unsafe, contaminated drinking supply are at a high risk of developing a myriad of health problems. How can we become educated about environmental issues to safeguard our own living spaces and also become effective advocates for better regulation of these essential ingredients to our ecosystem? Read more...
May 5, 2019
With or without Green New Deal, Kentucky's energy future is heading away from coal
By Matt Mencarini, Louisville Courier Journal
April 18, 2019
Landfill amendment process reviewed
By Hannah Woosley of the Georgetown News-Graphic
Tom FitzGerald, director of the Kentucky Resources Council and attorney to advise the Scott County Fiscal Court regarding the solid waste management plans happening in the county, was back at a fiscal court special meeting on Monday. Read more...
April 12, 2019
Kentucky plan to reduce Mammoth Cave haze approved by EPA
By Stephanie Hill for The Herald-Dispatch
By Ketucky Geological Survey