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Update from the Kentucky General Assembly

03.18.2013

The General Assembly convened in Frankfort on January 8th to conduct its 2013 “short session.”  Several environmental and natural resources-related bills have reached the Governor’s desk.  A discussion of each of these bills follows below.

  • SB 46 (Biomass and declaring an emergency) Creates a new section of KRS Chapter 278 to allow recovery of costs for purchase of power from certain biomass energy facilities; declare the Public Service Commission approval of cost recovery to be valid for the initial term of the purchased power agreement.

    Signed by the Governor on March 5th.

  • HB 126 (Petroleum Tank Environmental Assurance Fund)  Amend KRS 224.60-142 to extend the date for tank owners to register, submit affidavits and file applications for their tanks and the petroleum storage tank environmental assurance fund from July 15, 2013 to July 15, 2016; amend KRS 224.60-130 to require the Cabinet to make reimbursements for those participating in the petroleum storage tank program before July 15, 2019; amend KRS 224.60-145 to extend the small operator assistance account and small operator removal account programs for three years from July 15, 2013 to July 15, 2016.

    Delivered to the Governor for signature on March 12th.
  • HB 150 (Fish and Wildlife)  Amend KRS 150.175 to remove the distinction between the commercial and noncommercial taxidermist licenses; abolish the migratory bird permit; change the name of the waterfowl permit to the migratory bird permit; separate the senior/disabled combination license into two different licenses; create a new senior lifetime combination hunting and fishing license; allow the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to offer multi-year licenses or permits for certain existing annual licenses or permits; allow the department to discontinue multi-year licenses or permits at any time; amend KRS 150.603 to conform; repeal KRS 150.605.

    Amendments  Retain original provisions, and create a new section of KRS 146.410 to 146.535 to define "legacy nature preserve"; authorize the governing body of the legacy nature preserve to make improvements and allow certain activities on the legacy nature preserve; require all activities authorized by this section to comply with the articles of dedication for the legacy nature preserve and the provisions of KRS Chapter 146; require the commission to grant permission to the nonprofit organization managing the legacy nature preserve to engage in the activities allowed by the Act.

    Delivered to the Governor for signature on March 12th.
  • HB 378 (Impaired waters)  Create a new section of Subchapter 70 of KRS Chapter 224 to define terms; require the Energy and Environment Cabinet to maintain a listing of impaired waters placed on the 303(d) list and to make that list available on the Cabinet’s website; require the Cabinet to include other methodological information associated with determining whether to place a waterbody on the list and with developing any total maximum daily load; require the Cabinet to provide notice to certain interested parties of a waterbody’s listing on the 303(d) for effluent or thermal-based impairment; require the Cabinet to prepare a report each year to the Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment by December 31st on TMDL development for the following year and delayed effective date for the website listing of impaired waters and total maximum daily loads.

    Amendments  Retain original provisions of HB 378; clarify that the public has opportunity for review and public comment on Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL); specify a 60 day period for review and comment; indicate that any removal of a water from the impaired water listing will comply with applicable laws and regulations.

    Delivered to Governor for signature on March 12th.
  • HB 424 (Mine reclamation) A detailed discussion of HB 424 can be found  in the article titled “Recent Legislation and Regulations to have Drastic Impact on Cost of Bonding for Coal Mining in Kentucky,” also published in this edition of the Environmental Letter.
  • HB 431 (Tax increment financing) Amend KRS 65.7043 and 65.7049 to include mixed-use development areas such as public storm water and/or sanitary sewer facilities, to comply with a court decree mandating corrective action by local government.

    Delivered to the Governor for signature on March 12th.

To view a complete PDF of the January/February 2013 issue of the Environmental Letter, click HERE.

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