In response to legal action by a broad coalition of national and local groups, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must finalize first-ever federal standards for the disposal of coal ash by December 19, 2014.
The settlement does not dictate the content of the final regulation, but gives the agency a deadline to finalize standards after years of delay.
Some departments of the Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet will see deep cuts over the next two years, if the General Assembly approves Gov. Steve Beshear’s proposed budget.
Jefferson County Chapter recently chose to identify local issues as a way to both improve the county and also reach out to a broader section of the urban population that is not yet connected to KFTC’s statewide work. The process for local issue selection is not obvious. Assembled KFTC members have no shortage of issues, quickly identifying years worth of issues worthy of grassroots attention. There is no shortage of cooperative attitude, but there are many potential approaches to this important decision process.
Chapter members agreed the first step to selecting the chapter issue was to brainstorm issues to be discussed at the April chapter meeting. KFTC principles for issue selection were presented by Jefferson County organizer Alicia Hurle, and discussion led to additional criteria being added. The group determined a local issue should be one that is winnable with opportunities for action in the short term, even if completely winning would ultimately take focus over a longer time horizon. The group also agreed the ideal local issue would be important to people in areas not currently connected to state wide work. We want an issue that will energize the chapter and get members involved in our work. Outreach to chapter members encouraged them to contribute issues they would like to see considered and were invited to participate in discussion of issues and the process for selecting issues at the next chapter meeting.
In a positive step for community throughout Kentucky, a federal judge last week agreed with a broad coalition of local, state and national groups that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency needs to set federal regulations for the safe and proper disposal of toxic coal ash.