The environmental laws in Kentucky are designed to operate within the ambits of the wider federal laws to protect the safety of our natural resources. These laws speak to individual and corporative practices that can potentially damage the air quality, water safety and resources available to human, plant and animal life. The law makes provision for the preservation of air quality, water safety, wild life protection, the safe use of pesticides and chemicals and safe disposal of hazardous waste.
The organizations established by Kentucky laws to govern pollution issues include:
The Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet (NREPC) which is responsible for overseeing matters related to water air and solid waste disposal. This entity is made up of three departments namely, the DNR, the Department for Environmental Protection (DEP), and the Department of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (DSMRE).
Under Kentucky law, offensive odors are defined as air contaminants. Producers of these contaminants may face sanctions under the legal system.
In the state of Kentucky, the piece of legislation that governs the preservation of water quality is the Kentucky Environmental Protection Act (KEPA). Under this legislation, provision is made for the regulated use of water for agricultural purposes. It also specifies the size and scope of agricultural operations that are considered farms. These entities are provided with guidelines which, in addition to other state laws governing the sector, must be adhered to. Operators are allowed, under law, a grace period to correct water pollution issues that emerge despite adherence to the guidelines.
In addition, the law provides for penalties for the proliferation of noise pollution. There are exemptions to this rule that include agricultural equipment and those noise producers that are mostly used on highways.
Open burning is another restricted activity under Kentucky law. The exceptions in this situation include cooking fires, fires started to aid in pest control, fires that are started for safety purposes and those that are a part of the agricultural process.
There are restrictions on the disposal of solid and hazardous waste in the state of Kentucky. The disposal of electronic waste, for instance, must be done in accordance with the guidelines of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) as well the state legislations. Electronic waste, however, that is slated for scrap metal purposes is not considered hazardous waste and as such is treated as an exception.
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