Environment

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The secretary of Kentucky’s Energy and the Environment Cabinet has provided hints of how state budget cuts will affect his agency. Along with most sectors of state government, the Energy and Environment cabinet’s spending will be reduced by 9% over the next two fiscal years and 4.5% this year under Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed budget.

fema.gov

Under changes that go into effect next month, Kentucky and every other state will have to assess the risks posed by climate change in its hazard mitigation plan.

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Leaders from the state’s coal-producing regions want counties to receive a greater share of coal severance tax revenue. Revenue from the severance tax is split evenly between the state and counties and has declined as a result of Kentucky’s flagging coal industry.

Marcus Obal, Wikimedia Commons

Prescribed or controlled burning could be expanded across Kentucky under a bill making its way through the state general assembly. Proponents say the process carries an ecological impact. 

Whitney Jones, WKMS

Kentucky’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Research Program is expanding as it rolls into its third year.

Sergey Lavrentev, 123rf Stock Photo

Kentucky’s Department of Agriculture is seeking public input on the state’s first pollinator protection plan. The plan lays out best management practices in an effort to slow the rapid die-off of honeybees and other pollinators.

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Facebook

A revised statewide fish consumption advisory is in effect due to levels of mercury found in samples from Kentucky waters. The Kentucky Departments for Public Health, Environmental Protection and Fish and Wildlife announced guidance Wednesday. 

River Discovery Center

Paducah’s River Discovery Center is partnering with an environmental organization to offer free oak saplings to the community this spring.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, via Facebook

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is adding confirmed cougar sightings to a new online map. The TWRA Cougar Action Team, or C-A-T, is an in-house committee working to organize evidence submitted by the public and developing a policy for dealing with this subspecies of cougar, which is not native to Tennessee. 

The first confirmed sighting in more than 100 years was in Obion County last September

48states, Wikimedia Commons

A bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul would allow Fort Knox to continue producing natural gas to power the Army base.

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