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Environmental Protection


Kentucky landscape
Kentucky landscape

Conservation programs in Kentucky are largely focused on flood control and soil conservation. Other programs, such as Kentucky Water Watch, seek to prevent water pollution and to preserve plantlife and wildlife resources. Federal agencies that administer conservation programs in Kentucky include the United States Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the National Park Service, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The major state agency active in conservation is the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet.

In 2008 the state had 14 hazardous waste sites on a national priority list due to their severity or proximity to people. Progress was being made in efforts to reduce pollution; in the period 1995–2000 the amount of toxic chemicals discharged into the environment was reduced by 21 percent.

In the early 1970s nearly three-quarters of Kentucky’s rivers and streams were polluted enough to prohibit drinking and many other uses. Attempts to control pollution sources have met with some success in cleaning Kentucky’s waterways. However, in the mid-1990s more than one-quarter of monitored waters were still impaired by pollution. Runoff pollution from farms, urban areas, and abandoned mines poses some of the most widespread water quality problems. Air quality also has been improving.

Only the Louisville metropolitan region had days in which federal air quality standards for ozone were exceeded in the mid-1990s. Regulatory reforms passed in the early 1990s have led to the closure of a number of substandard solid waste landfills, and all counties have garbage collection ordinances. However, some of these are voluntary programs, so a problem of illegal trash dumping continues. "Kentucky" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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