The2nd meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources was held on Wednesday, September 12, 2001, at 1:00 PM, in Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Ernie Harris, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Ernie Harris, Co-Chair; Representatives James Gooch, Co-Chair, and Roger Thomas, Co-Chair; Senators Daniel Kelly, Robert Leeper, Joey Pendleton, Ernesto Scorsone, Tim Shaughnessy, and Elizabeth Tori; Representatives Royce Adams, Rocky Adkins, Adrian Arnold, Scott Brinkman, James Bruce, Dwight Butler, Mike Cherry, Phillip Childers, Hubert Collins, James Comer, Thomas McKee, R. J. Palmer, Tanya Pullin, Marie Rader, William Scott, Dottie Sims, Jim Stewart, Gary Tapp, Mark Treesh, Tommy Turner, Ken Upchurch, and Brent Yonts.
Guests:† Lyle Cobb, Cobb & Assoc.; Ira Linville, KY Dept. of Agriculture; Ronny Pryor, Capitol Solutions, LLC; Wade Helm, KY Conservation Committee; Bert May, KY League of Cities; Roger Recktenwald, KY Infrastructure Authority; Joel Neaveill and John-Mark Hack, Governorís Office of Agriculture Policy.
LRC Staff:† Dan Risch, Biff Baker, Brad Wellons, Tanya Monsanto, Hank Marks, Rebecca Mullins, and Kelly Blevins.
Senator Ernie Harris, co-chair, explained that he and his co-chairs,† Representatives Jim Gooch and Roger Thomas would share the responsibility of conducting the meeting. Senator Harris asked the secretary to call the roll and stated that a quorum was present.
Senator Harris first recognized Representative Thomas,† who expressed his deep sadness and strong outrage over the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C. which took place on September 11, 2001. He asked the committee to join him in a show of support for the New York and District of Columbia communities. To that end, the committee adopted a resolution and directed staff to transmit the resolution to appropriate officials in New York and the nationís capital.
Next, Senator Harris introduced the new secretary for the committee, Kelly Blevins. He then asked for and received approval of the minutes of the August 23, 2001 meeting.
Senator Harris then asked Secretary Jim Bickford, Mr. Bob Logan, and Mr. Rob Daniell of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet to provide information about solid waste management in Kentucky.
Secretary Bickford said that the average cost of door-to-door solid waste collection in Kentucky is $11.20 a month. He said the state has 26 contained landfills with capacity to last 15.2 years. He said planned landfill expansions will add 15 to 20 years of new capacity.
The Secretary said that recycling in Kentucky had increased by 188% since 1984. He pointed out that an office in the cabinet operates a paper recycling program for state government and has worked to help 189 organizations across the state to purchase recycled materials.
The Secretary said that the Transportation Cabinet and local officials spend $8 million each year to pick up litter along roadways. He added that under the Governorís Certified Clean County Program, which helps counties clean up open dumps, eight counties have qualified for state financial assistance.
Finally, Secretary Bickford emphasized that county officials want the state waste tire amnesty program to continue. The program, which funds the pick up and proper disposal of waste tires, is financed by a fee on the sale of tires. The fee is scheduled to end in June 2002.
In response to questions, Commissioner Logan said that the capacity of the stateís landfills has been reduced somewhat. He said† the cause is likely an increase of waste coming into Kentucky from other states and greater efforts in Kentucky to properly dispose of solid waste. He also said that the greatest volume of material disposed of at contained landfills is yard waste and paper.
Also, Director Rob Daniell said that, for the purposes of the Certified Clean County Program, an open dump site is defined as a volume of waste sufficient to fill one-half of the bed of a standard pick up truck. Mr. Daniell acknowledged that this volume is less than what would have constituted an open dump in the Governorís solid waste management proposal considered in the 2001 Regular Session.
Rep. Rocky Adkins pointed out that the federal constitution prohibits Kentucky† from treating out-of-state waste differently than in-state waste.
The cabinet officials provided printed material and a copy is with the meeting folder on file in the LRC Library.
The next presenter was Ms. Mary Shinkle. Ms. Shinkle is the President of the Solid Waste Coordinators Association of Kentucky. Ms. Shinkle also provided printed material which can be found with the meeting folder on file in the LRC library. Her comments centered on solid waste management from the perspective of local officials trying to implement solid waste programs. In response to a question from Chairperson Harris, Ms. Shinkle identified four points for consideration. First, she said counties must have uniform funding and support from the state. Second, she emphasized that all counties need funding. Third, she said counties need designated, full-time solid waste coordinators. Fourth, she said a system must be established to document that proper solid waste disposal mechanisms are used.
Senator Dan Kelly asked if enforcement of litter and no dumping laws would improve if the fines imposed for those violations were given to the county. Ms. Shinkle said it would help. Representative Brent Yonts said tax incentives may be useful in stimulating the use of waste tires as a fuel source.
The next presentation was given by Mr. John-Mark Hack and Mr. Gordon Duke of the Agricultural Development Board. Printed material related to their presentation is on file with the meeting folder in the LRC library. Mr. Hack said a newsletter is being mailed to county councils and bi-weekly conference calls are made to county councils in an effort to improve communication between the board and the councils.
Senator Harris asked how the board would handle an individualís application, which meets state goals,† but which does not comply with the boardís plan. Mr. Hack acknowledged that he did not know the answer.
Next, Mr. Ira Linville from the Department of Agriculture spoke to the committee. Mr. Linville reported on the work of the Animal Disposal Task Force. His printed materials are on file with the meeting folder in the LRC library.
Mr. Linville talked about estimates of the number of dead animals across the state, the legal disposal methods for dead animals, and the costs per method, and the options to pay for dead animal removal and disposal.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 3:15 p.m.