Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources


Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 4th Meeting

of the 2003 Interim


<MeetMDY1> September 10, 2003


The<MeetNo2> 4th meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources was held on<Day> Wednesday,<MeetMDY2> September 10, 2003, at<MeetTime> 1:00 PM, in<Room> Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Ernie Harris, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.


Present were:


Members:<Members> Senator Ernie Harris, Co-Chair; Representatives James Gooch, Co-Chair, and Roger Thomas, Co-Chair; Senators David Boswell, Paul Herron Jr, Daniel Kelly, Vernie McGaha, Virgil Moore, Joey Pendleton, Tim Shaughnessy, Damon Thayer, and Elizabeth Tori; Representatives Royce Adams, Rocky Adkins, Adrian Arnold, Sheldon Baugh, Scott Brinkman, Dwight Butler, Mike Cherry, Hubert Collins, James Comer, Howard Cornett, Mike Denham, Jimmy Higdon, Thomas McKee, Fred Nesler, Don Pasley, Marie Rader, Rick Rand, Dottie Sims, Brandon Smith, Jim Stewart, Ken Upchurch, Robin L. Webb, Susan Westrom, and Brent Yonts.


Guests:  William C. Eddins, Pro-Tek Environment; Don Walker and Quentin Walker, Kentucky Crushed Stone Association; Harvey Mitchell, Ann Stewart, and Mark Farrow, Department of Agriculture; David Sparrow, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture; Allen Luttrell, Keith Smith, Jim McKenzie, Pam Carew, and Jim Villines, Department for Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement; Kori Jones, Kentucky Farm Bureau; John Lyons, Kentucky Division for Air Quality; and Matt Muland, Jefferson County Farm Bureau.


LRC Staff:  Dan Risch, DeVon Hankins, Hank Marks, Tanya Monsanto, Todd Littlefield, and Kelly Blevins.


Senator Ernie Harris, Co-Chair, asked for and received approval of the August 21 meeting minutes. He then recognized Representative Royce Adams, who introduced Ms. Courtney French, a University of Kentucky student observing the committee.


Senator Harris then asked for subcommittee reports.


Representative Roger Thomas opened the Subcommittee on Rural Issues report by noting that Representative Yonts had a conflict with another legislative committee assignment and so could not attend the August subcommittee meeting. Representative Thomas reported that the subcommittee received information about transportation issues in rural areas, the regulation of highway signs, and programs aimed at assisting in the improvement of rural roads. He also reported that they had held a meeting to focus on education programs in rural areas. The report was adopted.


Co-Chairs Representative Susan Westrom and Senator Damon Thayer of the Subcommittee on Horse Farms reported that the subcommittee had taken testimony from businesses associated with horse farming, such as law and accounting firms, feed stores, realtors, and banks. Also, they had received testimony from small, medium, and large horse farm operators and representatives of the national horse breed associations. The report was adopted.


Representative Jim Gooch reported for the Subcommittee on Natural Resources. He said they focused on the effort to set up a brownfields program. He said a Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet sponsored task force is attempting to reach a consensus on the approach to the program. He said it is likely that legislation will be introduced in the upcoming legislative session to seek funding for clean up incentives and to settle on acceptable clean up standards and public risks. The report was adopted.


Next, Co-Chair, Representative Jim Gooch asked representatives of the Department of Agriculture to explain administrative regulation 302 KAR 39:010 relating to agritourism. Mr. Mark Farrow and Mr. Mark Straw, for the department, explained that the regulation is an attempt to assist the Transportation Cabinet by setting requirements for signs directing people to temporary agribusiness sites. It was explained that part of the requirements were that a permit be obtained. Also, the permits would be required to be obtained every year because the agritourism activities are seasonal. A motion was made and seconded that 302 KAR 39:010 complies with statutory requirements. The motion passed.


Next, Commissioner Bob Logan, John Lyons, and Lona Brewer of the Department of Environmental Protection explained administrative regulations relating to hazardous air pollutants. The regulations were being amended to update references to the U.S. EPA regulations. A motion was made and seconded that 401 KAR 57:002, 401 KAR 60:005, and 401 KAR 63:002 comply with statutory requirements. The motion passed.


Senator Tim Shaughnessy asked Commissioner Logan to explain the Department's involvement with a recent study indicating poor air quality in western Louisville. Commissioner Logan responded by saying that the Air Pollution Control District in Metro Louisville has the primary responsibility for protecting the air quality of Jefferson County. He also said his agency had financially contributed to the study.


Next, Chairperson Gooch asked representatives of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet to explain their administrative regulations relating to controlling the environmental impacts of mineral extraction operations, such as rock quarries. Mr. Allen Luttrell and Mr. Jim Villines explained the regulations for the cabinet.


Opposing views about the regulations were presented by Mr. Don Walker, President of the Kentucky Crushed Stone Association, Mr. Mark McGraw, an attorney for the association, and Mr. Bill Eddins, a consultant.


Mr. Walker offered information about the economic benefits derived from quarries. A copy of a study which served as a basis for his comments is on file in the LRC library with the meeting materials. For example, he said that 1500 jobs in Kentucky were created by the crushed stone industry. However, he said these jobs could be jeopardized by the increased cost of doing business that would result from the regulations. He pointed to an estimate of increased costs of $2 per ton. The total increased costs are estimated to be $140 million per year. He added that the state Transportation Cabinet is the largest purchaser of crushed stone.


Mr. Eddins, who had been a state environmental agency official, observed that since 1995 when the current non-coal mining regulations were put in place, only .006 percent of several thousand inspections of quarries revealed violations of the law.

            A motion was made and seconded that 405 KAR 5:001, 405 KAR 5:030, 405 KAR 5:035, 405 KAR 5:038, 405 KAR 5:045, 405 KAR 5:053, 405 KAR 5:060, 405 KAR 5:075, and 405 KAR 5:080 were deficient. The motion passed without dissent.


Next, Commissioner Bob Logan, Director John Lyons, and Ms. Lona Brewer briefly explained proposed federal regulations on controlling emissions from off-road vehicles and the new standards on particulate matter. Mr. Lyons said the new controls on diesel engines and diesel fuel are designed to reduce nitrogen oxides and soot (particulate matter). He said the controls are to be phased in based upon engine size. He said existing diesel engines will not be affected by the new standards.


Senator Harris said he would like to see the Subcommittee on Natural Resources continue to study this topic. Representative Thomas said that information will be made available at the October meeting about a company that has already reduced air contaminants in their underground mine by using biodiesel.


Finally, Mr. Lyons said the new standard on small particulate matter will be difficult to meet for ten counties. If the standard cannot be met, control mechanisms may be required.


The committee adjourned at approximately 3 p.m.