FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear and Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) Secretary Rebecca Goodman announced that a total of $500,000 in grant funding is available to qualifying counties for flood debris cleanup.
Grants will be made available for the 12 counties that have received a state of emergency declaration from the governor: Bell, Clay, Harlan, Hickman, Knox, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, McCreary, Metcalfe, Perry and Whitley. Counties will be eligible for up to $50,000 each to cover the cost of collecting, transporting and disposing of municipal solid waste resulting from the flood event.
Gov. Beshear, who declared a state of emergency Feb. 7 and deployed state resources as he visited areas hardest hit by recent rains, said, “I am pleased to make this money available and stand with communities as they recover from recent flooding. I encourage everyone doing cleanup to be safe and to help the environment by properly disposing of all debris.”
Kentuckians impacted by recent flooding are urged to be safe and environmentally conscious when cleaning and disposing of material. Potential hazards include asbestos, mold and toxic chemicals.
“Please use caution when handling different types of debris,” Cabinet Secretary Goodman said. “And be aware that material that is improperly disposed of can have a lasting impact on the environment.”
Funding for the cleanup comes from the Kentucky Pride Fund, through a $1.75 environmental remediation fee for each ton of garbage disposed of at Kentucky municipal solid waste disposal facilities. The Kentucky Division of Waste Management administers the fund.
Storm debris handling guidance and additional resources can be found on the EEC website. Information also is available regarding the disposal of items such as livestock carcasses, 55-gallon drums or tanks, and for the cleanup of waterways. Please note that the preferred method for managing woody or vegetative debris is by composting, shredding or chipping for reuse as mulch.
Kentuckians should contact their local solid waste coordinator to learn if debris will be picked up curbside or if debris must be taken to a designated location.
Kentucky restricts open burning. Burning is permitted only in limited circumstances and under specific conditions. The burning of household trash other than uncoated paper products is illegal year-round.
Gov. Beshear and state and local leaders provided an update on the emergency management and relief response to flooding events in Southeastern Kentucky during a Thursday briefing at the London Joint Readiness Center. They also assessed impacted areas by helicopter.
The briefing, held in accordance with state emergency management guidelines, aimed to inform local officials on how best to access and respond to recent flooding events. To read more about the visit and other flooding updates, click here.