Fighting for Justice in the Coalfields

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet to host public meetings around oil and gas development; eastern Kentucky meeting on July 30

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 22, 2015) – The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) and its agencies have set the dates and locations for three public meetings to allow interested parties to submit comments concerning oil and gas development in the Commonwealth. The locations will be in Madisonville, Somerset and Hazard.

“It is important that the public, including environmental groups, the oil and gas industry and landowners be given the chance to express their opinions on how Kentucky moves forward with the regulation of this industry,” said EEC Secretary Len Peters. “We understand this is a very high-profile issue and hearing all sides presented will be beneficial to everyone involved.”

The listening sessions will be held on the following dates and times. All times are local:

  • July 7:  Madisonville Community College’s North Campus, 2000 College Drive, Madisonville. The meeting will be held in the Quad Room in the Brown Badgett Sr. Energy and Advanced Technology Center.  Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. local time.
  • July 23: The Center for Rural Development, 2292 South Highway 27, Somerset. The meeting will be held in the auditorium. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. local time.
  • July 30: Hazard Community & Technical College, One Community College Drive, Hazard.  The meeting will be held in Room 208 of the Jolly Center, located in the JCC Building. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. local time.

“These are not designed as debates, but rather as listening sessions that will allow for brief

spoken comments, as well as the submittal of written comments,” said Secretary Peters.

The remarks made at the meetings will be captured on video and used in a report to be given to the oil and gas workgroup, made up of environmental interests, industry representatives and regulators. The workgroup began meeting in 2014 to update and modernize Kentucky’s statutes and regulations regarding all areas of oil and gas exploration, including fracking. The report will also be made available to members of the Kentucky General Assembly and the Governor’s Office for possible further action.

The report will help further the work of the oil and gas workgroup, according to Department for Natural Resources Commissioner Steve Hohmann, who chairs the workgroup. “The input from the general public is extremely valuable as this group moves forward. We want to be certain future legislation addressing oil and gas development, especially fracking, takes into account all points of view,” Hohmann said.

Anyone who cannot attend the meetings in person, but wishes to submit written comments may do so by July 31. Those written comments can be emailed to OilandGasComments@ky.gov between July 7 and July 31.

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