Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Governor Fletcher kicks off celebration of Earth Week in Kentucky
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 17, 2006) - Governor Ernie Fletcher today kicked off Kentucky’s statewide celebration of Earth Week, noting the connection between a healthy environment and a vibrant economy and drawing attention to the administration’s environmental accomplishments.
"From the beginning, our administration has worked to achieve a healthy and well-protected environment, knowing as we do that it is indispensable to good public health and a robust economy," Governor Fletcher said at an Earth Week kickoff at the Capitol.
As an example, the Governor pointed to the Kentucky Environmental Stewardship Act, part of his tax modernization initiative. It was instrumental in persuading Toyota to produce its Camry hybrid vehicle in Georgetown and in the decision by North American Stainless Steel, at Carrollton, to invest $50 million in a new electric arc furnace. The act is intended to attract more industries that employ environmentally beneficial technologies, the Governor said.
LaJuana S. Wilcher, secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC), noted some of the administration’s other environmental accomplishments, including its leadership in recycling, efforts to eliminate illegal, open dumps and to halt water pollution from illegal combined-sewer overflows.
Earth Week is the culmination of a month-long campaign spearheaded each year since 2004 by the EPPC. Its activities lead to Earth Day, which will be celebrated across Kentucky, the United States and internationally on Saturday, April 22.
The theme of the campaign has been a question - "What Can You Do?" - accenting the effect on the environment of our personal choices - recycling, refraining from littering, and conserving water, fuel and energy, to name but a few.
"Everyone, regardless of age, gender, location, income or education level, can do something to benefit our environment," Wilcher said.
As part of the kickoff, Governor Fletcher distributed $1.5 million in grants to 47 schools, parks and local governments for the use of "crumb rubber," finely ground rubber from old tires that is used as mulch and a cushioning base for playgrounds and athletic fields. Crumb rubber also provides a market for the estimated 6.5 million tires disposed of in Kentucky per year.
Kentuckians will join others across the world in celebrating Earth Day on Saturday, April 22. Spearheaded by the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, a number of state agencies, local governments, businesses and organizations have joined together to celebrate Earth Day in the Commonwealth. Some of these partners have organized environmental activities throughout the month of April while others are providing information and resources on protecting Kentucky’s environment.
This is the third year in a row for a month-long, organized campaign in celebration of Earth Day. Among activities planned are hikes, special events, college campus programs, environmental award presentations and demonstrations of new, environmentally friendly technology. Visit the state Earth Day Web site at www.earthday.ky.gov <http://www.earthday.ky.gov/> to learn more about Kentucky's Earth Day celebration, and the Division of Waste Management Web site, www.recycle.ky.gov <http://www.recycle.ky.gov>, to learn more about recycling.