Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Governor Ernie Fletcher announces Kentucky Environmental Leadership Program

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, October 25, 2005  
Contact Information:  Aaron Keatley, 502-564-0323  

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 25, 2005) - Governor Ernie Fletcher today unveiled the Kentucky Environmental Leadership Program, an initiative designed to encourage voluntary projects that benefit the environment of the Commonwealth.

Governor Fletcher said the program, to be known as KY EXCEL, will be aided by a $185,000 State Innovation Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Twenty-six states submitted over 30 different applications for this grant. Kentucky was one of seven successful applicants.

"We want our citizens to excel in efforts to improve Kentucky’s environment," said Governor Fletcher. "Kentucky EXCEL will encourage and motivate our citizens, individual and corporate, to reach beyond the legal minimum to do more for our environment than what our laws and regulations require."

The Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) has developed concepts for the program. It is anticipated that the program will be open to any business, organization, or individual that commits to voluntarily implement at least one environmentally beneficial project. Participants in the program will qualify for public recognition and regulatory incentives.

"The fact that the EPA recognized Kentucky’s Environmental Leadership Program as an environmental innovation is very flattering," said Lloyd Cress, DEP commissioner. "We are excited about this new program and believe it will result in significant improvements to Kentucky’s environment."

A number of other states also have implemented or are developing environmental leadership programs. Kentucky’s proposal is distinct in that it will allow a broad membership and could affect a large number of environmental areas.

Examples of voluntary commitments that could be proposed through KY EXCEL include protection of sensitive species and habitats, reduction of pollution, increased recycling, improved energy efficiency, participation in environmental education, restoration of contaminated properties and mentoring of others in their environmental performance.

DEP’s Division of Compliance Assistance will administer KY EXCEL and hopes to begin accepting members into the program in early 2006. For more information, contact the Kentucky Division of Compliance Assistance at (502) 564-0323.