Kentucky Environment - General regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Kentucky Environment - General: What you need to know

Overview of Kentucky's Environmental Rules


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In Kentucky, the counterpart to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet's Department for Environmental Protection (DEP). DEP is responsible for protecting Kentucky's land, water, and air from pollution. Kentucky has been delegated authority by the EPA to administer and enforce federal permit programs for air emissions, various wastewater and stormwater discharges (industrial and agricultural), and solid and hazardous waste management. In most cases, state regulatory requirements follow federal rules, with a number of stricter standards for hazardous waste handlers. Chemical safety rules in most public and all private sector workplaces are administered and enforced by the state.


Kentucky's air program is shaped by its state implementation plan (SIP), which details strategies for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. As mandated by the Clean Air Act (CAA), each state must adopt and submit a SIP to EPA for approval. Kentucky's SIP was officially submitted to EPA in February 1972 and is frequently amended to comply with the 1990 CAA amendments. The SIP focuses on permitting, nonattainment areas, hazardous air pollutants, and numerous other air-related requirements.

Kentucky's air program is implemented and enforced by DEP's Division for Air Quality, with assistance from the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District.


Kentucky protects its water resources through various state programs, primary water pollution control through DEP's permits for the discharge of pollutants under the Kentucky Pollutant ...

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