Working in this new shared space with others working to improve health and quality of life was the deciding factor in the Kentucky Environmental Foundation’s decision to locate at (c)space.
“Interaction creates synergy.”” said Heather Warman, Executive Director of Kentucky Environmental Foundation. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work in such an inspirational space that will promote collaboration on important issues related to health, education & the environment.”
Additionally, KEF has an initiative that Warman says highlights the intersection between health and environment. “Engaging stakeholders from all sectors is critical for creating integrated balanced solutions,” concluded Warman.
Nonprofit leaders, business executives and a wide array of other perspective members got their first chance to see (c)space during an open house event Monday evening. A photo gallery of open house pictures is available online. (c)space is located in 5,000 square feet of office space, in the 28,000 square foot office building owned by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, at 1640 Lyndon Farm Court in eastern Jefferson County, Kentucky. (c)space has 13 private offices and 6 workstations with amenities such as free parking, visitor reception, kitchenette, use of the Foundation’s Conference Facility, etc.
(c)space offers a variety of options for emerging, scaling, and established nonprofits and individuals including dedicated, shared and flex space. “We want to give them class A space and a nice working environment, but it must be affordable," concluded Shircliffe.
Individuals/Organizations eligible for tenancy:
•Funders – National, regional, state or local philanthropic organizations that make grants and other philanthropic investments in Kentucky.
•Researchers – Organizations who research initiatives inform health policy
•Technical Assistance – Providers who can assist nonprofits with building their capacity in areas such as evaluation, communications, sustainability.
•Professional Service – Providers of professional services such as legal, accounting and IT work with nonprofit clients.
•Nonprofit, (501c3) organizations – Not providing direct client or patient services, office space only.
Organizations not considered for tenancy include direct service providers (e.g., clinics), membership associations (501c6), corporate offices or unrelated business (e.g., a restaurant).
Story written by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. Find the original version here.
(c)space, a project of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, welcomes its first member. Kentucky Environmental Foundation (KEF) will join the unique (c)space concept in early June. (c)space is designed to gather, under one roof, individuals and nonprofits working to improve the health and quality of life of Kentuckians.
“(c)space is a product of the Foundation’s efforts to collaborate and strengthen nonprofits that are working to make Kentucky a better play to live, work and play,” said Foundation Chief Operations Officer Mary Jo Shircliffe, who is project developer. “The diversity of work by the various agencies and individuals that will utilize (c)space will serve as a ‘melting pot’ for new strategies and approaches to challenges faced in many areas that intersect with health, such as education, economic development and the environment.”
SIERRA CLUB HIGHLIGHTS RAMPANT WATER POLLUTION FROM CENTRAL KENTUCKY COAL ASH POND, WHICH COULD BECOME WORSE
The Sierra Club tested water near the plant and found arsenic levels at more than 14 times the amount deemed safe for Kentucky’s drinking water, and Herrington Lake has unhealthy levels of mercury and selenium, all byproducts of coal ash left over from the burning of coal. Two of the springs near the plant contained levels of boron that exceed the EPA’s health advisory for children.
There is currently no federal regulation of coal ash landfills or ponds, and very little regulation by Kentucky’s state agencies.
“Protecting the health of the local community is critical, and the state must manage these contaminants,” said Deborah Payne, health coordinator for the Kentucky Environmental Foundation. “When metals leach out of coal ash, they can move through groundwater into drinking water supplies, endangering public health.”
But LGE/KU have a plan for this giant, leaking coal ash pond: building a giant coal ash landfill on top of it. That’s right, KU is currently petitioning the state to allow them to build a dry coal ash landfill of 105 acres on top of the old, unlined coal ash pond that is leaking toxins into the groundwater and nearby lake, which feeds into the heavily polluted Kentucky River. Such a scheme is unheard of by the Sierra Club, who fear that this could drive the coal ash toxins even deeper into the groundwater and make mitigating the environmental damage of the site — should anyone choose to actually do so — even more difficult.
This comes on the heels of news in March that the Sierra Club caught video footage of LG&E’s Mill Creek power plant having a constant discharge of coal ash wastewater from its coal ash pond into the Ohio River. The Kentucky Division of Water said that such dumping of wastewater into the river was not a violation of their permit or Kentucky law.
“Kentucky power plants generate more than 9 million tons of dangerous coal ash each year, and none of it is federally regulated. Household garbage is better regulated than this toxic mess,” said Earthjustice attorney Thom Cmar. “Kentucky’s waters are being poisoned, and Kentucky families are paying the price for lax federal and state oversight.”
But that’s because coal keeps the lights on, right…?
We’ll update this story once we get word from the Division of Water.
***** UPDATE *****
Here’s the comment on the Sierra Club report by Dick Brown, spokesman for Kentucky’s Energy & Environment Cabinet:
“The existing E.W. Brown coal ash pond is properly permitted and regulated by both the Kentucky Division of Water and the Kentucky Division of Waste Management. The Division of Water recently cited the EW Brown facility for a substandard discharge (elevated iron levels) which the facility has remediated. In addition, the agency is aware of the presence of small springs on the site with elevated levels of pollutants. As per agency directive, the facility is in the groundwater assessment and corrective action phase of addressing the situation. An application for a new ash landfill is currently under review and a public notice on this application will be announced in the near future.”
***** UPDATE #2 *****
Here’s the response to the Beshear administration from Sierra Club attorney Kristin Henry:
“It defies credulity that the state can say this pond is properly permitted when it has been leaking like a sieve into groundwater and surface water unchecked for years.”
Written by Joe Sonka for the LEO Weekly. Find the original story here.
Today the Sierra Club and Earthjustice released a report on the most high risk coal ash dumps in America, highlighting one of the nation’s worst in central Kentucky less than 30 miles from Lexington at the E.W. Brown Generating Station in Harrodsburg, Ky. The nearly 60-year old coal-fired power plant — operated by Kentucky Utilities, which is owned by LG&E/KU — contains a massive 126-acre unlined coal ash pond containing 26 million tons of coal ash waste from the plant, which the report shows is breaking state and federal laws by leaking toxins into the groundwater and adjacent Herrington Lake, a major recreation and fishing destination.
Story by MI Air and MI health, with Physicians for Social Responsibility. Read it here.
In spring 2012, KEF released the “Health Impact Assessment of Coal and Clean Energy Options in Kentucky,” a collaborative study that received widespread media attention and has served as a tool to explore the health impacts of energy policy options and a call to prioritize public health when making energy policy decisions.
Deborah joined the KEF staff in April 2010. She has a BA in Biology with a minor in Sustainability and Environmental studies from Berea College. She received her Masters of Public Health at the University of Kentucky with a focus on Environmental and Occupational Health.
Deborah is a returned Peace Corps volunteer having served in Uganda from 2007-2009 focusing on water and sanitation programming with Katosi Women Development Trust.
KEF in the News
We love making news; here you will find media pieces that highlight our work.