Statement from KEF's Director Elizabeth Crowe:
"Kentucky is one of the worst in the nation for toxic outputs from coal plants; pollution that is linked to serious lung and heart disease and other illnesses. Public health researchers have noted that across the country, people are experiencing more severe allergies, more insect-related diseases etc. that may be related to climate change. Kentuckians are not immune to these impacts. At first blush, it appears that the President's climate action plan could result in a much-needed reduction in pollution, which can also result in better health for Kentucky residents regardless of whether one believes that climate change is real.
We'd like for Kentucky utility and industry leaders, economic development leaders, health professionals, parents, policy makers and citizens to spend less time resisting federal action on coal pollution and climate change, and more time utilizing this opportunity to construct a healthier, more economically resilient energy future. Making these changes won't be easy, but it's necessary work."
Exposure to environmental and industrial toxins affects us all, but to some the burden is harder to bear. This was the case for three Kentucky mothers, as expressed through the photo exhibit "Burden of Proof: Living with Toxic Chemicals." In order to promote the exhibit's message and spark conversation with legislators about chemical reform, KEF will be hosting a luncheon at the Cornerstone Art Gallery in Frankfort, KY on Friday June 28th. To RSVP send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Annette at (859) 985-0868.
On May 22, members of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) visited Madison County as part of their oversight regarding the Chemical Weapons Treaty.
Representatives from the Ukraine, China, Germany, Ecuador, Russia, Libya, Japan and South Africa along with the OPCW director general were present. Under this treaty, the U.S., along with 187 other countries, must destroy all chemical weapons in their possession, and not use nor produce any more.
The recent visit by the OPCW Executive Council reminded me that we in Central Kentucky are part of a historical effort. Never before has there been agreement to rid the planet of an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Their visit not only provided the members of the Chemical Destruction Community Advisory Board the opportunity to appreciate the part the board is playing in this global objective, but it allowed OPCW members to see firsthand the extremely high level of civic engagement.
They saw how cooperation and transparency among the local community, the federal government and contractors can result in greater trust and a more efficient disposal process. They saw how we're merging economic development interests with environmental, safety and health considerations for cooperative planning to ensure future success in our community.
Earlier in May I had the privilege of representing our region at an OPCW meeting in The Hague and personally witnessed the concern expressed by the international community about chemical weapons disposal challenges in other countries.
It was extremely gratifying to think back on the challenges we faced in the 1980s and 90s, and how after all these years, we are truly united. Our community is a shining example of success in the global demilitarization effort.
Challenges remain: reliable federal funding, construction completion, systemization of operations and continued consensus-building lie ahead.
But we are on our way to not only providing a safer environment here at home, but also to contributing to a significantly less dangerous world. This is something we can all take pride in.
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2013/06/08/2670576/ky-voices-kys-chemical-disarmament.html#storylink=cpy
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