Day One: Thursday, March 9, 2023

8:00 a.m.
Registration and Continental Breakfast with Sponsors

8:30 a.m.     
Welcome and Overview

Robin Thomerson, Partner, Dentons Bingham Greenebaum, LLP     

8:30 a.m.

Roy Funkhouser, P.G., Principal, Linebach Funkhouser, Inc.
Tony Hatton, Commissioner, Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection
Robin Thomerson, Partner, Dentons Bingham Greenebaum

PFAS has been a topic of conversation among environmental professionals, EPA, the media and politicians for several years. But over the last year, EPA has begun to take aggressive action to control PFAS, including a proposal to designate two PFAS constituents as hazardous substances under CERCLA which they intend to finalize very soon. PFAS has been found in our food, water, groundwater, wastewater, soils, dust and air. It is ubiquitous and 99% of the U.S. population is estimated to have PFAS in individuals’ blood serum. But what does PFAS mean for you and your business operations?  In Kentucky, the Department for Environmental Protection has been monitoring PFAS for a number of years.  Commissioner Hatton will explore the efforts Kentucky has taken thus far and what KDEP can expect in the future.  We will also examine EPA’s PFAS Roadmap, ongoing litigation over PFAS exposure, and costs associated with PFAS testing and remediation. Because of the breadth of actions being taken, PFAS will be important to understand for all business entities to be prepared as the regulatory landscape matures.

10:15 a.m.
Kentucky Air Quality Update

Robin Thomerson, Partner, Dentons Bingham Greenebaum         
Michael Kennedy, Director, Kentucky Division for Air Quality, Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection   

In the ever-changing regulatory world of air quality, it is important to keep up to date with the latest status at the federal and state level. Join us for the latest in regulatory and litigation changes that impact your business operations.

11:15 a.m.
Peeking Behind the Curtain: Understanding Environmental Enforcement in Kentucky

LaJuana Wilcher, Partner, English Lucas Priest & Owsley
John West, Partner, English Lucas Priest & Owsley
Timothy Mayer, Attorney, Strobo Barkley PLLC
Sarah Payne Jarboe, Partner, English Lucas Priest & Owsley

What is the state of environmental enforcement in Kentucky? How does the Cabinet decide when to take an enforcement action? And when might you expect the federal EPA to file an enforcement action instead? What factors do the regulators consider when assessing penalties? And how might you minimize penalties? Join a panel of former EEC officials to peek “behind the curtain” to discuss these topics and better understand environmental enforcement.

12:15 p.m.
Lunch with Sponsors and Exhibitors

1:15 p.m.
Hard Copies No More – Tips for Mastering Electronic Reporting

John Colebrook, Managing Partner, Trinity Consultants

Do you sometimes miss the old days of copiers, 3-ring binders, and last-minute runs to mailboxes to submit on-time environmental compliance reports? Electronic reporting, always intended to "make life easier," has now been in force for more than a decade across a wide spectrum of environmental programs, BUT...The electronic platforms and features always seem to be changing and not always for the better from a user's perspective. Tasks as simple as managing the log-in credentials and user access/editing rights of preparers and certifying officials can be a battle with each successive
submission. For the main air, water, and waste reporting obligations, this session will identify the current electronic submission platforms, identify commonly missed or forgotten reporting elements, recent regulatory developments affecting features of the platforms, and offer recommendations for becoming an electronic reporting master. Portals covered will include KDEP eForms, KDEP eNotifications, CEDRI/ERT, Tier II Manager, TRI-ME Web, and NetDMR.
2:30 p.m.
Session One | Breakout A:

CERCLA and Its Impact on Your Business and You
Bradley Strait, Associate, Dentons Bingham Greenebaum
Travis Wilson, Associate, Dentons Bingham Greenebaum

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) is ruthless. Yet its purpose is simple—to hold owners and operators of facilities accountable for environmental contamination and remediation costs. While that seems like a straightforward imperative, issues such as identifying responsible parties and imposing liability are complex. For example, what does a person’s job at a facility need to look like to be considered an “operator” of the facility? Can owners who contributed to the contamination before CERCLA was enacted be held responsible? Can the estate or testamentary trusts of prior owners or operators be held liable for contamination at a facility when they played no role in the contamination? To make matters more complicated, EPA recently proposed PFAS to be designated as a hazardous substance under CERCLA. Will entirely new sectors of industry begin to face potential liability because of PFAS contamination? These questions must be addressed.    

Session One | Breakout B:
Latest Trends in Inspections, Enforcement, and EJ

Jenny Cave, Member, Stites & Harbison, PLLC
Bethany Caspersz, Environmental Consultant, Trinity Consultants

In 2022, U.S. EPA announced “Rigorous Enforcement is Back”. Due to COVID, U.S. EPA enforcement and inspections declined from prior years. Recent executive orders have made environmental enforcement a priority, especially for communities impacted by toxics and environmental justice (EJ). U.S. EPA is targeting requirements to reduce emissions from a variety of facilities from pulp-and-paper to chemicals to hazardous waste facilities (i.e., leak detection and repair requirements [LDAR]). This session covers the latest trends regarding top U.S. EPA National Compliance Initiatives and how, in a recent wave of inspections, U.S. EPA employs advanced real-time emissions monitoring tools. This session also provides tips on how to prepare for a regulatory inspection and how new EJ programs may impact permitting, inspections, and enforcement at your facility. What could U.S. EPA’s use of FLIR cameras (Optical Gas Imaging), or air monitoring vehicles (GMAP) indicate about your facility’s real-time emission compliance?
3:35 p.m.
Session Two | Breakout C:
How to Consistently Reduce Energy Consumption and Carbon Footprint

Jan Cieremans, Senior Engineer, Improv Engineers

It’s easy to get an energy audit. At the end of it, you’ll have a set of ideas to reduce energy. Whether they get implemented is another matter. Are they practical? Do you have the staff or budget to do it? When the projects are complete, how do you know if they were successful? Management processes have been developed to manage quality and environmental. International standards for these processes are known under ISO 9001 and 140001. A similar process is available for energy. If you already have a process for quality or environmental, creating one for energy is simple. We’ll discuss the elements of an energy management system and how they ensure continuous and verifiable improvement in your energy consumption. We’ll discuss the possibility of certification under ISO 50001 and what that would entail. With the right contract structure, you will also be able to get the help you need.

Session Two | Breakout D:
Environmental Issues at the Supreme Court

Clay Larkin, Partner, Dentons Bingham Greenebaum

This session will look at major environmental cases decided by or argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in the past year, including West Virginia v. EPA and Sackett v. EPA. We will also discuss potential future environmental developments under the court's perceived 6-3 conservative majority, including whether the court might re-visit its rules about deferring to administrative agency decisions. Finally, we will examine how the changes brought about by these recent cases may (or may not) have practical implications for the day-to-day work of environmental professionals.

4:30 p.m.
Day One Adjourns

Day Two: Friday, March 10, 2023

8:00 a.m.   
Registration and Continental Breakfast with Sponsors

8:30 a.m.
Welcome and Legislative Update

Kate Shanks, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

8:45 a.m.         
Update from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Daniel Blackman, Administrator, Southeast Region (Region 4), United States Environmental Protection Agency                     

9:45 a.m.
Rare Earth Elements from Kentucky Coal Waste Update

Steve Gardner, Owner, Pitman Green
Rick Honaker, Ph.D., Professor, Mining Engineering, University of Kentucky

Rare Earth Elements (REE)/critical elements are essential for production of renewable energy, electric vehicles and technologies. Economically viable resources are rare within the U.S. Securing a self-sufficient supply by pursuing secondary sources like mine waste is necessary to support domestic production to transition to carbonless energy sources. Coal waste produced from coal sources contain valuable elements to meet this need such as REE, cobalt, germanium, nickel, gallium, and manganese. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded $19 million for 13 projects in traditionally coal regions across the country to support production of REE and critical minerals essential to the manufacturing of batteries, magnets, and other components important to the clean energy economy. Two projects cover Kentucky coal fields involving the University of Kentucky, with Synterra and Pitman Green. This session provides a review of critical elements concentrated in coal sources and processes needed to extract, concentrate, and purify.

10:45 a.m.
Coming Down the Pike: Potential EPA Air Quality Rule Changes and What They Could Mean for You

Mary Ann Lee, Attorney at Law, Frost Brown Todd LLP
Jarrod Bentley, Attorney, Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet

Recently, EPA announced that it is reconsidering multiple rules across the air quality regulatory framework and has begun to propose rule changes. These changes, if finalized, will have significant impacts across Kentucky. Specifically, this session will cover EPA’s announced reconsideration of the annual PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS); the proposed rules affecting the Risk Management Plan Program and fugitive emissions accounting under New Source Review (NSR) Program; and the proposed disapproval of Kentucky’s Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2015 8-Hour Ozone Standard and proposed related Federal Implementation Plan. Additionally, we will discuss the request to redesignate the Louisville, KY- Indiana 2015 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area. You will hear about how these potential changes, if finalized, will affect permitting and reporting requirements.   

11:30 a.m.
Lunch with Sponsors

12:30 p.m.
Environmental Risk Assessment in Kentucky

Matt Huddleston, VP, Environmental Services, Cooperhead Consulting

Environmental risk assessment is used to characterize the nature and magnitude of risks from potential stressors to human health and wildlife. Risks might be from specific chemical contaminants or mixtures of many chemicals such as in fuel spills. Other types of stressors include disease-causing microbial agents or stressful conditions such as anoxia (lack of oxygen) in surface waters. The Risk Assessment Section of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet guides this process in the state. The Section assists the Division of Waste Management and Division of Water with a variety of technical matters related to assessment and clean-up of chemical contamination. Environmental risk assessment helps the regulated community to manage and minimize potential environmental liabilities. This session will provide you with an understanding of the process, application, and value of environmental risk assessment as it relates to your business operations.

1:30 p.m.
Meet with the Regulators

Natalie Bruner, Director, Division of Enforcement, Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (Invited)
Tony Hatton, Commissioner, Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (Invited)  
Tammi Hudson, P.E., Director, Division of Waste Management, Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (Invited)    
Carey Johnson, Director, Division of Water, Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (Invited)    
Michael Kennedy, Director, Division for Air Quality, Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (Invited)
Amanda LeFevre, Deputy Commissioner, Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (Invited)
John Lyons, Deputy Secretary, Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (Invited)
Moderated by: Robin Thomerson, Partner, Dentons Bingham Greenebaum, LLP
3:00 p.m.     
21st Annual Kentucky Environmental Conference Adjourns