Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment

 

Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 1st Meeting

of the 2009 Interim

 

<MeetMDY1> July 30, 2009

 

The<MeetNo2> 1st meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment was held on<Day> Thursday,<MeetMDY2> July 30, 2009, at<MeetTime> 2:00 PM, at Kentucky Dam Village State Park. Representative Jim Gooch Jr., Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.

 

Present were:

 

Members:<Members> Representative Jim Gooch Jr., Co-Chair; Senators David E. Boswell, Bob Leeper, Dorsey Ridley, John Schickel, Brandon Smith, and Gary Tapp; Representatives Tim Couch, Tim Moore, Don Pasley, Fitz Steele, and Jim Stewart III.

 

Legislative Guests:† Representatives John Will Stacy and Dwight Butler.

 

Guests:† Hank List and Brooke Parker, Energy and Environment Cabinet; Rusty Cress.

 

LRC Staff:† Tanya Monsanto, Biff Baker, Stefan Kasacavage, Dane Bowles, and Kelly Blevins.

 

A quorum was not present.† Representative Gooch recognized Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Terry Tietloff who works as regional manager for technical services at Vulcan Materials.† Then legislators and staff boarded buses and traveled to the Vulcan Materials quarry in Grand Rivers.† At the Vulcan Materials quarry, Mr. Tietloff introduced Mr. Joe Howell, manager of environmental community and governmental affairs and Mr. Claude Cox, general manager for the quarry.†

 

Mr. Tietloff went through a presentation that described the governmental standards for rock and stone across the nation.† He stated that there were roughly 200 acres in the pit and that each bench is drilled 60 to 70 feet.† There are two different formations in the pit and roughly 2,300 acres in the entire Vulcan Materials facility.† Vulcan Materials employs around 11,000 people and there are 334 aggregate and gravel facilities owned by Vulcan in 38 states.† Vulcan Materials concentrates facilities in high growth areas throughout the United States and most of the aggregate (85%) goes to road, commercial and construction projects.

 

Mr. Tietloff was asked if Vulcan provides scrubber stone.† He replied that they have done some scrubber stone but not much.† Mr. Tietloff was asked whether the company had looked into providing agricultural limestone.† Mr. Tietloff responded that the company is looking at the agriculture lime market, but grinding down to a fine dust is a problem.† The same is true of providing dust for a mine face.† Finally, he was asked how many years of stone remained in the current Vulcan Materials quarry.† Mr. Tietloff responded roughly 40 to 50 years.

 

Then Mr. Tietloff described the problems with reclamation.† He stated that the requirements are to store overburden and to grass and reclaim the land as you go.† But, as for the pit, there is not much to do other than create a lake.† Mr. Tietloff was asked about water issues.† He replied that runoff is more of a problem with quarries.† There are some areas below the water table in the pit and that is a problem when blasting and digging.† Vulcan does not want to bring the river into the pit.† Also we have a settlement pond so waters going back into the river first go to the settlement pond.† Mr. Tietloff continued that the environmental challenges at Vulcan Materials continue to be dust and suspended solids in water.† Also, Vulcan controls a lot of real estate to settle dust and water.† Vulcan does not generate hazardous wastes and we try to recycle everything.†

 

Finally, Mr. Howell and Mr. Cox concluded the presentation with an in-depth discussion of Vulcanís response to the 2009 ice storm.† After the presentation, the committee boarded buses and toured the quarry viewing the suppression systems, the rails, barges, and witnessing a blast in the pit.† After the tour, the committee returned to Kentucky Dam Village and went to a Step Outside event sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.† After the Step Outside, Rep. Gooch recessed the meeting until the following day.

 

July 31, 2009

 

The<MeetNo2> 2nd meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment was held on<Day> Friday,<MeetMDY2> July 31, 2009, at<MeetTime> 10:30 AM, at Coaltek in Calvert City, Kentucky. Representative Jim Gooch Jr., Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.

 

Present were:

 

Members:<Members> Representative Jim Gooch Jr., Co-Chair; Senators David E. Boswell, Bob Leeper, Dorsey Ridley, John Schickel, Brandon Smith, and Gary Tapp; Representatives Reginald Meeks, Tim Moore, Don Pasley, and Fitz Steele.

 

Legislative Guests:† Representatives John Will Stacy, Will Coursey, and Dwight Butler.

 

Guests:† Hank List, Energy and Environment Cabinet; Rusty Cress.

 

LRC Staff:† Tanya Monsanto, Biff Baker, Stefan Kasacavage, Dane Bowles, and Kelly Blevins.

 

Representative Gooch briefly provided some opening remarks and said this is an opportunity to show appreciation to Coaltek.† Then he asked for a moment of silence in memory of former representative Rex Smithís brotherís passing.† After the moment of silence, Rep. Gooch recognized Rep. Will Coursey and Sen. Leeper, both of which represent Marshall County.† Rep. Coursey stated that it is an opportunity to see the business contributors to the local community.† He described the moment when Coaltek approached both he and Sen. Leeper during the 2008 session.† Sen. Leeper discussed how both chambers worked on the legislation and how important the project was for coal and for energy independence.

 

Then, Rep. Gooch introduced Mr. Chris Poirier, CEO of Coaltek.† Mr. Poirier introduced his staff and stated that they are a clean technology company whose goals are to improve the efficiency and technology for using coal.† There are 6 billion tons of coal produced and consumed internationally and one-half in the United States.† Coaltek is working on bridging the gap in terms of fuels for the existing and future fuel infrastructure.† The technology is highly flexible; we can locate anywhere and utilize the existing coal resources.† The technology is electromagnetic energy which removes the moisture from the coal.† The technology can be used to address waste coal issues and coal fines and other waste products from prep plants and power generation plants.

 

Mr. Poirier gave a tour of the site and described the transportation to the existing infrastructure.† When asked about the origin of the coal on site, Mr. Poirier stated the majority is Powder River Basin (PRB) coal, but it is not owned by Coaltek.† Coaltek provides service to existing companies to create boutique fuels for power plants and other industrials.† The percentage of PRB to Kentucky/Illinois basin coal is roughly 40%.†

 

Mr. Poirier then described the electromagnetic technology as a big microwave oven.† It is about 3 megawatts and the target capacity is about 10 million tons of coal.† At this facility, 30 million dollars has been spent in investment.† Then Mr. Poirier took the group through the control room of the facility and then to examine the finished coal briquettes.† At the end of the tour, Coaltek provided a luncheon and Rep. Gooch adjourned the meeting.