The Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) is a seven-member citizen advisory board that works diligently to strengthen the public's role in solving environmental problems in our communities and the state.
The commission was created under state law with a mission to:
- facilitate public discussion and resolution of environmental issues;
- promote partnerships to protect the environment for future generations; and
- serve as an advisory board to the governor and other state officials on environmental matters.
The strength of EQC is in its commissioners who work together for the benefit of the state and the environment.
The next Public Forum of the EQC will be held on Monday, September 19, 2016 at the Energy and Environment Cabinet, 300 Sower Blvd, First Floor Conference Room, in Frankfort. The meeting will begin at 6:00pm.
2016 EQC Earth Day Awards
· Jon Bednarski, Sherwood Acres, LaGrange, Ky.
Jon Bednarski’s commitment to the environment started over 10 years ago when he began farming with no experience. His partnership with the Oldham County Conservation District and the Oldham County Cooperative Extension Service provided the foundation and roadmap to reclaim two farms and 150 acres that had become fallow after years of neglect.
· Shauna Buchert, District Program Coordinator, Oldham Co. Soil & Water Conservation District
Shauna Buchert began working with the Oldham County Conservation District in 2004. She transformed the Conservation District’s operation from one that provided a pipeline of services administered through another cooperating federal agency to an agency with its own identity and a plethora of community based programs and services. Operating as a one-person office, Ms. Buchert developed partnerships and formed coalitions as a means to shape the Conservation District’s programs into the success they experience today. Shauna works tirelessly on behalf of the citizens of Oldham County to ensure they have the opportunities and resources available to make continuous improvements in their soil, water and related natural resources.
· Billie Hardin, Sustainability Project Manager, Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS)
Billie Hardin directs and supports the 16 KCTCS colleges in establishing sustainable development strategies. Her work with sustainability and energy efficiency correlates with her role as a liaison to the White House and the U.S. Department of Energy for the Better Buildings Challenge, an initiative of the Obama Administration to reduce energy consumption across the U.S. 20 percent by 2020. In 2012, Hardin was appointed to the Kentucky Energy Sector Partnership Board, which explored energy sector workforce needs. Currently, Hardin is president of the Kentucky Association for Environmental Education; secretary of the Kentucky Chapter of the US Green Building Council Advocacy Committee; an appointed member of the Kentucky Environmental Education Council Interagency Subcommittee on Environmental Education; an appointed member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Advisory Council; and a liaison to the Kentucky University Partnership for Environmental Education.
· Cheryl Messenger, Environmental Education Coordinator, Mammoth Cave National Park. Posthumous acceptance by Horace Brown.
Cheryl Messenger was the Environmental Education Coordinator at Mammoth Cave National Park. She served on the Kentucky Environmental Education Council from 2006 until her untimely passing earlier this year. Messenger enjoyed travelling and shared her love of the environment with her four grandchildren, park staff and visitors. She was a recipient of the Kentucky Association for Environmental Education Individual Excellence in Environmental Education Award, as well as the National Park Service Regional Freeman Tilden Award for Excellence in Interpretation and Education.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
· Doug McLaren, Retired Forester, University of Kentucky
Doug McLaren retired in July 2015 from the University of Kentucky after 43 years of service. McLaren spent the past 21 years in the UK Department of Forestry as an Area Extension Forester. His major areas of responsibility were providing general forest management information to Kentucky’s landowners and providing educational opportunities for county extension agents, educators, and students related to forests and ecosystem functions. McLaren continues to work even though he is officially retired. He hosts lunch meetings with former colleagues when he sees the potential for collaboration, cross-pollination of expertise and also the benefit it will bring to individuals, communities, and the natural world.
PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD
· Steve Hohmann, retired Commissioner, Kentucky Department for Natural Resources
Steve Hohmann retired in December 2015 as Commissioner for the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources. Hohmann began working in state government in 1985 as a mine reclamation inspector. He went on to be a mining section supervisor, director of the Division of Field Services, and director of the Division of Abandoned Mine Lands. In January 2012, he was appointed Commissioner of the Department for Natural Resources. Hohmann has twice served as president of the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs and currently serves as the association’s representative on the Federal Office of Service Mining Steering Committee for the National Technical Training Program. He is the recipient of the 2009 Stan Barnard Award given by the National Association of Abandoned Mine Lands programs for outstanding contributions and dedication to the reclamation of abandoned mine lands.