Environmental Law

Protecting the beauty and natural resources of the Bluegrass

Kentucky bluegrass

KRS 15.255 authorizes the Attorney General to bring legal action to prevent or remedy damage to the environment and to counsel state agencies and commissions in environmental matters. In the event of potential or imminent threat to the natural resources of Kentucky, KRS 15.260 authorizes the Attorney General to call upon any other state agency for whatever help deemed necessary to investigate and prosecute cases involving environmental damage. Furthermore, according to KRS 15.240 the Attorney General has authority to intervene in or initiate actions involving surface mining or those under Kentucky's environmental statutes.

Electronic waste

computer waste

Computer scrap, particularly the cathode ray tubes (CRTs) from computer monitors, contain significant amounts of leaded glass that the EPA has classified as hazardous waste. In sufficient volume, this material can pose life-threatening hazards. Computer systems also contain significant amounts of lead circuitry, mercury and cadmium which are also listed wastes. In general, computer systems or components contain the following hazardous materials:

  1. Lead in the glass of monitors (CRTs);
  2. Mercury in flat-panel displays (both laptop and stand-alone);
  3. Lead, chromium, silver, cadmium, and mercury in printed circuit boards (varies with make and model);
  4. Lead, mercury, cadmium, and lithium in batteries in units;
  5. PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in circuit boards from before early 1980s.

Under provisions of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and state law, businesses that send electronic waste for disposal are generators of hazardous waste and must follow RCRA requirements in compliance with its classification as a small or large quantity generator. If electronic scrap is sent out for recycling, it is not considered hazardous waste and holds no liability. Businesses still have the obligation to ensure that their scrap is sold or sent to legitimate recyclers, re-users, or disposal companies.