Categories
Local News

Record High Year for Human Rights Complaints

More than 420 Kentuckians called the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights to complain of violations this year, that’s the second highest on record for the state.  Most complaints have to do with racial discrimination, including one recent case in which an African American TV repairman was denied entrance to an American Legion hall because of his race. Commission spokeswoman Victoria Dempsey says there have been a rising number of cases in which newspapers list real estate for rent or sale only for people without children.

“…Which is actually against fair housing law. So we’ve had a number of instances where we settle cases with newspapers and other media, Web sites, that advertise real estate.  And we’ve had a number of cases over the years where women with children have been blocked from renting apartments,” says Dempsey.

Dempsey says about half of the discrimination cases are settled out of court and a few go on to be prosecuted.

Categories
Local News

EPA to Allow Self-Reporting of Violations

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced it will allow companies it regulates nationwide to self-report, online, any violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act.  The Act requires states to have emergency plans for dealing with any hazardous substance release, but it also makes the presence of any of those substances in a community public information.  EPA spokeswoman Gale Bonnano says she’s confident companies will step up to report their violations, as well as find the new system easier and faster.

“What we found is that there are companies that want to do the right thing.  Almost 4,500 companies have come forward to do the right thing, to date,” Bonnano says.

But that’s just a portion of the many companies EPA regulates.  In the EPA’s southeastern region, which includes Kentucky, more than 70 companies have already been cited for violations they didn’t report this year alone.