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​​Small Business Ombudsman​

Kentucky’s DEP Small Business Ombudsman (SBO) serves as an advocate for small business owners or operators within the regulatory environment. The SBO provides ongoing support to small businesses within the Commonwealth of Kentucky to improve understanding and compliance with environmental regulations.
The SBO’s key responsibilities may include:

  • Review state and federal regulations for applicability and impact to small businesses.

  • Ensure small business interests are represented during the legislative rulemaking process.

  • Provide support including outreach activities, training and resources to inform small business of regulatory issues and changes.

  • Respond to environmental and regulatory questions or refer small businesses to the appropriate specialists for help with specific needs.

  • Serve as a neutral resource to facilitate fair, equitable and expeditious conflict resolution between the Energy and Environmental Cabinet (EEC) and small businesses across the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

If you have questions, concerns or need additional information, please contact Kari Johnson at 502-782-6989 or

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise

DEP utilizes the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet’s Vendor Self Service System to post solicitations for services, equipment and supplies to be purchased with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant funds.

If you are a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (a minority or women-owned business), you may register on the system to receive notifications of postings by DEP (Department code 129) or you may search the site for postings at any time.

To become certified as a DBE, view the EPA regulations at 40 CFR Part 33.  We encourage all DBEs to take advantage of DEP opportunities to provide services, equipment or supplies to assist DEP in meeting DBE contracting goals.

Hemp Industry - Kentucky Environmental Best Management Practices

Kentucky's hemp industry continues to experience steady growth throughout the Commonwealth.  Growing and processing hemp does have environmental impacts.  We have been working collaboratively with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Hemp Licensing Program to raise awareness of environmental requirements and provide guidance to growers and processors on regulatory requirements and best management practices for the industry to reduce their impact on the environment. 

Hemp operations for both growers and processors is regulated by the KY Department of Agriculture and the Kentucky Health Department. Depending on the type of hemp operation, your business could require environmental permits from the Division for Air Quality, Division of Waste Management and Division of Water.

The National Cannabis Industry Association recently published a best management practices guide; Environmental Sustainability in the Cannabis Industry: Impacts, Best Management Practices, and Policy Considerations, designed to help inform those in the cannabis and hemp industry about environmental policy and sustainability. 

To learn more about what environmental requirements you may need to seek for your hemp business in Kentucky, please contact:

Compliance Assistance  502-782-6189

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet
300 Sower Blvd
Frankfort, KY 40601

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Civil Rights/Derecho Civiles

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability or sex. This policy protects the rights of Cabinet employees, service applicants and customers. Vendors, agencies and organizations providing services to the Cabinet or its recipients of federally-aided programs also must comply with this policy.