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Environmental Programs


The environmental staff is responsible for administration and enforcement of environmental health laws in regard to the following program areas:

Food Service Program

The food service program is designed to assure that safe, wholesome food is served to the public in clean, sanitary surroundings. There are approximately 300 food service establishments (including restaurants, school cafeterias, day care centers, nursing homes, hospitals, delicatessens, ice cream shops, bars, and bed and breakfast) in the Kentucky River District. There are also approximately 175 temporary concessions inspected and permitted each year.  Food Service establishments are inspected a minimum of twice annually with follow-up inspections and enforcement actions initiated when warranted.  Routine classes are conducted throughout the district to train food service personnel. to top

Retail Markets

This program covers all establishments dealing in the retail sale of foods to the public and includes supermarkets, meat and seafood markets, neighborhood groceries, convenience stores, drug and discount stores.  These establishments are inspected using a 44 item inspection form developed by the state in accordance with FDA guidelines.  Approximately 300 establishments are included in this program.


The Kentucky Vending Machine Act of 1972 and the State Food and Beverage Machine Code requires permits and inspections of vending commissaries and machine site locations in the state.  Information regarding this program is available at local health departments. back to top

Kentucky’s “Farmers Market” Regulation

Under HB 391, individuals holding a valid registration and/or certification document, obtained through the health department, can prepare some explicitly named food items in their home kitchen for later sales at restricted locations.  Please contact your local health department for more information.

Hotel – Motel Program

There are 24 establishments in this category in the Kentucky River District.  Inspections are conducted annually using a 100 point inspection form.  Follow-up inspections are conducted or enforcement action initiated on any establishment scoring below 85 or having any critical item violations. to top

Boarding Homes

KRS 216B provides for the regulation and inspection of Boarding Homes by the health department.  For additional information please contact the health department in your county.

Mobile – Home Recreational Vehicle Parks

Two or more mobile home spaces on a common piece of property available to the general public is considered to be a mobile home park and must comply with Kentucky Regulations. The Kentucky River District has 107 permitted parks with inspections conducted annually. to top


The Kentucky River District has 64 schools within the scope of this regulatory program.  These schools are inspected semi-annually using a 31 – item checklist covering water supplies, sewage disposal, trash disposal, restroom sanitation, lighting, general sanitation, and health and safety. Scores below 85 require corrective measures and follow – up inspections.

Youth Camps

There are 11 youth camps in the district. These camps operate during the summer months and are inspected prior to opening and once during the operating season. to top

Radon Program

Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils.  It moves thru the ground to the air above and is trapped in homes and buildings.  Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.  The health department provides radon test kits free of charge to the residents of the district.  This is made possible through a federal grant and assistance from WYMT-TV and local news media.

Swimming Areas

This program covers public swimming pools/spas, and beaches and includes those operated by communities, subdivisions, camps, schools, institutions, parks, mobile home parks, hotels, recreational areas or similar public facilities.  Inspections are conducted twice during the operating season with monitoring inspections conducted on a monthly basis at the 22 facilities and two beaches within the district. back to top

Tattoo Studios/Tattoo Artists

Tattoo studios and tattoo artists operating within the state must comply with Kentucky regulations and obtain a permit for the studio and registration for the artist.  Strict guidelines apply in regard to sanitation and sterilization of instruments.  Compliance with the state plumbing code is also applicable.

Body Piercing and Ear Piercing

Kentucky law requires that non-medical persons who engage in or carry on any business of piercing register with the local health department and comply with regulatory requirements.  Additional information is available at any of our seven county health departments or the district office. back to top

Confinement Facilities

The health department is required to inspect state confinement facilities on a semi – annual basis to assure compliance with current standards.  License applications and bonding requirements are processed by the health department.

Public Buildings – Recreational Facilities – Public Restrooms

These facilities are inspected on a complaint basis by the health department and corrective action initiated as indicated. back to top

Private Water Supplies

Private water supplies are sampled on request and sent to the state lab for bacteriological analysis. The test conducted is for coliform bacteria which is an indication of possible sewage contamination of the water supply. Information on treating the water is available from the health department.  There is a $15.00 fee for this service.

Nuisance Control

Nuisance complaints received by the health department usually involve sewage, garbage, or unsanitary conditions.  The name of the complainant is kept confidential. Most complaints are resolved administratively; however, court action is sometimes necessary to gain compliance.back to top

Rodent Control

The counties in the Kentucky River District package and provide rodent bait on an annual basis.  This bait is provided free of charge and is available in the late fall and early winter.


The health department investigates all animal biting incidents involving human exposure. Dogs, cats, and ferrets are quarantined for a period of ten days for observation and if they remain healthy are released at the end of this period.  Incidents involving other animals are handled on a case by case basis with some laboratory testing of specimens to check for rabies (KRS 258.015 requires that the owners of dogs, cats, and ferrets vaccinate the animal at the age of four months and revaccinate at the end of the immunization period.)

Onsite Sewage Disposal

All sewage disposal systems installed within the district that utilize a sub – surface discharge point must be permitted and inspected by the health department. If you are planning to buy property for a home in an area not served by municipal sewage disposal, the health department will conduct a site evaluation of the property to assure proper sizing of the disposal system.  Information is also available on existing system maintenance and repair.

Tanning Facilities

A large percentage of tanning bed users are minors below the age of 18 and are unaware of the dangers and harmful effects.  Many tanning bed facilities have no tracking system to know who visits their establishment, how often, and how long they have the beds.

  • Requirements:
    All tanning facilities within the state of Kentucky must register with the local health department.
  • All tanning facilities must pay an annual fee of $20 with registration expiring on December 31st of each year.
  • Parental  consent requirements for patrons under 18 years of age.  Patrons 14 years of age  and younger must also have parental supervision when tanning.
  • Facilities should maintain written or electronic consent forms and records.
  • Facilities must provide protective eyewear to patrons or require the patrons to provide their own.

The tanning facilities regulation is a start in preventing some factors that may contribute to an increased risk of developing melanomas in younger individuals.

For more information: back to top

Consumer Protection

The health department participates in recalls on banned products in cooperation with the FDA and state regulatory agencies.  Information is also available on lead, mold, radon, tanning beds, and microwave oven radiation leakage on request.

Additional Information:

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