LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) _ Backstreet Boys member Kevin Richardson is forming a foundation to raise awareness of environmental issues.

Just Within Reach: An Earth Foundation will begin in Richardson's home state of Kentucky and expand globally, the 29-year-old said Wednesday.

Richardson said the organization's abbreviation _ JWR _ is taken from the initials of his late father, Jerald Wayne Richardson, who died of cancer in 1991.

``I feel like our environment ties in to a lot of problems we have with our health today,'' Richardson said.

During the news conference, experts briefed Richardson on environmental problems in Kentucky, including an October spill of 250 million gallons of coal sludge.

Richardson said he will post information about the foundation on the Backstreet Boys' Web site, www.backstreetboys.com.