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The Flood Next Time: Warming Raises The Risk Of Disaster
in West Virginia are still recovering from floods that tore through
communities like vengeful gods. When you look at the pictures and videos
of the June flood – thick, brown, furious, unrelenting – it’s not hard
to imagine how our ancestors believed supernatural beings were behind
the devastation. Today, of course, we have better insight into
the natural forces at work, and science shows us that the damage from
nature’s wrath has a lot to do with human behavior.
Kara Lofton, WVPB
Cleaning up in a Kanawha County home after West Virginia’s flooding disaster.
The National Weather Service
described the West Virginia disaster as a 1000-year event, a term
meteorologists use to describe the rare probability of such extreme
rains. Many scientists who study the climate, however, warn that our
warming atmosphere is increasing the likelihood and severity of flooding
disasters. Further, a review of emergency planning shows that while
risk of extreme rainfall is on the rise in Kentucky, Ohio, and West
Virginia, the states are not doing enough to prepare for the rising
“Data are very clear,” said Michael Mann,
Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State
University. “There is a substantial increase in what we call the
intensity of rainfall events,” he said, “which is simply to say,
flooding – more extreme and more prevalent flooding.”
NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, reported that last month was the warmest June for the U.S since temperature record-keeping began more than a century ago, and 2016 is on track to become the globe’s warmest year ever recorded. Mann explained that our atmosphere is like a sponge, and the warmer it is the more water it can hold.
you squeeze that sponge you’re going to get more intense rainfall
events, more intense flooding,” he said. “And the data indicate that
this is indeed happening in the U.S.”
A report by NOAA and some sixty other scientific agencies shows that intense rainstorms have increased
significantly in many parts of the country over the past half-century.
In West Virginia and parts of the northeastern U.S., the proportion of
precipitation that comes down in the heaviest storms went up by 71
percent. In Kentucky and Ohio, those heavy storms are up by about a
third over the same time period. And climate forecasts show a strong
likelihood that those trends will continue as the planet warms further.
That’s bad news for Appalachia, which is the region most prone to flash-flooding in the country, and maybe even the world. The Pew Charitable Trusts found
that flooding is the fastest-growing and most costly type of natural
disaster across the country and the National Flood Insurance Program is
nearly $24 billion in debt. The Federal Emergency Management Agency
found that eight weather events in the U.S. have cost more than $13
billion in property losses so far this year, to say nothing of lives
Director of the Office of External Affairs at FEMA,
Josh Batkin, said his organization is working to adjust to increasing
numbers of disasters.
“We’ve come up with this idea of a ‘disaster deductible’,” Batkin said.
The idea FEMA is developing
would have each state pay a predetermined financial commitment in order
to receive the public assistance funding made available after disaster
declarations. Batkin said this would create another way to reward states
for investing in disaster preparedness.
Kara Lofton, WVPB
More than 5,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in West Virginia.
“We would provide [states] with credit toward their
deductible amount for doing what needs to be done to make people safer
and to protect infrastructure,” Batkin said.
With other changes going into effect this year
FEMA requires an assessment of the risks posed by climate change to be
included in the hazard mitigation plans states must submit to the
agency. This means states won’t just be considering the threats based on
past disasters; the risk analysis will now also account for how climate
change could increase future events such as flooding.
are updated on a five-year cycle, with varying deadlines among the
states. In Kentucky, for example, the new plan wouldn’t be due until
2018. An independent review of state-level planning and risk indicates
that such changes are overdue in the Ohio Valley.
nonprofit Climate Central, which offers scientific research and
information on climate change, produced a report last November called States at Risk: America’s Preparedness Report Card. The report rated states on how well each is preparing for predicted increases in risks, including flooding.
states such as Massachusetts scored well. But in the Ohio Valley the
risks were high and the marks were low when it came to planning for
increased frequency and severity of floods: West Virginia and Ohio got
D’s; Kentucky got an F.
report found that while the three states have acted to address the
current risks to flooding they have done little or nothing in the way of
planning and preparedness for the increase in risk that scientists
predict. By mid-century the threat of inland flooding is projected to
increase by 20 to 25 percent in Ohio and West Virginia if people remain
in harm’s way.
In Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia
combined, more than 700,000 people live in high-risk areas for flooding.
In West Virginia, that means eight percent of the entire state
population living in flood-prone places.
Yet the report found that in West Virginia there is no statewide adaptation plan
for communities or for sectors such as transportation and health.
Further, there was no evidence that the state is implementing any
adaptation guidelines or policies in regard to those increased risks for
flooding. The report found similar shortcomings in Kentucky and Ohio.
Virginia, where June’s flooding killed 23 people and damaged or
destroyed more than 5,000 homes and businesses, certified floodplain
managers like Charles Baker are taking a hard look at what needs to be
done. The steep hills and history of settlements in narrow river valleys
naturally puts a lot of people at risk. But Baker said flood-proofing
techniques can help some communities become more resilient to flooding.
Submitted photo, courtesy WVPB.
Eight percent of West Virginians live in areas with an elevated risk of flooding.
He pointed out that in many West Virginia communities
residents are offered lower flood insurance premiums when they adopt
mitigation strategies. Techniques include elevating homes, relocating
out of flood hazard areas, or even selling properties to FEMA. Some
properties flooded in the past have been purchased and then demolished.
The riverbank areas were then left open as parks or green space, which
can safely take on high water in the future.
everybody likes permits, not everybody likes regulation,” Baker said,
“but we need everybody to realize that when these disasters occur it’s
going to save us a lot in trying to rebuild this great state.”
Baker said he thinks West Virginia is on the right path with more than 200 floodplain managers
working to lessen the toll from disasters. But he and others cautioned
that more could be done and that residents must be mindful of the risks
in a warming climate.
rules limiting biodigesters to industrial areas, away from homes, churches and
comments are invited; information sessions planned
LOUISVILLE, KY (July 18,
2016) — Biodigesters, which convert food waste and other organic materials into
gas that can be used to heat homes and businesses, could only be constructed in
industrially zoned sites in Louisville -- separated by at least a quarter
mile from homes, churches and schools -- under proposed zoning regulations
Develop Louisville’s Office of Planning & Design Services drafted the
regulations after completing a comprehensive study requested by the Louisville
In addition to
limiting biodigesters to industrially zoned properties, with separation
requirements of at least 1,320 feet from residential properties, community uses
and other similar properties, the regulations include operational standards to
govern noise, odor, traffic and other potential impacts. For a map of
industrially zoned properties in Louisville Metro, please visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/planning-design/proposed-biodigester-regulations
governs that agricultural uses are exempt from zoning requirements. As a result,
a biodigester that is part of a bona fide agricultural operation in permitted as
of right, as would not be subject to the separation requirements of the proposed
proposed regulation represents a good starting point for discussion,” said Metro
Councilman David James. "We are eager to get community input because this is a
quality of life and quality of neighborhood issue."
draft regulations are available to the public at https://louisvilleky.gov/government/planning-design/proposed-biodigester-regulations.
They will be the subject of six upcoming information sessions before being
reviewed by the Louisville Metro Planning Commission and Metro Council.
information sessions will be hosted by the University of Louisville’s Center for
Environmental Policy and Management, the West Jefferson County Community Task
Force and other community partners, with Planning & Design Services staff in
attendance to answer questions and receive citizen feedback.
will take place as follows:
July 25, 6–8
California Community Center: 1600 W. St. Catherine Street
Library: 9725 Dixie Highway
July 26, 6–8
Government Center: 200 Juneau Drive
Community Center: 205 W. Wellington Avenue
July 27, 6-8
Library: 4800 Exeter Ave.
Government Center: 7201 Outer Loop
regulations also will be reviewed at a public meeting of the Planning
Commission’s Planning Committee at 9 a.m. Thursday, July 28 in the Old Jail
auditorium, 514 W. Liberty St.
Commission will hold a public hearing on the draft regulations at a special
meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1 in the Old Jail auditorium.
Interested parties are invited to attend and provide comments on the proposed
draft at both the Planning Committee and Planning Commission
public hearings, the Planning Commission will forward a recommendation to the
Metro Council for final action.
comments may be submitted to staff case manager Brian Mabry via email at Brian.Mabry@louisvilleky.gov or by
letter to 444 S. 5th St., Suite 300, Louisville, Kentucky 40202. All comments
received by noon on Aug. 1, 2016 will be considered by the Planning Commission
prior to making its recommendation to the Metro Council.
WDRB Special Report | Investigation reveals water at Floyds
Fork Creek may be harmful
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A months-long investigation reveals
something in the waters of Floyds Fork Creek could be harmful to your
It's touted as one of Louisville's most beautiful parks, but a WDRB
investigation reveals there is something lurking in the waters at Floyds
And it's not just dirty, but it could also be dangerous.
The Parklands of Floyds Fork is a 4,000 acre recreational oasis in
east Louisville. The donor-supported public park system is one of the
largest metropolitan parks in the nation.
“Even though it's set in an urban park, it really feels like you are part
of nature and you can get away from it all,” said park visitor James
Visitors will find biking and hiking trails, kayaking and fishing. Floyds
Fork Creek is a magnet for summer visitors.
“We play in the splash park, we swim in the creek. We love this park,”
said visitor Aubrey Gregory.
The picturesque creek meanders close to 20 miles through the
It looks inviting, but some are alarmed by what’s in the water. WDRB
collected water samples in May, June and July at the Parklands’
multiple parks to reveal the amount of fecal coliform in the popular creek.
Fecal coliform is bacteria found in human and animal feces and can lead to
ear and skin infections and gastrointestinal illnesses.
The state requires water to be tested five times a month. If the
geometric average of fecal coliform is above 200, swimming is not
recommended and is considered hazardous to your health.
WDRB tested once each month, but found alarming fecal coliform levels in
some of the tests.
At Beckley Creek Park, the levels were acceptable in May (108) and June
(40), but high in July (333).
Downstream at Pope Lick Park, May’s numbers were more than double the
acceptable limit (586). June tested low (90) and July’s numbers were
triple the limit (600).
Here’s how the newly-opened paddling access at The Strand fared. May’s
numbers were above the limit (328), the numbers dropped in June (0), then
tested extremely high in July (586).
Turkey Run Park tested low in May (150) and June (150). The numbers then
spiked in July to double the limit (516).
WDRB's final stop was Broad Run Park, which is the last takeout spot
for paddlers. It tested high each month. May’s numbers were high, (420)
June’s numbers were just above the limit (216) and July’s sample produced
the highest number of our testing (676).
WDRB took water samples to Astbury Water Technology in Clarksville,
Indiana, where chemist Bob Fuchs has been sampling water for 50 years.
“We've had some above and some below. You cannot conclude that the entire
area is grossly contaminated,” said Fuchs.
Here’s what Fuchs had to say about letting his kids or
grandchildren swim in the creek after reviewing the data. “No. I
However, WDRB's results show the levels of fecal coliform are within the
acceptable range for people to safely kayak, canoe and fish.
To find out more about what causes increased levels, WDRB turned to Karen
Schaffer and Russell Barnett.
“Waste water treatment plants, septic tanks -- it could be from any type
of animal that you can think of, warm blooded, cold blooded,” said
Barnett’s the director of the Kentucky Institute for the Environment and
Sustainable Development. Schaffer’s a retired environmental consultant.
"The land is what you need to look at. If you look at the land, that's a
mirror of what the water quality is going to be," said Barnett.
Barnett and Schaffer are part of the volunteer group Salt River Watershed
Watch. The group has been monitoring the creek for more than 15 years.
Research shows bacteria levels have increased over the years, because more
homes are being built along the creek.
“Conditions have worsened. What I've noticed is that it's highly
dependent on the flow in Floyd’s Fork. When the stream flow is higher
because of recent rainfall, that's when the bacteria levels tend to be
higher,” said Schaffer.
Back at the Parklands, WDRB was taking a final sample in July at
Beckley Creek Park and spoke to Aubrey Gregory, who was watching his
daughter play in the creek. Remember, previous testing showed acceptable
levels of fecal coliform, but WDRB didn’t know this sample would come back
When asked if the levels are high in the area and would
he allow his kids to swim in it, Gregory responded, “No. No I
would not. If it tested high, I would pull them.”
Other visitors had mixed reactions about harmful bacteria in the
“We try not to stick our feet in. We only get in the water when we have
to port. It’s enough to keep me from canoeing or kayaking,” said park
visitor Leslie O’Brien.
“I guess I wouldn’t fish in this area if I would have known that. I would
rather fish where it's cleaner,” park visitor Ryan Dietz said.
“The river is definitely an area of public concern. It’s so close to an
urban center and I think there are a lot of first timers out here. I think
it would help to have warnings posted along the river to let people know
what they are getting into,” said park visitor James Stapleton.
Below are WDRB's May test results.
Below are WDRB's June test results.
Below are WDRB's July test results.
Officials at the Parklands declined WDRB's request for an interview.
to learn about the non-profit group Salt River Watershed Watch.
Copyright 2016 WDRB News. All rights
reserved.WDRB Special Report | Investigation reveals water at Floyds
Fork Creek may be harmful
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2016
EPA Moves to Cancel the Insecticide
cause risk to aquatic animals and environments – manufacturers fail to comply
with the terms of the registration
-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a notice
of intent to cancel all Bayer CropScience, LP and Nichino America, Inc.,
flubendiamide products that pose a risk to aquatic invertebrates that are
important to the health of aquatic environments.
Required studies showed
flubendiamide breaks down into a more highly toxic material that is harmful to
species that are an important part of aquatic food chains, especially for fish,
and is persistent in the environment. EPA concluded that continued use of the
product would result in unreasonable adverse effects on the environment. EPA
requested a voluntary cancellation in accordance with the conditions of the
EPA had issued a time-limited registration to the
companies with conditions that were understood and agreed upon. If unreasonable
adverse effects on the environment were found by EPA, the companies would submit
a request for voluntary cancellation of all flubendiamide registrations within
one week of EPA notification.
After being informed of the EPA’s finding
on January 29, 2016, the companies were asked to submit a request for voluntary
cancellation by Friday, February 5, 2016. They rejected EPA’s request to
submit a voluntary cancellation. Subsequently, EPA initiated cancellation
of all currently registered flubendiamide products for the manufacturers’
failure to comply with the terms of the registration.
registered for use on over 200 crops, including soybeans, almonds, tobacco,
peanuts, cotton, lettuce, alfalfa, tomatoes, watermelon, and bell peppers, with
some crops having as many as 6 applications per year.
Crops that have
been properly treated with flubendiamide or that may be treated with existing
stocks can still be sold legally. Provisions on handling existing stocks
of the pesticide will be finalized once the products have been
To view a copy of the Notice of Intent to Cancel and all
supporting documents: https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/flubendiamide-notice-intent-cancel-and-other-supporting
registrants or adversely affected parties have 30 days from the date of the
Notice to request a hearing. Details on how to request a hearing are contained
within the Notice of Intent to Cancel.
Concerned Neighborhoods Coalition
HILLVIEW, Ky. (WDRB) -- The small
city of Hillview is suing its former attorney for more than $15
In a complaint filed in Bullitt Circuit
Court Tuesday, the city alleges Mark Edison, who served as Hillview city
attorney from Jan. 2003 to March 2015, failed to properly advise city
leaders during a land dispute case in the early 2000s. That case led to a
judgment against the city of $11.4 million.
In 2002, a deal to develop 40 acres of
property into a softball complex fell through. At the time, the city council
approved a “lease-purchase offer” for the land for Truck America Training.
Truck America then claimed in court filings that Hillview failed to transfer
the land and sued the city. Ultimately, Truck America won that
“That's what started the litigation,” said
current Hillview City Attorney Tammy Baker. “Truck America versus the city
Since that time, the $11.4 million has been accruing interest at a rate of 12 percent per year. Now, the city owes Truck
America more than $15 million.
The lawsuit against Edison, who represented
Hillview in the case, says Edison “advised the City it was not legally
required to honor the purchase portion of the Lease-Purchase
“The city attorney at the time, Mr. Edison,
gave the advice to the city that they could get out of contract,” Baker
said. “He said it was not a valid, binding contract for the purchase of that
property.”Concerned Neighborhoods Coalition
NOTIFICATION OF POSSIBLE UNAUTHORIZED DISCHARGE
03/12/2015 A Dry Weather Discharge has occurred THIS REPORT CREATED AS OF: 03/12/2015 at 2:45 PM NOTIFICATION OF POSSIBLE UNAUTHORIZED DISCHARGE DATE AND TIME DISCHARGE BEGAN: 03/12/2015 11:15 AM ASSET ADDRESS: 2410 Pope Lick Road, Louisville, KY 40299 PROBLEM: Structural Failure in force main valve vault resulting in a dry weather overflow to the Pope Lick tributary of Floyds Fork. MSD crews and contractors are on location making repairs. The overflow occurred at the Pope Lick Pump Station near the intersection of Pope Lick Road and Rehl Road. COMPLETED DATE/TIME: 03/12/2015 2:30 PM DISCHARGED AMOUNT: Unknown, but greater than 50,000 Gallons IMPACT: Sewage, solids and debris observed impacting the Pope Lick tributary to Floyds Fork. CLEAN UP: Cleanup of this overflow has been initiated. MSD crews will clean and sanitize the impacted area once repairs are complete. Avoid contact with any water in the creek or downstream for 48 hours after the discharge stopped. RECEIVING STREAM: Floyds Fork
BILL REQUIRING APPEAL BONDS FOR ZONING APPEALS
TO BE HEARD IN SENATE COMMITTEE TUESDAY MORNING
Please Call And Ask Senate Committee Members To Oppose House Bill 240
House Bill 240, sponsored by Representative Sinnette, would allow a Circuit Court Judge to impose an appeal bond on a non-governmental party as a condition to seeking further review of a zoning decision by the Kentucky Court of Appeals.
Under the bill, a Circuit Judge could require that an individual or neighborhood association prepay a bond before appealing to the Court of Appeals, for any damages that the developer could incur due to the appeal, including attorneys fees, and if the appeal is unsuccessful, the bond would be forfeited, even if the appeal was taken in good faith.
The House has passed HB 240 and it will be heard in Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee Tuesday morning at 10 a.m.
Please call 1-800-372-7181 and leave a message for "Senators John Schickel, Paul Hornback, Joe Bowen, Julian Carroll, Denise Harper Angel, Jimmy Higdon, Ray Jones, Chris McDaniel, Dan Seum, and Damon Thayer" to vote no on House Bill 240.
KRC's Analysis of House Bill 240: The Zoning Appeal Bond Bill
HOUSE BILL 240 WOULD IMPOSE AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL FINANCIAL BARRIER TO ACCESS TO THE COURT OF APPEALS FOR REVIEW OF ZONING DECISIONS
House Bill 240 allows a Circuit Court to impose an “appeal bond” as a condition prerequisite to a non-governmental party appealing a rezoning decision from the Circuit Court to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. If the Court requires an appeal bond, the litigant seeking judicial review of a circuit court decision on review of a rezoning decision, could be required to prepay all potential damages, attorney fees, and costs, which would be forfeited if the Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court decision, even if the appeal raised arguments that had merit.
KRC opposes the bill, for these reasons:
- The bill provides no standard to guide the Circuit Court’s discretion on when an appeal bond is or is not appropriate
- The prospect of having to file an appeal bond would place a financial hardship on most individuals and neighborhood associations, and would have a chilling effect on even meritorious claims, by pricing an appeal out of the reach of many individuals and neighborhoods, while allowing frivolous appeals by wealthy individuals to proceed.
- Remedies already exist if the Court of Appeals determines an appeal to have been brought that was frivolous and in bad faith. Damages and 1 to 2 times costs can be assessed by the Court of Appeals under Civil Rule 73.02(4).
- Requiring the filing of an appeal bond as a prerequisite to filing an appeal violates Kentucky Constitution Section 115, providing that “in all cases…there shall be allowed as a matter of right at least one appeal to another court….” (emphasis added). In White v. Comm., 299 S.W.2d 618 (1957), the Court declined to apply the then-existing rule that an appeal bond be posted prior to any appeal from county court to circuit court to bastardy proceedings, since “to hold otherwise would ‘effectively’ deny a party the right of appeal granted by statute.” With the 1976 constitutional amendment creating a right in Ky. Const. 115 to one level of appellate review of a judicial decision, any legislative interference with the exercise of that right would be unconstitutional.
- The exemption of governmental entities from the possible obligation to file an appeal bond, implicates equal protection issues, since it would place a burden on nongovernmental parties but exempt those similarly situated (i.e. desiring to file an appeal of a circuit court judgment). Elk Horn Coal Corporation v. Cheyenne Resources, 163 S.W. 3d 408 (Ky. 2005), struck down KRS 26A.300, which provided for a 10% penalty if a money judgment was affirmed or dismissed on appeal after the first appeal (i.e discretionary review), based both on Ky. Const. Sec 116 and as a violation of the equal protection provisions of Ky. Const. Sec. 2.
- The bill also intrudes on matters of appellate procedure that are expressly reserved to the judicial branch under the state constitution, in violation of Section 116 of the Kentucky Constitution, which grants the Supreme Court the power to prescribe rules governing appellate jurisdiction, and has been construed as vesting “exclusive jurisdiction in the Supreme Court to prescribe ‘rules of practice and procedure for the Court of Justice.”O’Bryan v. Hedgespeth, 892 S.W.2d 571, 576 (Ky. 1995); Elk Horn Coal Corporation v. Cheyenne Resources, 163 S.W. 3d 408 (Ky. 2005); Commonwealth v. Reneer, 734 S.W.2d 794 (Ky. 1987).
- Finally, the bill conflicts with KRS 21A.050(2), which recognizes that the procedures for appellate review are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
Climate Action Plan Toolkit: EPA Releases Stormwater Climate Change Tool
Stormwater Management Model tool helps communities prepare for climate change impacts
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2015
WASHINGTON – As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan Virtual Climate Resilience Toolkit, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of the Climate Adjustment Tool for EPA’s Stormwater Management Model – a widely-used, downloadable online stormwater simulation model. The Climate Adjustment Tool allows engineers and planners to evaluate the performance of water infrastructure while considering future climate change projections, such as more frequent high-intensity storms and changes in evaporation rates of seasonal precipitation, to determine the benefits of resiliency decisions to reduce local economic burden and protect communities.
“Climate change means increased risks to our health, our economy, and our environment,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “But with the President’s Climate Action Plan, the agency is taking action to advance science-based technology, such as the addition of the Climate Adjustment Tool, to help state and local planners combat the impacts of climate change, especially significant economic burden from severe weather, and protect communities through sustainability and resiliency measures.”
The new tool will enable users to add climate projections based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s climate change scenarios to existing simulations to determine the quality of water traveling through traditional infrastructure - a system of gutters, storm drains, pipes, channels, collection tanks and storage devices. The tool also has the ability to model the performance of green infrastructure practices, including permeable pavement, rain gardens, and green roofs. Engineers and planners are able to accurately represent any combination of traditional and green infrastructure practices within an area to determine their effectiveness in managing stormwater and combined sewer overflows in their community.
Stormwater runoff is a major environmental problem resulting in flooding, erosion, and contaminated waters. Every year billions of gallons of raw sewage, trash, household chemicals, fertilizers, and urban runoff flow into our streams, rivers and lakes. Polluted stormwater runoff can adversely affect plants, animals, and people.
The Climate Adjustment Tool, in addition to other tools in the President’s Climate Action Plan Virtual Climate Resilience Toolkit, can help users make planning, analysis, and design decisions that will guard against the impacts of climate change. Using these tools to choose the best adaptation options is an innovative and efficient way to promote healthy waters and support more sustainable communities. View the Virtual Climate Resilience Toolkit here: http://toolkit.climate.gov/tools
EPA’s Stormwater Management Model is used throughout the world for stormwater runoff reduction planning, analysis and design of combined and sanitary sewers, and other drainage systems. Originally released decades ago, SWMM is now used in thousands of communities throughout the world, including as the core modeling engine in cities such as Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Seattle.
To assist community planners and managers in determining resiliency and sustainability actions that will help protect against extreme weather and reduce the local economic burden after a natural disaster, EPA has developed additional tools, including:
EPA’s Stormwater Calculator- a tool that can be used by homeowners, landscapers, and developers to estimate the amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff on a specific site based on local soil conditions, land cover, historic rainfall records, and climate change scenarios.
For more information on the complementary National Stormwater Calculator, visit:
EPA’s Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT)- a tool that assists drinking water and wastewater utility owners and operators understand potential climate change threats and assess the related risks. For more information on the Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool, visit:
For additional information about the Stormwater Management Model and Climate Adjustment Tool, visit
For more information about the President’s Climate Action Plan, visit
Salt River Regional sewer infrastructure will open
new greenfields to sprawl
David.Abell@ky.gov, Jarrett.Haley@ky.gov, MSD,
Bullitt County representatives and Bullitt Fiscal Court, Bullitt County
Sanitation District, Bullitt Judge/Executive Melanie Roberts, City of Mt
Washington, City of Shepherdsville, Oldham County Environmental Authority and
Oldham County Fiscal Court and Oldham County Judge/Executive David Voegele and
ALL WORKGROUP attendees or anyone who attended the closed workgroup sessions
(meetings closed and barring the public and FFEA). Please see that all receive
Teena Halbig, FFEA Immediate Past President
6505 Echo Trail, Louisville, KY 40299
River Regional Wastewater Public Meeting/Hearing, 10:00A.M.,
For the PROPOSAL FOR THE LARGEST
SEWER PROJECT IN KENTUCKY; LOCATION: THE FLOYDS FORK WATERSHED/SALT
Environmental Association (FFEA), founded in 1991, has a mission to protect,
conserve and preserve Floyds Fork Creek and its watershed.
2007, we were in litigation regarding KY Division of Water, KY Waterways
Alliance, 26 on the Technical Advisory Committee that included elected and
appointed representatives from these same various counties with the intent to do
“wastewater pollution trading” and wastewater “pollution shifting” and to form a
Regional Sewer Authority. With
passage of time, some of those now in office might not be aware of the history.
Here it seems that history is trying to repeat itself – but, at that time, the
court thought this would never be repeated in the future for the Floyds Fork
Watershed. But FFEA believes what is trying to be pushed again today is
repeating the past. Note that only the disbanding of the above kept the parties
from further legal processes.
We ask for
better public notice. If inclement weather exists, we ask for an extension of
the hearing. We find it highly improper and disadvantageous/unfair to the public
to hold this hearing at a time and on a
date that is not convenient to the public. The 10:00 A.M. on a workday is not convenient for the
public and any night meetings are best held at 7:00 P.M. and no
(National Environmental Policy Act) and CWA (Clean Water Act) mandate an EIS
(Environmental Impact Statement) be done. FFEA will do everything possible to
ensure this happens.
Two major points:
seems to be that KIPDA and possibly US EPA, possibly KY Division of Water, along
with various County Representatives and sewer districts (Jefferson County/MSD,
Oldham County, Bullitt County, and potentially additional counties in the Floyds
Fork Watershed and Salt River Watershed and beyond, etc.) have been and are
planning a major project that will likely have some federal funds and also have
significant environmental and financial
impacts. Even if a non-federal regionalization, there is still undue
and considerable control and responsibility to influence the outcome.
Figures at the last meeting given by Strand Associates are amounts for
today (and not in the future for figures could change, of
#1. $120 Million to treat,
convey and utilities but $204 Million to own
& operate without regionalization; NO
Alternative #2. $208 Million with
regionalization to pay for capital investments like forced mains,
treatment mains, pump stations, basins and $263 Million to own and
#3. $407 Million with COMPLETE
The above figures do not include other expenses for a secretary,
treasurer, audits, expenses for commissioners’ travel, food and lodging, regular
meetings, potential for an Executive Director who would be paid,
the quality of the human environment will also be affected. We think the use of
eminent domain will be needed and
that it is disingenuous of Strand Associates, KIPDA, MSD, etc. to not have shown
the public the SEWER PIPELINE CONCEPTUAL MAP OF ALIGNMENT or put on websites or
in the news because Greg Heitzman gave it to FFEA long ago. This is a grievous lack of transparency.
We also disparage the lack of notice to the public for meetings/hearings; we
were told that KIPDA only sends a press release out and depends on the media to
let the public know of meetings/hearings - plus email notices to their contacts
they have regarding the prior 3 meetings/hearings and this final
meeting/hearing. We believe this is insufficient and would like a copy of all
media contacted plus email listings.
foresee federal funds might be required through US EPA and KIPDA. Thus, this
should be a NEPA project and requires an Environmental Impact Statement or EIS.
FFEA feels strongly that an EIS should be done now. Such a huge project for a miles and
miles long SEWER PIPELINE that could involved numerous counties in the FLOYDS
FORK WATERSHED/SALT RIVER WATERSHED will no doubt involve historic property
disturbances and have environmental impacts. FFEA is concerned for
environmental, endangered species, sprawl and greenhouse gas, financial and as
mentioned, historic properties.
Here are some
concerns for significant environmental impacts:
Greenfields/Openspace opened up for suburban sprawl with less land
surface, vegetation and trees to cleanse and soak up water and recharge
underground aquifers. In the rush, less green infrastructure use but large
storage basins multiplying. Zoning & sustainability are defeated by sprawl
development; outer ring development will create longer drive times and create
more greenhouse gas and require more roads to be built - creating more
impervious surfaces. Will the regionalization open the way for a surge of growth
with probable long term debt? Debt that will be paid by those in the Floyds Fork
Watershed? Will the EAST end become more elitist where segregation of the
wealthy can afford to live but not the middle or low income?
new sewer overflows along Floyds Fork & Salt
pump station backups, stoppages
thousands of trees reducing tree canopy and tree water absorption to help lessen
flooding; also loss of vegetation that helps cleanse water.
wildlife affected: (Federally endangered Indiana Bat, some endangered plant
species like glade cress, mussel species and mussel beds, archaeological
There will be
“water pollution shifting” as sewage is shunted/funneled down a sewer pipeline
to a new and expensive big sewage plant at the Salt River in Bullitt County. There is no proof this will
IMPROVE WATER QUALITY but shifts where pollution was found and shifts that
pollution further downstream to this big plant. This makes the Floyds Fork
Watershed look better on the federal/Congressional Report of 303d and 303b lists
for impaired segments that do not meet their designated uses. However, the water
shunted/pumped downstream will not have the advantages of natural cleansing
occurring in soil, stream banks and beds, by vegetation, etc. It is better to
clean up pollution at its source point. It will be harder to tell where the
pollution is coming from. We have no real assurances or data to say the water
will be cleaner. There are concerns that KY could end up contributing even more
to the hypoxia/”dead zone” in the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico.
Meanwhile, there is a change in
HYDROLOGY. This means the streams will no longer have the volume of flow as
before which affects the entire ecology of the streams! Will farmers have as
much water for crops and animals? EPA knows that people will notice a difference
in base flow and some streams might be dry when they were wet before. Thus the
aquatic life and other life forms have great potential to be affected as well as
their food and water sources for survival and ability to continue to live in the
same areas. Basically, suburban sprawl will potentially lower water quality
benefits with additional urban runoff – thus defeating water quality benefits!
The 303d and 303b lists might look different due to the shifting of the water pollution but
will the water be cleaner? – will the loading of nitrogen and phosphorus, heavy
metals, etc. decrease or just end up being more concentrated at the end of the
long SEWER PIPELINE?
Why add on
additional infrastructure debt? In Northern KY where this was done a few years
ago (but the consultants did not give this example that is better compared with
Louisville!), costs rose in addition to existing sewer
rates – those Northern KY ratepayers had to pay the next 3 years
about 15% per year = 45% increase.
Even with a 5% cap in one year
(known as HB221, after 3 years, the
bill number changed to HB 26 where Senator Damon Thayer added the 5% cap ), but
infrastructure costs are
additional (devil is in the details!) and cost was borne by
ratepayers. Can ratepayers and low
income or even middle income and retirees keep up with these FEES?
loss of Historic Resources like buildings, stone walls, historic homes,
farmland, Indian burial grounds, archaeology, historic cemeteries, ancient
trees, aquatic resources, Indiana Bat habitat, etc.
The financing structure for a regional system involving several counties
should be presented ahead of any discussion about what
the regional authority issue tax exempt bonds that the public will be required
to repay with interest over two decades or longer? A study of the significant
socio-environmental impact due to the cumulative debt burden on ratepayers must
be done because bond financing will inflate costs with interest and over time.
Will that study be done and when? I
have personally been at 2 Metro Council meetings where MSD/Bud Schardein asked
for $50 Million in bonds and more lately in 2014 where $30 million was asked for
but I know it is a lot more than these two figures that has been okayed. Look at
Atlanta and Detroit problems – does Louisville want to end up with similar
much cumulative debt is the public carrying now with the Louisville Bridges, the
MSD IOAP (Integrated Overflow Abatement Program), the Metro Louisville Bond
debt and the push for a regressive LIFT tax?? This will be another added burden
flowing in large part, from low and middle income people who can least afford
there needs to be discussion about good government, sustainability and
efficiency and why the reasonable alternative of reinvesting for urban core
development that uses existing infrastructure is not on the table?
restrictive zoning to contain sprawl the urban runoff will destroy the water
quality of the remaining fishing and recreational use waters. In the end, the
general public, the landscape, topography and ecology will pay the
the way, how many BILLIONS will this cost? – how many BILLIONS of principal and
interest are we talking about?
financing structure for a regional system involving several counties should be
presented ahead of any
discussion about what to build. Basically, there needs to be discussion about
good government, sustainability and efficiency used for urban core development
of existing infrastructure and restrictive zoning to contain sprawl. Otherwise,
the public, the landscape, topography, environment and ecology will pay the
cost. By the way, how many BILLIONS will this cost? – how many BILLIONS are we
No, FFEA does
not favor formation of a Regional Sewer Commission due to the many issues
pointed out above.
A disc of the
audio that I am submitting is of the last meeting held by KIPDA and is requested
to be part of this record for we do not believe comments/notes made by the
public have been recorded appropriately. We also do not feel answers were given
to some questions.
CONCEPTUAL MAP OF POTENTIAL SEWERSHED MAP from MSD/Heitzman is handed in as part
of the record.
Louisville, KY 40299
FLOYDS FORK ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION
FLOYDS FORK ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION
Contact: Peter Bodnar III, email@example.com ,
Teena Halbig, TeenaHal@aol.com, (502)
267-6883 or cell (502) 777-5192
January 12, 2015 (MONDAY) at 10:00 A.M. at KIPDA (11520
Commonwealth Drive, Burke Room, Louisville, KY 40299)
Multi Million Dollar Sewer Pipeline and Spending Authority to be
KIPDA will hold a final public meeting to present its findings on
a Salt River Regional Sewer multi-county Pipeline. Floyds Fork Environmental
Association (FFEA) will provide additional input on the proposal for
Regionalization in the Floyds Fork Watershed that would be built if
agreements are made. Little serious attempt has been made to engage
the tax & rate paying public who will be paying for this construction long
into the future.None of the proposal scenarios have any better water
quality than the status quo
Director Greg Heitzman held a meeting on the August 26, 2013
meeting at MSD (Steve Emly and Brian Bingham also present) with FFEA
representatives (Peter Bodnar III, Trina Palma, Ed Halbig and Teena Halbig).
Heitzman said he would be meeting with various county officials in the Floyds
Fork/Salt River Watershed to form a workgroup. This workgroup would meet to see
if any would sign agreements to become a members to form a Regional Wastewater
Commission. This would entail building a major and costly SEWER
PIPELINE and other infrastructure (like multiple pump stations) to
send sewage to the Salt River in Bullitt Countywhere a large
regional treatment plant would be built - eventually, possibly going on to Ft. Knox. Currently,
the counties MSD hopes to get signed on to an agreement in the Salt River
Watershed are: Bullitt andCity of Mt. Washington, City of Shepherdsville,
MSD, Oldham Co. Enviro. Authority, Oldham County Fiscal Court
A “conceptual” map of the SEWER PIPELINE (provided
by Heitzman on 8/26/2013 to FFEA ) has not been shown by the consultants
(STRAND Associates/Mark Sneve) in their prior meetings; eminent domain will
likely be encountered. “These plans and map should not be kept from public
view”, remarked FFEA Co-President Sheron Lear.
Director Heitzman organized a “workgroup” of elected and appointed
officials for CLOSED meetings that KIPDA held. Both Heitzman
and KIPDA refused to let FFEA attend the closed meetings. Teena Halbig,
Immediate Past President of FFEA said, “These closed meetings have been a lack
of transparency by MSD and other agencies/officials while discussing the
public’s business.” It seems that while these CLOSED meetings might not be
illegal, the cloaked secrecy and closed doors to allow the public to sit in is
not in keeping with good government or transparency.
Peter Bodnar III, Co-President of FFEA said, “It was not disclosed
by the consultants, MSD, KIPDA, etc. until the question was asked –that, only
ONE-THIRD of Jefferson County will be affected and saddled with
the costs. This sprawl initiative will cost us all; there should be
accountability where all the financial information is disclosed to the public
PRIOR to any formation of a regional commission. Before we commit to long
range billion dollar projects, we need to consider whether or not we want to
continue to support and fund large-scale, centralized, energy intensive
projects, or move more towards smaller-scale, locally appropriate
FFEA’s key concerns
1. This sewer authority would not be under the PSC that would
afford the public an opportunity to speak regarding rate increases.
Nongovernmental organizations like FFEA or even elected officials cannot speak
before the commission or hearing officer (Mr. Heitzman offered to put it in the
bylaws that we could - but bylaws can be changed)
2. Use of Eminent Domain likely
3. No environmental impact studies done or Green Infrastructure
requirements made of counties involved in the pipeline BEFORE decisions to
4. 'Home rule' is lost since our Mayor is but one at a table of
commissioners and thus only has one vote on this board.
5. No provision to be under state ethics rules and there exists
potential for expensive legal entanglements
6. Small cities are far less likely to obtain grant monies since
deference is to the regional commission, possibly forcing small cities to
join. Potential for monopoly formation.
7. Need for more transparency (provision for posting monetary
figures on a website is only a beginning and not enough transparency).
Winter is upon us! Below is a link to help you save energy in your home
"FFEA was able to get MSD to take immediate enforcement action 10-21-14 with MSD immediately issuing fines for construction heavy equipment working in the stream (these photos were shown to MSD)." Regional KY Division of Water (KDOW) Supervisor Charlie Roth emailed the citizen reporting the problems and taking the photos that Roth was out of the office and would check into problems THURSDAY (10-23-14). Roth was notified late MONDAY (10-20-14). Deplorable destruction of this creek has occurred - that ecology can probably never be replaced. However, FFEA is asking for stream bank restoration. HISTORIC BOULDERS on the creek banks should remain. KDOW should also go to the site immediately and issue fines from the state."
Thanks to everyone that helped make the FFEA
booth at the Gaslight Festival a success. It was a beautiful weekend and always
a pleasure to participate in this event. Special thanks and welcome aboard to
our new members. Check out a couple of pictures from our weekend.
FFEA is proud to be a "Clean Water Advocate" sponsor for the Oldham County "Amazing Watershed Challenge 2014". This event is focused on Curry's Fork, a tributary to Floyds Fork Creek. Contact Carolyn Cromer, Curry's Fork Watershed Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org or mail her: Oldham County Fiscal Court, 100 W. Jefferson Street, Suite 3, LaGrange, KY 40031.
Division of Water advises lake visitors to make informed decisions
The Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have confirmed the presence of potentially harmful algal blooms (HABs), or cyanobacteria at levels exceeding recommended safety thresholds at several lakes in Kentucky. These lakes include Guist Creek Lake, Willisburg Lake, Carpenters Lake and Beaver Lake.
This past June, DOW released similar warnings about harmful algal blooms at Barren River Lake, Nolin Reservoir, Green River Lake, Rough River Lake, Taylorsville Lake and Greenbriar Creek Reservoir in Montgomery County. Advisories for all of these lakes and reservoirs are still in effect.
The Department of Public Health, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Department of Parks, and other stakeholders have been informed of these conditions.
These lakes remain open to the public. Visitors should be aware of the potential health issues and take precautions.
The following guidelines are recommended to avoid exposure to HABs:
- Direct contact with affected water, including swimming, wading, fishing, paddling, diving and water skiing may result in symptoms. It is advisable to avoid contact with water that has unusual color or where blue-green bacteria have been identified, even if the water appears to be clear.
- People who are prone to respiratory allergies or asthma should avoid areas with harmful algal blooms. Children may be particularly sensitive.
- If contact has been made with water containing blue-green algae, wash off with fresh water. In some cases, skin irritation will appear after prolonged exposure. If symptoms persist, consult your local health care provider.
- Fish fillets (not organs) may be consumed after the fillets have been rinsed in clean, non-lake water. It is advisable to wash any parts of your body that have come into contact with the fish.
- Prevent pets and livestock from coming into contact with HAB-infested waters.
Some cyanobacteria produce toxins that may be hazardous to animals and humans. Symptoms of exposure to harmful algae may include gastrointestinal symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; skin and eye irritation; and/or throat irritation or breathing difficulties.
If you are concerned that you have symptoms that are a result of exposure to HABs, please see your doctor and call your local health department.
DOW has been working with a number of agencies to develop an HAB testing protocol for Kentucky lakes as well as public notification procedures when HABs are identified at levels of concern. The protocol will consist of mechanisms to perform monitoring and to issue “advisories” when cell counts exceed 20,000 cells/ml and “cautions” when they exceed 100,000 cells/ml at affected lakes.
Last year, USACE began monitoring USACE-owned lakes in Kentucky for the presence of cyanobacteria. At that time, the USACE identified excessive levels of cyanobacteria in several reservoirs, prompting USACE to issue public warnings to avoid or minimize human and animal contact with algae-infested waters. The DOW subsequently began monitoring several lakes in Kentucky and identified excessive levels of cyanobacteria in several lakes, which similarly prompted the DOW and USACE continue to monitor lakes in Kentucky. The DOW has developed a predictive model for identifying HAB conditions in Kentucky lakes using available satellite data. The DOW and USACE are working collaboratively to calibrate that model so that it may be used to inform the division of all lakes regardless of whether there is water quality data available from the lake.
Better known as blue-green algae, cyanobacteria occurs naturally in the environment. Environmental conditions, including excess phosphorus and nitrogen, sunny conditions, warm temperatures and low-flow or low-water conditions — contribute to the rapid reproduction and spread of the algae in a waterbody. The more typical green algae, which are not harmful to humans or animals, come in many forms and may appear as underwater moss, stringy mats or floating scum.
Cyanobacteria, on the other hand, appear as slicks of opaque, bright-green paint, but closer inspection often reveals the grainy, sawdust-like appearance of individual colonies of bacteria. The color of the algae may also appear as red or brown.
Peter Goodmann, Director of the DOW, said it is important to understand that the issuance of advisories and cautions are intended to educate potential users about the water bodies so that they may make informed decisions.
Public water systems depending on lakes for their raw water source should consider monitoring for the presence of HABs and adjust treatment of the water accordingly. Algal blooms are easily addressed through water treatment techniques, and the water produced from these sources is safe to drink.
The presence of excess nutrients in the waterbody can cause algal blooms. Proper management of nutrients from various sources of stormwater runoff in the watershed and proper treatment of nutrients in wastewater play a key role in managing algal blooms of all kinds. The Division of Water, with other federal and state agency partners and numerous stakeholder groups, is developing a Nutrient Reduction Strategy to address nutrient pollution problems in Kentucky.
For information on harmful algal blooms and updates on the levels at USACE lakes, visit: http://www.lrl.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/WaterInformation/HABs.aspx
For more information on safe water recreation, visit: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/bathing/srwe1/en/.
Important Message for FFEA Members &
If you received a reloadable Kroger Gift Card from FFEA to help FFEA raise funds, Kroger is eliminating this fundraising
program and starting a new fundraising program.
The reloadable Kroger Gift Card
program will cease on September 1, 2014.
You will not lose any money on the Kroger Gift Card and will be able to reload and use the card, but
FFEA will not receive any fundraising from the card.
Beginning August 1, 2014 all members and supporters of FFEA may
visit the Kroger secure website www.kroger.com/communityrewards to enroll their individual Kroger Plus Card to FFEA’s account. Each time you use your Kroger Plus Card, FFEA will earn funds. If you do not have a Kroger Plus Card you may visit
www.kroger.com and sign up for a Kroger
To be able to enroll your Kroger
Plus Card and link it to FFEA’s account you may use FFEA’s NPO number 12265
or you may simply use the search to find FFEA’s.
It is easy to call 1- 800-KROGERS, extension 3 to speak to a person and give your KROGER PLUS Shopping card number. Tell the person you want this for Floyds Fork Environmental Association Community Rewards number NPO #12265.
I have also placed a pdf file below that has more information
or you may contact
John Boel's ExposeOn Harrod's Creek
Thanks to WAVE-TV reporter, John Boel, for the expose' on 7-29-14..
Two years later, this same response to the reporter from the state KY Division of Water - that FFEA interprets as "no accountability". This is a deplorable situation and FFEA is seeking action by asking you to contact your U. S. Senator and U.S. Representative - call the main U. S. Capitol Swithcboard Operator to leave a message: 1-202-224-3121 or write a letter. FFEA will continue to seek accountability
Click on the below link for John Boel's WAVE-TV Report
SIERRA CLUB,CUMBERLAND CHAPTER, WATER COMMITTEE MEETING
12:00 to 1:00:
Lunch - TBD
Meeting times are subject to change. Agendas are followed at the discretion of the Chair of each Committee. While an item may be listed, it does not mean all items will be acted upon by a committee.
To review all agendas of the committees of the Louisville Metro Council, go to the Metro Council Clerk’s web page at: http://www.louisvilleky.gov/MetroCouncil/Clerk/
All meetings are aired live on Metro TV Insight cable Channel 25. Meetings are also streamlined on the Metro Council’s website. Go to: www.louisvilleky.gov/metrocouncil and click on the “Watch Meetings Online” icon.
For More Information Contact:
Tony Hyatt: 574-4137 / 526-3622
Stephen Haag: 574-1204 / 645-1752
From Teena Halbig
See page 22 of the Energy & Environment magazine, Land, Air & Water that shows
Teena Halbig and Sheron Lear with
US EPA Regional Administrator who was hired by President Obama
Secretary of Energy and Environment Cabinet, Dr. Len Peters
It was a surprise to see the photo used of us since there were so many other photos to choose from!
EQC sent the information to be sure we saw the article.
The photo is shown in color on our FFEA website www.floydsfork.net
but we never thought about seeing it in this state magazine. Hey, while you are looking at our website, if you need to pay dues or want to make a donation, we now have PayPal. Thank you!
FFEA photos of July 17, 2014 depicting all trees cut (one over 30 inches and several about 12 inches in diameter) and vegetation removed at 200 N. Madison & Shelbyville Road in Middletown next to the Middle Fork of Beargrass Creek where several FFEA members live nearby. MSD discovered no site disturbance permit had been issued and the photos show no black silt fencing in place to keep soil from entering the stream that was later installed. The USACE terms it a "jurisdictional waterbody" while MSD terms it a "ditch.
Safe Pharmaceutical Disposal Act
It will soon be 5 years ago that
State Representative Joni Jenkins sponsored a bill in the Kentucky General
Assembly that was initiated by Floyds Fork Environmental Association (FFEA)
termed the ‘Safe Pharmaceutical Disposal Act’ to have safe drop off boxes in
safe places 24 hours a day for left over and unused pills, capsules and
This bill has continued to be filed each year. It should have been a ‘no brainer’ to get
pills out of the reach of others, out of the landfill, emptied down sinks and
flushed to end up in our streams. FFEA’s
concerns were for our waterways and public health. I read in 2005 that
antibiotics and hormones were being found in 2 other states in waterways;
however, I thought testing was not being done in Jefferson County.
In 2007, FFEA funded a student
science project to test segments in Floyds Fork Creek and Chenoweth Run Creek
for a hormone - all stream samples were positive www.floydsfork.net . The KY Division of Water would not test these areas per a
letter from the state toxicologist.
About a year ago, Indiana had a
smart sheriff who initiated drop off boxes for pills!
It was good to read Martha Elson’s Courier article 7-9-14 informing readers that
St. Matthews has a public prescription drug drop-off box at its City Hall, a
weekday box downtownJefferson County
Sherriff’s Dept. 6th floor (6th & Court Place) during businesshours as well as police boxes in Bullitt,
Oldham, Floyd and Harrison counties.
Still, legislators need to pass
Representative Jenkins bill so the public will have less hormones, antibiotics
and other ‘emerging contaminants of concern’ in our waterways and drinking
water. Call now to let your State Senator and State Legislator know you want
this bill passed in the 2015 General Assembly.
Floyds Fork Environmental
Louisville, KY 40299
VALLEY WATER SANITATION COMMISSION
an interstate agency representing:
Illinois · Indiana · Kentucky · New York · Ohio · Pennsylvania · Virginia · West Virginia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2014 | ORSANCO |
Contact: Jason Heath, P.E., BCEE
Technical Programs Manager & Assistant Chief Engineer
| NOTICE: The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission has received a variance request from FirstEnergy, Pleasants Power Station, Willow Island, WV
The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) has received a variance request from FirstEnergy Corp., Pleasants Power Station, at Willow Island, WV. The request is in regards to their WV draft NPDES permit to discharge mercury and the Commission's prohibition on mixing zones for bioaccumulative chemicals of concern which becomes effective on October 16, 2015. Please visit ORSANCO's Pollution Control Standards page to view their application as well as information on the variance review process. The Commission will be undertaking an evaluation of the variance request.
ORSANCO, headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, is an interstate water pollution control agency for the Ohio River and its tributaries. Member states include Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The federal government is also represented. For further information, contact ORSANCO at 513-231-7719, or visit our website at www.orsanco.org.
See Map of "Sewer Pipeline" with proposed pump stations, part of conceptual main pipeline, etc.
Conceptual MSD Map of "Salt River Potential Sewershed Map"
FLOYDS FORK ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION
Floyds Fork Environmental
Association is a 501 c 3 nonprofit founded in 1991 with the mission to protect, conserve and preserve
Floyds Fork Creek and its watershed. The”23rd Annual Floyds Fork Creek Sweep” by canoe, kayak or on foot
will be held Saturday, June 7th, 2014.
Another layer of bureaucracy, i.e., the creation of a Sewer
Pipeline by forming a Regional Sewer Wastewater Commission—
encompassing counties Henry, Spencer, Oldham, Jefferson, Bullitt, Nelson,
Meade, Hardin to Ft. Knox, but Spencer and Nelson have already said, “No”.Shelby County
has not made a decision. MSD Director Greg Heitzman gave a conceptual map May 28,
2013. This conceptual map (Salt River Potential Sewershed Mp) can be seen on www.floydsfork.net or facebook. However,
this proposed sewer pipeline is not shown in Oldham and one half ofJefferson but is sure to affect these heavily populated
areas! Each county that joins will have a seat on its board. The “fees” levied
by this commission will be in addition to MSD charges and rate increases.
State legislators denied House Bill 221 for a several years,
and then it became known as House Bill 26 where the commission, when formed,
can levy annual fees up to 5 % plus costs for capital improvements (sewer
lines, sewer plants, etc.). Costs have been 5% cap plus 10% capital costs
equaling 15% increases per year
for ratepayers inNorthern Kentucky where a
Regional Sewer Commission formed 3 years ago. Yes, that adds up to 45% increase!
Ratepayers will pay costs for a secretary, treasurer, annual
audit, general manager, for each commissioner to attend each meeting, seminars
(local or out-of-town) plus expenses. MSD Director Greg Heitzman is meeting
with powerful politicians in surrounding counties in hopes of forming a
“working group” that are potential contract signees.
Our 22 year old organization, Floyds Fork Environmental
Association (FFEA), followed the legislation for 4 years and managed some
changes. August 20, 2013, FFEA representatives met with Director Heitzman
to point out our concerns:
1. This sewer authority would
not be under the PSC that would afford the public an opportunity to speak
regarding rate increases.
2. 'Home rule' is lost since our Mayor is but one at a table of
commissioners and thus only has one vote on this board.
3. No provision to be under state ethics rules.
4. Small cities are far less likely to
obtain grant monies since deference is to the regional commission, possibly
forcing small cities to join.
5. Potential for expensive legal
6. Nongovernmental organizations like FFEA
or even elected officials cannot speak before the commission or hearing officer
(Mr. Heitzman offered to put it in the bylaws that we could - but bylaws can be
7. Eminent Domain issues.
8. Potential for monopoly formation.
9. Need for more transparency (provision for posting monetary
figures on a website is only a beginning and not enough transparency).
While Mayor Fischer may save a small percent and “keep a lid
on water bills” with the Louisville Water Company, sewer bills will
exponentially escalate like rates did in Northern Kentucky and it will be
impossible to keep a lid on them.
An MSD conceptual map of part of the SEWER PIPELINE route
exists (see it at www.floydsfork.net ;
however, it leaves out critical portions of its route through heavily populated
sections ofJefferson County andOldham.
Citizens need to know that local control and efficient management will have a
hard time keeping up with this Pipeline train once it leaves the station.
Recently, March 17, 2014, a meeting was held by MSD at KIPDA. MSD Director Greg Heitzman was the presenter;
he showed multiple power point slides. Elected officials from various counties
(8 elected officials that included Judge/Executive Melanie Roberts fromBullitt County
and Judge/Executive John Black fromOldham
County plus 11 wastewater
personnel) and a few citizens and FFEA were in the public’s “peanut gallery”. He wanted these folks to sign up for a “work
group” meeting. At the end, I asked how the public would be treated in future
meetings like when this work group would meet and if the public could speak at
those meetings. Mr. Heitzman said the first work group meeting would not allow
any public to sit in the meeting. He
said the next work group meeting would allow the public. After that, he said he would not allow the
public to the next meeting, and then allow the next and so on – like he did
when he formed the Louisville Water Company work group. He never commented on
the public being allowed to speak or not. I was not allowed to sign up to
attend the work group meeting. KIPDA said I could not sign the signup sheet.
All of this is the public’s business and affects the public and
every ratepayer not only inJefferson
County but many
The March 2014 MSD Power Point was entitled “Regional Sewer-Wastewater Commission,
Salt River Basin, Greg C.
Heitzman, Presentation to Salt River Regional Wastewater Providers, KIPDA
Office, Louisville, KY March 28, 2014 (although this was given on March 17).
The entire power point is available at www.floydsfork.net
but the sewer pipeline map was not shown at this time! Mr. Heitzman is
targeting the following 5 counties (for now): Oldham,Jefferson,
Bullitt, Hardin and Meade.
Do you really think each elected Mayor or Judge/Executive of each
county will actually sit in the seat at the commission’s board meetings? Or do
you think wastewater personnel will sit in these seats to vote on rates and
other matters? Or will their deputies fill their seats?
Fee increases lacks transparency for rate increases because there
can and will be additional costs for ratepayers for Capital Infrastructure.
This was proven in Northern KY Sanitation District #1 where there was a
Regional Sewer Commission formed; then ratepayers paid the 5% cap but then 10%
capital infrastructure costs were added to equal 15%. MSD must give pertinent
information like this to have transparency! There is a difference in a partial
truth and the whole truth – FFEA gives the whole truth.
In one slide that lists his initial meeting (arranged by Senator
Dan Seum) at the Homebuilders of Louisville May 13, 2013, there were no
environmental organizations represented (Courier reporter’s blog). Only because
FFEA requested a meeting are we listed for August 20, 2013. Also,Spencer County
is listed as “not eligible” but Spencer opted out long ago!
Since he has already met with city and county elected officials
and key constituents, he planned to hold his first work group April, 2014 but
FFEA will not get a notice and I was not allowed to sign the sign up sheet per
Mr. Heitzman and refused by KIPDA. Consideration of forming this Sewer
Commission will be after a study is completed in 2015.
KIPDA is playing a big role now and will be the Facilitator and
will issue the Request for Proposal to develop and request the study that will
cost about $100,000 with MSD paying up to $50,000 of this. Other counties will
be asked to give $2,500 to $10,000 each. They will also look for small grants,
KIPDA, Lincoln Trail ADD, and KY Division of Water for $15,000 each. KIPDA will
evaluate proposals and select the consultant.
Finally in November, after all the work is done, the public and
see the findings! I see only that a public MEETING – not HEARING will occur.
Then in December when all people are interested in family and Christmas, the
report will be finalized and released.
Look for more upsizing of
sewer pump stations (some proposed are on the map) and many sewer basins to be
You are encouraged to look at FFEA concerns and see if there is a
way you can chime in before Turkey Time and Christmas Time! Example: FFEA
worked to get better public speaking at MSD board meetings so you can speak for
5 minutes before the MSD Board if you sign up BEFORE 12:50 but call MSD
beforehand 540-6000. Also, let me know if you really believe you will get
notices about meetings until the end when decisions/agreements were made in the
work group meetings. www.floydsfork.net