Contact Us

Like Us On  

Spotlight

*****************************************

The Flood Next Time: Warming Raises The Risk Of Disaster

People 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.

Cleaning up in a Kanawha County home after West Virginia's flooding disaster.

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 waters.

The Science

“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.”

rain-trends-us

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.

“When 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.

The Cost

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 lost.

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.

More than 5,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in West Virginia.

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.

Plans 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.

Tomorrow’s Floods

The 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.

Some 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.

floodplain-v6Alexandra Kanik | Ohio Valley ReSource

The 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.

Rising Above

In West 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.

Eight percent of West Virginians live in areas with an elevated risk of 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.

“Not 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.

 

*****************************************

City proposes rules limiting biodigesters to industrial areas, away from homes, churches and schools

Public 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 released today.

Develop Louisville’s Office of Planning & Design Services drafted the regulations after completing a comprehensive study requested by the Louisville Metro Council.

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 .

State law 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 regulations.

"This 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."

The 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.

The public 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. 

The meetings will take place as follows:

July 25, 6–8 p.m

California Community Center: 1600 W. St. Catherine Street

Southwest Library: 9725 Dixie Highway

July 26, 6–8 p.m.

East Government Center: 200 Juneau Drive

Beechmont Community Center: 205 W. Wellington Avenue

July 27, 6-8 p.m.

Newburg Library: 4800 Exeter Ave.

Central Government Center: 7201 Outer Loop

The draft 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.

The Planning 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 meetings.

Following the public hearings, the Planning Commission will forward a recommendation to the Metro Council for final action.

Written 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 health.

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 Fork Creek.

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 Stapleton.

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 Parklands.

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 would not.”

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.

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 high.

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 water.

“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.

Click here 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 Flubendiamide

Products cause risk to aquatic animals and environments – manufacturers fail to comply with the terms of the registration

WASHINGTON -- 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 original registration.

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.

Flubendiamide is 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 cancelled.

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

The 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.

*****************************************

Joseph Sansbury

Concerned Neighborhoods Coalition

HILLVIEW, Ky. (WDRB) -- The small city of Hillview is suing its former attorney for more than $15 million.

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 case.

“That's what started the litigation,” said current Hillview City Attorney Tammy Baker. “Truck America versus the city of Hillview.”

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 Agreement.”

“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

*****************************************

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.
 

 

spacer.gif

 

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:

http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/national-stormwater-calculator 

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:

http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/climate/creat.cfm


For additional information about the Stormwater Management Model and Climate Adjustment Tool, visit

http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/storm-water-management-model-swmm

For more information about the President’s Climate Action Plan, visit
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/president27sclimateactionplan.pdf


*****************************************
Salt River Regional sewer infrastructure will open new greenfields to sprawl  

BadwaterJournal.comnew article on 

*****************************************

 

www.floydsfork.net

 

TO: KIPDA, 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 copies.

FROM: Mrs. Teena Halbig, FFEA Immediate Past President

              6505 Echo Trail, Louisville, KY 40299

              267-6883, teenahal@aol.com              

DATE: 1-12-15  

RE:  Salt River Regional Wastewater Public Meeting/Hearing, 10:00A.M., KIPDA

For the PROPOSAL FOR THE LARGEST SEWER PROJECT IN KENTUCKY;  LOCATION: THE FLOYDS FORK WATERSHED/SALT RIVER WATERSHED

 

Floyds Fork Environmental Association (FFEA), founded in 1991, has a mission to protect, conserve and preserve Floyds Fork Creek and its watershed.

 

Perhaps in 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 earlier.

 

Both NEPA (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: This 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 course):

Alternative #1.   $120 Million to treat, convey and utilities but $204 Million to own & operate without regionalization; NO REGIONALIZATION

Alternative #2.  $208 Million with PARTIAL regionalization to pay for capital investments like forced mains, treatment mains, pump stations, basins and $263 Million to own and operate  

Alternative #3.  $407 Million with COMPLETE regionalization

            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, etc.

 

We believe 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.    

 

We also 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:

 

1.      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?

2.      Potential for new sewer overflows along Floyds Fork & Salt River

3.      Potential for pump station backups, stoppages

4.      Felling of thousands of trees reducing tree canopy and tree water absorption to help lessen flooding; also loss of vegetation that helps cleanse water.

5.      Fish and wildlife affected: (Federally endangered Indiana Bat, some endangered plant species like glade cress, mussel species and mussel beds, archaeological resources, etc.)

6.      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?

7.      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?       

8.      Potential 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.       

 

Financial Concerns:

 

The financing structure for a regional system involving several counties should be presented ahead of any discussion about what to build. 

 

Will 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 problems?

 

How 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 it.

 

Basically, 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?

 

Without 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 cost. 

 

By the way, how many BILLIONS will this cost? – how many BILLIONS of principal and interest are we talking about? 

 

Again, the 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 talking about? 

 

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.

 

Plus the CONCEPTUAL MAP OF POTENTIAL SEWERSHED MAP from MSD/Heitzman is handed in as part of the record.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mrs. Teena Halbig

Immediate Past President

Floyds Fork Environmental Association

6505 Echo Trail

Louisville, KY 40299

267-6883

teenahal@aol.com

www.floydsfork.net

 

 

FLOYDS FORK ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION

*****************************************

FLOYDS FORK ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION

Media Advisory

1-8-15

Contact: Peter Bodnar III, pdb3@aye.net , (502) 231-3563

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 Proposed

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 technologies.”

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 build.

 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 ccromer@oldhamcountyky.gov or mail her: Oldham County Fiscal Court, 100 W. Jefferson Street, Suite 3, LaGrange, KY 40031. 

*****************************************

Potentially Harmful algal blooms identified in several Kentucky lakes

Posted on August 1, 2014 by 

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 & Supporters

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 Plus Card.

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

sheronlear@twc.com or rlehlers@me.com

*****************************************

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

September 20, 2014   

12:00 to 1:00:    Lunch -   TBD 

*****************************************

 

Metro Council Meetings

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
and
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 caplets.  

 

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.

 

Teena Halbig

President

Floyds Fork Environmental Association

Louisville, KY 40299

*****************************************

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

06/19/2014 08:00 PM EDT

In an effort to help residents, neighborhood groups and others understand zoning issues and the planning process for development in Metro Louisville; several Metro Council members are sponsoring workshops with the goal of explaining the many aspects of the zoning process. Two “Planning and Zoning 101” Workshops are set for Tuesday, June 24th and Tuesday, July 8th at the Louisville Urban League. Full Story
 
Note from Teena: The below is the never ending saga of another company wanting to discharge more toxics into the Ohio River where many cities withdraw water to drink and other uses. In this instance, more mercury is the request. Of course, FFEA will oppose this, of course: allowing more mercury to be discharged is not in the best interests of human health or aquatic life forms. GOOD NEWS: Now, the composition of ORSANCO has changed. President Obama appointed THREE new persons to sit on this board. One is Attorney Tom FitzGerald, Director of KY Resources Council - if you were not aware, this appointment is great news since Fitz has long fought to protect the public's health and is quite aware of dangers posed by heavy metals, etc.
Mercury is very dangerous and this request by this company should be denied by ORSANCO.
ORSANCO is supposed to protect the Ohio River but often seeks to allow more pollution when companies ask. It is up to the public and organizations to weigh in to keep this from happening.
 

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

ORSANCO

513-231-7719
 
  jheath@orsanco.org 

 

 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.

http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001TtyUvnKL9HvgdcCn_o69laNi7WNNGUGT24ninNqOCpE3lNl9rTCOaOsDMt5iyOWc3Ms0gfBTJknOiTTxPr4iFctcn4YKYXEotoVRgCv_VuAHHsDMiFZHozbGJsCM9vUgSgciCG4JgXnBzyRBPmZ5KOEB6zCxq76whs0-ySydU30l6aqpQ4O0D1V1zfUvdy90nYbDLOeh5y0=&c=Z34gYR_DrMYs46uiJFNQs99FLBZyg2JRTC5IYbQMxb0XgE6T1aObmA==&ch=imfDJw93tFRS2JBIGkEf1aQTRbkLpdrDdjGatIAZx75A-RiuUNcGLg==   http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001TtyUvnKL9HvgdcCn_o69laNi7WNNGUGT24ninNqOCpE3lNl9rTCOaOLau05c04-BoQyQWdXdATTV2ieh9iDKhSWs-6xvhGw6UjJWe3lbXrjU26_TMPMrVuo3wuFtc_wb8yd3zLspZaWkvJyqgntWspC7_FxMwTaO5xEWlD6zqKRRLV_wP6yVJA==&c=Z34gYR_DrMYs46uiJFNQs99FLBZyg2JRTC5IYbQMxb0XgE6T1aObmA==&ch=imfDJw93tFRS2JBIGkEf1aQTRbkLpdrDdjGatIAZx75A-RiuUNcGLg==   http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001TtyUvnKL9HvgdcCn_o69laNi7WNNGUGT24ninNqOCpE3lNl9rTCOaOLau05c04-Bxj0geidxkhbxNh9wyj6jGPhc9lIGOsgFgW66_G_48jqzDZSxEw-DWmOM5p_LiH6vBI3XAdK3SdcD03aPJx-3jXOeHSHv7TCKPjrUA21tWkOmFpZ7QJs9pfledbMr51ML&c=Z34gYR_DrMYs46uiJFNQs99FLBZyg2JRTC5IYbQMxb0XgE6T1aObmA==&ch=imfDJw93tFRS2JBIGkEf1aQTRbkLpdrDdjGatIAZx75A-RiuUNcGLg==
ORSANCO 
5735 Kellogg Ave 
Cincinnati, OH 45230
(513) 231-7719
info@orsanco.org 
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

Founded 1991

www.floydsfork.net,  or  

4-10-14

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 entanglements.

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 changed).

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 counties. 

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 dug!

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 or FloydsForkCreek@aol.com

***************************************************

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Floyds Fork Enviro. Assn.
  c/o Sheron Lear      PO Box 91041   Louisville, KY. 40291

                     (502) 499-5974 floydsforkenvironmental@gmail.com