Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
EPPC, federal authorities file suit against Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 21, 2006) - The Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC), in conjunction with the federal government, has filed suit alleging violations of Kentucky law and the federal Clean Water Act by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.
The joint complaint, filed in U.S. District Court at Lexington on Monday, Nov. 20, involves pollution discharges from the local government’s storm sewers and sanitary sewers in violation of its permits.
The complaint states that "there are numerous illicit cross-connections" between the sewer collection system and the municipal separate storm sewer system "resulting in discharges of untreated sewage into navigable waters," including the local streams of Town Branch and West Hickman Creek.
The complaint alleges that the local government was required to have a management program for reducing such discharges "to the maximum extent practicable" but that it failed to implement adequate controls.
"Protection of public health is a primary focus of Governor Ernie Fletcher’s administration, and the release of untreated sewage poses an obvious threat to public health," EPPC Secretary Teresa J. Hill said. "We have been working extensively with the local government in Lexington on its wet-weather issues, and we’re encouraged by its efforts. The court action will give us an opportunity to formalize commitments to resolve these problems."
The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky are representing the Environmental Protection Agency in the case.