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Working Group Nearing Decision on Feasibility of Regional Wastewater Commission

A public meeting to discuss potential regional wastewater collaboration will be held Monday morning.

In 2011, the Kentucky General Assemblypassed a bill to allow Hardin, Meade, Oldham, Jefferson and Bullitt counties to form a regional wastewater commission. For the past year, a working group made up of representatives from agencies in Oldham, Bullitt and Jefferson counties has been meeting to discuss the possibility. Tomorrow, they’ll see the final report of the feasibility of that collaboration from a consulting group, and the public will have a final chance to weigh in.

Here's a link to the group's last presentation.

David Abell is a regional planner with the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency. KIPDA isn’t formally a member of the workgroup, but is coordinating the process. Abell said there are a variety of factors the study will weigh.

“Looking at population growth, looking at future demand on the infrastructure of what exists and what would be needed, and trying to get an idea of what would be needed as far as future regulations go, and how they’d have to adapt to that,” he said.

But the potential collaboration is opposed by the Floyds Fork Environmental Association.

“It creates a spending authority and kind of a bureaucracy that is not transparent and available to public input,” said co-president Peter Bodnar. “They will be able to spend lots of money building this thing, but they’re not part of the Public Service Commission.”

Neither is Louisville’s Metropolitan Sewer District, or any municipal wastewater utilities.

Bodnar is worried that if a regional wastewater commission is formed, the group will pursue a project building a large sewer pipeline across Jefferson County. The preliminary study lays out three potential options to increase the efficiency of a collaboration, and one options includes sending waste from Oldham County across Jefferson County to a new treatment plant in Bullitt County.

After Monday’s public meeting, the full study and comments will be presented to the working group sometime in the next month. Then, the members will decide whether they want to move forward with forming a regional wastewater commission.

The public meeting is at 10:00 a.m. Monday at KIPDA's offices, 11520 Commonwealth Drive in Louisville.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.