Sep 12, 2007

City in Kentucky Cited after 3 Million Gallon Sewage Release

Lexington, Ky., has been cited for polluting area waters after 3.1 million gallons of partially treated sewage was released into Elkhorn Creek last weekend.

According to Lexington Herald Leader the state Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet issued a “notice of violation” to the city, citing the treatment plant for polluting the waters of the Commonwealth and for not making environmental officials aware of the spill. The notice also points out measures and deadlines that the plant must meet.

On Aug. 31, the city of Lexington released 3.1 million gallons of partially treated sewage from the Town Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant after electricity to the plant was out for more than four hours. The sewage led to the deaths of a large number of fish.

State and city officials were not notified about the spill until 9 a.m. the next day, nine hours after electricity had been restored.

State law requires immediate notification to the Division of Water or to the 24-hour environmental response hotline when there is a release.

Lexington was also given a notice for failing to operate and maintain backup or auxiliary facilities for secondary treatment of wastewater during bypasses and other emergencies.

Lexington Herald Leader reports that the plant has been given 30 days to submit a backup treatment plan. The city was also given seven days from the receipt of the notice to provide a full report on the spill.