EPA Consent Decree: Updates

This week, the Environmental Quality & Public Works (EQPW) Committee will hear a presentation on the EPA Consent Decree.

What is the EPA Consent Decree?

In 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Commonwealth of Kentucky filed a lawsuit against Lexington for violating the Clean Water Act, arguing that the City had failed to properly maintain its sanitary sewer and its stormwater sewer systems, causing pollution and waterway flooding near the city.

The lawsuit resulted in a settlement between the three parties, called a Consent Decree, which mandated that Lexington work extensively over twenty years to enhance sewer systems and restore water quality.

Tuesday’s presentation by Water Quality Director Charlie Martin will update Councilmembers on the City’s overall status and schedule. This update reports:

  • All stormwater and supplement projects are complete.

  • 64% of Remedial Measures Plan (RMP) projects, focused on improving sanitary sewer systems, are complete. 19% are active and in-progress.

  • Overall costs remain under budget by about $100 million, but inflation is starting to eat into savings.

Lexington is requesting several changes to some aspects of the Consent Decree, including a deadline extension for full Clean Water Act compliance from December 2026 to December 2030, largely to account for delays caused by COVID-19. They are also requesting changes to how frequently they send reports to the EPA on their project status. You can view the entire presentation here.

The Environmental Quality & Public Works Committee will meet on Tuesday, December 5th at 1pm in Council Chambers. You can attend this meeting in-person or watch live on LexTV.

Republished from CivicLex.

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