Louisville Negotiating With EPA To Fix Sewer Overflows

Feb 3, 2020

Louisville dumped more than five billion gallons of sewage and stormwater into local waterways during an exceptional wet spell from June 2018 to July 2019. If you think that’s a problem, know that the city and federal government agree.

Fifteen years ago, the Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District entered into an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to fix the overflows, which date back two centuries to when the city’s earliest sewers were built.

The 2005 Consent Decree, amended during the Obama administration, outlines steps to fix the sewer system at an estimated cost of about $1.15 billion.  Under the terms, MSD has until 2020 to fix combined sewer overflows and until 2024 to fix sanitary sewer overflows.

Now, Louisville could get more time to fix its sewage overflows under new EPA rules. The rules came in a bipartisan bill passed in 2018 that could give Louisville some flexibility in return for new projects, including green infrastructure like rain gardens and permeable pavement.

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