Environment
6:30 am
Mon August 5, 2013

State, Federal Groups Want More Public Input on Floyds Fork Pollution Measures

Several state and federal agencies tasked with improving the water quality in the Floyds Fork watershed will hold meetings in the next month to gather more public input.

The Floyds Fork watershed in eastern Jefferson County (and parts of other counties, including Bullitt, Shelby and Oldham) is polluted…mainly from nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen. For the past two years, the Environmental Protection Agency and the state Division of Water have been developing a plan to reduce the pollution in the stream by calculating a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) or “pollution diet” for the area.

Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute director Lindell Ormsbee says figuring out how to address nutrient runoff is a challenge, because it comes from many different places.

“When you start looking at non-point source load issues, both in the agriculture and urban communities, there’s really not a lot of explicit regulations where you can enforce specific numeric targets for nutrients,” he said.

Part of the process for calculating the TMDL involved interviewing various stakeholders about how they think pollution should be controlled in Floyds Fork. Ormsbee says they collected both quantitative and qualitative information.

“One of the goals of our study is not just to kind of say ‘well this is what most people score this,’” he said. “We’d like to know ‘what are the reasons why you think that’s a good strategy? Or why you think that’s a bad strategy.’”

The resulting list of solutions to the pollution includes a wide variety of ideas—everything from fixing leaking septic tanks to controlling storm water runoff. Ormsbee says the solution will probably be a combination of the solutions. The list is now open to the public, and Ormsbee is hoping to get additional input at the public meetings happening over the next month.

Meetings:

  • Monday, August 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Middletown Community Center (1700 Main Street, Middletown, KY)
  • Thursday, August 29 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the LaGrange Community Center (307 W. Jefferson Street, LaGrange, KY)
  • Monday, September 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Shephersdsville Community Center (176 Frank E. Simon Ave, Shepherdsville, KY)