by Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh
The number two man in the Kentucky House is among a bipartisan coalition of Louisville lawmakers trying to revive a regional wastewater treatment bill that died in this year’s General Assembly.
Legislation allowing a Louisville-area pilot program on regionalization of wastewater treatment passed the House this year, but died in the Senate. House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark, who’s trying to revive the bill, says building more and more local treatment plants limits growth, and it’s not an environmentally sound strategy.
“The capacity is filled, if not over,” says Clark. “It stunts our growth, especially in east Jefferson County. I think there’s a balance for the environment. There’s opportunity for growth.”
But Georgetown Sen. Damon Thayer says regionalization just creates another non-elected board with the power to set rates that are difficult for consumers to challenge. Thayer says if the regional approach is taken, an entity like the Public Service Commission should have final say over rate hikes.