MSD Consent Decree Misses Some Pollutants, says Director

by Stephanie Crosby

Metropolitan Sewer District Director Bud Schardein says his agency continues to make progress on adhering to federal clean water standards per a consent decree, but there are some clean water issues in Louisville that won’t be addressed by the $850-million project.

The agreement with the federal government puts the local MSD agency on the hook for millions of dollars of improvements by 2024 that will eliminate the dumping of raw sewage into the city’s creeks and streams and the Ohio River. Schardein says part of that is fixing leaky pipes to prevent point source pollution from pouring into the waterways, but he says nothing is being done in the program to prevent pollutants from other sources like roadways and rooftops.

“It’s herbicides, it’s pesticides, fertilizers, so on and so forth,” says Schardein. “We need to come up with some real stringent standards to deal with that and then we’ll have cleaner water in the community.”

But – Schardein says – he completely supports the work of the federal consent decree and believes the project is going well.