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EPA Unveils Draft Model for Floyds Fork Watershed

Federal regulators are one step closer to finishing a complicated model for the Floyds Fork watershed. The Environmental Protection Agency’s model will help the commonwealth improve water quality in the area.

Representatives from the EPA’s Region 4 office first came to Louisville in August to talk about their upcoming work on Floyds Fork.

The Floyds Fork watershed is huge, and covers parts of Jefferson and five other counties. The area has been designated as “impaired” by pollution, which means the waterway can’t fulfill its designated functions, like recreation. This is especially problematic as work begins on a massive park system in the area.

Now, the EPA has finished a draft model of the watershed, which takes into account water flow and different sources of pollution. Chris Thomas of the EPA’s Region 4 office says the next step is to combine the model with another model that takes into account how reducing one pollutant affects other parts of the watershed.

“That’ll help the state of Kentucky make decisions about if you make a change, how will that affect the water quality and how will that help everyone get to the water quality endpoints that Kentucky has set for the watershed,” Thomas said.

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Environment Local News

Officials Update Area Residents on Process to Develop Pollution Limits for Floyds Fork

Federal and state agencies are a step closer to setting new pollution limits for the Floyds Fork watershed. Government officials updated residents and business owners on the process tonight at Eastern High School.

Floyds Fork has been designated as “impaired,” which means the waterway can’t fulfill its designated functions, like recreation. The state Division of Water has asked the EPA to help determine the maximum amount of pollution that can be discharged into the watershed without exceeding the state water quality standard.

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Local News

Letcher County Water Advisory Lifted

Several thousand residents of Letcher County in eastern Kentucky have been told it’s now safe to drink their tap water.

The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection has lifted a water advisory that has been in effect since a diesel fuel leak contaminated a portion of the Kentucky River near the
Whitesburg water treatment plant last week.

State Division of Water spokesperson Allison Fleck says residents are no longer being warned not to drink their tap water or use it for bathing.

“The disposal site has been contained, it’s undergoing remediation. We’ll continue to have samples taken from the river, the water plant and the distribution system as long as that remediation is underway,” Fleck said.

A Whitesburg company, Don Childers Oil, Incorporated, has been cited for numerous violations in connection with the leak. The same company was also cited following a similar incident in November.