Kate Althoff, a tireless advocate for protecting the safety of the Lake Maumelle water supply, notes that today is the deadline for public comments on a proposal before the state Pollution Control and Ecology Commission that would provide protection in the watershed from sewage discharges. The Commission, not known as a vigorous advocate for a pristine environment, seems reluctant to impose the rule. If you start protecting Lake Maumelle, after all, who knows where it might end? You might have to protect other water in the state from pollution, too.
She explains on the jump.
DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS TODAY
We often speak of certain items that are critical to the protection of the water quality of Lake Maumelle. There are none more critical than securing regulations that will prohibit the surface discharge of treated waste water. The computer modeling has indicated over and over again that without a doubt that just one small waste water treatment plant discharging into Lake Maumelle will clearly make it impossible to maintain safe drinking water quality – not good but safe. This is due primarily to the fact that Lake Maumelle is so small and shallow.
Lake Maumelle, and therefore the drinking water of 400,000 people, is very vulnerable at this time because, believe it or not, there is no Federal, State or local laws or regulations stopping a small or large residential developer from building their own waste water treatment plant, and dumping the treated waste into Lake Maumelle. This type of small package treatment plants are widely used across the US.
The one agency that has the authority to provide the needed regulations watershed wide is the Pollution Control and Ecology Commission. Believe it or not such a regulation is considered by the current members of the commission to be very progressive. The commission in recent hearings has indicated that they would rather this concern be addressed on a local level and therefore placing the burden on 3 counties, Pulaski, Perry, and Saline. This having been stated the Commission has begun the process, a delay version, of considering the adoption of such a regulation.
TODAY IS THE DEADLINE for the public to submit comments for consideration by the PC&E.
Written or electronic mail comments will be accepted if received no later than 4:30 p.m. June 16. Written comments should be sent to Doug Szenher, public/media affairs manager, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Public Outreach and Assistance Division, 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72118. Electronic mail comments should be sent to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.