Efforts by Rep. Andy Davis, a Little Rock Republican who’s in the wastewater treatment business, to improve legislation he passed in 2015 setting lenient rules for wastewater plants hasn’t eliminated opposition to subdivision developments west of the city.
Members of the Nowlin Creek Neighborhood Association and the Citizens of West Pulaski County say they remain opposed to an appeal to the City Board to overturn a Planning Commission decision to deny approval for a permit for a sewer plant on Highway 10.
The Planning Commission voted 10-1 to uphold staff opposition to the permit. The City Board is scheduled to hear the appeal. Tuesday. Said the release:
“Allowing subdivision owned and operated sewage plants in the Little Maumelle Watershed is badpublic policy,” stated Drew Kelso, president of the Citizens of West Pulaski County. “There is nogovernmental entity or reliable funding stream available to assure the perpetual maintenance, repair, and operation of user owned sewer plants.”
Act 575 of 2015 [legislation by Davis] repealed the financial assurance requirements for non-municipal domestic sewage treatment works. The Act eliminated requirements that a facility post financial assurance, such as private insurance or a surety bond, sufficient for an outside party to operate it in the event the entity owning the plant is no longer capable. The law did establish a fund, paid for by permit fees, for that purpose, but as of December 5, 2016, it contains only $46,455.00. Rep. Andy Davis in concert with ADEQ has introduced new legislation, HB1550, to improve financial assurance requirements and it is moving through the legislative process.
“The proposed sewer plant will discharge suspended solids, fecal coliform bacteria, and nutrients into Nowlin Creek, upstream of Pinnacle Mountain State Park,” said Tom Frothingham, president of the Nowlin Creek Neighborhood Association. “We are concerned about the impacts of the wastewater on the creek, harm to people and property, and the risks to park visitors”
Mountain Valley Subdivision plans call for 111 lots on 36 acres. Preliminary environmental documents indicate sewage discharge of approximately 40,000 gallons a day. Parts of the development, including the sewer plant, are to lie in the Nowlin Creek floodplain.
In reporting on Davis’ legislation, which got approval in a House committee yesterday despite continuing concerns about its adequacy, Davis has said the homeowners’ group was satisfied with the legislation. Perhaps. But not with the sewage treatment plants. Davis had been in line to build a plant for at least one subdivision west of the city. He now says his 2015 legislation perhaps went too far in reducing liability for operators.
We’ve reported several times on the neighborhood opposition.