U.S. EPA Consent Decree

The consent decree is a legal agreement between the city, state and federal government to fix problems with Lexington's stormwater and sanitary sewer systems by 2026.  

Over the years, Lexington had failed to properly maintain both the sanitary and storm sewer systems. Age, changing regulations and equipment failures related to deferred maintenance created an assortment of operational problems, but the end result of those problems has been that during significant rainfall, we have been discharging sewage into our streams in violation of the Clean Water Act. We are implementing a plan to improve our sewer systems and have already seen a reduction in sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs).  


In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Commonwealth of Kentucky filed a lawsuit against Lexington for violations of the Clean Water Act. The consent decree agreement, which was finalized in January 2011, requires the study, design and implementation of numerous construction projects to repair sewer pipes and to improve our stormwater system. The agreement also requires Lexington to make operational and managerial changes to prevent future problems. 

Helpful links

Visit the links below find out more about specific stormwater and sanitary sewer programs. You can also view the reports we submit to the EPA to document our progress.