State of emergency declared after 225,000 pounds of slurry dumped into Bluelick Creek

Residents demand answers, solutions following sludge dump in Blue Lick Creek

BULLITT COUNTY, KY (WAVE) - A state of emergency has been declared for people living along Bluelick Creek in Bullitt County.

41 tanker truck loads totaling 225,000 pounds of slurry from a paving project on Poplar Level Road has made its way into the creek, causing fear and outrage.

Representatives said this is something they’ve never encountered before. It’s going to take a while to clean up.

Neighbors got an update from the state Wednesday night on how it happened and what is being done to clean it up.

“This killed everything in the creek,” resident Rhonda Gribbons said.

The gray, mucky nightmare creeping down the creek has killed wildlife.

The concrete mixture has killed fish in the creek - and some suspect other wildlife were harmed too.
The concrete mixture has killed fish in the creek - and some suspect other wildlife were harmed too. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Fish aren’t the only casualties according to resident Angela Dennison, who believes her dog was killed after drinking the contaminated water.

“My heart’s been ripped out,” Dennison said. “My companion of almost 10 years is gone."

She said the vet told her it was either Zinc poisoning or the PH levels in the water.

“I have a vet bill that’s astronomical to me and a dog in a box,” Dennsion said.

But there weren’t any answers for Dennison, who was disappointed by Wednesday night’s meeting.

“I’m confident they’re going to stay on top of it from start to finish and we’re not going to let it die, so we’re going to make sure they stay on top of it from start to finish,” Gribbons said.

Resident Angela Dennison believes the sludge in Bluelick Creek killed her dog.
Resident Angela Dennison believes the sludge in Bluelick Creek killed her dog. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Dozens of people who are outraged the property owner would let the Bluegrass Contracting do the dumping fired off questions at state officials.

“It’s not going to get fixed overnight,” Gribbons said. “It’s going to take a while and it’s never going to be the same. That’s unfortunate, but they’re on the right path.”

A state of emergency has been declared so the state can get in there and get things cleaned up for a stream restoration team to come in. That restoration process can take a year.

Bluegrass Contracting is on the hook for the costs. None of it will be paid for by taxpayers.

“I’m not very confident it’s going to be completely taken care of,” resident Brandon Vincent said.

Vincent said there’s about eight inches of the sludge on his section of the creek and it’s only getting worse.

“I don’t think enough has been done to collect it,” Vincent said. “The check dams they built haven’t been very good. I told them the very first night they were going to blow over and they did.”

Right now, there are backhoes digging up the sludge and hay bale dams to prevent anymore from flowing and destroying all the wildlife in its path.

After the emergency phase is over the state will find all responsible parties and penalize them up to $25,000 dollars per violation. State agencies said they already know there is a definite violation of the Clean Water Act.

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