More companies affiliated with Bullitt Utilities facing sanction - WDRB 41 Louisville News

More companies affiliated with Bullitt Utilities facing sanctions from the state over sewage issues

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- More utility companies affiliated with the same owner who poisoned public water in Bullitt County are facing sanctions from the state.

Years of pollution are coming to a head for a group of troubled utility companies. Kentucky's Department for Environmental Protection says Farmdale Utilities, Brocklyn Utilities, Coolbrook Utilities and Airview Utilities all face administrative actions or fines. Some could be heading to court.

It comes one month after a series of WDRB investigations exposed a pattern of waste in public water. We found black sludge near on top of a creek in Elizabethtown and raw sewage spilling in Hunters Hollow.

"Absolutely it's a failure," said Senator Dan Seum as he looked at the Hunters Hollow site one month ago.

All of the companies are owned by Carroll Cogan or his son Martin Cogan. They've racked up more than 200 environmental violations in the last 10 years according to the Kentucky Energy and Environmental Cabinet. The reports tell of E. coli and other harmful bacteria poisoning public waters from treatment plants that lack maintenance.

Carroll Cogan's other son Chris Cogan recently sat down with WDRB news saying it's partially the state's fault.

"The majority of your story was inaccurate," Cogan said.

When Bullitt Utilities' Hunters Hollow site collapsed in 2014, Cogan says Kentucky officials didn't approve plans to build a new plant, and there wasn't another long-term solution.

Chris Cogan has power of attorney for his ill father. We asked about this pattern of violations among all the companies.

"We have a third party management company that's been managing that facility for probably 20 years," he said. "If they weren't keeping the records, they wouldn't be able to continue. The license would be jeopardy."

The license Cogan spoke of is, in fact, now in jeopardy. Larry Smither owns the management company overseeing all five troubled sewer plants. The state is reviewing Smither's record. By next week, we could know if his license is possibly revoked or suspended.

After years of pollution, there's a rush to clear the waters.

Earlier this week, Bullitt County's Sanitation district took over the Hunters Hollow wastewater site. Bullitt Utilities' lawyer filed a request with the state to abandon it, saying it couldn't afford repairs.

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