Due to public health efforts to contain COVID-19, the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum are temporarily closed until April 20 or later.
The Cumberland chapter of the national environmental activist group The Sierra Club argued in a September 6 hearing before officials of the Kentucky Division of Water that a proposed “wastewater treatment facility” for AiG’s future Creation Museum would lower the water quality of a nearby creek and lead to “the death of aquatic life.” The Club’s bogus charges could delay the building project for up to two years in court.
The attorney representing The Sierra Club at the public hearing had also opposed AiG a few years ago when AiG attempted to rezone property for the museum in Northern Kentucky (see our Museum news page). On September 6, he declared that AiG’s application for the wastewater permit was “illegal” because one part of the application was not filled out. Actually, the section in question did not need to be completed because it only related to reapplying for a permit—and this was AiG’s initial application!
Also at the hearing, a resident who had opposed AiG’s rezoning application two years ago declared that discharge from the wastewater plant would ruin a creek that he once wanted to live by, and would “smell.”
In his firm but respectful rebuttal, AiG attorney Tim Thiessen declared that not only would the AiG museum in N. Kentucky be of great benefit for the entire Cincinnati-area community, but that AiG’s proposed wastewater treatment facility has met or exceeded every requirement set by the governing authorities of the county and state. Treated water, he argued, would not affect the quality of the downstream tributary, and neither would it “smell.”
Attorney Thiessen further pointed out that the state has held AiG’s proposed system to the highest standards that can be applied to a private treatment facility, and that is why the state had already issued a draft of a permit approval for the system (but the state was still obligated by law to hold a public hearing if requested).
The Sierra Club’s public opposition comes in the wake of previous heated opposition from humanists and others in the region to the museum project going back five years. The hearing that the Club requested not only has delayed the progress of the Biblical “walk-though-history” museum for several months, but the Club’s legal strategy might be to delay construction for up to two years, using various court systems.
It is not clear whether The Sierra Club’s opposition to the museum is due to legitimate environmental concerns or to its pro-evolution bias. In its statement of beliefs posted on its Web site, The Sierra Club declares that “humans have evolved as an interdependent part of nature,” and “genetic diversity is the product of evolution acting on wildness, and is important because it is biological capital for future evolution.”
Because of the Club’s actions to question the preliminary approval of AiG’s wastewater treatment application, officials in Boone County cannot issue the final construction permit for the museum/AiG headquarters project until it receives the final wastewater permit approval from the state (which may come in early November, but even then it could be challenged in the courts by The Sierra Club). Meanwhile, the construction of the museum cannot begin, and could actually be delayed for many more months if this issue goes through the courts.
To keep up-to-date on AiG’s faith-defending museum, and also to read more about the prior opposition to the project, go to www.creationmuseum.org.