The Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center, Food & Water Watch, and the Martin County Concerned Citizens (MCCC), are requesting that the Kentucky Attorney General, Andy Beshear, launch an investigation into the failing Martin County Water District. Attached below is a press release from the groups.
According to their statement,
The Martin County Water District has provided unreliable water service for decades and has persistently violated federal water quality standards. From 2004 to 2016, the water district issued 113 boil notices and violated water quality standards 48 times. Many residents report skin irritation, gastrointestinal problems and autoimmune disorders that they worry may be caused by water contamination.
In January of this year, the situation became an emergency. For two weeks, the nearly 10,000 people served by the district would go to bed and wake up without any water at all, or they experienced extremely low pressure and boil water advisories. The Judge Executive Kelly Callahan declared a state of emergency.
Around this time, the district filed an emergency request to raise water rates by 49.5 percent. The water district was unable to pay its vendors to fund day-to-day operations. It has already imposed a 28 percent interim increase on residents. While the Public Service Commission (PSC) will decide the merits of the requested rate increase, your office has the ability to go beyond what the PSC can accomplish to investigate any misuse of funding and potential fraud or corruption.
View the full letter here.