Senator Jones files legislation to help communities with water quality issues
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Senate Democratic Floor Leader Ray S. Jones II has filed legislation that could help communities across the Commonwealth with water quality issues.
Senate Bill 157 amends KRS 74.025 to allow any water district commissioner to be removed from that position when the water district fails to provide a safe supply of drinking water, jeopardizing public health.
“This legislation would give some measure of state oversight of water districts and provide recourse to citizens who are being deprived of their fundamental right to safe, clean drinking water,” said Jones, D-Pikeville.
SB 157 would allow the Public Service Commission (PSC) to take over a water district when there is mismanagement or when the district fails to complete its most important task of providing a safe, reliable water supply.
Under Jones’ legislation, the PSC could remove some or all members of a water district commission for the following:
Failure to comply with orders of the PSC or the Division of Water;
Failure to manage the water system in a reasonable and prudent manner;
Repeated violations of safe drinking water standards that jeopardize the health and safety of water district customers or the general public; or
Failure to use due diligence resulting in financial mismanagement or the district becoming financially unsound.
Upon removal of all governing members of a water district commission by the PSC, the Division of Water, in cooperation with the PSC, would manage the operation of the water district until it can demonstrate the ability to follow acceptable management practices or the PSC shall redraw the water service boundaries to allow other water suppliers to serve the geographical area.
“Every Kentuckian deserves reliable, safe drinking water,” said Jones.
SB 157 will be considered during the 2017 Legislative Session.