Those of you following the corruption of Lexington mayor Jim Newberry and his race against Jim Gray may want to pay close attention.
On Monday, Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd issued an opinion and order in the Kentucky American Water supply case.
It is, needless to say, very interesting. Here’s an excerpt:
Unfortunately, the PSC has been forced to address these questions without any clear guidance, or plan of action, from the KRA, the Secretary of Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, and the Division of Water, the state agencies vested with statutory authority for planning for the use of Kentucky’s water resources.
The KRA, in particular, was created in 1986 with a bold and sweeping statutory mandate to address all aspects of water quality and management in the Kentucky River Basin, including the water supply deficit.
The legislature provided KRA with the statutory tools to raise funds, issue bonds and implement long term solutions to this problem. Id. Unfortunately, the KRA has essentially abdicated this responsibility, and thus the PSC, and KAWC, a non-public, regulated utility company, have been left to deal with the problem using the inadequate tools at their disposal.
As a result, the PSC has been presented with a plan that does much to address the immediate problem from the limited perspective of the private investors in KAWC. The plan approved by the PSC, however, necessarily lacks the comprehensive approach to conservation of our state’s water resources and the environment that the legislature entrusted to KRA, the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC), and local governments under KRS Chapter 151. The failure of the KRA and the EPPC to take the lead in solving this problem does not, however, diminish the statutory obligation of the PSC to address this problem with whatever tools are available.
While the result, in the judgement of this Court, is less than ideal, and is, at best, a short-term solution to the problem, the PSC could not decide this case in a vacuum. After 20 years of struggling to address this problem, it could not reasonably await a better long term solution from the state agencies charged with the responsibility of planning and addressing water supply issues in the Kentucky River Basin.
Wanna read the entire thing? Click here (Warning: PDF Link) to download the full document.
Something tells me this is going to become a much bigger deal in the Lexington mayoral race.