Governor Declares State of Emergency in Montgomery County

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ)- Governor Matt Bevin has declared a state of emergency in Montgomery County this week after dangerous levels of arsenic were found in the soil over the summer.

After almost four months of digging up and replacing thousands of tons of soil containing dangerous levels of arsenic, the state is just now calling it an emergency.

“It’s really scary to think that kids are playing and going to school and stuff around there, waiting on the school bus,” said Robbie Lytle of Mount Sterling.

Montgomery County’s emergency management director says the declaration is simply a formality to bring additional funding and resources to the site and that there is no increased risk for people in the area.

But some are not happy with the way the state is going about informing the community.

“Because I hadn’t heard anything about this until you said this. It’s pretty bad. If it’s a state of emergency everybody should know,” said Maxine Applewhite of Mount Sterling.

People that lived in the contaminated were evacuated back in August.

The arsenic is thought to have come from a wood treatment plant that used to be housed there in the 1980’s.

“It’s kind of hard to believe. I hadn’t heard anything about it but if that’s the case it’s pretty wild, you know,” said Nathan Lewis of Mount Sterling.

Crews say they were hoping to have all the people back in their homes by Christmas Eve but due to some bad weather earlier this month they say they don’t expect to finish the project until early January.

Four people who lived in the contaminated area have filed a lawsuit against the wood treatment plant.

Categories: Local News, News

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