Kentucky is ranked near the top of a list no one wants to be on: the states with the highest number of people affected by health-based violations of federal drinking water laws. A new report released Tuesday from the Natural Resources Defense Council says only four states have more people potentially affected by these violations than Kentucky. It estimates the drinking water systems serving more than 1.5 million people in the commonwealth ran afoul of federal health standards protecting people from disinfection byproducts, coliform bacteria, pathogens, nitrates, nitrites, lead and copper.
NRDC health program director and report co-author Erik Olson characterized the report’s findings as indicative of a national health crisis. “What our review of EPA data found is that nearly 77 million Americans are served by community water systems that have violations,” he said. “That represents about one in four Americans.” In a statement sent Tuesday evening, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet disagreed with the non-profit’s characterization of drinking water violations in the commonwealth. Much of the conversation about safe drinking water since 2015 has focused on lead, after the discovery of severe lead contamination in Flint, Michigan’s drinking water. But there are numerous other contaminants regulated […]