12:04pm

Mon August 13, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Closing in on Goal to Provide Municipal Water to Coal Communities

Every community with water supplies contaminated by pre 1982 mining operations will soon have access to city-water.   Since 1986, the state’s Division of Abandoned Mine Lands has funded new water utilities in 24 of Kentucky’s coalfield counties.   Within just a few years, Division Assistant Director Mark Meade says all eligible areas should have water works.

“If there is infrastructure to allow for that , yes.  All these water projects have to be supplied by a water treatment plant.  If there’s some problem with the amount of capacity in a water treatment plant, that might hold things up,” said Meade.

Meade says 16-million dollars is committed to water projects this year.  The Abandoned Mine Lands program is supported with a fee placed on every ton of coal mined in the country.  To date, the program has supplied almost 14 thousand Kentucky households with potable water.