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.