1:49pm

Fri July 22, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

KY in Top 20 'Most Toxic' States

Kentucky is among the states with the worst air quality, according to a report released this week.  The report was commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council, but used data self-reported by industries and publicly available on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website. Kentucky ranked fourth in the list of the 20 ‘most toxic’ states.

Not only does Kentucky rank high on the list, but all of the commonwealth’s border states were also named as top polluters. John Walke is the director of the NRDC’s Clean Air Program.

“Unfortunately what this means is Kentucky residents are breathing higher levels of toxic air pollution, due not only to power plants in the state, but power plant toxic pollution in the surrounding states, including upwind states,” he said.

But Walke says he’s optimistic that air quality in Kentucky can improve.

“Of the ten dirtiest power plants in the state of Kentucky, we’ve found that three of them have either installed controls or are constructing pollution controls since this data was available to sharply reduce their toxic air pollution,” he said.

Seventy-seven percent of Kentucky’s air pollution came from power plants, and Walke says Kentuckians should see a difference after the Environmental Protection Agency’s new air pollution regulations go into effect