Monday, February 6, 2023

Play

Fare-free public transit benefits Kansas City residents and businesses; farmers prioritize food, not feed in the 2023 Farm Bill; and a new survey: students want a more diverse inclusive curriculum.

Play

The Democratic National Committee votes to shake up the presidential primary calendar, President Biden gets a better than expected jobs report before his second State of the Union, and lawmakers from both parties question the response to a Chinese data gathering balloon.

Play

Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

Report: 67% of KY Streams, Rivers Impaired 50 Years After Clean Water Act

Play

Thursday, April 7, 2022   

A recent report found 67% of streams and rivers in the Commonwealth are designated as "impaired for any use."

An impaired waterway can contain unsafe levels of fecal pathogens posing health risks to swimmers, low oxygen levels making it harder for fish to survive, or harbor high levels of nitrates, bacteria or other contaminants causing local municipalities to deploy additional treatments in order to make it safe to drink.

Eric Schaeffer, executive director of the Environmental Integrity Project, said Kentucky has more than 90,000 miles of rivers and streams, but only a portion of its waterways are assessed for drinking and recreational safety.

"You've got 8,484 miles in Kentucky, about two-thirds of the river and stream mileage that was studied, that are meeting water-quality standards," Schaeffer pointed out. "And more than 4,000 of those miles aren't safe for swimming, or what's called contact recreation."

Overall, based on state data submitted to the EPA, the report found more than 700,000 miles of rivers and streams nationwide -- half of those assessed -- were classified as impaired for at least one use.

Schaeffer noted a major problem is the EPA's lack of action on reviewing and updating limits for water pollution control by industries. According to the report, two-thirds of the EPA's industry-specific water pollution limits have not been updated in more than three decades, despite a Clean Water Act mandate for reviews every five years.

"Here on the 50th anniversary, we want to, of course, recognize that and remind people of how bad it was and remind them that we don't want them to slide back to those days," Schaeffer emphasized. "But also, the data and the evaluations of water quality that are required under the Clean Water Act show that we have a long, long way to go."

He added it is important for state-based agencies to do regular assessments of water quality.

"In recent years it's only been 14% of the total in the state," Schaeffer reported. "You look nationwide, it's more like 26-27% get assessed, of all the river and stream miles. Kentucky is about half of what's already really low baseline."

A report released last year from the Department of Environmental Quality found toxic compounds called Perfluorinated and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS) in 90% of the Commonwealth's surface waters.

Disclosure: The Sierra Club, Kentucky Chapter, contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Public Lands/Wilderness, Sustainable Agriculture, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Michigan environmental activists have begun to focus on environmental justice issues in low-income communities that bear the brunt of industrial pollution and political indifference. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

By Tom Perkins for Planet Detroit.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Michigan News Connection with support from the Solutions Journalism Network…


Environment

By Jared Brey for Governing.Broadcast version by Deborah Van Fleet for Missouri News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public New…

Social Issues

South Dakota is once again locked in a debate over a bill concerning transgender youth. It seeks to ban gender-affirming care, with supporters …


Voters in Pittsburgh-area districts 32, 34 and 35 will head to the polls Tuesday to fill three vacancies in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. (MoiraM/AdobeStock)

Social Issues

While the Pennsylvania House is still out of session and won't resume until late February, the public and advocacy groups are voicing their concerns…

Social Issues

Better health and educational outcomes are being touted as the potential benefits as Minnesota lawmakers discuss whether to provide free school meals …

Sixty schools piloted College Board's new AP African American Studies course, which is set to appear in over 200 schools starting in the 2024-2025 school year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CORRECTION: YouthTruth surveyed more than 28,000 high school seniors from the class of 2022 and the class of 2019 in 19 states, including New York…

Social Issues

For more than two decades, a workforce development program in El Paso has invested in the economically disadvantaged to help them attain the …

Health and Wellness

Nebraska's long-term care facilities face staffing shortages and other factors that could lead to more closures if state funding isn't increased…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021