Environment Local News

Fifty-two more homes in Perry County, Kentucky will be hooked into city water systems soon, after a state agency determined their drinking water was affected by mining activity more than thirty years ago.

The state’s Abandoned Mine Lands funds go to abate hazards created by mining before the federal Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act went into effect. Steve Hohmann is the head of the Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands.

“That act provided for coal operators to pay into an abandoned mine lands trust fund,” he said. “A percentage based on the tonnage they mine is contributed to the fund and those funds are distributed to the states with abandoned mine land problems that were caused by mining prior to 1982.”

The project will receive $600,000.   Hohmann says since the water has been contaminated, residents in remote areas have been relying on water wells with filtering systems or have been buying water.