New Republic: Rural America’s Drinking-Water Crisis


By Sarah Jones and Emily Atkin | February 12, 2018

Sparsely populated, low-income communities across the country suffer from polluted water—an injustice expected to worsen under Trump.

“I’ll be honest with you,” said Gary Michael Hunt. “You never know when you go in there and turn on the faucet if you have water, or if you ain’t going to have no water.” Hunt, a former coal miner who lives in Martin County, Kentucky, said he has had reliability and safety issues with his drinking water for about 25 years—including water permeated by excessive amounts of disinfectant chemicals. “The water stinks. It’s cloudy-looking,” he explained. Hunt’s not alone: More than a thousand of his neighbors in Martin County regularly have to deal with creaky faucets that sometimes spew liquids of various scents and hues.

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