Survey Indicates Education Needed on Runoff Pollution

by scrosby on July 1, 2009

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

A new regional survey ordered by the state indicates more needs to be done to educate Kentuckians about the effects of polluted runoff on the Commonwealth’s waterways.

The telephone survey of 4,500 Kentucky adults indicates a lack of awareness of the harmful effects of untreated runoff into water supplies. For example, only 26% of respondents consider fertilizers and pesticides a threat to waterways and only 16% see pet waste as a threat.

“I think it’s a lack of education and they’ve probably got other things on their minds,” says Transportation Cabinet environmental engineer John Drake.

He adds the survey results will be used to help develop public education programs.

“Once you hit that bell, and people start to recognize that what they do has an effect on the environment, their attitudes change somewhat,” says Drake.

While more than half of those surveyed don’t believe polluted runoff is a problem in their own communities, almost half are willing to pay a small fee to resolve pollution problems.

The seven-month survey was conducted by the University of Kentucky.

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