Saline County

National Resource Defense Council

A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council says more than 5,000 public water systems—including 68 in Kansas—are in violation of EPA rules meant to protect the public from lead in the water they drink. But as Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson reports, that may be just the tip of the iceberg.

The NRDC’s Erik Olson says those are just the systems that have been flagged. Many others—like Flint, Michigan—don’t show up in the federal data base.

cdc.gov

Saline County residents peppered state and local health officials with questions about lead exposure at a public meeting Tuesday evening in Salina. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment organized the meeting after tests by local doctors this year found elevated lead levels in the blood of 32 Saline County children — most of them from Salina.

One audience member asked during the meeting whether officials were investigating the Exide Technologies plant on Salina’s southern edge, where batteries are manufactured.

cdc.gov

Health officials are planning a public information session in Salina later this month in response to the discovery that 30 children in Saline County have elevated levels of lead in their blood.

Saline County Health Department Director Jason Tiller says the problem surfaced after several families had their children tested for lead. Anyone with more than five micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood is considered at risk.

Saline County officials have approved a plan to let voters decide the fate of a $46.5 million bond issue to improve the county jail.

Saline County commissioners voted 2-1 Wednesday to put the bond issue on the November ballot.

The renovations would also include combining the county jail with court services and the county attorney's office, as well as a $3 million parking garage about a block away.

The Saline County Commission has refused to reconsider a vote rejecting a federal grant to provide a type of birth control to county residents.

Two weeks ago, the commission rejected a $6,064 grant through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for intrauterine devices--or IUDs--, after one commissioner said the devices are equal to murder.

After being strongly criticized, the commission said it would reconsider that vote.

Yesterday, commissioners heard from citizens and doctors who offered differing views on whether IUDs caused abortions.