Representative Nima Kulkarni, Kentucky
What motivated you to get involved with environmental issues?
Kentucky is an agricultural state, and the health of our soil, water, and air impact water and food systems throughout our state. I want to ensure that we utilize best practices and procedures to ensure sustainable use and conservation of our natural resources.
What environmental issues are you most passionate about?
I have introduced legislation to monitor and regulate PFAS in our drinking water, and am continuing to work to bring awareness of PFAS chemicals and their pervasive health impacts on our communities. The ubiquity of PFAS chemicals is a public health crisis and lack of awareness has been a major obstacle in stopping their production and use. I have convened meetings with state and local scientists, policymakers, and officials to coordinate Kentucky-wide strategies to identify and mitigate PFAS, and will keep working to apply best practices from other states and current research to inform these strategies moving forward.
How has NCEL helped you in your work?
NCEL is a great resource for policy and data, as well as best practices and strategies in other states. I have attended conferences and reached out to staff for information and to be connected to other organizations doing similar work. I appreciate how responsive and thorough NCEL has been in responding to my questions and requests! It has greatly helped shape any environmental policies I work on.
What is your greatest environmental policy success story?
I was able to pass a legislative resolution for PFAS awareness and created an art contest in our schools so our kids can learn about the impact of PFAS in their own communities. These are small steps, but the more attention and awareness we can generate, the more people will learn about and work to mitigate the spread of PFAS locally. This issue will need widespread public attention in Kentucky and I will keep working to grow awareness wherever possible.