Puerto Rico's drinking water may be the most contaminated in the U.S., a top Republican suggested at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Tuesday morning where contaminated well water in the wake of Hurricane Maria was a major topic.
"In Puerto Rico, Hurricanes Irma and Maria uncovered the intensified issues associated with aging and inefficient energy infrastructure, contaminated sites that are rapidly multiplying, landfills that are already overflowing, and possibly the most contaminated drinking water supply in the United States,” said Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., the chairman of the committee’s environment panel, who led Tuesday's hearing on environmental effects from the storms.
"Many are drinking potentially contaminated water because water purification systems have largely failed because of the storm."
Rep. Paul Tonko of New York, the top Democrat on the environment panel, also raised the drinking water issue, saying it is "simply unacceptable."
Later Tuesday, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a separate oversight hearing on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.