According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , ORSANCO held its first hearing on the proposal Monday, April 1 in Green Tree. The Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission [ORSANO] is an interstate commission in the watershed that sets pollution control standards for states permitting industrial and municipal wastewater discharges into the Ohio River. But the roots of the county’s water issues and the fixes are complicated. She can be reached at aljohnston14@gmail.com. Standards 201Revision, which were 5 established by Commission action October 8, 2015, have been amended or restated by virtue of Pollution Control Standards 2019, the Pollution Control Standards 2015 More intense rainfall followed by long, drought-like stretches are just what algae need to thrive. The Ohio River from Covington Nick Swartsell A commission that sets pollution regulations for the Ohio River won't roll back its standards just yet. h�bbd``b`�k�S�`m����h �\bY�V8�D��*@��NH\Ud`b�2���h����� ��' To see more, please visit ohiowatershed.org. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission reviews the pollution standards for the 981-mile-long river at least every three years. But without such treatment to the water, customers could be exposed to harmful bacteria and whatever residual effects of the coal slurry are still present in the waterway. Photo: Kara Lofton . Even after much clean-up and stricter regulation, the Ohio River still ranks first of the most polluted waterways in the U.S. There are simple ways to help curb the problem. “With Melissa’s data, a spreadsheet model, some common sense and the willingness of industry to do the right thing, we solved it,” Ziemkiewicz said. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) today authorized its Pollution Control Standards (PCS) Committee to proceed with a public comment period on the Committee's recommended changes to the Pollution Control Standards, and to invite public review and comment on the proposed modification ; the 2019 Revision. “If we just sit in our ivory towers and write journal articles and discuss whether the world is moving in the direction we think it should, we aren’t fixing the problem.”. By the time Schulte began monitoring fish species in the 1990s, thanks to environmental and industrial regulations like the Clean Water Act, the Ohio River and its major tributaries, including the Mon, had changed. 1960s OHIO RIVER POLLUTION & CLEAN-UP ENVIRONMENTAL FILM "TROUBLED WATERS" 16774 ... 2019. By Michael Monks • Apr 5, 2019 . These tanks, shown here in June 2019, will hold the plastic pellets produced by Shell’s ethane cracker. Mike DeWine as an important step toward ultimately delisting the river altogether as an area of … By Sharon Kelly • Wednesday, June 5, 2019 - 15:12 . It threatens aquatic life, endangers people taking part in river recreation and – perhaps most critically – creates water unfit for human consumption. • Nonpoint source pollution from urban runoff, agricultural activities, and abandoned mines is a major cause of water pollution in the Ohio River. River recreation ceased and, as blooms made their way into drinking water intakes, several companies had to switch to alternate water sources. The river again ranked as the most polluted in 2013 and has been the most polluted river since at least 2001, according to the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO). The proposed 2019 Revision maintains ORSANCO's Pollution Control Standards for the Ohio River to protect the uses delineated in ORSANCO's Compact while providing needed flexibility for member states to utilize the Pollution Control Standards or their own rigorously developed and United States Environmental Protection Agency approved water quality criteria for Ohio River discharge permits. The money comes from the Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation program. Today, the water from AS-14 instead flows into a tall green structure – known as the Carbondale doser – and turns a wheel, releasing pinches of powdery calcium oxide from the cylindrical tower above. • The widest point along the Ohio River is approximately 1 mile at the Smithland Dam near Smithland, KY. • The average depth of the Ohio River is approximately 24 feet. Representatives from the Martin County Water District did not return a phone call seeking comment but have said in the past that they are changing the chlorination process to avoid contamination issues and are looking for funds to fix broken water lines. Photo: Kara Lofton, West Virginia Public Broadcasting . April Johnston, a freelance writer for 100 Days in Appalachia, authored this story. There are two types of permits: general and individual. 4372 0 obj <>/Filter/FlateDecode/ID[<28783B1861155545AA624F04A335FEBF><018C5D2628492A42A58D12D054C3CE33>]/Index[4356 28]/Info 4355 0 R/Length 79/Prev 519563/Root 4357 0 R/Size 4384/Type/XRef/W[1 2 1]>>stream “It was so polluted, you could see it, smell it and taste it.”. “It was like mud pie,” Maynard said, “only instead of mud and water, it was mud and oil.”. In 2013, 24,180,821 pounds of pollution discharges from industry were recorded—this is more than double of what pours into the Mississippi River. Will Ohio River Get Optional Pollution Limits as New Fracking-Reliant Plastics Industry Moves in? After five years of debate, a federal watchdog for the Ohio River has finalized its pollution control standards for its eight member states, including Indiana. Doing so prevents pollution from entering the water and creates a prime area for camping and water recreation. In coal country, Maynard said, who knows what gets in. But even in areas of the river basin where sensical solutions to water pollution have been developed and instituted, the results are still subject to imminent financial threat. About the author. Ohio River Pollution Points. My dad – dementia,” she said. But some researchers and activists warn that it could also bring a new type of pollution to the Ohio River Valley — nurdles. BarbiAnn Maynard stands on the porch of her home in Huntleyville, Kentucky, (population 188) and points across the two-lane road, where three houses perch on a tree-speckled mountainside. That fall, salinity in the Monongahela River spiked, causing problems for public water supplies and eventually leading to a fish kill on Dunkard Creek. To many, the Cuyahoga River fire on June 22, 1969 represents a turning point for environmental regulation. In 1958, researchers from the University of Louisville and the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission gathered at a lock on the Monongahela River for routine collecting, counting and comparing of fish species. But the money for that program is collected from a fee on coal companies that is set to expire in 2021. In West Virginia, Ziemkiewicz and his team at the West Virginia Water Research Institute are extracting rare earth elements from acid mine drainage. © 2021 www.cincinnati.com. Will Ohio River Get Optional Pollution Limits as New Fracking-Reliant Plastics Industry Moves in? But no amount of anger or advocacy can fix the underlying issue plaguing Martin County and others like it: inadequate funds. On Oct. 11, 2000, 300 million gallons of coal slurry broke through a reservoir in Martin County, Kentucky, flooding the abandoned mine shafts below and rushing out into the waters of Wolf Creek and Coldwater Fork. That one over there – dementia. This one – dementia. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has filed suit against chemical company DuPont, alleging it released toxic perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) or … the Ohio River will be required to be modified or treated to the extent specified in the standards established as above set forth. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) today approved revisions to the Pollution Control Standards (PCS) for industrial and municipal wastewater discharges into the Ohio River. Visit Eye on Ohio for more from the Ohio Center for Investigative Journalism. Conservation and environmental groups will now have a formal seat at the table when regulators meet to review water quality issues and standards for the Ohio River – a status … endstream endobj startxref Not only is this pollution bad for the species in the water, but it also shows an inaccurate representation of the Ohio River as a whole. Formed in 1948 by signing of Compact by Governors of 8 states and was approved by the US Congress. In Ohio, Bowman is on a mission to create a 50-foot buffer at the edge of area waterways – basically a barrier of untamed grasses, shrubs and trees that would prevent erosion and provide shade from sunlight. “That one – dementia. The easing of fish consumption restrictions on the Cuyahoga was lauded Monday by Republican Gov. The slurry was an unprecedented disaster – 30 times larger than the Exxon Valdez oil spill more than a decade earlier. Watershed pollution in Appalachia, much of which has been caused by coal mining, is an ongoing environmental hazard that mimics the threat steel once posed to big cities on the Ohio. The standards designate specific uses for the Ohio River, and establish guidelines to ensure that the river is capable of supporting these uses. A corporate defense attorney takes on an environmental lawsuit against a chemical company that exposes a lengthy history of pollution. Read time: 10 mins. Together, the grants totaled $4 million. — Area residents will have a chance next month to comment in person on a plan keeping in place pollution control standards for the Ohio River. After an 11-month investigation, the grand jury returned no charges. COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Fish in the Cuyahoga River, which became synonymous with pollution when it caught fire in Cleveland in 1969, are now safe to eat, federal environmental regulators say. Good River: Stories of the Ohio is a series about the environment, economy, and culture of the Ohio River watershed, produced by seven nonprofit newsrooms. As recently as 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency named the Ohio River one of the country’s most polluted. Water authorities need to use limited amounts of chemicals to avoid bacteria-causing illness, but too much of those chemicals could put their residents at risk for cancer. As a child, Reddinger would come to this very spot with friends to fish. “Prior to 2015, everyone thought algae blooms were a lake problem,” said Greg Youngstrom, an environmental scientist and harmful algae bloom expert at ORSANCO. The blooms are a result of rains that wash fertilizer off farmland and into nearby creeks. Share Tweet Email. Jason Flickner, Lower Ohio River Waterkeeper director said officials often expect the massive amount of water flowing through the Ohio River to dilute the pollution. It shouldn’t have been surprising, said Jerry Schulte, a biologist who managed the source water protection and emergency response team for the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission [ORSANCO] for more than two decades. Days before the race was to commence, ORSANCO received reports of algae in the water, and the Kentucky Department for Public Health issued a harmful algae bloom advisory, effectively shutting down river recreation. Good River: Stories of the Ohio is a series about the environment, economy, and culture of the Ohio River watershed, produced by seven nonprofit newsrooms. “And they haven’t used common sense.”. The first erupted near Huntington, West Virginia, and grew 50 miles long before dissipating, according to Youngstrom. There are other, cheaper ways to prevent abandoned coal mines from harming waterways, and in southeastern Ohio – where a loose loop of 11 villages and unincorporated communities is collectively known as the “Little Cities of Black Diamonds” – they’ve tried many of them. Some days, it’s cloudy and smells so strongly of chlorine that it burns the eyes. Functioning doesn’t mean perfect, however. This year, it didn’t happen. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission reviews the pollution standards for the 981-mile-long river at least every three years. “It’s a functioning ecosystem now,” Schulte said. On March 20, 2019, fish caught in Ohio’s Cuyahoga River were declared safe to eat by federal environmental regulators. They’re the raw material of the plastics industry, the building blocks of everything from car parts to keyboards to grocery store bags. The weather was especially dry that season, resulting in low flows. Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. The Ohio River is a source of drinking water for more than 5 million people. As part of the review process, workshops and public hearings are held for public input. Since 1977, the federal Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program has doled out money to states in order to soothe the scars of coal mining. Feb 14, 2019 3 PM 0. The result, Maynard claims, is that no one in Martin County trusts or drinks the water. The first time Maynard received that warning, she was 24 years old and pregnant with her daughter. With the abandoned mine land fund and its resulting projects in peril, university research institutes like Bowman’s have been joining environmental nonprofits in entrepreneurial efforts to ensure that remediation continues. This process for remediating acid mine drainage in creeks isn’t a perfect one, said Jen Bowman, the director of environmental programs for Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, which worked with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources [ODNR] on the doser project. Closer to Athens, Bowman and her team at Ohio University [OU] have created a steel slag leach bed system, which uses an alkaline byproduct of steel production to neutralize acidic water. For perspective, in 2019, over 35,000 people died from air pollution-related illness, compared to around 2,500 from regional conflict. In November 2019, Congressman Donald McEachin (VA-04) introduced the 100% Clean Economy Act of 2019 with Representatives Deb Haaland (NM-01), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), Paul Tonko (NY-20), and Chellie Pingree (ME-01). Sharon Kelly | June 5, 2019 . The easing of fish consumption restrictions on the Cuyahoga was lauded Monday by Republican Gov. Like much of eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia, Martin County has an aging infrastructure problem and little money to fix it. This academic paper is composed by Samuel. Coming in at second and third most polluted rivers are the Mississippi River and the New River. It threatens aquatic life, endangers people taking part in river recreation and — perhaps most critically — creates water unfit for human consumption. EVANSVILLE, Ind. %PDF-1.5 %���� The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission - also known as ORSANCO - sets pollution limits for the river that are sometimes more stringent than state ones. Nov 14, 2019 'That's vinegar:' The Ohio River's history of contamination and progress made "It's a functioning ecosystem now" April Johnston. COLUMBUS, Ohio — Fish in an Ohio river that became synonymous with pollution when it caught fire in 1969 are now safe to eat, federal environmental regulators say. ORSANCO is accepting public comment on a plan to revise Ohio River pollution control standards. The Ohio River is infamous for industrial pollution. The black custard coated and killed everything in its path as it slithered for hundreds of miles and shifted into adjoining waterways, including the Tug Fork, Big Sandy and Ohio. 2019 Pollution Control Standards (PCS) for the Ohio River Review. “It really is an eye-opening thing to take a drive through the Ohio River Valley. IL, IN, KY, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV, Federal Govt. Mayflies hatched on their surfaces; many pollution-intolerant aquatic species returned; and lock chamber sampling – done without cyanide – could yield hundreds, even thousands, of fish. In parts of the basin, acid mine drainage turns creeks the color of Orange Crush, agricultural runoff chokes streams with nutrients, and combined sewage and stormwater pipe overflows fill waterways with dangerous bacteria. In 2018, several members of the county’s water board quit after the state attorney general opened an investigation into mismanagement. They developed a model that showed coal companies how many total dissolved solids could be safely released based on river flow. “Maybe it gets us out of that vicious cycle of mining coal to fix the legacy of coal mining,” Bowman said. It’s a slow process. To keep pace with current issues, ORSANCO strives to review the standards at least every three years. Julie Grant February 14, 2019. It cost ODNR nearly $400,000 to install, and the tower must be refilled with calcium oxide every six to eight weeks at a rate of about $40,000 per year, according to Bowman. This is the great irony of coal: the restoration of abandoned mines hinges on the perpetuation of coal mining. ORSANCO is accepting public comment on a plan to revise Ohio River pollution control standards. Ohio River. The Ohio River is infamous for pollution even after strict rules and regulations were passed by government agencies, the river is still being largely neglected when it comes to pollution. By Sharon Kelly • Wednesday, June 5, 2019 - 15:12 . But long periods without rain cause river flow to slow, allowing sediment to drop out of the water and sunlight to come in, creating the perfect conditions for rapid algae growth. Pollution Water. These elements, which until now have largely been imported from China, are used in dozens of technological products, including cell phones, computers and televisions. In 2019, one bloom occurred that spanned 300 miles; 2015 saw another across 700 miles. Maynard drives 45 minutes to a spring at the Mingo-Logan county line in West Virginia to fill containers with fresh water to drink. In Martin County, sludge crept into yards and across roads, creating pools 5 feet deep. The easing of fish consumption restrictions on the Cuyahoga River in northeast Ohio was lauded Monday by Republican Gov. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, which wrapped up … Events like Riversweep are getting people involved in actually making positive change happen. The water issues start at the treatment plant, where water pulled from the Tug Fork River is disinfected. The calcium oxide neutralizes the acid in the water as it makes its way through a concrete channel and into Hewett Fork. Get Your Custom Essay on Ohio River Pollution Just from $13,9/Page. With Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Pullman. %%EOF Figure 11-1 highlights the location of the Ohio River case study watersheds (catalog units) identified along the Ohio River as major urban-industrial areas (e.g., Cincinnati, Ohio, and Louisville, Kentucky) affected by severe water pollution problems during the 1950s and 1960s (see Table 4-2). Experts estimate nearly 70% of drinking water is lost while contaminants in the soil and groundwater are allowed to leach into the system. Source: The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Enforcement and Compliance History online database, echo.epa.gov. By Michael Monks • Apr 5, 2019 . Directed by Todd Haynes. “And I’m a fighter.”. Construction of Shell’s $6 billion ethane cracker along the Ohio River in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, in June 2019. It comes as no surprise that there are chemicals in the Ohio River. COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Fish in the Cuyahoga River, which became synonymous with pollution when it caught fire in Cleveland in 1969, are now safe to eat, federal environmental regulators say. Cleveland's Cuyahoga River, once one of the dirtiest in the U.S., has seen a resurgence of life—both on the surface and below. The waterways were so acidic that the steel-hulled boats meant to last 20 years rusted out in three and the pH routinely measured less than 4. Ohio EPA's update to the Ohio Nonpoint Source (NPS) Management Plan was approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in August 2020. Because while coal is a dire problem, it is just one of many problems. The 2019 PCS Revision was approved after significant consideration and public outreach through three separate public comment periods, four public hearings, and six webinars over the past 18 months. In West Virginia, underfunded treatment plants and straight-line pipes that combine sewage and stormwater have allowed raw sewage to collect in creeks, creating a public health crisis by serving as a breeding ground for bacteria. Around Athens, residents have become accustomed to neatly manicured riverfront property and aren’t keen to let it go uncut. Ohio River Compact Considers Vote to Eliminate Its Pollution Standards. A commission that watches over the Ohio River’s health across six states may give up setting pollution standards for the waterway, raising concerns it would weaken protections for a … Still, most of the time, the majority of the river’s 981 miles are ripe for recreation and fit for drinking after proper treatment. After all, the steel companies that dotted the region’s riverbanks were dumping their contaminated water right into the rivers. In Ohio, researchers at OU’s Russ College Department of Civil Engineering and experts at the nonprofit Rural Action have launched a pilot program that uses acid mine drainage pollution to create paint pigments. Mike DeWine as an important step toward ultimately delisting the river altogether as an area of … Just off Township Road 1 in the unincorporated community of Carbondale, Ohio, a constant stream of acidic water seeps and sputters out of the abandoned AS-14 mine complex. 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