In rural areas, farmers aren’t particularly interested in giving 50 feet of land that could be used for planting. 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. To keep pace with current issues, ORSANCO strives to review the standards at least every three years. There are simple ways to help curb the problem. 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. By Sharon Kelly • Wednesday, June 5, 2019 - 15:12 . INDIANAPOLIS - Water quality along Indiana's southern border could be impacted by a long-awaited vote expected this week. Doing so prevents pollution from entering the water and creates a prime area for camping and water recreation. 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. On this particular day, researchers opened the chamber to find one fish inside. “And they haven’t used common sense.”. “It really is an eye-opening thing to take a drive through the Ohio River Valley. Source: The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Enforcement and Compliance History online database, echo.epa.gov. Those nutrients eventually make their way to the Ohio River, where algae feed on them. (Photo by Reid Frazier/The Allegheny Front) In an email, Shell says it has pledged to prevent accidental loss of plastic pellets from its manufacturing facility into the environment, using industry safety and production measures. 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. It wiped out aquatic life in the creeks and cut off drinking water to nearly 30,000 people. h�bbd``b`�k�S�`m����h �\bY�V8�D��*@��NH\Ud`b�2���h����� ��' 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). It was so laden with acidity that snow plows had to be called in to scrape the resulting iron off the asphalt, and fish kills became a regular occurrence where Hewett Fork flows into Raccoon Creek. 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. It takes time for the calcium oxide to dissolve, so a section of Hewett Fork near the doser still runs rusty and lifeless before giving way to clean water.And the doser is expensive. Hewett Fork no longer causes fish kills, and 90 miles of Raccoon Creek, which flows through southeastern Ohio, are now safe for recreation. Nutrient loading in the Ohio River leads to harmful algae blooms that threaten drinking water. Read time: 10 mins. It comes as no surprise that there are chemicals in the Ohio River. Coming in at second and third most polluted rivers are the Mississippi River and the New River. This is the great irony of coal: the restoration of abandoned mines hinges on the perpetuation of coal mining. Permitting process . Share. All rights reserved. Ohio River Pollution Points. Ohio River. 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. Don't use plagiarized sources. A corporate defense attorney takes on an environmental lawsuit against a chemical company that exposes a lengthy history of pollution. But some researchers and activists warn that it could also bring a new type of pollution to the Ohio River Valley — nurdles. 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. Ziemkiewicz found that behavioral change was also the solution to a 2008 crisis in the Morgantown, West Virginia, area. October 16, 2019 Illinois . “There’s a lot of greed and corruption,” Maynard maintained. The Ohio River is infamous for industrial pollution. However, the funding for all of these projects could be in jeopardy. In 2019, one bloom occurred that spanned 300 miles; 2015 saw another across 700 miles. In Martin County, the problem is broken pipes. Top of the list is clearly the Ohio River, having won the dubious honor of America’s most polluted river seven years in a row, in terms of pollutant discharges.Millions of tons of chemicals are dumped into the river, from a wide range of businesses and industries but nearly three quarters of them come from a single source: AK Steel Corp. In Pittsburgh, Penn., pollution control compliance would be made voluntary under a new proposal by the Ohio River Valley Water and Sanitation Commission. Fifty years ago, the water was so dirty the kids would have to flick oil off their lines before recasting them in the water. Remaining problems are more challenging and may be traced to two kinds of pollutants: polluted run off and physical alterations to a stream or river channel. He studies Biological Sciences at Ohio State University. It was the second bloom in the month of September. Mike DeWine as an important step toward ultimately delisting the river altogether as an area of … Archaic, but effective. Pollution Control Board. The slurry was an unprecedented disaster – 30 times larger than the Exxon Valdez oil spill more than a decade earlier. %%EOF It’s not a good choice, said Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia University. The first erupted near Huntington, West Virginia, and grew 50 miles long before dissipating, according to Youngstrom. Share Tweet Email. Mike DeWine as an important step toward ultimately delisting the river altogether as an area of … 4383 0 obj <>stream That summer, more than 700 square miles of toxic algae grew on the Ohio River in West Virginia and Ohio. “That’s vinegar,” Schulte said. Because while coal is a dire problem, it is just one of many problems. 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. “Maybe it gets us out of that vicious cycle of mining coal to fix the legacy of coal mining,” Bowman said. 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. This one – dementia. 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. ORSANCO is accepting public comment on a plan to revise Ohio River pollution control standards. 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. The Ohio Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) reported the river has 23 million pounds of toxic discharge. Throughout 2019, several locations in Northeast Ohio, including the Cleveland airport, will display archival and contemporary photos of the river as part of the exhibit “Crooked River Contrasts.” Photo: Kara Lofton, West Virginia Public Broadcasting . The Ohio River is a 981-mile (1,579 km) ... ranked behind 16 other American rivers for water pollution at number 17. In Martin County, sludge crept into yards and across roads, creating pools 5 feet deep. Related Program: Cincinnati Edition. The hope is that these initiatives will eventually generate enough money to cover the remediation and abatement projects that have restored waterways. © 2021 www.cincinnati.com. According to Shell, 1.6 million metric tons of plastic will be produced there annually. ORSANCO is accepting public comment on a plan to revise Ohio River pollution control standards. 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. April Johnston, a freelance writer for 100 Days in Appalachia, authored this story. “Prior to 2015, everyone thought algae blooms were a lake problem,” said Greg Youngstrom, an environmental scientist and harmful algae bloom expert at ORSANCO. Tim Reddinger has lived along the Ohio River his entire life, working for most of his career in the steel mills that once lined the riverfront. Pollution Water. 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. “And I’m a fighter.”. “It was so polluted, you could see it, smell it and taste it.”. According to Youngstrom, the increasing frequency of algae blooms is related to the extreme weather conditions brought about by climate change. Visit Eye on Ohio for more from the Ohio Center for Investigative Journalism. The Commission also noted mercury pollution as an ongoing concern, citing a 500% increase in mercury discharges between 2007 and 2013. As of Sept. 5, the county had received two grants – one from an abandoned mine fund and another from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – to improve water supply infrastructure and service. “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 other problem occurs when water leaves the plant and heads toward homes. 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. Is the Ohio Valley Protected from Nurdle Pollution? 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. • 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. Ohio EPA's update to the Ohio Nonpoint Source (NPS) Management Plan was approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in August 2020. The blooms are a result of rains that wash fertilizer off farmland and into nearby creeks. She’d like nothing more than to follow her now-grown daughters out of the county and leave the water issues behind, but her land along the Tug Fork in Huntleyville has been in the family for five generations and she is her ill father’s caretaker. Traditional images of water pollution often consist of a pipe spewing industrial contaminants into a river. It threatens aquatic life, endangers people taking part in river recreation and – perhaps most critically – creates water unfit for human consumption. Before 2004, that water washed across a field and the road before dumping into Hewett Fork, turning it tangerine. the Ohio River will be required to be modified or treated to the extent specified in the standards established as above set forth. EVANSVILLE, Ind. Photo: Kara Lofton . While the Ohio River Valley, long home to the coal and steel industries, is no stranger to air pollution, the region’s natural gas boom and burgeoning petrochemical industry threaten to erase the gains of recent decades. To many, the Cuyahoga River fire on June 22, 1969 represents a turning point for environmental regulation. 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 She’s become the face of the Martin County water crisis, both locally and in media outlets as far away as France and Japan. When water service resumed later that year, bills came stamped with a warning: If you have a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, are pregnant, or are elderly, you may be at increased risk and should seek advice from your health care providers about drinking this water. To see more, please visit ohiowatershed.org. These tanks, shown here in June 2019, will hold the plastic pellets produced by Shell’s ethane cracker.
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