Environmentalists: ORSANCO Shouldn't Eliminate Ohio River Pollution Standards

The Hoosier Environmental Council is among the groups demanding that the commission overseeing pollution in the Ohio River not drop its standards.

The Ohio River in Rising Sun, Indiana. File photo

(Cincinnati, Oh.) - An interstate commission which monitors pollution in the Ohio River may be scrapping its pollution standards.

The Cincinnati-based Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission oversees an agreement among eight states who have watersheds draining into the river. Some of the numeric pollution limits have been in place for 70 years.

ORSANCO reviews its pollution control standards every three years. This time, however, ORSANCO’s commissioners voted in June to advance a plan to drop the standards. View the proposal at www.orsanco.org/programs/pollution-control-standards/

The supporting commissioners reason that Ohio River states are already effectively applying such criteria and no longer need ORSANCO’s input.

Environmentalists are now shouting that the quality of the river, already one of the most-polluted waterways in the U.S., will suffer from non-uniform state regulations governing pollution discharged into it.

“They argue that the states along the Ohio have standards that will adequately protect the river, but that isn’t accurate. There are more than 100 ORSANCO standards that are either missing or weaker in Indiana’s standards, and the situation is similar in the other Ohio River states,” says Dr. Indra Frank, Environmental Health & Water Policy Director with the Hoosier Environmental Council.

Frank explains that each existing ORSANCO standard is a scientifically derived maximum amount of a chemical the Ohio River can have and still be healthy for people and aquatic life.

Elimination of ORSANCO’s pollution control standards would also eliminate public review of the standards, according to Our Ohio River, a campaign by Lower Ohio River Waterkeeper.

The ORSANCO commission has another vote scheduled for October 4 before the pollution standards are dropped. Last week, the organization announced it has extended a 45-day public comment period by 10 days, now continuing through August 20.

Until then, citizens can continue to submit comments to the commissioners by emailing PCS@orsanco.org. Emails must not contain attachments, according to ORSANCO.

Comments may also be sent by U.S. Mail to ORSANCO, 5735 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45230, Attn: PCS Comments.

A public hearing was held on July 26 in Erlanger.

More from Local News


Events

New Haven Road Closure Announced

A sanitary sewer installation project is scheduled to last over three months.

Franklin County Commissioners Issue Burn Ban

The ban is due to a county-wide draught and high temperatures.

NWS: Never Leave Children, Pets Unattended in Vehicles

The National Weather Service in Wilmington is urging individuals to “look before you lock”.

East Central to Host 20+ Teams at Trojan Shootout

It has been a great summer for EC's girls teams: Varsity team going (7-3), JV (7-2), incoming 8th graders (5-1 in a JV league).

Goldsberry Hired as South Ripley Girls Varsity Basketball Head Coach

The Lady Raiders have won seven championships in the past five years.

First of Six SIRC Races Takes in Rushville

The Southeastern Indiana Racing Circuit returns June 29.

On Air

Your Hometown Radio Station playing
Alabama - When We Make Love

Gary Allan Life Ain't Always Beautiful 21:15
Cole Swindell Love You Too Late 21:11
George Strait Every Little Honky Tonk Bar 21:08
Kenny Chesney That's Why I'm Here 21:04