Right-to-Know

Group wants to abandon its role in controlling Ohio River pollution. What’s up with that?

CINCINNATI — “The regional group that’s set pollution standards for the Ohio River for decades, helping to bring it back to better health, is about to abandon that role, leaving it up to the states to decide what’s clean or not.

Industries that pipe their wastes into the river support the proposal while drinking water providers are skeptical.

‘From our point of view, the cleaner the better,’ said Rengao Song, Louisville Water Co. director of water quality.

States would still need to comply with the minimum requirements of the federal Clean Water Act under the plan of the Cincinnati-based Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission. But lost could be some of the commission’s more restrictive standards, including some designed to protect the river as a drinking water source for millions, or to curb toxic pollutants that get into fish and other wildlife.

‘It’s still preliminary,’ said Richard Harrison, the executive director of the group, ORSANCO. ‘We’re trying to be very transparent and thoughtful with this.'”

— James Bruggers, Louisville Courier Journal

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