Putting Polluters Before People’s Health?


ORSANCO barge on the Ohio River

Speak up to protect the Ohio River from mercury and other toxic chemical discharges by emailing ORSANCO now!

The Ohio River Basin Commission (ORSANCO) is proposing to extend a deadline two years for polluters to comply with rules to eliminate discharges of harmful ‘bioaccumulative chemicals of concern’ (BCCs) such as mercury to areas in the Ohio River where they’ve been permitted to dilute their wastewater. These areas are known as mixing zones.

Unfortunately BCCs don’t dilute well in these mixing zones and remain dangerous to fish, other wildlife and eventually humans. Continuing to permit polluters to use these BCC mixing zones leaves the Ohio River at risk from substances such as PCBs, dioxin, mercury and other chemicals.

The permit variance to allow polluters to use a mixing zone for BCCs was first implemented to allow the mercury discharger PPG Industries time to comply with limits placed on the company’s wastewater discharge permit. But ORSANCO says the variance should be extended two more years because dozens more polluters may be unable to comply with discharge limits.

ORSANCO is a commission serving as steward of the Ohio River for eight states. Additional delay toward the elimination of these dangerous chemicals hardly seems like sound stewardship. An extension should be unacceptable.

But, if an extension is inevitable, ORSANCO must insist on accountability from the polluters and the states issuing permits. A mixing zone ban won’t be met two years from now unless ORSANCO insists on a timeline of interim steps toward compliance and rigorous review and enforcement to ensure the goal of eliminating discharges to mixing zones is met by polluters.

If healthy water in the Ohio River is important to you, drop ORSANCO an email at [email protected] or write to ORSANCO at 5735 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45230. Comments will be accepted through September 12, 2013.

10 Responses to “Putting Polluters Before People’s Health?”

Kathleen Alexander

When one touches a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. ~~~John Muir

With respect, what is the true, honest, responsible and right thing to do?

Anne Sherwood

There should be NO allowances for any toxic waste or chemicals into our rivers. HEAVY FINES by all government agencies, state and national, should be imposed, with jail time if not in compliance. Europe has done a much better job of preventing toxicity in their rivers. In years to come, scientist predict that water will become-for ALL of us, not just Africa and the Middle East countries- our most valuable commodity because it will be scarce. We are in the process of losing the Olagala Aquafier because of over use and poisoning it from fracking practices. If we don’t stop all river pollution now, the major areas of the central USA and California growing areas will become unusable.

T. J. Davies Jr.

ORSANCO must insist on accountability from the polluters and the states issuing permits. A mixing zone ban won’t be met two years from now unless ORSANCO insists on a timeline of interim steps toward compliance and rigorous review and enforcement to ensure the goal of eliminating discharges to mixing zones is met by polluters.

T. J. Davies Jr.

ORSANCO must insist on accountability from the polluters and the states issuing permits.

Jane Hope

As a resident of Louisville, KY–right on the Ohio River I am dismayed at the decision to continue toxic discharges into the river….please end this. My whole family lives here. We need the purist water we can possibly have.

John Dunn

Polluters must be held accountable for mercury PCBs and other toxic pollution harmful to fish, other wildlife and people. Thank you considering my opinion.

Chuck Kalina

Allowing more toxic discharges into the Ohio River?!? Are you kidding? This is completely unacceptable. This is in violation of the Clean Water Act, it is poisoning people, marine life, and wildlife. The people must sue to get justice, and stop poisons from being illegally dumped into our water. (In this case, the Ohio River.)

Robert Jenks

Polluters must be held accountable for mercury PCBs and other toxic pollution harmful to fish, other wildlife and people.