ORANSCO

Ohio River Regulators Planning Riverwide PFAS Study

Feb 5, 2020
Ryan Van Velzer

Scientists are designing a new study to test for PFAS, so-called “forever chemicals”, along the entire length of the Ohio River. Concerns are mounting about PFAS contamination in drinking water systems along the Ohio Valley. Studies have shown the contaminants in the drinking water of dozens of cities.

The scientists work with a multi-state commission charged with overseeing water quality on the Ohio River known as the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO).

The commission’s work has always included monitoring pollution in the river and it makes sense to examine these emerging contaminants, executive director Richard Harrison said.


Ryan Van Velzer

The multi-state commission overseeing water quality along the Ohio River has adopted voluntary pollution control standards nearly a year after member states considered a plan to abandon the standards entirely.

The plan will keep pollution control standards in place, but gives states more flexibility to implement their own water quality programs while ensuring standards are equally protective.

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission approved the compromise plan in a 19-2 vote with one commissioner abstaining during the meeting held Thursday in Covington, Kentucky.

JAGA / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

A multi-state commission charged with protecting the Ohio River decided Thursday to postpone a decision to dramatically alter pollution controls.

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, or ORSANCO, has been considering a proposal that would reduce its oversight of water pollution control standards along the Ohio River. The proposal, called "option 2" would eliminate the body's water pollution control standards for industrial and municipal wastewater discharges into the river.