The Ohio is also one of the most polluted rivers in the country.
Jason Meredith / Flickr

For residents of the region, news reports about toxic chemical spills shutting down drinking water supplies are the stuff of recent memory. In 2014, for example, a toxic chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia on the Elk River—a tributary of the Ohio—affected the water supply for more than 300,000 West Virginians and shut down schools, businesses and local governments.

Dupont container in a field
Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For more than half a century, the chemical company DuPont provided jobs for thousands of people along the Ohio River. One chemical they produced is PFOA, commonly known as C8. It was a remarkably useful compound—used in “Teflon” non-stick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics and even some food wrappers.

Jeremy Stump / Flickr

Sanding in downtown Pittsburgh, you can see where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet to form the headwaters of the Ohio River. It’s here where the Ohio starts its near-thousand-mile journey from Pennsylvania through five other states to the Mississippi River.


The Ohio Environmental Council heads to Washington, D.C. this week, to lend its support to the nation's first methane pollution standards proposed by the Obama administration.   

Ohio's Water Woes

Jun 17, 2015

Out of the 30 states which border a large body of water in the nation, Ohio ranks last in terms of beach water quality. We dive into what has caused the e.coli advisories on 28 of the state's beaches, and the high nitrate levels in Columbus' drinking water.

Columbus skyline

Columbus and other Ohio cities continue to rank among the most polluted in the country.  A new report by the American Lung Association called "State of the Air 2015" looked at the years from 2011 to 2013.  But, it's not all bad news according to Janice Nolan with the American Lung Association.

A national environmental group has launched a $500,000 ad campaign against U.S. Sen. Rob Portman in Ohio claiming a federal budget amendment he introduced could undercut the enforceability of the federal Clean Air Act.

Fertilizer, Algae and Our Water

Jan 9, 2014

11:00 Tap water tasting odd? Columbus is spending $600,000 to treat algae in water from the Hoover Reservoir. Though this algae is believed to be safe for consumption,  the farm fertilizer runoff producing algal blooms is causing changes to our ecosystem. This hour we'll get an update on filtration efforts, and talk about a program designed to curb nutrient runoff. Guests

Air Pollution in Ohio

Nov 10, 2011

10:00 Twenty-one years ago Congress passed the Clean Air Act to clean up toxic air pollution, but the regulatory system in place still leaves many American communities exposed to risky concentrations of benzene, formaldehyde, mercury and many other hazardous chemicals. An investigation by NPR and The Center for Public Integrity found that almost 400 power plants, refineries, chemical plants and other industrial facilities are "high priority violators" of the Clean Air Act... And half of those plants are in six states: Ohio, Texas, Illinois, Louisiana, Wisconsin and Indiana.

Toxic algae is poisoning Grand Lake St. Marys. What can be done to make the water safe for recreation and fishing?