Water Pollution

Algae blooms on the coast of Toledo.
NASA Glenn Research Center

A federal judge has ruled that the “Lake Erie Bill Of Rights” passed last year by Toledo voters is unconstitutional.

The Ohio River near Sewickley, Pa.
Nick Childers / PublicSource

I live in Mount Washington, on the east side of Cincinnati, roughly the midpoint of the 981-mile Ohio River. Below us, near the mouth of the Little Miami River, marinas, barge terminals and Cincinnati Water Works' Miller Treatment Plant line the river’s bank.

EPA's 'Secret Science' Rule

Feb 28, 2020
Acid mine drainage can cause creeks to turn a dark orange hue.
Curren Sheldon / 100 Days In Appalachia

This show originally ran on Jan. 22, 2020.

The Trump Administration is working on a policy change that would require scientists to disclose all of their raw data, including confidential medical records, before their findings could be considered in shaping regulations.

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) encouraged a large group of farmers to keep participating in the state's water quality program, saying his administration is keeping its eye on a specific indicator to determine if their plan is reducing harmful algal blooms.

Emily Collins, executive director of Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services, on the bank of the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh.
Jay Manning / PublicSource

Can you imagine if the Ohio River and its tributaries had legal rights? While speculative, the idea isn’t necessarily far-fetched. This month marks the one-year anniversary of residents in Toledo, Ohio, bestowing Lake Erie with its own bill of rights.

Algae blooms on the coast of Toledo.
NASA Glenn Research Center

Reducing harmful algal blooms remains the top priority for protecting and restoring Lake Erie, according to a draft plan released by the Ohio Lake Erie Commission.

Whose Job Is It To Reduce Toxic Mercury In The Ohio River?

Feb 7, 2020
Anglers at the Falls of the Ohio State Park.
William Alden / Flickr

Mercury, which damages young brains, is flowing through industrial wastewater into the Ohio River. But the multi-state agency tasked with keeping the waterway clean hasn’t tightened controls on this pollution because it doesn’t have the authority to do so.

Many business interests are cheering President Trump's recent rollback of water regulations put in place by the Obama administration. But companies that make money protecting clean water could take a big hit.

U.S. Forest Service Fisheries Research Biologist Wendell R. Haag holds a pimpleback mussel and a purple wartyback mussel to show the differences in the species.
Carrie Blackmore Smith / PublicSource

“Will one of these fit?” Wendell R. Haag asks, holding out a couple pairs of well-worn creeking shoes he’s pulled from the back of his pickup, both decidedly larger than a ladies size 8. Haag is taking me to see an aquatic wonder, and I’ve worn the wrong shoes.

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

The Environmental Protection Agency is dramatically reducing the amount of U.S. waterways that get federal protection under the Clean Water Act — a move that is welcomed by many farmers, builders and mining companies but is opposed even by the agency's own science advisers.

EPA's 'Secret Science' Rule

Jan 22, 2020
Acid mine drainage can cause creeks to turn a dark orange hue.
Curren Sheldon / 100 Days In Appalachia

The Trump Administration is working on a policy change that would require scientists to disclose all of their raw data, including confidential medical records, before their findings could be considered in shaping regulations.

'Dark Waters' And The Battle Against DuPont

Jan 10, 2020
Mark Ruffalo as Robert Bilott in the film "Dark Waters."
Dark Waters / Focus Features

The new film “Dark Waters” starring Mark Ruffalo recalls the two-decade long legal battle with one of the world’s biggest corporations—DuPont—to expose the truth about so-called "forever chemicals." The Cincinnati attorney at the heart of the story has written his own memoir of the story.

'Dark Waters' And The Battle Against DuPont

Dec 23, 2019
Mark Ruffalo as Robert Bilott in the film "Dark Waters."
Dark Waters / Focus Features

The new film “Dark Waters” starring Mark Ruffalo recalls the two-decade long legal battle with one of the world’s biggest corporations—DuPont—to expose the truth about so-called "forever chemicals." The Cincinnati attorney at the heart of the story has written his own memoir of the story.

Nurdle Patrol participant Christina Marconi holds a nurdle the size of a small pea.
Courtesy of Jace Tunnell / Allegheny Front

When the petrochemical plant being built by Shell Chemical Appalachia in Beaver County is complete, it's anticipated to bring 600 jobs as well as spinoff industries. But some researchers and activists warn that it could also bring a new type of pollution to the Ohio River Valley — nurdles. 

Jason Flickner walks on the exposed fossil beds at the Falls of the Ohio State Park.
Jeff Brooks-Gillies / Environmental Health News

When Jason Flickner was a kid, he built a dam on the creek behind his grandparents' house causing it to flood a neighbor’s basement.

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