Covington, KY- Today the eight state commission making up the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) failed to respond to Ohio River residents and voted to make pollution control standards for the Ohio River voluntary among member states. The Commission was established on June 30, 1948, to control and abate pollution in the Ohio River Basin. ORSANCO is an interstate commission representing eight states and the federal government. Member states include Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Craig Butler, former Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director, and proxy for recently appointed Ohio EPA Director Laurie Stevenson voted to allow the standards to become voluntary.
In response, Cheryl Johncox, Sierra Club Organizer released the following statement: “ORSANCO decided that the interests of polluters are more important than the health of five million Ohio River residents who rely on the river for drinking water. Ninety-nine percent of the comments received by ORSANCO supported keeping ORSANCO pollution controls mandatory for all states along the river. If this is how Ohio Governor DeWine is going to protect state water quality with the H2Ohio initiative we are all in trouble.”
Ohio River from original painting by Ken Foster