Water Quality | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Water Quality

ORSANCO hearing in Erlanger

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) held the last of three hearings on Monday, April 8, to gather public input on its latest proposal to change its mandate to monitor and enforce clean water standards on the river. The previous two had been in Pittsburgh on April 1, and Evansville, IN on April 4.

Monitoring would continue under the new proposal, but states could decide whether or not to adopt or enforce the standards. This opened a new front in the fight to protect water in the Ohio River that provides drinking water for more than five million people. Over 75 people gathered at the meeting in Erlanger to voice opposition to the organization’s proposal. KFTC members attended the public hearing along with a broad coalition of individuals, environmental, social justice, religious, public health and civic groups.

Testimony on living near MTR by Jeff and Sharman Chapman Crane

This statement was written by KFTC members Jeff and Sharman Chapman-Crane about a day in their life in the shadows of massive strip-mining in eastern Kentucky.

ORSANCO work continues, hearings in early April

For more than a year, KFTC has worked with allies to protect the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission’s (ORSANCO) mission to clean and protect the Ohio River through monitoring and enforcement. This commission, made up of representatives of the federal government and 8 members states (New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois) of ORSANCO maintains pollution control standards that are higher than the EPA or state enforcement agencies.

While these standards have not solved the Ohio River’s pollution issues, it has made considerable progress since the founding in 1948. Yet some political appointees in ORSANCO want to make these essential standards optional for states to enforce, giving states the ability to ignore damage to our water systems that disproportionately impacts lower income people and people of color across the region.

Congressional hearing on mountaintop removal impacts

U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources oversight hearing on the Ecological and Health Impacts of Mountaintop Mining in Central Appalachia. Details to come.

Mining still threatens historic Benham and Lynch

For at least a couple of decades, community leaders in the towns of Benham and Lynch (Harlan County), working across racial and economic lines, have planned their future as the coal industry dwindles away.

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