Press Release

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ORSANCO Commissioners Vote to Weaken Pollution Control Standards

Cassie Kelly, June 6, 2019

CINCINNATI, OH—On June 6th, 2019, the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) voted to weaken its Pollution Control Standards. After over a year and a half of deliberations and three public commenting periods, the Commissioners ignored thousands of public comments in favor of language that only has the potential to harm, rather than help, the Ohio River.

The following quote can be attributed fully or in part to Chris Tavenor, Ohio Environmental Council lawyer:

“We are disappointed in the decision of the Commissioners. In an era where environmental protections are threatened on all sides, we should be strengthening regional cooperation, rather than weakening it.

“ORSANCO was originally established to avoid a race-to-the-bottom strategy to invite polluting industries into a state. Without mandatory Pollution Control Standards applied through a regional organization like ORSANCO, we could see a return to a similar world. The Ohio River deserves to be more than an industrial waterway.

“We look forward to engaging with ORSANCO as it develops policies and procedures to ensure the voluntary Pollution Control Standards still include a robust review of state permits.”