Ohio Environmental Council, April 6, 2016
The Ohio Environmental Council released a State of the Environment video today that praises recent progress that has been made while calling on our elected leaders to do more to ensure Ohioans have clean air to breathe and safe water to drink. In the video, which can be viewed below, OEC Executive Director, Heather Taylor-Miesle praises Governor Kasich and the Ohio EPA for its work to get the lead out of Ohioans’ drinking water.
“It is deeply troubling that even in 2016, some Ohioans remain without access to safe drinking water.” said Taylor-Miesle. “The OEC has put forward a comprehensive set of solutions to close the gaps in current policy and I’m thrilled that the Ohio EPA included many of these solutions in their new proposal, and I ask Ohio lawmakers to move quickly. We must correct this problem once-and-for-all.”
Lead isn’t the only threat to Ohioans’ drinking water. Toxic algae in Lake Erie, the Ohio River, and our inland lakes and streams has poisoned our drinking water, made some beaches dangerous places to play, and devastated small businesses. Ohio’s lakes and streams are vital places for recreation, tourism, and essential sources of drinking water but there remains much work to do to protect them.
“Algae-causing pollution from industrial farms and livestock operations continues to flow into our waterways and remains the greatest threat to Ohio’s drinking water. Ohio lawmakers need to go further to protect Ohio families.” said Taylor-Miesle.
Clean air and Ohio’s burgeoning clean energy economy are also under threat following the decision last week by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) The PUCO approved two proposals that will increase customer electric bills by $100 – 130 a year in order to guarantee profits for outdated, dirty, and expensive power plants. These decisions are only the latest blow to Ohio’s burgeoning clean energy economy. In 2013, the Legislature froze Ohio’s clean energy standards and, in the process, slowed this rapidly growing sector.
“Ohio could literally build our country’s clean energy future. Instead our leaders are throwing up roadblocks and stifling the brilliant innovators of the buckeye state. This is unacceptable.” said Taylor-Miesle.
The video concludes with a call for Ohio’s citizens, decision makers, and Governor Kasich to work together to build on our legacy of innovation and pragmatism to make Ohio a leader and set an example for the entire country.