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Environment & Energy

Activists Petition the Environmental Protection Agency to Clean Up the Ohio River

a photo of The Ohio River in Marietta
Maddie McGarvey
/
for NPR
The Ohio River in Marietta.

Activists recently petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up the Ohio River.

The petition calls for federally mandated numeric water quality standards. The nine groups say standards would reduce the amount of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus that are discharged into the Ohio River. Those chemicals can cause harmful algal blooms that affect drinking water. Attorney Hank Graddy is the Chair of the Sierra Club’s Kentucky Water Team. He says algal blooms can also harm the economy of cities along the river.

“With the 2019 algae blooms, from an economic point of view, a paddle event in Cincinnati was canceled." He said, "and the city of Louisville lost one of the legs of their Ironman competition, which may put in jeopardy the men's competition coming back to Louisville.”

Since the Biden administration took office last month, there is renewed hope among environmental groups that increased federal regulation is coming.

Environmental reporter Chris Welter is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

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