June 6, 2019 – by John Blair, valleywatch.net editor
Evansville and Mt. Vernon both get drinking water from the Ohio River. In fact, more than five million US citizens acquire their drinking water from our River.
We are near the end of that 981 mile fresh water pipeline, meaning that what is placed in the River and its tributaries upstream finds its way to our faucets. Today, the government entity responsible for keeping that water quality good, ORSANCO, took a giant step backward and severely relaxed what they called Pollution Control Standards, allowing states that border the River to allow whatever level of pollution they think is appropriate for the profitability of their industrial and municipal polluters.
That means henceforth, Evansville citizens will be forced to drink water intentionally contaminated with who knows what from states like Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. Unfortunately, many of those states will likely allow far greater levels of a variety of pollutants to be dumped in a River that also serves as a primary recreational venue for thousands of boaters and anglers, both sport and subsistence.
ORSANCO or the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, has, in the past, been instrumental in significant improvement of the water quality of the River throughout its length and this is the first time in its sixty-one year history that it has formally allowed more pollution to permeate the River.
While, today, we celebrate the D-Day invasion that began the end of WW II, this day might also go down in history as the day Evansville and Mt. Vernon, IN lost a significant asset just so some polluter can enrich themselves at our expense. In a word, Valley Watch believes today’s action is -Disgusting.