pollution

Rhonda Miller / WKYU

The agency with a mission to control and reduce pollution in the Ohio River is considering lowering water quality standards. The mayor of one riverfront city is urging the agency to maintain pollution controls.

Courtesy John Blair / Valley Watch

Nearly two years after a state inspector discovered an arsenic-laced plume of coal ash seeping out of a landfill at a power plant in Western Kentucky, the state Energy and Environment Cabinet has negotiated a deal to clean up the pollution. But environmental activists are concerned the agreement lets the utility off too easy.

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

A commission that watches over the Ohio River's health across six states may give up setting pollution standards for the waterway, raising concerns it would weaken protections for a source of drinking water for 5 million people.

Ohio Valley Mushroom Farm

  Throughout coal mining country of the Eastern U.S. you will find streams that run a peculiar rusty orange. It’s the result of pollution called acid mine drainage, or AMD. It’s estimated that about 10,000 miles of streams are polluted by AMD in Pennsylvania and West Virginia alone. In fact, researchers have calculated that every second, coal mines throughout the region are pumping out about 3,000 cubic feet of AMD. That’s roughly equal to an average May day’s flow of water in the Monongahela River as it winds through the region.

Exposure to polluted air, water and soil caused nine million premature deaths in 2015, according to a report published Thursday in The Lancet.

The causes of death vary — cancer, lung disease, heart disease. The report links them to pollution, drawing upon previous studies that show how pollution is tied to a wider range of diseases than previously thought.

For 51 years, a small federal program has been paying scientists to keep American waterways healthy. It's called Sea Grant — part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — and President Donald Trump"s proposed budget for next year would eliminate it.

Dave Mistich, WVPB

For more than half a century along the Ohio River, the chemical company DuPont provided jobs for thousands of people. One chemical they produced is PFOA, commonly known as C8. It was a remarkably useful compound, used in “Teflon” non-stick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics, and even in some food wrappers.

Department of Energy

The US Department of Energy says its marking completion of the first phase of an ongoing project to remove groundwater contaminants at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.  

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Grant funds for projects that clean up polluted streams, rivers, lakes and groundwater or protect water resources are available from the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection’s Division of Water. The grants would provide funding for watershed restoration projects and plan development and projects reducing and preventing runoff pollution.

Meat has a greater impact on the environment than pretty much any other food we eat. As The Salt has reported, billions of cows, pigs, sheep and poultry we raise as livestock guzzle massive quantities of water and generate at least 10 percent of the total greenhouse gases attributed to human activity.

But scientists say we've been slow to acknowledge yet another side effect of our taste for meat: nitrogen pollution.

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