Click here to submit public comments to Ohio EPA by November 19.
1.) Insist algae toxin standards be created for Ohio drinking water supplies
2.) Request mandatory testing to occur at community water systems
In June 2014, Governor Kasich signed into law a bill that guts Ohio’s clean energy and efficiency standards. Passing this new law was not enough for Ohio’s utilities, though.
Now, Ohio’s largest electric utilities, AEP, Duke, and FirstEnergy are seeking to keep a number of Ohio’s oldest and dirtiest power plants open for years to come.
And they want you and me to pay for it.
Ohio is enriched by its vast water resources, flowing from Lake Erie all the way to the Ohio River. The health and condition of Ohio’s waterways impact our quality of life, as we rely on them for safe drinking water, wildlife habitat, consumable fish, recreation, and shipping. Challenges stem from polluting industries, agricultural and stormwater runoff, urban development, sewer overflows, and more. The campaign advocates for solutions to prevent waterway pollution – working locally to protect our rivers, streams, tributaries, and wetlands across the state. Lake Erie protection is also critical for Ohio and includes efforts by both the Sierra Club Western Lake Erie and Northeast Ohio local groups.
May 21st, 2015
Researchers released the 2015 predictions for toxic algae blooms. The graph below shows that a similar bloom as 2014 is predicted. Earlier this month, USEPA announced guidance for new drinking water health advisory limits to be restricted further for children below school age to 0.3 microLiters of toxin, instead of what was used in 2014 in Ohio at 1.0 microLiters (recommended by the World Health Organization). The same report increased the adult tolerance restrictions for drinking the water up to 1.6 microLiters of toxin. Sierrans wrote hundreds of letters to Ohio EPA last fall to ask for mandatory drinking water testing in all communities for these toxins, to assure citizens of safe drinking water. Without mandatory testing for these toxins and adoption by the state of Ohio of threshold limits for these toxins, the health of Ohio citizens is at risk.
What is causing these blooms? What can be done to resolve? See the Sierra Club Toxic Algae web pages for more information.
April 10th, 2015
April brings spring showers, as well as Aveda Earth Month Fundraisers for Sierra Club’s Clean Water Campaign. Join this Sierra partnership with Ohio salons and spas, to raise money for the state’s clean water issues. Check out the Clean Water Calendar to find out what is going on in your region of the state. Consider one of the many volunteer opportunities for cleaning up our rivers, making a rain barrel, or learn how to monitor the water.
April 10th, 2015
“Volunteers are needed to assure the water running through your backyards, your parks, and your communities is healthy,” states Ann Keefe, Sierra Club’s Lake Erie Conservation Coordinator.
Trained citizens are asked to spend a 1 to 2 hours of time, quarterly, to monitor the river or stream near them. Sierra Club has some sites available to be assigned or volunteers can suggest a location. Many sites can include public or private lands near bridges, where the river is easily accessible. In NW Ohio, volunteers’ focus is in the Maumee Bay Area of Concern, including the Maumee and Ottawa Rivers, Swan Creek and other Lake Erie tributaries. The Water Sentinel Program provides water monitoring kits, training, and sample analysis to participating groups and individuals who care about clean water.
Adults and accompanied minors are invited to attend the citizen volunteer monitoring training. Questions and required RSVP to attend can be directed to Ann Keefe, Sierra Club, at 419-619-4436 or email at Ann.Keefe@sierraclub.org
February 25th, 2015
Did you know it is National Invasive Species Awareness Week? The Environmental Protection Agency describes an ”invasive species” as a plant or animal that is non-native (or alien) to an ecosystem, and whose introduction is likely to cause economic, human health, or environmental damage in that ecosystem. Once established, it is extremely difficult to control their spread. It is estimated that damage done by invasive plants alone costs the U.S. an estimated $34.7 billion a year.
While all species compete to survive, invasive species appear to have specific traits or specific combinations of traits that allow them to outcompete native species. This is evident to all those who have hiked in Ohio and have witnessed honeysuckle take over entire areas. Honeysuckle rapidly moves in an area and takes over, forming a dense shrub layer that crowds and shades out native species. This dense shrub layer creates an denser shade than native plants, thus reducing both plant diversity and nest sites for many forest interior species…resulting in a decline in the bird populations. It’s a domino effect upon diversity!
Approximately 100 of the known 700 terrestrial non-native plants in Ohio cause problems in natural areas. What can you do to reduce invasive species in Ohio? Join the Sierra Club for a watershed restoration event! No matter where you live in the state, we will have a watershed clean up near you! Check out our Clean Water Google Calendar for events near your home today!
February 19th, 2015
Congratulations to the 17 Clean Water Sentinels recently trained in the Blanchard River region, as a result of a partnership between the Blanchard River Watershed Partners and the Ohio Sierra Club! Their monitoring will begin this March, and they will be assisted by our water fellow student from Bowling Green State University and University of Toledo. These volunteers will serve to monitor nearly 60 sites in this important watershed on a monthly basis. If you are interested in becoming a Blanchard River Clean Water Sentinel, we are looking for 3 more people in the Cranberry Creek sub-watershed area. Contact Ann Keefe at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.