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.
January 16th, 2014
One week ago today, a chemical used in coal processing spilled on the Elk River in West Virginia, contaminating drinking water for more than 300,000 residents. Now, this coal catastrophe is snaking its way down the Ohio River and endangering our freshwater resources.
The Sierra Club released this press release yesterday voicing its concerns about the Ohio EPA’s ability to protect our water with regards to the recent resignation of Director Scott Nally and Ohio EPA Water Chief George Elmaraghy.
December 19th, 2013
Since the start of our 2013/2014 funding cycle with Aveda in August, we have already accomplished a great deal towards protecting Ohio’s waterways. Thank you to Aveda, the water committee, staff, and volunteers for making our success possible.
November 19th, 2013
My name is Salam Farhan and I am a sophomore at Youngstown State University majoring in Geology. I believe that with education and knowledge comes responsibility. I am thankful that, in this period of my education, The Clean Water Sierra Club Campaign is giving me the chance to act on that belief by teaching me how to be a positive, effective, and active member of my community. I have learned about many different water, environmental, and community building issues in my area, and I have goals to become a part of their solution! Beside my geological studies, I also enjoy spending time with my loving family, spending time outdoors, connecting with people, and playing music. This is my first semester as a Sierra Club student fellow, and I could not be more excited to bring what I have to the table, and to learn and work with the great people that make up this organization.
November 7th, 2013
Last Saturday, the Ohio Sierra Club, FACT (Friends of the Alum Creek Tributaries), and Mad Scientist (local wetland consulting firm), with help from Westerville Parks and Rec., hosted a service event at Boyer Nature Preserve in Westerville for Make a Difference Day! The event consisted of removing invasive species and planting native trees and shrubs to help maintain the ecological health of the area. Boyer Nature Preserve is a small area tucked away in a suburban neighborhood where one would never guess that they might find a beautiful and serene wetland just beyond the white washed homes and mini-vans.
The cold air took a bit of time to adjust to in the early morning, but as soon as the sun rose the day turned into a beautiful, sunny fall day. The group of volunteers grew bigger and bigger as each minute passed, and soon we were all gathered and ready to get to work. After a short safety presentation and a much needed cup of coffee, the troop of volunteers tackled the honeysuckle bushes with full force. The forest became alive as adults, college students, and young children began attacking the invasive honeysuckle with hand saws and various other tools.
Some volunteers, those not removing honeysuckle, helped move it out of the forest and to a nearby wood chipper so it could be mulched instead of disposed of as trash. What is more, the chipper was a substantial distance from the removal location, so these individuals were some of the hardest working out there.
After removing the invasive honeysuckle, volunteers got to work planting trees in the newly vacant spots where the honeysuckle once stood. These beautiful native trees will grow and become part of the Boyer Nature Preserve and will discourage the harmful honeysuckle from growing in those areas.
With the hard work of our volunteers, we were able to improve the health of Boyer Preserve and ensure that this area is functioning the way it should be. Protecting areas like Boyer Preserve benefits communities, as these areas provide critical ecosystem functions and services. Seeing all these volunteers from differing backgrounds and different age groups coming together to preserve one of Columbus’s natural areas is heartening.
Urban wetlands like Boyer Preserve serve an important purpose to the Columbus community. Wetlands act as a filter, removing pollutants and helping keep the water we drink clean and pure. The vegetation that is found around wetlands helps remove phosphates and plant nutrients from the soil which discourages algae from growing on the waterway and stealing oxygen from the plants and animals trying to survive. They also help absorb excess water, reduce flooding, and provide habitat for a myriad of species.
This beautiful nature preserve is one of Columbus’s hidden gems, and it’s wonderful that the public has access to such an area. But it hasn’t always been that way. Only a few years ago, Boyer Preserve was not open to the public. Providing open access, though, has been a success. The community is now more-connected with the area, and not only has the ecological integrity not been sacrificed, but the public is helping ensure it remains healthy. Thank you to all of the hard working volunteers who donated their time to help make a difference! Hope to see you all again at the next event!
Written by Clean Water Fellow Natasha Ghica