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Environment

The Hunt for Methane Leaks Goes High-Tech

Jul 17, 2016
Photo (top): The 2015 leak at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility near Los Angeles was a grim reminder of how devastating methane leaks can be. The Environmental Defense Fund estimates that the four-month leak will have the same 20-year climate
Earthworks / Flickr Creative Commons

Up a bumpy road in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania, a team of researchers park their van, turn on a half-million dollars of equipment, and start another round of trying to solve a climate riddle.

They are in rural Susquehanna County looking for methane—the powerful greenhouse gas and the main component of natural gas.

How Labor and Environmental Groups Are Finding Common Ground

Jul 4, 2016
John Stamets via Flickr

When you think of an environmental hero, a plumber might not be the first person who comes to mind. But this year, a union representing plumbers and pipefitters earned a “champion” award from a nationwide coalition of environmental and labor groups called the BlueGreen Alliance.

Ohio is moving closer to forcing public water systems to alert residents within two days after lead is found at the tap.

It's a key part of an overhaul rolled out by Ohio Gov. John Kasich's administration to change how the state and its cities deal with lead in drinking water.

The two-day notification would be a major switch from current federal rules that give water plants 60 days to notify all residents.

But a water industry group is among those saying the proposed deadline is too short.

How a Burning River Helped Create the Clean Water Act

Apr 22, 2016
Cleveland State University Library

NOTE: This story was originally published on April 17, 2015.

At the time of the first Earth Day in 1970, the Cuyahoga River had long been a pollution problem. Cleveland had been a major industrial city since the 1880s, and the mayor then called the river “an open sewer through the center of the city.”

But when the Cuyahoga River caught fire in Cleveland in 1969, many believe it became the symbol of out-of-control pollution that was needed to get the Clean Water Act passed.

The Dayton City Commission has updated the city's water ordinance.
Wikipedia

A school district in central Ohio has shut off its drinking fountains after finding high lead levels in the water.

The Granville school district northeast of Columbus says tests show water coming from some of the drinking fountains are above the federal limit.

School leaders say the problem is with the drinking fountains and not the water coming into the buildings.

The district says it shut off access to the drinking fountains Wednesday and is running more tests.

Bottled water is being given to students and teachers.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. EPA is stepping in to help clean up groundwater pollution in the Valley Pike neighborhood of Riverside.

The organization announced yesterday the site has been added to its National Priorities list, which categorizes the most hazardous polluted sites in the country.

The Ohio EPA asked for federal support when the chemicals perchloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) were found in Valley Pike’s groundwater in 2013. The contaminants were traced back to nearby Mullins Rubber Products.

Miami Township Parks and Recreation

Layer Park in Miami Township has been closed due to ground contamination after the Ohio EPA found high levels of lead in the park’s soil.

The park was the site of a skeet shooting range from the 1930s into the 1950s. Officials believe lead shot became embedded in the ground and contaminated the soil.

The park was already closed for winter and will remain closed until all tests are complete. Residents living nearby were notified of the contamination by the EPA last Friday.

A Pennsylvania gas well.  fracking drilling
Gerry Dincher / Flickr/Creative Commons

State data shows the amount of hydraulic fracturing wastewater pumped underground in Ohio increased by more than 15 percent last year.

The increase comes as drilling for shale in the process known as fracking has slowed nationwide.

A Columbus Dispatch analysis of Ohio Department of Natural Resources numbers shows Ohio took in nearly 29 million barrels of fracking wastewater in 2015.

That figure is about 4 million more barrels than in 2014.

Dayton Water Great Miami River
Texas141

A southwest Ohio wastewater treatment plant has been told it failed to use proper emissions filtering equipment for the second time in less than two years.

The Dayton Daily News reports that federal regulators cited Clean Water Ltd. on Feb. 3 after they say dangerous contaminants from the Dayton facility escaped into the air.

The citation says an emissions filter didn't work properly for nine days last year. A ventilation system didn't function properly for 20 days.

In An Ohio Town, Officials Waited Months To Disclose Dangerous Lead Levels

Jan 29, 2016
bottled Water distribution at the Sebring Community Center in northeast Ohio.
Julie Grant / Allegheny Front

At the community center in tiny Sebring, Ohio, it’s clear there’s something going on. There are trucks from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. People are wearing official-looking fluorescent yellow jackets. The Red Cross is here. And residents are picking up bottled water.

 

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