Freeze On State Energy Standards Closer To Passage

May 8, 2014

A measure to overhaul Ohio’s energy policies is on its way to the House after the state Senate held a vote very early Thursday morning. The bill would freeze the state’s efficiency and renewable standards for two years.

The standards, which have been in place since 2008, require utilities to achieve a certain amount of energy efficiency and use a certain amount of renewable sources by 2025.

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The City of Moraine is asking voters to approve a .5 percent increase to its municipal income tax in the Tuesday, May 6 primary election. Moraine City Manager David Hicks says the south Dayton town is in a tough spot financially—and still dealing with empty buildings and polluted superfund sites years after the departure of industry that created it.

Mark Mazzei is caring for 64 salamanders at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. They were rescued from the site of a March 17, 2014 oil spill in Oak Glen Nature Preserve.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

A group of salamanders is recovering at Dayton’s Boonshoft Museum after being removed from the site of an oil spill north of Cincinnati last month. The Mid-Valley pipeline, which is operated by Sunoco Logistics, leaked at least 19,000 gallons of oil into the Oak Glen Nature Preserve. The pipeline runs from Texas to Michigan through Ohio, and WYSO found it’s one of the leakiest in the country.


Flickr Creative Commons User linus_art

The Regional Air Pollution Control Agency, or RAPCA, is investigating several instances of elevated levels of PM 2.5, a fine particulate that contributes to air pollution. RAPCA is responsible for monitoring air quality in a six-county area and officials there say several days during the months of December and January registered higher than other places in the region.

"One of the primary sources of fine particulate matter is wood burning," says RAPCA's John Paul. "There's a lot of wood burning in the Yellow Springs area."

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Newly sworn-in Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley was at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Jan. 22-24, and she came back with some insights about what mayors can do to grow jobs and make the most of natural resources.

Logo / Dayton Regional Green

The City of Dayton and Montgomery County moved this week to sign resolutions to make the region more “green” in the coming years. Leaders are encouraging businesses to take on basic environmental practices, and asking individuals to do more recycling and energy conservation.

The city and county’s goals for the Dayton Regional Green Initiative include certifying 1,500 companies as “green,” and planting 100,000 trees by 2016. They also want 25 percent of the region’s waste to be recycled.

Satellite view of toxic algal bloom on Lake Erie
NASA Earth Observatory

Algal blooms are once again causing problems for lakes and streams in Ohio this summer. But farmers are combating the situation, and so far, they’re getting some help from the weather.

When rain falls on farm fields that have been treated with fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorus, whatever chemicals haven't soaked deep enough into the soil, or made their way into the crops, can end up in nearby streams and lakes. That runoff is feeding nutrients to harmful algal blooms. 

Full episode of WYSO Weekend for August 4, 2013 including the following stories:

- Officials Differ On Emergency Phone Alert During Yellow Springs Standoff, by Emily McCord

- Cityfolk Cancels 2014 Season, by Jerry Kenney

- Wildlife Boom in Local MetroParks, by Community Voices producer Ron Rollins

Ohio environmental officials are focusing on six major streams as they try to cut pollutants that help toxic algae thrive in the state's lakes and other waterways.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has for years worked to cut manure and fertilizer runoff from Ohio farms and pollutants from sewage treatment plants that contribute to poisonous blooms of blue-green algae in Lake Erie and Grand Lake St. Marys in western Ohio.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the state EPA will focus on the Scioto, Great Miami, Maumee, Sandusky, Cuyahoga and Wabash rivers.


Antioch College says that a new conservation land easement will ensure that Glen Helen near Yellow Springs will be forever preserved and open to the public.

It's first of two phases designed to protect the popular recreational destination.  WYSO's Licensee, Antioch University was a co-granter on the easement.  Both the University and College worked with the Trust for Public Land to complete the deal. 

Nick Boutis with Antioch College is Director of the Glen Helen Ecology Institute.  He says protecting the Glen has been a priority for decades.