Read Indiana Rivers Comments on Proposed Amendments to Pollution Control Standards
for Discharges to the Ohio River
for Discharges to the Ohio River
Ohio River Commission Proposes To Eliminate Prohibition On Mixing Zones For Chemicals Dangerous To Human and Aquatic Life!!!
The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) is proposing changes to the Pollution Control Standards for the Ohio River which would "eliminate the effective date of October 16, 2015 and requires that mixing zones for bio-accumulative chemicals of concern (BCCs) for existing facilities be eliminated as soon as practicable as determined by the permitting authority" (state delegated permitting programs).
A mixing zone is an area of a river where the discharge of pollution occurs and water quality standards for both aquatic life and human health are permitted to be exceeded. Specifically, mercury and other BCC’s accumulate in the bodies of organisms upon ingestion, and inflict increasing levels of harm on higher orders of species such as predatory fish, birds, and mammals through a process known as "biomagnification".
Over time, exposure to mercury causes it to build up in the body causing illness and poisoning. Mercury affects the human brain, spinal cord, kidneys, liver, immune system, and pituitary gland; and is associated with elevated risks for mental impairment including neurotoxicity, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, and Alzheimer's disease. At greatest risk are pregnant women, women of childbearing age, and children who consume fish containing mercury. Exposure to mercury causes damage in unborn babies, infants, and children ‐ impairing cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language, motor and visual skill development.
A 2009 study of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data concluded approximately one in 40 women of childbearing age have mercury in their blood above 5.8 micrograms per liter, a level dangerous to a developing fetus. More recent testing indicates that mercury concentrates in the umbilical cord blood and mercury levels as low as 3.4 micrograms per liter of a mother’s blood pose increasing risk of developmental impairment of unborn babies. According to the most recent testing data, now approximately one in 13 women of childbearing age in the United States has mercury in her blood at or above this level.
Sampling conducted by ORSANCO has revealed over 800 miles of the Ohio River is currently exceeding health standards for mercury. Nearly all of Indiana's southern Ohio River border from Markland Lock and Dam to the Wabash river is listed as impaired for total mercury by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
ORSANCO must maintain and enforce the prohibition on mixing zones for mercury and other BCCs to protect aquatic life and human health!
(Writing your own message will carry more weight with ORSANCO)
Dear Governor Pence,
The Ohio River is an important resource for aquatic life and human fish consumption. Mercury is a dangerous toxic chemical that persists in the environment and builds up in the food chain as smaller organisms are consumed by larger organisms, including humans. At greatest risk are pregnant women and their unborn baby, women of childbearing age, infants and children who consume fish containing mercury. Exposure to mercury causes damage in unborn babies, infants, and children ‐ impairing cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language, motor and visual skill development.
Please instruct Indiana's ORSANCO Commissioners to VOTE NO on amendments to Chapter 4.F. Mixing Zone Prohibition for BCCs in the Pollution Control Standards for the Ohio River!