Additional explanations and supplementary data. She has written for many publications, including the Tampa Bay Times, Family Circle, the Florida Phoenix, the Book of the Everglades, the Wild Heart of Florida, and Between Two Rivers. The E.P.A. What … Top of the list is clearly the Ohio River, having won the dubious honor of America’s most polluted river seven years in a row, in terms of pollutant discharges.Millions of tons of chemicals are dumped into the river, from a wide range of businesses and industries but nearly three quarters of them come from a single source: AK Steel Corp. The three most polluting plants are the Paradise Fossil Plant in western Kentucky, the Big Sandy plant in eastern Kentucky and the Mill Creek Generating Station in Louisville. LuAnn Snawder The Ohio River borders Kentucky from Indiana, Ohio, and part of Illinois. acknowledges known problems with its database. The fall conference of the Alliance will be … The Ohio River is the most polluted river in the United States. The database does not contain information submitted by the states. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis announced a new, 106-mile-long national recreation trail called the Apalachicola Blueway. We want to make sure that when Gulf Power shutters the plant, the leaking mess does not become the taxpayers’ problem. We take on many of the biggest environmental and health challenges of our time and stick with them. Despite this close proximity, Kentucky law does not require LG&E to test its coal ash wastewater for specific toxic pollutants such as mercury. Coal ash is the toxic waste left over after the coal gets burned to generate electricity. For Immediate Release. The coal ash disaster that hit North Carolina in February remains very much on our minds. Final report of a study funded in part under Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act to reduce NPS pollution of Kentucky’s waterways and improve the biological and chemical integrity of streams within the Dix River Watershed. Source: The Environmental Protection Agency, supplemented by the California State Water Resources Control Board for facilities located in California. This stretch of river is a good one for families and beginning paddlers to hone their craft and experience one of the overlooked treasures of central Kentucky. This river and its tributaries have been found to have elevated levels of E.coli, a pathogen that can cause gastroenteritis and other health complications in humans. The company’s coal ash waste impoundment sits on the Ohio River about 500 feet from a large residential neighborhood and 1,000 feet from a middle school. On June 6, U.S. Unfortunately, the Clean Water Act only addresses one kind of water pollution, point source pollution. Choke on This: Valley to Miss Air Quality Deadline, Ending Dangerous Coal Ash Pollution into the Ohio River, Government Funding Bill Will Pave the Way for More Ambitious Environmental Agenda. The Environmental Protection Agency previously classified the coal ash pond as being "high hazard," meaning a failure of the ash pond dam would probably cause a loss of human life and significant environmental damage. Nestled in the hills of Eastern Kentucky, Martin County has had a long history tied to coal. The Authority also develops recreational areas and adopts regulations to improve and coordinate water resource activities within the basin. Mary Love, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth,502-541-7434, … The Licking River begins with a whimper on its 300-mile plus journey north from headwaters in the mountains of Kentucky to its crescendo as it converges with the Ohio River at metro Cincinnati. Earthjustice is suing to stop toxic coal ash discharges into rivers in Kentucky and Florida. When the river rises, it carries a continuous raft of cans, bottles, plastic jugs, chunks of styrofoam, and other imperishable trash. Central Kentucky includes the Lower Kentucky River subbasin, which spans portions of 25 counties. The photographic evidence, along with Google Earth satellite images from 1993 to the present, detail how LG&E is also violating the Clean Water Act. It’s About Pride, Empathy, and Anger.’. We’ve filed two cases recently—one in Kentucky and one in Florida—to stop these toxic discharges into the Ohio River and the Apalachicola River. The warehouse had around 45,000 barrels of whiskey when the mishap occurred last week, according to CNN. In the wake of the bourbon spill, thousands of fish died as dissolved oxygen levels plummeted in the Kentucky River. Between 1918 and 2015, the county produced more than 436 million tons of … Julie Hauserman is an environmental writer and advocate who lives in Tallahassee, FL. Matthew Bloch, Charles Duhigg, Tyson Evans, Karl Russell, Derek Willis, In order to view this feature, you must download the latest version of flash player, Toxic Water: A series about the worsening pollution in American waters and regulators' response, acknowledges known problems with its database. It now coats the bottom of the Dan River for 70 miles downstream, and the full health and economic impacts of this spill are still adding up. Coal ash has already contaminated more than 200 lakes, streams, rivers and drinking water aquifers across the country. In Kentucky, time-lapse photography from a camera strapped to a tree captured a year’s worth of images proving that dangerous coal ash wastewater from Louisville Gas & Electric’s Mill Creek Generating Station has been pouring unabated into the Ohio River. In addition to point pollution sources, non-point pollution like grass fertilizer runs off into the river. The GST was called in to provide technical expertise and equipment when a distillery fire polluted the river. The Commission found that 92% of toxic discharges were nitrates, including farm runoff and waste water from industrial processes like steel production. Despite being chock-full of dangerous pollutants like mercury, arsenic (a known carcinogen), lead, selenium and cadmium, utility corporations store it all over the country in massive, unlined pits. Note: Though it is considered the most polluted river in the US, it's also one of the most widely used. Kentucky provided a response and supplementary data when asked to verify information provided by the EPA. The Kentucky River is a tributary of the Ohio River, 260 miles (418 km) long, in the U.S. Commonwealth of Kentucky.The river and its tributaries drain much of the central region of the state, with its upper course passing through the coal-mining regions of the Cumberland Mountains, and its lower course passing through the Bluegrass region in the north central part of the state. Earthjustice legislative representative, on David Brosch's work to bring solar power to his Maryland neighborhood. Data gathered up to 1990 suggest that water pollution problems existed throughout the Kentucky River Basin. Kentucky is a lush environment; the pollution is not always visible because it … Lee County is also a member of the Kentucky River Water Trail Alliance which is a grassroots project under the Kentucky Riverkeeper who’s purpose is to network and advocate for recreation on the Kentucky River. But contamination is leaking at other points on the site and not receiving proper treatment, and those discharges are not covered by the permit. It is a rare gem in the Florida Panhandle.”. In general, the Licking, Kentucky and Little Miami are relatively clean streams. These pits leak pollution into groundwater and streams—water that nearby communities often rely on for drinking supplies. Across the nation, the system that Congress created to protect the nation’s waters under the Clean Water Act of 1972 today often fails to prevent pollution. The outstanding sources of pollution in the Kentucky River Basin are distilleries, a number of which need improved waste disposal facilities. The Kentucky River is approximately 24 miles long and moving at a speed of less than a mile per hour. Across the nation, the system that Congress created to protect the nation’s waters under the Clean Water Act of 1972 today often fails to prevent pollution. Gulf Power is a subsidiary of the $38-billion Southern Company, and the plant along the river is 61 years old. While the Clean Water Act does protect waterways from pollution, there are no federal safeguards specific to coal ash pollution. In May, The Sierra Club and Earthjustice filed a lawsuit in federal court against the utility company. 1,926 facilities could not be mapped but are included in this list. Stay informed on how we hold accountable those who break our environmental laws. But when Owen County residents turned on … The Dix River is part of the Lower Kentucky River subbasin, and is highly polluted. Tim Joice, Kentucky Waterways Alliance, 502-589-8008 or Tim@KWAlliance.org. Map data (c) 2010 Google The company decided to close it next year rather than make needed environmental upgrades. This is a very special river. It is also the habitat for countless lives that live beyond the threshold of our perception. When you think about pollution from coal-burning power plants, you probably picture smokestacks spewing out dirty air. The New York Times has compiled data on more than 200,000 facilities that have permits to discharge pollutants and collected responses from states regarding compliance. Earthjustice attorneys Alisa Coe and Bradley Marshall filed our Clean Water Act suit in U.S. District Court in Tallahassee, Fl. The GST was called in to provide technical expertise and equipment when a distillery fire polluted the river. The water quality in the U.S. has greatly improved since the implementation of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in the early 1970’s. Photo by Leigh Taylor/Eye on Ohio In some areas the air smells like oil and gas. Under its existing permit, LG&E may at most only “occasionally” discharge into the river. Down in Florida, another coal ash impoundment is polluting the Apalachicola River. “The Apalachicola River flows through one of the nation’s richest hotspots of biodiversity and is bordered by large tracts of pristine, undeveloped land, which are home to many threatened and rare species of plants and animals,” the government’s National Trails Day press release said. The data are still being analyzed, but the results will inform a sewage management plan in the North Fork of the Kentucky River, one of the state’s most polluted. records may reflect updates since that date. Earthjustice is suing to stop toxic coal ash discharges into rivers in Kentucky and Florida. Give by 12/31 and double your impact. A southwestern Kentucky river is set to undergo testing and farmers and businesses could face more restrictions in an effort to reduce river pollution depending upon the result. Number 12 in yellow circle is the site of a photo on the full Kentucky River watershed map. The Dix River is part of the Lower Kentucky River subbasin and is highly polluted. Posted by Al Cross at 12:02 PM. The New York Times downloaded this data in May 2009 — E.P.A. Join the fight for a healthy environment. These pollutants also build up in ecosystems, and most are dangerous even in very small amounts. She is a former national commentator on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition and The Splendid Table. Email This BlogThis! Only facilities with active permits are shown; those that have closed or had permits terminated prior to May 5, 2009 are not included. Trace contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury are found in some fish in Kentucky. The water and the groundwater are sometimes polluted; there is a multitude of canals and pipes, and some of them are rusted and let the crude escape onto the ground. Kentucky River Authority therefore does not warrant the actual depth of ... To report a spill of hazardous material or other pollution concern please call the Kentucky Division of Water hot line at 800-928-2380 or 502-564-2380. The law makes change. Gulf Power has a federal Clean Water Act permit, which allows it to discharge treated coal ash water and chlorinated condensing water directly into the Apalachicola through an outfall. Kentucky, July 8: Dead fish were seen floating down Kentucky River, days after runoff from an alcohol warehouse fire polluted the water body, impacting the aquatic life. Contact: Eric Chance, Appalachian Voices, 828-262-1500 or eric@appvoices.org. What most people don’t realize is that coal plants are a huge water polluter—leaking more toxic pollution into America’s waters than any other U.S. industry. EPA Must Act Now. One test, in June 2013, found that arsenic levels coming out of the unlined pits were 300 times the amount considered safe for drinking water. Chuck Keller (left), from Fort Thomas Kentucky, and Jeremy Shannon, from Southgate, Kentucky, walk near the Licking River Greenway and Trails next to the Licking River in Covington, Kentucky. on behalf of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Waterkeeper Alliance and Apalachicola Riverkeeper. The Sierra Club and Earthjustice are also involved in a separate legal agreement, along with nine other public health and environmental organizations and a Native American tribe, compelling the EPA to finalize new federal regulations dealing with the handling and disposal of coal ash waste by December 19. The coal ash pits are contaminating the water with arsenic, cadmium, and chromium—all well-known carcinogens—as well as aluminum, barium, beryllium, copper, lead, nickel, zinc, selenium and mercury. The toxic heavy metal leaks—and the company’s decision not to report them—violate Gulf Power’s federal permit requirements under the Clean Water Act. Nonpoint source pollution is the most significant cause of contaminated water in Kentucky, according to the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection. The Kentucky Departments for Environmental Protection, Health Services and Fish and Wildlife Resources jointly issue a fish consumption advisory to the public when fish are found contaminated. By Julie Hauserman | June 10, 2014 Google Earth satellite images of coal ash wastewater pollution from the Mill Creek Generating Station into the Ohio River. Household garbage, in fact, is better regulated than toxic coal ash. Information about facilities contained in this database comes from two sources: the Environmental Protection Agency and the California State Water Resources Control Board. Her latest book, Drawn to the Deep, about National Geographic explorer/cave diver/photographer Wes Skiles, won a 2019 National Outdoors Book Award for biography. The Fight for Climate Action Continues as the U.S. Withdraws from Paris Agreement, Statement from Earthjustice on Hurricane Delta, Public Utilities Commission Issues Landmark Decision on Utility Business Model Reform, Lawsuit Takes Aim at Trump Administration Decision to Gut Tongass National Forest Protections, Actualización de Regla de Plomo y Cobre Seguirá Afectando a Menores Hispanos y Afroamericanos. Chemicals Lurking in Toys and Costumes are Harmful to Children. Google Earth satellite images of coal ash wastewater pollution from the Mill Creek Generating Station into the Ohio River. September 3, 2014 . Full Story ». A stormwater pipe below a huge Duke Energy coal ash pit failed, spilling 140,000 tons of toxic pollution into the Dan River. Assessment of Nonpoint Source Pollution Impacts on Groundwater in the Headwaters of the North Fork of the Kentucky River Basin: Assessment of Nonpoint Source Pollution Impacts on Groundwater in the Headwaters of the North Fork of the Kentucky River Basin: 4312230: Phillip W O'dell, James S Webb and Peter T Goodmann (Kentucky Division of Water) To report an accident, drowning, missing person or fish & LG&E’s own sampling of its Mill Creek coal ash dump found mercury levels in 2007 that were 20 times Kentucky’s human health standards. Its name, among the Iroquois, means “Good River.” It is the source of my drinking water and my daughter’s bath water. FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Pollution problems in parts of the Kentucky River and its feeder streams haven't improved over the past four years, according to a report released Friday. The Kentucky River usually flows tranquil and green-clear in fall with minimal boat traffic. Kentucky’s New Permits for Coal Mining Wastewater Means Five More Years of Polluted Streams. It has some amazing river front parks and is a popular water way for boating, including the famed Belle of … Just two days before the government’s national trails announcement, we filed a lawsuit under the Clean Water Act to protect this rare gem from pollution leaking out of unlined coal ash pits at Gulf Power Company’s Scholz Generating Plant near Sneads, Florida. “The river flows through the heart of Old Florida, a tapestry of wild landscapes and vanishing cultures. The United States Geological Survey will test the Little River, which runs through Trigg … Kentucky River Watershed Watch (KRWW) organization is a non-profit (501c3) organization that was formed in 1997 to support a citizen monitoring effort. The Kentucky, in many ways a lovely river, receives an abundance of pollution from the Eastern Kentucky coal mines and the central Kentucky cities. The Kentucky River Authority develops comprehensive plans for the management of the Kentucky River basin, including long-range water supply, drought response and groundwater protection plans. What Happens When a Hurricane Smashes Into Fossil Fuels? Fecal coliform bacteria in streams was a widespread problem because of the inadequate treatment of municipal wastes, failing septic systems, and agricultural runoff. The river again ranked as the most polluted in 2013 and has been the most polluted river since at least 2001, according to the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO). New Oceans Bill Offers One Plan for Two Crises, ‘What Does Latinx Heritage Month Mean to Me? Agriculture activity is commonly regarded as the leading contributor to nonpoint source pollution. Ohio River. 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