At risk: Lake Erie

Right now, Lake Erie, and the streams on wetlands on which it relies, is vulnerable to pollution and development. Polluters can dump garbage into streams, developers can pave over wetlands to build strip malls, and the cops on the environmental beat can’t do a thing about it.

Polluters poke holes in Clean Water Act

For nearly 40 years, the Clean Water Act has helped Ohio — and states across the nation — care for and clean up our waterways. Thanks in large part to this groundbreaking law, rivers are no longer so polluted that they catch fire, as Ohio’s Cuyahoga infamously did in 1969.

Unfortunately, Lake Erie is still threatened by pollution — state officials estimate that more than 10 billion gallons of untreated sewage flow into the Lake each year. Too often, we’ve seen our beaches closed due to high pollution levels, with more than 1,200 closings or warnings in 2010 alone. The Environmental Protection Agency is moving to update clean water standards to reduce pollution in Lake Erie, but polluters and their allies in Congress are trying to block them. With a decision expected this fall, the matter is urgent: We need to show overwhelming public support for tough clean water standards to protect Lake Erie and all of our waterways.

The EPA can protect Lake Erie

Since 2006, we have been urging Congress to protect all our waters by simply declaring that the Clean Water Act applies to all of Ohio's — and America’s — waters. But, stymied at every turn by industry lobbyists and powerful special interests, we turned instead to the EPA for action.

This spring, we submitted petitions to Administrator Lisa Jackson, urging her to restore protections to all of our waters. In April, she announced a plan to do just that. But polluters’ allies in Congress won’t give up — and now they’re threatening to stop the EPA from doing its job.

At the same time, powerful corporate interests are preparing for battle: ExxonMobil threatened “legal warfare” if the EPA moves forward with its plan to restore Clean Water Act protections.

Our plan to defend Lake Erie, and all our waters

We refuse to let polluters and their allies in Congress open our precious waterways to more dumping and development. We’re bringing together Ohioans from all walks of life to protect Lake Erie and the rest of our state's waterways. From anglers to white-water enthusiasts, clergy to scientists, local officials to ordinary families, we all have a stake in keeping our water clean.

Our citizen outreach staff has been knocking on doors across the state, educating Ohioans about what’s at stake.

If we’re going to push past ExxonMobil and other powerful polluters, we’re going to need everyone who cares about Lake Erie to get involved. Join our campaign by sending the EPA a message today.

Clean water updates

News Release | Environment Ohio

Environment Ohio Statement on Toledo Drinking Water Contamination

As Toledo recovered today from contamination of its drinking water, Environment Ohio’s Christian Adams released the following statement:

This weekend, contamination by toxic algae meant that nearly half a million people in the Toledo area could not use their own tap water for drinking, bathing, or cooking. As residents recover from this crisis, one thing is clear: If we want safe drinking water, we must ensure that all of Ohio’s waterways are protected by the Clean Water Act.

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News Release | Environment Ohio

House Subcommittee Guts Climate, Clean Water, and Park Protections

Yesterday the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies moved to slash the FY 2014 Interior and Environment Appropriations budget by 18 percent.


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News Release | Environment Ohio

Congratulations Gina McCarthy, Our New U.S. EPA Administrator

The U.S. Senate today confirmed Gina McCarthy as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown voted to confirm and Senator Rob Portman voted against confirming Ms. McCarthy. The confirmation came just weeks after President Obama instructed EPA to cut carbon pollution from power plants as part of his plan to fight global warming.

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News Release | Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group

Nine Million Pounds of Toxic Chemicals Dumped into Ohio’s Waterways

CLEVELAND, OH—Industrial facilities dumped nine million pounds of toxic chemicals into Ohio’s waterways, making Ohio the 9th worst in the nation, according to a new report released today by Environment Ohio. Wasting Our Waterways: Industrial Toxic Pollution and the Unfulfilled Promise of the Clean Water Act also reports that 226 million pounds of toxic chemicals were discharged into 1,400 waterways across the country.

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Report | Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group

Wasting Our Waterways 2012

Industrial facilities continue to dump millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s rivers, streams, lakes and ocean waters each year – threatening both the environment and human health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pollution from industrial facilities is responsible for threatening or fouling water quality in more than 14,000 miles of rivers and more than 220,000 acres of lakes, ponds and estuaries nationwide.

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