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Our look at
ORSANCO

Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission

 

UPDATES

Fracking attorney named chairman of water quality commission

August 2, 2012 - The new chairman of the multi-state agency that established water quality standards for the Ohio River, a drinking water source for 5 million, is a prominent attorney who has been fighting for natural gas companies to do more hydraulic fracturing. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) announced that Kenneth Komoroski was elected chairman on July 1st.

Kenneth Komoroski
Source: ORSANCO website

Komoroski has represented oil and gas exploration and production and midstream companies in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, New York and Maryland for more than 20 years. A check of news stories shows Mr. Komoroski at the center of a number of disputes over the practice known as fracking.

Full story

Beginning of the Ohio River at PittsburghWith its beginning at the confluence of the Allegheny River and Monongahela River in Pittsburgh, the Ohio River is 981-miles long with a river basin in 14 states. The Ohio River is the largest tributary of the Mississippi River, and the two rivers meet in Cairo, Illinois.

Unlike the major river basins in eastern Pennsylvania (Susquehanna River & Delaware River) the Ohio River basin lacks a true river basin commission that regulates a full spectrum of watershed issues. The closest thing to it for the western part of Pennsylvania is a commission known as ORSANCO, which stands for Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission.

The commission was established in 1948 “to control and abate pollution in the Ohio River Basin.”  As an interstate commission, ORSANCO represents the federal government and 8 states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

 

In light of all the Marcellus Shale wastewater being dumped into the upper tributaries of the Ohio River since 2005, it is rather alarming there is no mention of Marcellus Shale or gas drilling wastewater disposal in the PDF files shown below from 2010. This is in stark contrast to many of the problems reported in the upper tributaries of the Ohio River, with trihalomethane issues and ongoing concerns in early-2011 about bromides and radioactive wastewater disposal in the Monongahela River and other Ohio River tributaries in Pennsylvania.

As the old saying goes, “Everyone is downstream from someone.” In this case, 5 states are downstream from Pennsylvania along the Ohio River. That should merit new concerns with Marcellus gas drilling activity in the 21st Century.


ORSANCO DOCUMENTS

POLLUTION CONTROL STANDARDS FOR DISCHARGES
TO THE OHIO RIVER - 2010 Revision

(No mention of Marcellus Shale or drilling wastewater disposal)

SAMPLING DATA: JANUARY - JUNE 2010
Analytical results of bimonthly samples collected from 31 locations on the Ohio River and its tributaries. In addition to the routine set of parameters collected bimonthly, quarterly analyses for five metals are performed on a rotating basis among stations.
 

Headwaters of the Ohio River at Pittsburgh
The confluence of the Monongahela River (left) and
the Allegheny River (right) mark the beginning
of the Ohio River at the point in Pittsburgh

  


COMMISSION HEADQUARTERS
ORSANCO
5735 Kellogg Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio  45230
Phone: 513-231-7719

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
http://www.orsanco.org


  
LINKS

Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC)

Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC)

 

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