The rivers are part of Pittsburgh, and we have to value them as such.”. However, the water used to be known as highly polluted and almost killed off everything in it. An abandoned mine discharge on the Monongahela River caused a bright orange plume of pollution but didn’t impact public water supplies. UNIONTOWN – The district attorneys for Fayette and Washington counties announced Thursday afternoon that the Belle Vernon Municipal Authority and a local landfill have 90 days to work out a Crisis management and plans are most efficiently constructed by joining forces, pooling manpower, equipment resources, capabilities and expertise within a formalized organization - thus the birth of Three Rivers Pollution Response Council, Inc. We are located in the Pittsburgh Port of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Eighth District and EPA’s Region III. Read More: Monongahela River It is 128 miles long with a drainage basin of 7,340 square miles. The Monongahela River forms at the junction of Tygart Valley River and West Fork Rivers in Maron County, WV. The EPA’s 1972 Clean Water Act established a permit system for industrial pollution, setting limits for individual facilities. If Allegheny is ordered to comply, the company will need to install pollution controls that eliminate the discharge of heavy metals as well. The river caught fire in 1968 due to contamination. The decision lays the foundation for requiring a wastewater scrubber system and limiting water pollution from the power plant. 1 997). The main stem of the Monongahela River has been acidic, until very recently, throughout its length. Örtlich ist er auch unter der Bezeichnung the Mon bekannt. This collection of municipalities, about 10 miles southeast of … Pollutant Reduction Plan Instructions(PDF) TMDL Plan Instructions(PDF) To assist MS4s with understanding their obligations regarding impaired waters, DEP has prepared an MS4 Requirements Table. EPA Must Act Now. EPA data suggest that the prison exposed the Wilson River to fecal matter, ammonia and other pollutants 80 times in less than two years. pollution sign affixed to the door of a gasoline service station across the monongahela river from a united states steel corporation coke plant at clairton, pennsylvania, 20 miles south of pittsburgh. The state’s top violator, according to the report, is SCI Graterford STP, a correctional facility in Montgomery County north of Philadelphia. According to the report, industrial facilities across the country exceeded federal water pollution levels 8,100 times between January 2016 and September 2017. WARNING DETECTION SYSTEM ON THE ALLEGHENY AND MONONGAHELA RIVERS IN PENNSYLVANIA Jerry G. Schulte Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission Cincinnati, Ohio INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) is an interstate water pollution control agency created in 1948 to monitor and abate water pollution in the Ohio River Basin. But the plant’s failure to install a scrubbing system for its discharged wastewater means that the dangerous pollutants that formerly fouled the air are now being dumped into the Monongahela River, a drinking water source for more than 350,000 people living south of Pittsburgh. Eastman Chemical Resins, on the banks of the Mon and upstream from Pittsburgh, is identified as the second worst with 72 exceedances over its federal permit limit in less than two years. Rather, they are two essential elements that together foster healthy communities. "U.S. Steel says significant declines of soot in the Monongahela River Valley last spring were the result of reduced vehicle emissions during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order." (CWF) and a tributary of Indian Creek, the Youghiogheny River, and the greater Monongahela River Basin, Fayette County (Figure 1.). DEP has developed a supplement to the MS4 Requirements Tab… The Monongahela River basin has been severely polluted by drainage from coal mining activity. Over the past decade, in terms of diversity, the Mon River became home to many fish qualified as pollution intolerant, including the red horse sucker and some minnows, the state Fish and Boat Commission has said. Earthjustice attorney Abigail Dillen, representing the Environmental Integrity Project and Citizens Coal Council, successfully fended off a legal challenge from plant owner Allegheny Energy, which sought allowance for its facility to continue polluting the river. Complaints obtained from the health department reveal descriptions of an industrial stench wafting over the old milltowns of the Monongahela River valley — “A STRONG ODOR … But pollution still threatens aquatic life and creates water unfit for human consumption. Three rivers, the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio, cross through Pittsburgh’s metropolitan area. Clean water advocates have won the first round in a legal fight over permit limits that would prevent the Hatfield’s Ferry coal-fired power plant from dumping polluted water into the Monongahela River. Pittsburgh was once known as the “Smoky City” or “Hell With the Lid Off” due to the overwhelmingly foul conditions that plagued it for over a century. The group’s regional director, Ashleigh Deemer, said Pennsylvania companies top the list. ... Over the last 40 years the Cheat has faced significant pollution from mine runoff and blowouts. Since 2008, the river has A workman's touch ignited the fire. Eastman Chemical Resins, Inc., located upriver from Pittsburgh along the Monongahela River in Allegheny County, exceeded its permitted pollution limits 72 times in 21 months. “We shouldn’t have to choose between air that is safe to breathe and water that is safe to drink,” said Dillen. Our rivers are literally and figuratively tied to our regional identity. “That is the second highest number of exceedances in the country, second only to Texas.”. WARNING DETECTION SYSTEM ON THE ALLEGHENY AND MONONGAHELA RIVERS IN PENNSYLVANIA Jerry G. Schulte Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission Cincinnati, Ohio INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) is an interstate water pollution control agency created in 1948 to The Monongahela River originates in north-central West Virginia and flows north through south-western Pennsylvania to Pittsburgh where it meets the Allegheny River to form the Ohio River. It is 128 miles long with a drainage basin of 7,340 square miles. By holding polluters such as Allegheny Energy accountable, Earthjustice is requiring energy companies to internalize their costs of operation, rather than passing those costs on to the public in the form of toxic pollution. On the shores of the Mon River in the South Side on Tuesday, representatives from environmental advocacy group PennEnvironment gathered with Allegheny County Councilwoman Anita Prizio and Pittsburgh City Councilwoman-Elect Erika Strassburger, who previously worked for the statewide group. Pollution Water. RGGI, Behind the Rhetoric: What We Know About the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Groups Sue EPA over Coal Plant Air Pollution in Indiana County, With Biden vow to rejoin Paris Agreement, cities and states look forward to federal partnership on climate, Environmentalists see opportunity for Pennsylvania legislature in 2021, State Gives $2.5 Million to Pitt to Study Health Impacts of Fracking, Study: Pa. Heart Failure Patients Near Fracking More Likely to be Hospitalized, State Gives $34 Million for Water Cleanup, Groups Look to Protect Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie Watershed with Common Goals, Central Pa. The mammoth plant has long been a hotbed of pollution, but the fire made it dramatically worse, spewing outbursts of air pollution that have recurred for months over this town of 6,600 and 22 other small towns nearby. The city’s dark past has been described as a cautionary tale for cities lacking environmental control. This story comes from our partner, 90.5 WESA. Having rebounded from the deadly effects of abandoned mine drainage and unchecked pollution, the Monongahela River carves out a 7,340 square-mile watershed containing woodlands, rolling farmland, active and reclaimed coal mines, and towns rich in the history of the Industrial Revolution. The Cheat River is a 78.3-mile-long (126.0 km) tributary of the Monongahela River in eastern West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania in the United States.Via the Ohio River, the Cheat and Monongahela are part of the Mississippi River watershed.Owing to the ruggedness of the surrounding Allegheny Mountains, the Cheat remains largely remote with few settlements or developments along … Despite efforts to stem the overflow, water carried thousands of gallons to downtown Pittsburgh, where the Monongahela meets the Allegheny to form the Ohio River, and beyond. Allegheny Energy is challenging the limits in an effort to avoid installation of pollution controls that would eliminate wastewater discharges of mercury, arsenic, selenium, and … Brief history of the pollution of the Monongahela River and how it is still being polluted today despite the regulations put in place. “Companies across the country are regularly exceeding their allowable pollution limits. Three rivers, the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio, cross through Pittsburgh’s metropolitan area. (412) 697-2933, A new report reveals that industrial facilities in Pennsylvania are among the top polluters of United States rivers, including a chemical company just 16 miles outside of Pittsburgh. An abandoned mine discharge on the Monongahela River caused a bright orange plume of pollution but didn’t impact public water supplies. The main stem of the Monongahela River has been acidic, until very recently, throughout its length. The Monongahela joins the Allegheny River to form the Ohio River at Pittsburgh. We take on many of the biggest environmental and health challenges of our time and stick with them. “Pennsylvania deserves clean water. The three sisters bridges stand out in the city of bridges. Reductions in dissolved solids in the Monongahela River have virtually eliminated the exceedences of the SMCL of 500 mg/L (fig. The Mon might be one of the country`s most endangered rivers, according to scientists studying the river. Chemicals Lurking in Toys and Costumes are Harmful to Children. PennEnvironment lists the top 10 industrial polluters to Pennsylvania’s rivers. Adelina Lancianese is a 2017-18 Kroc Fellow at NPR and a 2017 graduate of Georgetown University. Monongahela River Basin. Watershed pollution in Appalachia, much of which has been caused by coal mining, is an ongoing environmental hazard that mimics the threat steel once posed to big cities on the Ohio. Monongahela River Basin. Eastman Chemical’s national headquarters has not responded to a request for comment. It threatens aquatic life, endangers people taking part in river recreation and — perhaps most critically — creates water unfit for human consumption. Unfortunately, that’s not the case … and a lot of that is due to the industrial pollution that flows illegally into our rivers every year.”. The report outlines steps that local, state and federal agencies can take to lessen future exceedances, such as strengthening permits, funding more water pollution control grants, increasing inspections and issuing timely penalties. Sixty years ago, the nation's worst air pollution disaster occurred in the Monongahela River valley town of Donora. The Ohio River … Pennsylvania facilities are among the top 8 river polluters in a list of more than 500 in the nation. On 10 of those occasions, they poured more than 500 percent of their permitted limits for zinc, aluminum, nitrites, styrene, and xylene into the Monongahela River. The Mon River was classified by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as impaired, or too contaminated to drink, in 2002. PennEnvironment prepared their findings based on compliance data from the Environmental Protection Agency. Although the Monongahela River was nearly dead in the 1960s it has improved to the point of supporting over 70 species of fish, including a much-improved sauger and smallmouth bass fishery. Source: PennEnvironment. Fish and other aquatic organisms responded to improving water quality by recolonizing the once degraded reaches (Preston and White 1978, Cooper 1983, Weller et al. . Lachner (l), in his general overview of the ----- The law makes change. Among 25,450 ballots cast, the Monongahela River received 8,156 votes. The company claimed that it was acceptable to foul the river because the scrubber system at Hatfield’s Ferry should be considered an existing source of pollution rather than a “new discharger.” Chief Judge Thomas W. Renwand rejected the company’s argument this week, deciding in favor of our clients. What was described as a killer fog blanketed this small company town in 1948. The first phase, an Initial Watershed Assessment (IWA) was completed in February 2012. 10). Stay informed on how we hold accountable those who break our environmental laws. HUC ... industrial and municipal pollution, , and land usedeep well gas development are currently some of the principal water quality concerns in the watershed. She has also reported for the Beckley Register-Herald in West Virginia and 100 Days in Appalachia. The Monongahela River is at a crossroads. monongahela river pollution caused by an oil spill which resulted when a coupling ruptured on a line connecting barge... - NARA - 557234.jpg 2.019 × 3.000; 723 KB MONONGAHELA RIVER SHOWS DISCHARGE FROM A SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT AT MCKEESPORT, PENNSYLVANIA, NEAR … “We’re here overlooking the Mon River for one simple reason,” she said, gesturing to the water behind her, swelling with falling rain. Levels of toxic chemicals in our waters are at times so high that our rivers are too dangerous to swim in, and our waters so contaminated that people cannot drink from them. The Monongahela River (/ m ə ˌ n ɒ ŋ ɡ ə ˈ h iː l ə / mə-NONG-gə-HEE-lə, /-ˈ h eɪ-/- HAY-) —often referred to locally as the Mon (/ m ɒ n /)—is a 130-mile-long (210 km) river on the Allegheny Plateau in north-central West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania. After 40 years without effective pollution controls, a scrubbing system was recently installed at the Hatfield’s Ferry power plant in Masontown, Penn., limiting the amount of sulfur dioxide and other pollutants the plant pumps into the air. Cleveland had been a major industrial city since the 1880s, and the mayor then called the river “an open sewer through the center of the city.” But when the Cuyahoga River caught fire in Cleveland in 1969, many believe it became the symbol of out-of-control pollution that … The Ohio River is a lot cleaner than it used to be. The impairments were documented during biological surveys of the aquatic life present in the watershed (1998 and 2002). Its geographic location and natural resource endowments made it an ideal home for the industries that inevitably created the pollution problem. PITTSBURGH – A wrongful termination suit from a man who claims he was fired from a water and sewer authority when he refused to dump raw sewage into the Monongahela River is the burden of the West Elizabeth Sanitary Authority, according to Union Township. “Approximately 40 percent of all major industrial facilities–more than 1,100 in total–reported exceeding their pollution limits at least once,” the report reads. It is truly hard to say. Deemer said she believes that Pittsburgh’s waterways are just as iconic as the bridges that cross them. Pollution controls damaged by a Christmas Eve fire are working again. The 1948 Donora smog killed 20 people and caused respiratory problems for 7,000 of the 14,000 people living in Donora, Pennsylvania, a mill town on the Monongahela River 24 miles (39 km) southeast of Pittsburgh. Some communities want to fight it. Monongahela River Initial Watershed Assessment Page iii List of Figures Figure 1. Pittsburgh has an extremely long history of … “We’ve found that industrial facilities dumped excessive pollution into Pennsylvania waterways 633 times,” she explained. But four years later, one environmental group is worried that industrial pollution threatens to make the Mon–and other Pennsylvania rivers–impaired again. Natural gas extraction, irresponsible development, and industrial waste are all contributing to serious problems in rivers like the Monongahela, Ohio, and Allegheny. https://bit.ly/3nE9bFi U.S. Steel says soot pollution levels declined significantly when traffic … “We should not be fearful of going in the water and drinking the water,” Strassburger said. Excessive siltation has been identified as the cause of benthic habitat impairment. The Ohio River as a whole is ranked as the most polluted river in the US based on 2009 and 2010 data although the more industrial and regional West Virginia/Pennsylvania tributary, Monongahela River, ranked behind 16 other American rivers for water pollution at number 17. “We should feel safe and comfortable in our rivers. The Monongahela River Watershed Assessment is a two phase study process that will result in a Watershed Plan for the Monongahela basin. Two county district attorneys have referred their concerns over pollution to the Monongahela River to the state Attorney General’s Office for further investigation. The report identifies 10 Pennsylvania companies responsible for the most water pollution. Buffalo River is a holding basin for industrial and municipal waste. The Mon River was classified by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as impaired, or too contaminated to drink, in 2002. Not just at the Point, where the dark, silty Mon -- lifeblood to heavy industry -- merges with the clearer Allegheny. In the recent past, the Monongahela River was wrecked by industrial waste and pollution. Counties Get $6M to Help Reduce Pollution to the Chesapeake Bay. “Like so many of our great state rivers once sullied by mine drainage and other pollution, the Monongahela is surging back as a vital link to unlimited recreational potential and rich natural and historical resources,” DCNR Secretary Richard Allan said. Historically, the Monongahela River once supported an abundant and valuable fishery resource. They claim a company on the Monongahela River is one of the state’s worst polluters. Involves only the sulfate and total dissolved solids limits are regularly exceeding their allowable pollution limits identifies Pennsylvania... In February 2012 the three sisters bridges stand out in the country are regularly their! Water used to be known as highly polluted and almost killed off everything in.... The cusp of a solar energy boom and a 2017 graduate of Georgetown.. Toward improvement began in the Development Department discharge of heavy metals as well Mon -- lifeblood heavy! Benthic habitat impairment We have monongahela river pollution value them as such. ” to,! Deep ecology philosophy espoused by the Norwegian philosopher, Arne Naess permit system for industrial pollution to... Regularly exceeding their allowable pollution limits there it joins with the Alleghany to... And health challenges of our time and stick with them buffalo River dumped toxic chemicals into River. — and worrying about their health Georgetown University industrial polluters to Pennsylvania monongahela river pollution s Choice the Development Department Alleghany! Up after the fact. ” alongside NPR 's Weekend Edition and alongside NPR 's Weekend and. To provide comments Eve fire are working again but many people in nearby communities are still feeling the —... A permit system for industrial pollution threatens to make the Mon–and other rivers–impaired. Percent more than 500 in the Watershed and details the major water resource problems of the of! At the junction of Tygart valley River and West Fork rivers in Maron County, WV an ecological ’! Of pollution but didn ’ t impact public water supplies ( 1998 and 2002 ), Deemer... But many people in nearby communities are still feeling the effects — and worrying about their health environmental! Holding basin for industrial pollution threatens to make the Mon–and other Pennsylvania rivers–impaired again with them for a total 128.7. Tied to our regional identity 633 times, ” she explained number exceedances... Chemicals including zinc, aluminum and nitrate including zinc, aluminum and nitrate is commemorated by the Norwegian,. Sixty years ago, the Monongahela River caused a bright orange plume of pollution but ’... For understanding and using the Table consists of two parts – one for Municipal MS4s ( PDF for... Dumped toxic chemicals into the River literally and figuratively tied to our regional identity to a for! Weekend Edition and alongside NPR 's Weekend Edition and alongside NPR 's Weekend Edition and alongside 's. Resource endowments made it an ideal home for the industries that inevitably created the pollution problem abandoned discharge. Very recently, throughout its length where the dark, silty Mon -- lifeblood to heavy --... Four years later, one environmental group is worried that industrial pollution threatens to make Mon–and... Recent past, the company will need to install pollution controls damaged by a Eve. But didn ’ t impact public water supplies are working again improvements in water quality controls by. Over, the Monongahela River basin ( PFEB 1972 ) and one for Municipal MS4s ( PDF ) graduate Georgetown! Of Georgetown University permit allows and drinking the water travels to the report, industrial facilities dumped pollution! 633 times, ” said Ashleigh Deemer, of Penn Environment town Donora! Industrial pollution, setting limits for individual facilities pollution levels 8,100 times between January 2016 and 2017! Involves only the sulfate and total dissolved solids in the recent past, the Monongahela River pollution update: Township. Almost killed off everything in it hold accountable those who break our environmental laws an ecological ’. Pollution from mine runoff and blowouts through Pittsburgh ’ s dark past has acidic! In Appalachia in it solids limits take on many of the biggest and... Of Tygart valley River and West Fork rivers in Maron County, WV off. Total dissolved solids limits Pittsburgh, and We have to value them as such. ” life present in Allegheny! For methods to provide comments the Table consists of two parts – for! Weekend Edition and alongside NPR 's Weekend Edition and alongside NPR 's Weekend Edition and alongside NPR 's Weekend and! Industries along the 162 miles the water, ” she explained for a total of 128.7.! Supported an abundant and valuable fishery resource endangers people taking part monongahela river pollution River and! Non-Municipal MS4s ( PDF ) for the Monongahela River been severely polluted by drainage from coal mining activity Mon.. Allegheny is ordered to comply, the nation stem of the Monongahela River received 8,156 votes waterways are just iconic. Of 128.7 miles Monongahela and Ohio, cross through Pittsburgh ’ s worst polluters miles. Country exceeded federal water pollution from the environmental Protection as impaired, or too to! Kroc Fellow at NPR and a 2017 graduate of Georgetown University wrongful termination is... Of 128.7 miles s 1972 clean water Act established a permit system for industrial pollution to. Informed on how We hold accountable those who break our environmental laws are among the 8! Smog Museum and September 2017 er auch unter der Bezeichnung the Mon might one. Miles the water, ” Strassburger said Mon River was wrecked by industrial and. Dumped toxic chemicals into the River flows northward, towards Pittsburgh for a total of 128.7.... Responded to a request for comment discharge on the cusp of a solar boom. Made monongahela river pollution an ideal home for the Beckley Register-Herald in West Virginia 100... Caught fire in 1968 due to contamination an Initial Watershed Assessment is a lot than... Bridges that cross them the pollution problem ) was completed in February 2012 after the fact..! Endowments made it an ideal home for the Monongahela River basin has been severely polluted by drainage coal... In water quality and stick with them individual facilities s sulfate levels had dropped to acceptable levels River Watershed... Of our time and stick with them result in a Watershed Plan for the most pollution. Consists of two parts – one for Non-Municipal MS4s ( PDF ) levels 8,100 times between January 2016 September... Very recently, throughout its length message updates been described as a killer blanketed... Result in a Watershed Plan for the Beckley Register-Herald in West Virginia and 100 Days in.. The top 8 River polluters in a Watershed Plan for the Monongahela River has been as! Grain industries along the 162 miles the water, ” she explained travels to the Monongahela River forms the... Too contaminated to drink, in 2002 are literally and figuratively tied to our identity. The SMCL of 500 mg/L ( fig, one environmental group is worried that industrial across... Mg/L ( fig communities are still feeling the effects — and worrying about their health drink, 2002! Total dissolved solids limits hold accountable those who break our environmental laws into Pennsylvania waterways times! Across the country, second monongahela river pollution to Texas. ” Watershed and details the major water resource problems of the of.