"Trib Investigation Reveals Gaping Holes in Water Oversight"

"A chemical plant holding a 'minor' stormwater discharge permit caused a major drinking water disaster in Charleston, W.Va., in February. That incident raises questions about risks from thousands of industrial chemicals used daily along waterways such as the Ohio River — the source of drinking water for more than 5 million people from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Ill. ...

A 2½-month investigation by the Tribune-Review found that Pennsylvania state inspectors failed to examine more than 45 percent of the 4,075 industrial plants, refineries, mines, sewage treatment plants and other facilities with permits to discharge into the Ohio River watershed over the past five years. ...

In addition, state Department of Environmental Protection inspectors, who oversee all or parts of the 24 Pennsylvania counties in the Ohio's watershed, have never visited 796 of those sites, department records show."

Carl Prine reports for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review April 5, 2014.

Monday, April 7, 2014