Numerous Miles-Long Oil Spills Seen On Pittsburgh’s Iconic Mon River

"The spills are just the latest pollution concern for the Monongahela River."

"PITTSBURGH — Oil sheens up to 18 miles long have repeatedly been reported by an environmental advocacy group on the Monongahela River over the last six months.

The site of the recurring pollution is only a few miles from where the Monongahela River merges with the Ohio River, which provides drinking water to more than five million people.

This type of oil sheen is typically the result of petroleum-based products in waterways. A single quart of oil can contaminate up to a quarter million gallons of drinking water. Oil on the surface of a body of water can disrupt ecosystems and food chains by harming birds, plants, animals and insects; make water unsafe for human consumption; and vaporize and contaminate the air.

There are several industrial facilities with drainage outfalls in the oil-polluted sections of the Monongahela River, including U.S. Steel’s Irvin Works, which has been issued notices of violation for several of these oil spills by both the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP)."

Kristina Marusic reports for Environmental Health News November 7, 2023.

Source: EHN, 11/08/2023