Ohio River
6:06 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Proposal to delay mercury standards enforcement on Ohio River

Enforcement of new mercury standards for industrial and wastewater treatment plants along the Ohio River may be delayed and that has environmental groups concerned.

Credit Sarah Ramsey

Documents show there are dozens of companies and municipalities with mercury monitoring requirements that dump into the Ohio River.

Mercury levels based on Great Lakes

Stricter requirements were set to go into effect this October, but the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission's Jason Heath says he's not sure the mercury levels allowed are the right ones because they were based on ones from the Great Lakes, not the river. "So we are proposing that the regulation be delayed two years. This gives us time to better evaluate that."

The new regulations were put on the books ten years ago and Kentucky Waterways Alliance executive director Judy Petersen says it's time to enforce them. "We have serious concerns about mercury levels in fish tissue in the Ohio River and we are concerned about this delay in this regulation."

Public comments are welcome

A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 at the Holiday Inn Airport in Erlanger. Written comments can be received through September 12th.

Here is a list of the discharge points into the Ohio with mercury monitoring requirements.