Pennsylvania and seven other states agreed on Thursday to maintain their pollution standards for the Ohio River. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, known as ORSANCO, is compact between states meant to ensure water quality. It was considering a proposal to eliminate its water quality protections that some consider redundant to state and federal regulations.
But one analysis by ORSANCO found 188 instances where it regulates pollution, and the U.S. EPA does not, and others where federal regulations are less stringent.
The ORSANCO board received well over 5,000 comments on its proposal, most in opposition to eliminating the standards. At its meeting, the board decided keep the protections, while providing flexibility to the states on implementation.
A new proposal will be open for another round of public comment in the coming weeks.