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Chet Blankenship was buried in the lawn beside his home.

Clean Water Wanted: Contaminated Wells and the Legacy of Fossil Fuel Extraction

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“You seen that one with the tombstone up there?” seven-year-old Timothy Easterling asks, looking toward the grass just uphill from his home. “That’s my papaw.” Timothy’s grandfather Chet Blankenship died in 2016, at age 69. Blankenship lived on land he and his family have long owned at the end of a road atop Bradshaw Mountain… Read More

The Ohio River

Ohio River Regulators Planning Riverwide PFAS Study

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Scientists are designing a new study to test for PFAS, so-called “forever chemicals”, along the entire length of the Ohio River. Concerns are mounting about PFAS contamination in drinking water systems along the Ohio Valley. Studies have shown the contaminants in the drinking water of dozens of cities. The scientists work with a multi-state commission… Read More

A towing vessel and barges moving through the area monitored by the Louisville Vessel Traffic Service on Dec. 22, 2017. (Photo by Alexandra Kanik/KyCIR)

High Waters, More Hazardous Cargo Complicate Job of Keeping Ohio Watershed Safe

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Just before dawn in January 2018, 27 barges were floating like a net along the banks of the Ohio River, downstream of the city of Pittsburgh. Instead of fish, the fleet caught chunks of ice that broke off in the warming, fast-moving waters as it waited for a tow through the nearby Emsworth Locks and Dams…. Read More

Water pouring into water

New Testing Reveals ‘Forever Chemicals’ In More Water Systems Across OH, PA, U.S.

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New testing by the Environmental Working Group has identified the presence of toxic fluorinated chemicals, broadly known as PFAS, in the tap water of dozens of cities across the U.S. where contamination was not previously known. EWG, an advocacy organization that tracks environmental pollutants in consumer products, sampled water in 44 places between May and December… Read More

A man stands in front of a levee

Rising Waters: Aging Levees, Climate Change And The Challenge To Hold Back The Ohio River

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When 78-year-old Jim Casto looks at the towering floodwalls that line downtown Huntington, West Virginia, he sees a dark history of generations past. The longtime journalist and local historian is short in stature, yet tall in neighborhood tales. On Casto’s hand shines a solid gold ring, signifying his more than 40 years of reporting at… Read More

Volunteers swim in Peachtree Falls after cleaning up trash in the nearby creek.

Two Decades of Resistance: Coal River Mountain Watch Takes Stock at 20


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Coal River Mountain Watch’s history of resistance to mountaintop coal mining is plastered across the wood-paneled walls of the group’s modest office in Raleigh County, West Virginia. Framed photos, many of demonstrators being handcuffed, dot the walls. In the back of the building, a floor-to-ceiling length tapestry depicts the “true cost of coal” as envisioned… Read More

The Chemours facility, formerly the Dupont company’s site

‘Dark Waters’ Puts PFAS Saga on Big Screen as Ohio Valley Contamination Comes to Light

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The new film “Dark Waters” depicts the real-life story of the 20-year battle waged by attorney Rob Bilott against chemical giant DuPont. We meet Bilott, played by Mark Ruffalo, as a young corporate defense lawyer living in Cincinnati. His grandmother, who lives in Parkersburg, West Virginia, gives his phone number to local farmer, Earl Tennant…. Read More

The Paducah Water lab tests a variety of different water samples

Ohio Valley Residents Among Millions in America Lacking Access to Clean Water, Sanitation

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Communities across the Ohio Valley are among an estimated 2 million Americans that do not have consistent access to clean drinking water and basic indoor plumbing, according to a report published Monday by two nonprofits, DigDeep and the US Water Alliance. The report titled, “Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States,” synthesized data… Read More

Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina, left) stands alongside Gov. Mike DeWine during DeWine's first State of the State speech in March.

DeWine Pours Out Details of H2Ohio Water Quality Program

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Gov. Mike DeWine has released details of his plan to improve water quality in Ohio, starting with preventing toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie.  The H2Ohio program will start in the Maumee River watershed near Toledo but he wants to eventually broaden it to rest of the state. DeWine said agricultural runoff is the biggest contributor… Read More

Kentucky on a map

Kentucky Removes Warning for Ohio River Waters

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky officials have removed a public health advisory for harmful algal blooms along the Ohio River. Kentucky’s Division of Water and Department for Public Health issued the advisory on Sept. 26 for people using the waterway for recreation from the McAlpine Dam near Louisville to the Greenup Dam in northeastern Kentucky…. Read More

Water pouring

W. Va. Water Utility Awards Grants for Bottle-Filling Stations

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia American Water has awarded grants to provide bottle-filling stations to 10 groups throughout the utility’s service area. The company says in a statement that the program is aimed at reducing plastic waste from single-use bottles and providing filling stations to nonprofit groups, schools and local government facilities. Among the… Read More

Water pouring into water

W. Va. College, State Team Up on Groundwater Pollution Project

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia State University is working with the state environmental department to figure out how to keep groundwater safe from pollutants. The school announced the research partnership on Tuesday. The project will study how plants can be used to remove or destroy contaminants in soil and groundwater. A news release from… Read More

Martin County water treatment plant

Report: Water Unaffordable for Nearly Half of Martin Co., Kentucky

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A new report finds nearly half the residents of Martin County, Kentucky, cannot afford water service. Local activists with the Martin County Concerned Citizens are ringing alarm bells about water affordability as the beleaguered county faces another likely water rate increase in the coming months. Since the ReSource first reported on its water crisis two years ago,… Read More

The Paducah Water lab tests a variety of different water samples

Ohio To Test For Toxic PFAS Chemicals In Drinking Water

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Ohio will begin testing some public and private water systems for the presence of toxic nonstick, fluorinated chemicals, broadly called PFAS. In a press release issued Friday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state’s environmental and public health agencies will analyze drinking water systems located near places with known contamination. That includes near firefighting training… Read More

Watershed Moment: “Ephemeral” Streams Debate Could Reshape Ohio Valley Waterways

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West Liberty University Professor Zachary Loughman has dedicated his professional life to crustaceans – specifically freshwater crayfish. He dips his hand into one of the water tanks at his laboratory near Wheeling, West Virginia, to pick up a teal crayfish the size of a dollar bill. “See the little guy dropping down? We caught mom… Read More

Senators Seeking Faster EPA Action On PFAS Chemical Pollution

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A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators including West Virginia Republican Shelley Moore Capito this week introduced two bills aimed at further regulating a group of toxic chemicals known as PFAS. The chemicals include PFOA, or C-8, used to make nonstick products and other similar chemicals used in flame retardants. They have been detected in at least… Read More

Water pouring into water

EPA To Limit PFAS Chemical Contaminants Found In Some Ohio Valley Water Systems

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today said it will move forward with a series of actions to regulate toxic fluorinated chemicals, including proposing drinking water limits by the end of this year. In its long-awaited “PFAS Action Plan,” EPA laid out a series of actions to address the widespread contamination of fluorinated PFAS chemicals. Those… Read More

Researcher Compares Cleveland’s Lead Levels To Flint, Michigan

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Children in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County have a higher risk of lead exposure than other parts of the state, according to a report out of Case Western Reserve University this week. The report found 10.7 percent of kids born in 2012 who were screened for lead in Cuyahoga County had an elevated blood lead level by age 5. In… Read More

Water pouring into water

Toxic “Teflon” Chemicals On EPA Regulatory Agenda

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Environmental Protection Agency officials told a Congressional panel Thursday that the agency will announce by the end of the year whether it will take the next step to regulate a group of toxic fluorinated chemicals found in some water systems in the Ohio Valley. The PFAS group of chemicals, which include PFOA or C-8, were widely… Read More

Previously Blocked Federal Study Raises Alarm About Chemicals Like C8

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The Trump administration today released a politically charged study on the health impacts of perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS chemicals, including the compound known as C8, which has been detected in some water systems in the Ohio Valley. The draft report, released by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry(ATSDR), finds these fluorinated chemicals, which are used in… Read More