ORSANCO Pollution Control Standards 2019 Revision
Commission Decision Reached
The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) today approved revisions to the Pollution Control Standards (PCS) for industrial and municipal wastewater discharges into the Ohio River. The 2019 PCS Revision was approved after significant consideration and public outreach through three separate public comment periods, four public hearings, and six webinars over the past 18 months.
The 2019 Revision proposal that was approved today is substantially different than proposals being considered by the Commission during its 2018 review.
Specifically, the 2019 Revision:
1. maintains the PCS for the Ohio River consistent with current utilization and achieves heightened efficiency in program activities of the Commission and its member States;
2. provides needed flexibility for member States to utilize the PCS in their environmental programs as needed to protect the Ohio River and achieve the goals of ORSANCO's Compact and the Clean Water Act;
3. ensures ORSANCO's role in water quality protection is consistent with its Compact;
4. preserves the PCS to guide Commission activities when addressing future water quality issues within the mainstem Ohio River;
5. allows the Commission to focus on its area of strength associated with its science, assessment and source water protection programs, while its member States and the USEPA focus on their strengths associated with water quality standards development and implementation for the Ohio River as mandated by the federal Clean Water Act; and
6. recognizes that Ohio River water quality consistency among member States is best achieved through utilizing the Commission's PCS as the baseline for maintenance of the protective uses for the Ohio River as established in its Compact.
"Today's Commission action demonstrates the Commission's commitment to work with its member states to protect the water quality of the Ohio River," stated Executive Director, Richard Harrison. "I applaud our Commissioners' hard work and dedication to thoughtful and sincere consideration of extensive comments received by our stakeholders through multiple public outreach and review initiatives. Their diligence has culminated with today's adoption of revised standards. Completion of the comprehensive reassessment and Commission decision has strengthened the partnership between the Commission and member states in pursuit of their shared goal of protecting Ohio River water quality and ecological integrity."
"The Commission will develop a more detailed responsiveness summary over the next few weeks now that the Commission has approved the 2019 PCS Revision," stated Commission Chairman, Ron Potesta. "As Commission Chairman, I appreciate the public's participation in this very thorough and transparent PCS update process."
The Commission will review its operating procedures to see if and to what extent any of its programs need to be modified.
ORSANCO, headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, is the water pollution control agency for the Ohio River representing Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. The federal government is also represented.