Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission

Ohio River near Huntington
JaGa / wikimedia commons

A multi-state commission charged with protecting the Ohio River decided Thursday to postpone a decision to dramatically alter pollution controls.

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, or ORSANCO, has been considering a proposal that would reduce its oversight of water pollution control standards along the Ohio River. The proposal, called "option 2" would eliminate the body's water pollution control standards for industrial and municipal wastewater discharges into the river.

Ohio River near Huntington
JaGa / wikimedia commons

Cleanup day is coming this weekend for the Ohio River as well as the Kentucky River.

River Sweep 2016 is Saturday.

For the Ohio River, the event covers the entire river, from its origin in Pittsburgh to its end in Cairo, Illinois. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission says that includes nearly 3,000 miles of shoreline and many tributaries.

The commission is an interstate water pollution agency for the Ohio River Valley. It organizes the River Sweep, along with environmental protection and natural resource agencies from:

Huntington, Ohio River
Youngamerican / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia American Water says it has initiated a contingency plan for a temporary backup water supply to its Huntington water treatment plant in response to increasing algae blooms on the Ohio River.

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission notified the utility last week that algae blooms had been detected on the river upstream of Huntington.

State regulators say tests indicate water quality hasn't changed following a coal slurry spill in a Kanawha River tributary.
 
The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission tested water samples Saturday through Tuesday at Huntington's water intake on the Ohio River. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says the results indicate no water quality changes.