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EPA launches study of Ohio River tributaries

Ohio EPA is studying several Ohio River tributaries near Portsmouth this summer, including Pine Creek, Ice Creek and the Little Scioto River, as well as several other streams in Scioto and Lawrence counties.

These waterways all drain into the Ohio River.

Ohio EPA staff will collect chemical, physical and biological samples through the fall from dozens of sites in the study areas.

Samplers all carry a photo ID and may request private property access from landowners if needed. The Agency has one of the most advanced water quality montioring programs in the nation, determining the health of rivers and streams by sampling stream biology and habitat, in addition to water chemistry.

The abundance and variety of fish and aquatic insects, especially those sensitive to pollution, and the presence of bacteria, metals and nutrients provide vital information about stream health.

Ohio EPA shares this data with local governments, landowners and citizens so they can develop plans to maintain and/or restore waterways impacted by identified sources of pollution (e.g., sewage treatment plants, industrial facilities, coal mines, low-head dams and other stream modifications, and urban and rural sources of runoff).

Stakeholders also can use the information to request assistance from Ohio EPA and other funding sources to implement projects that help alleviate water quality problems and protect water resources for drinking water and recreational enjoyment.