Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced December 11 that the state will test 29 major rivers for PFAS in a nationally significant, new program to improve water quality and ensure safe fish consumption. Ohio’s PFAS testing will inform efforts to remediate waterways found to be contaminated as well as future fish consumption advisories. The state expects sampling to be complete by next fall.
Ohio officials also announced a plan to remove and fix aging dams that block fish passage and trap sediment, as well as an initiative to preserve riparian buffers (e.g., trees and vegetation that border rivers) that help keep nutrients and pollutants out of waterways. These initiatives are part of Ohio’s ongoing efforts to improve water quality in Lake Erie and other waterways. The first phase of those efforts, launched in 2019 by the DeWine Administration, focused on phosphorus runoff primarily from farms that contributes to toxic algal blooms.