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Ohio EPA Conducting Water Quality Sampling in Lower Mahoning River Watershed

Ohio EPA is collecting water samples in the Lower Mahoning River basin to gather information that will be part of a plan to maintain and, where necessary, restore the quality of the river and its tributaries. Sampling will assess the condition of the water quality and aquatic life in the river and its tributaries. This data will give Ohio EPA a picture of where the water is healthy and where to focus work with local governments and landowners to find solutions for any problems.

Sampling locations are generally chosen upstream and downstream from sewage treatment plants, industrial discharges, tributaries, streams, dams and where there have been significant changes in land use practices. Samples will be collected from the same sites a number of times. Ohio EPA employees carry photo identification and will request permission from private landowners if access to their property is needed.

The Lower Mahoning River watershed is located in northeastern Ohio along the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. Youngstown, Warren and Lordstown are major municipalities in the watershed. Mosquito Creek Lake and Meander Creek Reservoir also are located in this watershed. Urbanization is predominant in the central portion of the watershed. Other land uses include pasture and hay lands, forest and cultivated crops. The Mahoning River joins the Shenango River in Pennsylvania to form the Beaver River, which flows into the Ohio River

The federal Clean Water Act calls for a water quality plan, called a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), for all impaired water bodies. The TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still meet water quality standards.

In 2011, Ohio EPA issued a final TMDL report for the Upper Mahoning River watershed. A copy of the report is available at: http://www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/35/tmdl/Mahoning_upper_Report_Final.pdf.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. In the past 40 years, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling. Ohio EPA….40 years and moving forward.


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