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Report: Ohio Power Plants among Dangerous “Fish Blenders”

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August 10, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Ohio power plant is among those being singled out as a "fish blender" in a new report detailing the damage caused by water-intake cooling systems.

The systems, such as the one used at the Bayshore Power plant near Toledo, suck water out of rivers and lakes, along with billions of fish and organisms. Sandy Bihn, executive director of the group Lake Erie Waterkeeper, says this takes an enormous toll on the health of waterways and the jobs that depend on them.

"The fish kills are really important, but the waters are also important. Lake Erie is a driving force and many, many jobs are impacted by having great waters - and great fish just add onto that economic benefit."

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency last week issued a new wastewater permit for the Bayshore plant, but Bihn says it contains glaring errors that will allow the plant to continue to kill billions of fish and larva every year. The Sierra Club report says the new federal EPA standards now under review for these water-intake systems also fall short of what is needed to protect fisheries and waterways.

According to the report, some areas face devastating economic effects from water-intake systems. Bayshore is not being held accountable, says Nachy Kanfer, who represents the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign, who is encouraging Ohioans to voice their concerns.

"The Ohio EPA needs to do a better job of regulating this terrible facility in northwest Ohio that's doing so much economic damage to the community."

Kanfer says the economic damage caused by the Bayshore plant from fish kills alone is estimated at $30 million a year.

The report is online at sierraclub.org.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH