EPA Removes Mon River From Impaired Waterways List
Washington PA Observer-Reporter
29 December 2014
By Scott Beveridge, Staff Writer
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency removed the Monongahela
River from a list of impaired waterways in Pennsylvania.
The EPA did so by approving the state Department of Environmental
Protection’s 2014 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and
Assessment Report that concluded the river’s “in-stream level of
sulfates now meets Pennsylvania’s water quality standards,” the
DEP stated in a Monday news release.
The Mon River was listed as impaired in the 2012 report. Since
then, 333 miles of previously impaired flowing waters and 853 lake
acres were restored, DEP spokeswoman Amanda Witman said.
The Mon River was nearly dead of life from steel mill and other
pollution in the 1960s.
Over the past decade, in terms of diversity, the Mon River became
home to many fish qualified as pollution intolerant, including the
red horse sucker and some minnows, the state Fish and Boat
Commission has said. The river also is home to the ghost shiner, a
freshwater fish that was considered endangered in Pennsylvania two
The improvement to the river’s water quality “is the result of
hard work by industry, regulators, environmental educators and
watershed organizations” to address pollution, said Pennsylvania
American Water spokeswoman Josephine Posti.
“While our treatment process provides drinking water that meets
and exceeds standards, the overall health of the river is an
important factor in our region’s quality if life, and over the
years we’ve taken active roles in both the River Alert Information
Network and the Mon River Users Group in order to address complex
challenges within the watershed,” Posti said.
The company operates a Mon River intake in Elrama for its public
“While this designation reflects the hard work among many
stakeholders, we must all remain vigilant in how we treat and
protect our water sources so it never returns to impaired status,”