PPG Plant Penalized Unfairly

Editor, News-Register:

I use the Ohio River for fishing, swimming and boating. Have you noticed that the W.Va. EPA this past week said Weirton would not be fined for having an operation that allowed sewage to run into the Ohio River for 50 years, yet PPG Industries is fined $1,500,000 for exceeding their permit, one where they must report on themselves?

This does not make sense to me as I am not a bit concerned about PPG’s violations as the amount of chemicals and concentration at discharge are at such a low concentration that they would never affect my activities or my health, or fish or plant life in the river which is additionally diluted by the very large flow of the Ohio River. In some cases the permitted discharge chemical concentration can not exceed drinking water standards before dilution by the flow of the Ohio River.

A half-mile downstream you would not be able to detect any of the chemicals being discharged. Ridiculous. However, the sewage from the City of Weirton has been flowing into the river for the past 50 years, was not known, not reported and likely has contained bacteria from every known U.S. illness, represents a very large risk to my health and others that use the river.

This is another example of our government not evaluating relative risk to the public, dismissing the highest risk because it came from a public operation, and punish the very companies that have supplied a very good livelihood for those that live in our communities.

Shame on the EPA. What kind of message did they send to the public? Punish the companies that supply jobs. Let waste treatment plants dump toxins directly into the river and never be concerned about what the EPA will do!

John F. Knoop

New Martinsville