Environmental progress made since first Earth Day

Ohio considered a leader in clean energy.
MCT Regional News
Apr 22, 2013

Today is April 22, Earth Day.

Ohio has made significant progress in the fight for environmental health since Earth Day started in 1970, according to Jack Shaner, deputy director and senior director of Legislative & Public Affairs for the Ohio Environmental Council.

“Ohio is a major industrial state and we have made tremendous strides in cleaning up the air and water from factory discharges,” Shaner said. “If we were traveling around Ohio during the first Earth Day, cities were choked wtih smog and sulfur, pollution and had untreated industrial waste. Wind and solar energy were a complete fantasy.”

He added that today in Ohio, “every factory has pollution controls on their water discharge and we are emerging as a leader in clean energy technology.”

Despite Ohio being a leader in clean energy, Shaner said there is a still a battle in the state house over whether or not Ohio’s Clean Energy Law should be repealed.

“This law that is in place right now says that major utility companies must help customers be more efficient in helping consumers with rebates on more energy efficient appliances,” Shaner said.

Another plus for the state is that “consumers are demanding more and more locally grown and organic food and that’s becoming more than just a nice market for Ohio farmers,” Shaner said.

But, still, more work has to be done in the state.

For example, better monitoring of the water quality.

Water quality should be a top priority among environmental issues, according to Eric Dunn, chair of the Engineering Technology Design Department at Sinclair Community College.

Dunn said there should be proper filtration systems in place and frequent analysis of the water as it is being made ready to drink.

More work has to be done when it comes to tourist attractions like the state’s waterways, Shaner said.

“The first Earth Day scientist had declared Lake Erie a dying lake,” Shaner said. One of the killers was the phosphorus that came from the manure and fertilizers in farm field runoff. That phosphorus becomes food for the algae, which gobbles up the oxygen in the lake.

Plus, certain forms of algae can be harmful to humans and animals if they come into contact.

There has been progress in cleaning up Lake Erie, but Shaner believes more must be done. “Lake Erie is a magnet for tourism, but if the lake is dirty and the fish decline, those tourism dollars will go somewhere else.”

Here are tips on being energy efficient by Eric Dunn, chair of Engineering, Technology Design Department at Sinclair Community College:

Unplug appliances that are not being used.

Do not water your lawn in the middle of day, if you do water might evaporate.

Repair dripping faucets

Plant deciduous plants around the southside of your house. “If you plant deciduous trees around the south side during the summer when the tree has leaves it wil help cool the house and when the leaves fall off in autumn, it allows the sunlight to warm the house,” Dunn said. “To the north or northwest, you can plant evergreen trees. This helps block the winter winds, helping you to save energy on your home.”

Turn off lights not being used

Don’t run water while brushing your teeth

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By Kelli Wynn - Dayton Daily News, Ohio (MCT)

©2013 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)

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