Arsenic Contamination: Ohio River EPA’s Most Contaminated Body of Water

Inspectors with the E.P.A. will return to a site of an arsenic leak in Ohio County in the next two weeks.  The spill or leakage began in a wooded area just off of Highway 231 north of Hartford. State and federal environmental inspectors found high levels of arsenic last fall the wooded area on Shinkle Chapel Road.

“It killed a lot of trees,” says Johnston. And former property owners reported illnesses in their family.

Samples collected clearly showed levels as high as 50% arsenic in an affected area of only 100 feet, which can cause health problems if ingested for humans, animals and contaminate the ecosystem and spread through water contamination.

“Like a lot of heavy metals, it can attack the liver, and the intestinal system. Primarily the liver,” says Tony Hatton of the Kentucky Division of Waste Management. “It’s the part of the body that can strain out those things. So that’s where you would expect to see some of these issues.”

Officials say they don’t know why the chemical was there or what it was used for, but could’ve been there for decades.


“This may have existed all the way back to the 1950s. It may have been stored in a barn there,” he says.

Reportedly, the barn it had been stored in burned down some years ago.  Though no reasons were given, why it would have been stored there. Officials say a clean up effort is underway, adding it’s not an immediate threat to streams now.  But some worry it could be one.

Regardless, the EPA has recently announced

EPA Reports Ohio River Most Contaminated Body Of Water In The Country






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