Ohio River Water Pollution

Ohio River Pollution. Chuck and Jeremy walk along the licking river across from IPSCO - a corporation with a NPDES permit to pollute.

We mapped out the EPA permitted Ohio River Water Pollution. Here’s what we learned.

The Clean Water Act’s original goal was to completely eliminate discharges into waterways by 1985. Yet, the permitting process for Ohio River water pollution is still quite extensive, with no end in sight, and plenty of violations. We mapped the Ohio River water pollution permits, talked to the EPA, looked into a lawsuit, and talked to environmentalists. Here’s what we learned. I hope you’ll take time to read.

“A study from Frontier Group and Environment America Research and Policy Center examined NPDES permit data from 2011 to 2017 and found that an average of 27,849 facilities were noncompliant each year across the United States. Of those noncompliant facilities, the study found only an average of 13,076 faced EPA or state enforcement action on an annual basis.”

Bonnie Jean Feldkamp

Good River: Stories of the Ohio is a series about the environment, economy, and culture of the Ohio River watershed, produced by seven nonprofit newsrooms. To see more, please visit ohiowatershed.org.

This is Bonnie’s second article in the Good River: Stories of the Ohio Series.  Bonnie’s first contribution to this series is about the city of Newport, Kentucky and community members working together to remove concrete and add green space to include more green infrastructure in their neighborhood. You can read that article here:

Read Bonnie’s contribution to Good River: Stories of the Ohio by clicking the link below. For More from Bonnie click Clips. Thanks for reading!


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Good River: Stories of the Ohio includes work from Bonnie Jean Feldkamp

Good River: Stories of the Ohio is a collaborative reporting project with support from the National Geographic Society. The Ohio River watershed provides drinking water for five million people. So the stories of the Ohio and the people who help and hurt the river are vitally important. Bonnie’s first contribution to this series is about the city of Newport, Kentucky and community members work together to remove concrete and add green space to include more green infrastructure in their neighborhood.

Volunteers help ReNewport Executive Director Josh Tunning (far left) plant trees where they’ve depaved sections of the sidewalk in Newport, Kentucky

The ultimate goal of green infrastructure is to keep rainwater as close to where it falls as possible. When an urban area lacks greenspace, water can’t get absorbed and it overwhelms the wastewater collection system. Many older river cities have outdated infrastructure.

ReNewport approaches stormwater challenges in its community by assessing vacant lots for greenspace opportunities.

“We’re really trying to make as many tiny sponges around the neighborhood as possible,” said Steve Mathison, vice president for ReNewport.

Bonnie jean feldkamp

Read Bonnie’s contribution to Good River: Stories of the Ohio by clicking the link below. For More from Bonnie click Clips. Thanks for reading!

Bonnie’s second contribution to this series is about industrial water pollution in the Ohio River Watershed. Read that article Here.

Read more from Bonnie about better stewards of the earth in Northern Kentucky.

If you enjoyed learning how Newport, Kentucky worked together to add a park and additional greenspace to their community, you may also love this story about the Northern Kentucky family who built their own solar-power house to live off the grid in Campbell County. Read it at the link below!


Louis CK made #MeToo Hit Closer to Home

#MeToo

#MeTooThe Louie CK story is one familiar to me. His statement bubbled up a story of something similar that happened to me when I was 31 years old. I was watching my daughter play with her cousins in the backyard.

It was a hot sunny day and I decided to lie out on a towel and get some sun. In a two piece bathing suit, this mom was suddenly aware that the older neighbor man was excited by this. When I glanced his way, he showed me his erection.

What do I do?

This man muttered breathy things about “that puss” as he gratified himself.

The kids were oblivious and playing. I chose to ignore this creepy neighbor guy. He never touched me. He never asked me for anything, but he masturbated and he wanted me to know that I had prompted his excitement. He knew I would maintain normalcy for the sake of the kids.

I could have done more.

I could have made a stink.

I could have told him off.

My silence was not consent.

But I do feel guilt about it. I wonder if the man thought my consent was implied with my decision to do nothing but wish it to be finished soon.

I hadn’t told anyone that story until yesterday.

After reading Louis CK’s statement, I told my husband.

This one hurts.

Louis CK was a guy who in our eyes “got it.”

We quoted him daily.

We bought his shows. His movies. His stand up. Even the stuff for $5 from his website.

We watched him with our daughters.

We were fans.

I’m reading articles from people saying they could’ve done more – they should’ve done more. Because they knew the rumors were plentiful enough that they knew something was up.

I think we can all pinpoint a time in our lives where we could have done more. And we can “would’ve, could’ve, should’ve” all day long.

I remind myself that as we raise badass kids who speak up and speak out, we also have to remind them that sometimes it is okay to get through the situation and survive. Especially when you are the victim.

Whatever choice a person makes it will, no doubt, riddle them with guilt.

The neighbor guy does not haunt me (other horrors hold that honor).

Did he make my skin crawl? Yes.

Did it gross me out? Of course.

But he did not wreck my life. I did not have to work with him. He was not my mentor or boss. I wrote him off as a creep, kept my distance and a close eye on my kids.

I’ll likely treat Louis CK in the same manner. Distance myself from his work I once loved. I’ll catch myself remembering something he quipped and replace it with something more meaningful to me now.

It’s too bad. I really thought he was one of the good guys.

Ricky Gervais, don’t fail me now.

It is not my fault as a fan and it is not anyone else’s fault as a comic or co-writer or production company that believed in his work.

The fault lies squarely with Louis CK as it also does with the creepy neighbor.

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Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is a writer, wife, and mom of three kids whose ages span two decades. Her work has appeared in the New York Times; Brain, Child Magazine; Scary Mommy and more. Her Cincinnati Family mom blog earned Best Overall Blog in the 2017 Ohio Society of Professional Journalists Awards. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @WriterBonnie or on her website at WriterBonnie.com.

Lullabies & Love Songs

Lullabies are love songs to our kids. We hear them in the Disney movies and on the Spotify Lullaby Playlist. We love the classics and who can resist this Alison Krauss version of Baby Mine?

But, We also love those pop songs that bend in our minds and make us think of our kids. The following songs are some of my favorite songs that make me choke up when they play on the radio and make me think of my kids.

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1. Kimya Dawson –  Loose Lips (From the Juno Sountrack)

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2. Coldplay – Fix You

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3. Pretenders – I’ll Stand By You

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4. I Hope you Dance

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5. Sugarland – Little Miss

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6. Pink – Please Don’t Leave Me- this one more reminds me of a teenager rebelling and singing for her parent.

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7. The Dixie Chicks – Yes, we all know they wrote God Speed and Lullaby for their babies. But before that, on their Wide Open Spaces Album, there was this song and it’s still one of my favorites. I’ll Take Care of You

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8. Jason Mraz – Beautiful Mess

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9. Fun – Carry On

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10. KT Tunstall – Heal Over