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The Clean Water Act is 50. So how clean are the nation's waterways?

Bill Rinehart
Daybreak over the Ohio River, July 14, 2022, as seen from Eden Park.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Clean Water Act.

When the law was passed in 1972, the goal was that all navigable waters in the United States would be fishable and swimmable by 1985.

The country still hasn’t reached that goal, but significant improvements have been made in the nation’s waterways over the past 50 years.

Guests from three environmental nonprofits join Cincinnati Edition to discuss water quality in the Ohio River Watershed, the progress that’s been made and the work that remains.

“More than five million people depend on the river as a source of drinking water,” Ohio River Foundation Executive Director Rich Cogen said in a news release. “We’ve come a long way in the last 50 years, but there is still much work to do.”


Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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