Energy & Environment

Fish from Ohio river that once caught fire now safe to eat

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Fish from a river in Ohio that gained infamy after it caught on fire due to pollution are now safe to eat.

The Cuyahoga River in northeast Ohio that runs through Cleveland caught on fire in 1969 after years of waste from nearby steel mills filled it with contaminants.

The Associated Press reports federal environmental regulators on Monday gave the green light for fish from the river to be eaten again.

{mosads}The river fire in 1969 was not Cuyahoga’s first, but it did gain notoriety and drew the most media attention to the rampant water pollution taking place there.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which gave the approval to eat fish from the river again, said the improvement is “a huge step” forward for the river and the region.

“If you safely can eat the fish, we know that’s a great indication that water quality is improving,” Ohio EPA Director Laurie Stevenson said in a statement to the AP.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R), who called for almost $1 billion in water quality projects in his state budget, applauded the announcement Monday.

“This is an example of the progress that can be achieved when you collaborate and dedicate resources to improving the quality of water in our state,” DeWine told the AP in a statement. “We need to continue to invest in our water resources so that we can see additional improvements.”

The removal of restrictions on fish consumption in the river applies to portions of the Cuyahoga from the edge of Lake Erie to the Gorge Dam near Akron.

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