CINCINNATI. The men's start of the Great Ohio River Swim.

Groups fear proposal may weaken Ohio River water protections

TOLEDO, Ohio -- A commission that watches over the Ohio River's health is considering moving away from its role of setting pollution standards for the river.

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission is expected to decide this year whether to leave the responsibility of setting water quality standards up to the six individual states along the river.

That would allow each state to set its own guidelines for pollutants and waste water discharges from factories and sewer systems.

Environmental groups are worried that could weaken water quality protection for the river that provides drinking water for 5 million people.

The commission says the proposal is one of several possibilities under consideration. But it also says most of its commissioners now are in favor of allowing states to set their own standards.

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