Butler County Storm Water District

News Release
April 23, 2007

The following article was originally published by the Hamilton Journal-News on Saturday, April 21, 2007:

Earth Day event sheds light on environmental issues
By Candice Brooks Higgins
Staff Writer
Saturday, April 21, 2007

HAMILTON – Karen Adams didn’t expect to see her “alarming” sun-damaged face looking back at her Friday, butshe did.

Adams, of Hamilton, had ultraviolet light shined on her face while she stared into a mirror. The idea was to highlight areas of sun damage and potential skin cancer, said Dan Remley with the Ohio State University Extension office.

The experience helps people recognize signs of skin cancer and the need to protect themselves as the incidence of skin cancer rises with the depletion of the Earth’s ozone layer, Remley said.

“A lot of people are shocked,” he said.

The DermaScan Sun Safety Program was one of the educational tools used during Friday’s lunch-time Earth Day Festival held in front of the Government Services Center in downtown Hamilton.

More than 20 state, regional and local environmental organizations were at the event to encourage recycling, resource conservation and awareness of local environmental issues.
The free expo was sponsored by the Butler County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Hamilton to New Baltimore Groundwater Consortium in celebration of Earth Day, which is Sunday.

Downtown workers and passersby |couldn’t miss the action at the corner of High Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Hundreds of people stopped by – many on their lunch break – to improve their environmental awareness.

But the free grilled hot dogs, popcorn, chips and more than 600 one-foot Norway spruce and white pine seedlings that were handed out also helped to attract visitors.
Ruby, a red-tailed hawk from the Hueston Woods Nature Center’s raptor rehabilitation program, drew attention as well.

Yet it was the free information Patty Grabowski of Hamilton said she wanted. With her arms full of brochures, she said she learned enough to raise her concern about groundwater contamination.

“I have a pond where I’m moving,” she said. “I’m going to get the water tested.”

Tim McLelland, manager of the Groundwater Consortium, said Butler County’s
drinking water is naturally filtered through sand and gravel before it arrives to local wells. Unlike more complex surface water treatment plants, local groundwater treatment plants simply add chlorine and fluoride to well water to make it ready for the tap, he said.

That’s why the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s clean-up of local threats such as underground gas storage tanks and toxic waste at the commercial waste disposal ChemDyne site on Ford Boulevard are so important.

“We have to protect our sources of water,” said Peggy Collins, a Groundwater
Consortium volunteer from Fairfield. “We can get along without oil, but we can’t exist without water.”

Contact this reporter at (513) 820-2175 or chiggins@coxohio.com.

Photos courtesy of the Butler County Storm Water District.