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Congressman Mike Turner Announces New Water Quality Evaluation Panel

The newly formed committee starts work just months after a Dayton water main break led to a massive water service outage across Montgomery County.
Kristin Stratman
The newly formed committee starts work just months after a Dayton water main break led to a massive water service outage across Montgomery County.

Republican Rep. Mike Turner Wednesday announced a new effort dedicated to ensuring safe drinking water in Dayton. The plan includes the formation of a new committee, which Turner told reporters will hire a national consultant tasked with completing an independent review of Dayton’s water quality standards.

The consultant is also expected to compile a list of safeguards the community may need in order to maintain good water quality in the future.

Dayton Power and Light Executive Vice President Tom Raga will serve as the new committee’s chair.

“As we think about water here, it’s such an important resource,” Raga says, “not just for our families, but in this community it’s important for economic development.”

Environmental groups, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and Republican Sen. Rob Portman, have raised concerns about possible contamination of the water supply by PFAS, toxic manmade chemicals that were detected in wells near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in June, 2018.

Turner has called for more study into the contaminants.

Last year, the United States Department of Health and Human Services released a draft report examining the health effects of exposure to the chemicals, which were alsoidentified in groundwater near more than 126 United States military installations around the country.

Turner says the new water consultant will be assigned to look into the chemicals leaching into water near the air force base, however, he stressed there is nothing that would indicate that Dayton’s water supply is currently unsafe.

“Water quality issues evolve,” Turner says, “we want to make sure that we have all the information on a timely basis as a community to be able to respond to this.”

Members of the newly announced panel include:

Tom Raga, Dayton Power and Light Executive Vice President

Debbie Lieberman, Montgomery County Commissioner

Steven Johnson, president of Sinclair Community College

Shelley Dickstein, Dayton city manager

Mary Boosalis, President of Premier Health

Terry Burns, chief operating officer of Kettering Health Network

Dave Dickerson, president of Dayton construction, sales and development for Miller-Valentine Group

Jill Dietrich, director of the Dayton VA Medical Center

Jeff Hoagland, president of the Dayton Development Coalition

Mary McDonald, Mayor of Trotwood

Philip Parker, president of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce

Erhardt Preitauer, president of CareSource

Eric Spina, president of the University of Dayton

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