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Ohio Water Resources Council Adopts Watershed Balanced Growth Strategy

The Ohio Water Resources Council (OWRC), affiliated with Ohio EPA, approved a strategy for best local land use practices to link land uses with protecting Ohio’s waterways.

A document titled, “Linking Land Use and Ohio’s Waters: Best Local Land Use Practices,” is the most recent edition of efforts to implement better design and planning practices to enhance environmental quality, economic prosperity and quality of life.

It was developed in partnership with the Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC) and the members of OWRC to reflect a statewide need for balanced growth planning. It includes new findings and research about current best practices that have been developed since the first edition was issued by OLEC in 2004. The new strategy document also includes a wide range of project examples that have been developed by local governments, developers and others.

According to Brian Hall, OWRC Administrator, “The document is important because it can be used as a tool for local governments to help local businesses and residents make calculated decisions to positively impact local waterways and communities while reducing costs. By strategizing decisions in this way, leaders demonstrate they are considering the health of citizens and the robustness of local economies and how both depend on the quality of streams, rivers, lakes and ground water.”

The Ohio balanced growth program provides training and resources to local governments to update them on recent best management practices and how they can be implemented. According to Kirby Date, the coordinator of Cleveland State University’s best local land use practices effort, “Recommended practices have real economic and environmental benefits for communities. I am looking forward to sharing information and tools from the strategy with communities who would like to implement them.”

Visit the balanced growth program website to learn more about this voluntary program.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. In the past 40 years, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling. Ohio EPA…40 years and moving forward.

 


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