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Ohio Water Resources Council Endorses Walnut Creek Watershed Balanced Growth Plan

The Ohio Water Resources Council has endorsed a watershed balanced growth plan for Walnut Creek in Central Ohio.

The endorsement signifies that the plan complies with guidelines established in the state balanced growth strategy. The plan was developed and presented by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) in association with the Walnut Creek Watershed Planning Partnership and 14 local governments in Franklin, Fairfield and Pickaway counties.

Ohio balanced growth strategies promote development and redevelopment in designated priority areas, and set up priority conservation areas in places of ecological and hydrological significance. Communities also may choose to support an agricultural use when setting up planning designations.

The Ohio balanced growth program is a voluntary, incentive-based program used to encourage local areas to engage in watershed-based regional planning to develop best local land-use practices, pairing economic growth with water quality needs.  The goal of the program is to protect and restore Ohio’s waterways while assuring long-term economic competitiveness, ecological health and quality of life in Ohio.

Special incentives for 2013 include 26 state grant, tax credit, loan and other programs that give special consideration to a balanced growth participating community that has passed a resolution to support a watershed-based, state-endorsed balanced growth plan. A list of the incentives can be found on the balanced growth web page.

The balanced growth program was originally endorsed by the Ohio Lake Erie Commission and piloted in the Lake Erie watershed in 2004.  The program was expanded statewide in 2009.

The Ohio Water Resources Council is a forum for policy development, collaboration and coordination among nine state agencies and strategic direction with respect to state water resource programs.

For more information on The Ohio Balanced Growth Program, visit its website.

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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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