4/13/17
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Lindey Amer
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mike Settles

Ohio EPA Holds Hearing for Portage Lakes East Reservoir Dam

Potential deep water impacts from improvements to the East Reservoir Dam in Portage Lakes will be the focus of an April 27, 2017, Ohio EPA public information session and hearing. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at Portage Lakes Kiwanis Civic Center, 725 Portage Lakes Dr., Akron. 

The meeting is an opportunity for residents to ask questions and submit comments concerning the application submitted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to repair the East Reservoir Dam and implement an improved spillway to safely pass flood waters that could occur during heavy rains. 

The East Reservoir Dam was constructed in 1840, has a maximum hydraulic height of 25 feet, and has an embankment that is 1,200 feet long. The improvement goals for the existing dam will consist of a new overtopping structure in the reservoir upstream from the existing embankments. 

If the project is approved, ODNR could place a maximum 52,500 cubic yards of fill below the ordinary high water mark. The section to be impacted extends along Portage Lakes Drive between North Turkeyfoot Road and South Turkeyfoot Road in Akron. Ohio EPA also may consider other alternatives that result in less or no impact to area water quality.

Anyone planning to discharge, dredge or use fill material in a way that impacts waters of the state must first obtain a water quality certification from Ohio EPA and a permit from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Ohio EPA reviews the project to ensure it will comply with Ohio’s water quality standards.

The proposed project may result in a change from current water quality conditions, but cannot violate Ohio’s water quality standards that protect human health and the environment. Ohio EPA will consider technical, economic, social and environmental aspects of the project before deciding whether to issue or deny a water quality certification. The application and related material are available for review online at epa.ohio.gov/dsw/401/permitting.aspx, or by calling (614) 644-2001.

Comments on the application may be offered at the hearing or submitted in writing to: epa.dswcomments@epa.ohio.gov or writing to Ohio EPA-DSW, Attention: Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049. The public comment period for the application ends May 4, 2017.

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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. Since then, 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.


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