Enforcement

Save a Dime. Sample on Time!The division has implemented an administrative penalty program for public water systems who fail to monitor for total coliform or nitrate as required. Consult the Save a Dime. Sample on Time! fact sheet for answers to frequently asked questions about the program.

When a facility or individual accumulates a certain number of violations, the case is referred to the Enforcement Unit at Ohio EPA. The case is then heard before the Enforcement Committee to determine the appropriate level of enforcement to pursue. The Enforcement Committee may include the Enforcement Unit, Division of Drinking and Ground Waters management, Office of Legal Services staff and management and a representative from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. 

Enforcement actions taken by the Division of Drinking and Ground Waters since 2007, are available to view in the eDocument system. 

Enforcement

When the decision is made to pursue an enforcement action by Ohio EPA's Division of Drinking and Ground Waters, there are a number of enforcement actions which the Division can choose to pursue.

Examples of enforcement actions include:


Bilateral Compliance Agreement

Lowest level of enforcement: A bilateral compliance agreement is a written agreement between the Division of Drinking and Ground Waters and the facility. It contains a schedule of what the facility needs to do in order to return to compliance and is signed by the Division Chief. The facility signs the document as record of agreement to comply.

Final Findings and Orders

Next level of enforcement: Director’s Final Findings and Orders include Findings, which outline the history of violations incurred at the facility, and Orders, which outline what the facility needs to do to attain compliance.  Findings and Orders can be consensual (negotiable) or unilateral (non-negotiable) and may or may not contain a penalty.

Negotiated Findings and Orders are proposed to the facility and negotiated until a mutual agreement is reached. A schedule for returning to compliance is also discussed and determined. The Final Findings and Orders are then signed by the Director of Ohio EPA and the facility.

Unilateral Findings and Orders are issued directly to the facility with a schedule for returning to compliance and are non-negotiable.

Referral to the Attorney General's Office

Highest level of enforcement: Ohio EPA refers the case to the Attorney General's Office where attorneys attempt to settle with the facility. Settlements reached at this point are called Consent Orders. Consent Orders are filed with the court and often require additional penalties. Failure to comply with these Orders is contempt, which may incur additional fines or possible jail time. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case is heard by a judge at the County Court of Common Pleas. The final decision made by the judge is called a Judgment.

License and Certificate Actions

The Division of Drinking and Ground Waters can take action against a public water system's license to operate (e.g., suspension, denial, revocation). The division can also take action against the certificate of an operator or certified laboratory or lab analyst

Penalty Assessment

The Division of Drinking and Ground Waters has the authority to seek penalties up to $25,000 per day per violation as stated in the Ohio Revised Code Section 6109.33. Penalties can be either civil or administrative.  For additional information on each type of penalty, click on the sections below.


Civil Penalties

Civil penalties are assessed in a civil suit filed in court by the Attorney General's Office on behalf of Ohio EPA.

To develop reasonable and consistent penalties, a civil penalty guideline has been established and consists of three major categories:

  1. Economic benefit
  2. Recalcitrance and risk of harm
  3. Enforcement costs
The economic benefit and enforcement costs are not typically included in the Division of Drinking and Ground Waters' penalties in order to promote timely settlement. These components are used, however, when the case is referred to the Attorney General's Office.

The facility may be able to reduce the amount of the penalty if they implement a supplemental environmental project. A supplemental environmental project is a project implemented by a facility that exceeds Ohio EPA requirements (e.g., water-loss studies, tying into city water, pollution prevention activities). The cost of the improvement is deducted from the total penalty.

Administrative Penalties

Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 6109.23 grants Ohio EPA authority to assess administrative penalties for failure to comply with ORC Chapter 6109 or the administrative rules adopted under the code. The process for calculating these penalties is described in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Rule 3745-81-04. Essentially, the penalty is calculated by assigning each violation a value of $1,000, which is then multiplied by a decimal number representing the size of the public water system.

Public Water System Enforcement Actions

Enforcement actions (including Bilateral Compliance Agreements, Director’s Final Findings and Orders and Judicial Orders) taken since January 1, 2007 as a result of violations of safe drinking water rules are available to view in the eDocument System.

Click here to view enforcement actions in the eDocument System. Helpful tips for using the eDocument System.

Some of the public water systems in enforcement may also be on drinking water use advisories. Visit the public water system page for additional information.

License to Operate (LTO)

In Ohio, most public water systems are required to obtain a license to operate (LTO) from Ohio EPA. The LTO indicates the public water system is approved by the Agency to supply drinking water to the public, and it must be prominently displayed at the facility. Public water systems with LTOs are required to apply for a license renewal by December 31 each year, unless instructed otherwise. The license renewal application must be submitted with the appropriate fee.   

Ohio EPA issues different licenses depending on the facilities' compliance with safe drinking water rules. Each type of license is color-coded (i.e., green, yellow or red) to represent the status of the system's license. For additional information on the color-coded system, please click on the sections below. Click here to view LTO enforcement actions in the eDocument System. For better search results, select “Permit” under Document Type and “Drinking Water” under Program.

Green LTO

Green license to operateA green license to operate means it was issued without any conditions. Most public water systems in Ohio receive green licenses.

Yellow LTO

Yellow license to operateA yellow license means it was issued to the public water system with conditions. Conditions usually require correction of violations of safe drinking water rules and may include conducting all required water quality monitoring, hiring a certified operator or paying an administrative fine.

 

Red Sign

red signA red sign is issued to a public water system that is not licensed because its LTO renewal application was denied or its license was suspended or revoked. These actions are taken due to violations of safe drinking water rules. Public water systems with red signs are not permitted to provide water for human consumption.

Operator Certification Enforcement Actions

The following enforcement actions have been taken as a result of violations of the operator certification rules in Chapter 3745-7 of the Ohio Administrative Code since November 2003:

Visit the Operator Certification page for additional information.

Name and Date

  • Robert Armstrong, Nov. 10, 2016
  • Shawn Daley, Nov. 1, 2016
  • Christina Faith, Oct. 26, 2016
  • Robert Gomez, Oct. 19, 2016
  • Andrew Griner, Oct. 19, 2016
  • Floyd Showers, Oct. 5, 2016
  • Anthony Sammartino, Oct. 5, 2016
  • Joseph Morley, Sept. 19, 2016
  • Brian Mavromatis, Aug. 2, 2016
  • Nicholas Rowlands, July 8, 2016
  • Jeremy Wensink, June 15, 2016
  • James V. Bates, April 22, 2016
  • Timothy Cox, April 20, 2016
  • Fred Davis, March 25, 2016
  • Charles Harmon, Feb. 9, 2016
  • Donald Daley, Feb. 2, 2016
  • James V. Bates, Jan. 25, 2016
  • James V. Bates, Jan. 25, 2016
  • Donald Daley, Nov. 4, 2015 
  • Donald Daley, Aug. 7, 2015 
  • John Schrenk, June 11, 2015 
  • Donald Daley, June 3, 2015 
  • Donald Daley, May 11, 2015
  • Steven Lemley, Feb. 12, 2015
  • Donald Daley, Feb. 11, 2015 
  • Travis Gibbons, Jan. 13, 2015
  • Steven Lemley, Jan. 12, 2015
  • Thomas J. Meade, Dec. 9, 2014
  • Kenneth Combs, Nov. 11, 2014 
  • James Pindell, July 18, 2014
  • Edward Weigel, March 28, 2014
  • John Hebb, Feb. 24, 2015
  • Funsho Alatishe, Nov. 8, 2013
  • Terry Gatton, Oct. 16, 2013
  • Terry Gatton, Oct. 16, 2013
  • Ernest Norton, Feb. 7, 2013
  • Funsho Alatishe, Nov. 27, 2012
  • Charles Taylor, June 7, 2012
  • Edward S. McCormick, May 3, 2012
  • James J. Miller, Jr, May 3, 2012
  • Scott R, Matola, April 4, 2012
  • Michael C. Scranton, Nov. 22, 2011
  • Sharon K Crist, July 15, 2011
  • Jeremy Homstad, June 15, 2011
  • Randy Mahlman, Sept. 29, 2010
  • Chad Johnson, June 16, 2010
  • Buddy Ruby, Sept. 30, 2009
  • Jim Bates, Sept. 21, 2009
  • David Leist, June 30, 2009
  • Andrew Dawson, June 11, 2009
  • Timothy J. Sypherd, June 10. 2008
  • Kevin C. McIntyre, June 10, 2008
  • Charles Edward Medley, June 2, 2008
  • John Merrin, March 18. 2008
  • Todd Newman, June 19, 2007
  • Jeff Stockwell, May 3, 2007
  • Michael E. Smith, April 27, 2007
  • Michael W. Reinhart, April 27, 2007
  • Mark T. Kaufman, April 20, 2007
  • Revis L. Osborne, Feb. 9, 2007
  • Gerard Mach, Jan. 31, 2007
  • Timothy J. Poynter, Nov. 30, 2006
  • James L. Norris, Nov. 30, 2006
  • Mark Fross, Oct. 2, 2006
  • Thomas McVicker, Sept. 12, 2006
  • Jeff Nichols, March 3, 2005
  • Vinson Poland, Dec. 27, 2004
  • Samuel Green, Dec. 22, 2004
  • Ronald E. Jennings, April 15, 2004
  • Kevin J. Vaughn (Wastewater), May 19, 2004
  • Kevin J. Vaughn (Water), Aug. 23, 2004
  • David B. Gruet, May 25, 2004
  • Valentin D. Ducu, Oct. 27, 2004
  • Joseph L. Chaffin, Nov. 17, 2003
  • Underground Injection Control (UIC) Enforcement Actions

    Enforcement actions (Director’s Final Findings and Orders) taken since January 1, 2007 as a result of violations of the Underground Injection Control (UIC) rules in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Chapter 3745-34 and Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 6111.043 are available to view in the eDocument System.

    Click here to view enforcement actions in the eDocument System. Helpful tips for using the eDocument System.

    Laboratories and Certified Analysts Enforcement Actions

    Enforcement actions (Director’s Final Findings and Orders) taken since January 1, 2007 as a result of violations of the laboratory certification rules in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Chapter 3745-89 and Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Chapter 6109 are available to view in the eDocument System.

    Click here to view enforcement actions in the eDocument System. Helpful tips for using the eDocument System.

    Visit the Certified Laboratories page for additional information.