CITIZEN CONTACT: Kristopher Weiss

Ohio EPA Awards Grant for Medina County Storm Water Control Project

Innovative storm water controls are on the way to Wadsworth thanks to a $134,280 grant awarded by Ohio EPA. The grant to the city is one of 12 Ohio EPA issued statewide totaling $2.7 million to help communities restore waterways impaired by nonpoint source pollution. Wadsworth will use the money – along with a local match of $36,269 – to better manage storm water runoff from the city’s southwest parking lot located in the heart of downtown.

The city will retrofit the existing parking lot with nearly 5,000 square feet of permeable pavers along with bio-filtration islands and vegetated infiltration areas. These changes will slow and store storm water and reduce flooding and riparian erosion impacts to the River Styx. It also will reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorous and sediments discharging into the river.

Nonpoint source pollution is the leading cause of water quality impairment in Ohio’s streams and lakes. It is caused by rain or snowmelt moving over and through the ground, picking up natural and human-made pollutants and depositing them in lakes, rivers, wetlands and other waterways. Other forms of nonpoint source pollution include modifications to natural stream flow, habitat alteration and nutrients. Polluted runoff can have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries and wildlife.

In 1987, Section 319 of the federal Clean Water Act created a national program to control nonpoint source pollution. Ohio EPA administers the program for U.S. EPA and distributes millions of federal dollars to projects proposed by local governments and community organizations such as watershed groups. To be eligible, grant recipients must contribute at least a 20 percent match consisting of cash or in-kind contributions or services. Grants of up to $350,000 are awarded for three-year periods.

Applications for the next round of grants, which are due on June 1, 2012, are available through Ohio EPA’s district offices or by contacting Russ Gibson at (614) 644-2020 or Martha Spurbeck at (614) 644-2869. More information on the grants, an electronic application and examples of previously successful projects are available online.

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