Ohio EPA Considering Permit Variance for Bay Shore Power Plant

A request to grant a variance from the mercury limits allowed in the Bay Shore Power Plant wastewater discharge permit will be the topic of a Nov. 19, 2019, Ohio EPA public meeting. An information session will begin at 6 p.m., immediately followed by a public hearing at Oregon City Council chambers, 5330 Seaman Road.

Ohio EPA is reviewing a request for a variance from the 1.3 parts per trillion (ppt) monthly average mercury limit. The facility, owned by Walleye Power LLC, is located at 4701 Bay Shore Road, and discharges to Driftmeyer Ditch and Maumee Bay.

If approved, the variance would not allow an increase in mercury discharged from the facility. It would allow the facility to continue to discharge mercury to Lake Erie at current levels which exceed the 1.3 ppt Lake Erie Basin water quality standard. As conditions of the variance, the facility would be required to identify the sources of mercury in the discharge and take steps to eliminate or minimize those sources. The facility would have to meet a limit of 4.96 ppt as a condition of the variance.

The proposed variance may result in a change from current water quality conditions. Ohio EPA will consider technical, economic, social, and environmental aspects of the proposal before deciding whether to approve or deny the permit change.

Comments on the proposed variance may be presented at the hearing, or submitted in writing to Ohio EPA Division of Surface Water, Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049, or by email to epa.dswcomments@epa.ohio.gov. The public comment period ends Nov. 26. Following consideration of public comments, Ohio EPA will decide to whether to approve or deny the variance.


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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