As a precautionary response to COVID-19, Ohio EPA is currently operating with most staff working remotely. If you are working with our staff on a current project and you know the name of the employee you are working with, email them at firstname.lastname@epa.ohio.gov or call them directly. The Agency website has contact information for every district, division, and office. To report a spill or environmental emergency, contact the spill hotline (800) 282-9378 or (614) 224-0946. This number should only be used for emergencies. For all other calls, please contact Ohio EPA’s main phone line at (614) 644-3020 or the main line for the division or office you are trying to reach.

After March 23, our district offices and Central Office will be temporarily closed and will have increasingly limited ability to receive deliveries, plans, etc. All entities are encouraged to submit plans, permit applications, etc., electronically where there are existing avenues to do so, such as the eBusiness Center (eBiz). Please refer to the list of available services on the main eBiz webpage. We encourage you to make use of all that apply, even if you have not used eBiz in the past. Plans under 25 MB can be emailed. For large plans over 25 MB, entities should work with the reviewer/division to upload via LiquidFiles. Directions for submitting docs via LiquidFiles is available on YouTube. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you in advance for your understanding. If you wish to send hard copies of documents to any of Ohio EPA’s district offices, the best method to ensure we receive these documents is to send them via U.S. Mail. Since all offices are closed, deliveries outside of U.S. Mail (FedEx, UPS) will likely be returned because the offices are closed and deliveries cannot be made.



3/10/20

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Heidi Griesmer, Ohio EPA, (614) 644-2160
ODH Office of Communication, (614) 644-8562

Ohio EPA Finds First Detection of PFAS in Public Water System

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) released an update today on the testing of drinking water from public water systems being analyzed for the prevalence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 

The water sampling, which began last month and is focusing first on public wells serving schools and daycares, has produced results for 56 public water systems thus far. The testing did not detect PFAS in 55 systems, however, one public well connected to a Summit County church/daycare tested positive for levels of the PFAS chemical PFHxS. 

The facility, identified by Ohio EPA as the Manchester United Public Church/Here for You Preschool and Child Care Center in New Franklin, was notified of the test results on Monday. The analysis of PFHxS found levels equal to the Ohio EPA action level of 140 parts per trillion (ppt); levels of three other PFAS compounds were detected below the action level. 

Employees reported that they have not used the well for drinking water for approximately 20 years, and therefore, Ohio EPA does not anticipate any immediate response protocols to be issued for the site. Ohio EPA has, however, prioritized the testing of other nearby public water systems, including New Franklin’s administration building, which is adjacent to the church, and the public water systems serving Manchester High School, Manchester Middle School, and Nolley Elementary School. PFAS contaminants were not detected in Manchester High School’s drinking water, and the results for the other buildings are pending. 

Ohio EPA, the Ohio Department of Health, and the Summit County Public Health Department are collaborating to ensure that public water systems and private well owners in the area have information about PFAS, water testing, and treatment. Full testing results for all 56 public water systems can be found at pfas.ohio.gov. The website also includes general information on the treatment and health effects of PFAS, as well as specific information for residents in the New Franklin area (under the current activities tab).

Although there are currently no national drinking water standards for PFAS nor mandates for its testing, Governor Mike DeWine called for the development of the PFAS action plan to identify the extent of PFAS chemicals in Ohio’s drinking water systems. Ohio EPA expects to complete sampling of Ohio’s 1,500 public water systems by the end of 2020.

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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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