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.



6/25/20
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: James Lee
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mary McCarron

Ohio EPA Issues General Permit for Impacts to Ephemeral Streams 

Ohio EPA is announcing the availability of a general permit that will be available to applicants for projects that impact ephemeral streams. 

The state agency developed the general permit as a mechanism for authorizing impacts to ephemeral streams from fill activities in response to U.S. EPA’s recently finalized Navigable Waters Protection Rule. The new federal rule removes certain waters from federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, including ephemeral streams and certain isolated wetlands. States retain the authority to determine oversight of these non-jurisdictional waters in ways that best protect their natural resources and local economies.

The general requirements that have historically been applicable to projects that impact ephemeral streams when these resources were under federal jurisdiction are included under the state permit, including pre-notification, site restoration and mitigation requirements for permanent impacts. The general permit does not include new or additional requirements for ephemeral streams. In addition, the draft general permit will serve as a streamlined and efficient permit mechanism for applicants.

It is estimated that there are more than 36,000 miles of ephemeral streams throughout Ohio. While they do not flow continuously, these streams are important to aquatic ecosystems because they help control run-off and erosion, reduce flooding potential and help filter pollutants. Channel-like features on the land surface created by water erosion that are not tributaries, such as agricultural ditches, roadside ditches and grass swale waterways would not meet the definition of ephemeral streams.

Ohio EPA has historically used state permitting authority to regulate impacts to isolated wetlands and will continue to maintain an isolated wetland permitting program.  

The new general permit, along with responses to public comments Ohio EPA received during development of the permit, are available on Ohio EPA’s website.  

Issuance of final permit can be appealed to the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission (ERAC). Appeals generally must be filed within 30 days of issuing a final action; therefore, anyone considering filing an appeal should contact ERAC at (614) 466-8950 for more information.

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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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